Ask the Doctor-Do you think I’m a candidate?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: Hi, I have widespread DCIS in one breast. I am very interested in reconstruction using my own tissue. I had a lumpectomy but all of the DCIS was not removed. Not all margins were clear. I live in Columbia and if I’m a candidate, I would love to know recovery time as I work full time.

I just have so many questions as I was not expecting to hear I needed a mastectomy. I’m 52 and am probably a B cup at best. I’m not looking to go bigger, etc. I just want to do the best thing to feel normal. I also am considering double mastectomy.

Judy K. told me all about you and has given me so much information on reconstruction. I would love to see if I’m a candidate. I do have a clotting disorder called the prothrombin gene mutation so am usually on Lovenox for a few days after any surgery.

Answer:  We would be more than happy to see you and discuss your options.

Reconstruction is not just one operation, but a process, with the first stage (flap transfer) being by far the largest. The first stage usually requires 4 days in the hospital, and another 2-3 days in town. There isn’t any “magic point” when you are fully healed, but we usually say 6-8 weeks is necessary for recovery. Any subsequent stages typically require only one night in the hospital (at most), and you can leave town the next day.

We ordinarily keep patients on Lovenox for at least a full week after surgery. If you have a clotting disorder, we may extend that, based upon your hematologist’s recommendations.

If you would like to see an experienced breast oncologic surgeon also at the time of your visit, we can easily arrange that.

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!