Information about Reconstruction
Making a decision about breast reconstruction is very difficult. There are a number of choices, and it can be overwhelming in the best of times--let alone immediately after a cancer diagnosis when you are definitely not thinking your most clearly. A colleague developed this useful list of online resources for information. I would add the importance of speaking with other women who have had the kinds of surgery that you are considering. As we all know, you always hear something different from patients than you do from doctors. Ask your breast surgeon or plastic surgeon for contacts. If that does not work, please feel free to email me (email@example.com), and I can make the connections for you.
With thanks to Margery Gallece:
There are some good online resources.
It's important to keep in mind that not all types of reconstruction are available to individuals based on factors such as treatment options, body type, etc., so it's advisable to get a couple of consults with local plastic surgeons.
It's also important for women to read the small print about implants. Implants have a "shelf life" of about 10 years and should be replaced after that. This is a conversation that is often glossed over in the process of decision making. It's vitally important for women to know about that.
Reconstructing Aphrodite is probably the most complete photo book (not cheap) showing reconstruction.
On July 28. Living Beyond Breast Cancer had an educational teleconference scheduled on this topic: Breast Reconstruction: Understanding Your Options, Our July teleconference will help you learn about your choices for breast reconstructive surgery. This teleconference can now be heard as a podcast on their website.
There was a web site titled "Show Me" and a book. Some of the techniques in that book are now outdated but it was very good. You can access some of the photos and stories at this link on Dr. Susan Love's web site:
Network of Strength
There are newer reconstruction techniques although not everyone is a candidate for these and it is not available everywhere: