1, 2 Step

Before I start, let me just say how happy I am to have a post titled after a Ciara song :). Anyhoo, I’ve been joining more online forums for people with BRCA mutations. It has opened up a way for me to speak to tons of people around the world online to ask questions and do research, which is pretty cool.

When I went to the FORCE conference, I met some women who had reconstruction with the direct to implant (1-step) option as well as the tissue expander (2-step) option. 1-step is when an implant is placed in at the time of the mastectomy. 2-step is when tissue expanders are placed in during the mastectomy and they are slowly filled with saline each week, and then swapped out for implants in a second surgery around 3 months later.

Part of the reason I chose the 2 step option is because of how often I’ve heard of 1-step actually resulting in multiple surgeries. Also, there can be issues with blood flow when the 1-step is performed. I’ve also heard about how uncomfortable the expanders can be (check out my post on that here).  Both my breast and reconstructive surgeons said I was a candidate for 1-step, but I didn’t go into too much detail about it with them because of the blood flow issues.

Now that I’ve met more women who have had the 1-step direct to implant surgery, I am interested in talking to my surgeon about it in more depth. Not only have I met these women, but many of them showed me their results at the FORCE conference “show-and-tell” session. A lot of the 1-step breasts I saw and felt appeared natural and had great results with only one surgery. I also posted about this choice on one of the online forums and had many women respond with great feedback and photo results from the 1-step. I called my reconstructive surgeon and her amazing assistant talked to me about both options and scheduled an appointment for me to speak to my surgeon about both options again in more depth. I’m thankful to have such a great medical team behind me.

I’ll keep everyone posted on how that consult goes (on July 21), but it does help me feel less stressed knowing I have fully researched all of my options.

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