Although Alice had the mastectomy on her right side, she’ll get implants in both. One goal in reconstruction surgery is symmetry. Since a natural breast will change over time, implants on both sides help with symmetry. Plastic surgeons can also “create” a nipple using a sort of “origami” of the skin, which is then often tattooed to give the appearance of a natural nipple. “I’m the only one in my family who has tattoos,” brags another friend who’s had a double mastectomy.
Over time, Alice has “test-driven” various sizes, using temporary adjustments. At a restaurant one evening, she was so uncomfortable with her larger-than usual size it was all she could do to remove her arms from in front of her chest.
How big with Alice be?
“38B, just what I was before.” She’s a petite person, “I’ve always been comfortable being small. That feels right.”
“I’m mainly worried about not being able to eat or drink for eight hours before. Since my surgery is at three, I’m going to get up and have breakfast at six, then go back to sleep.”
“You’ll be able to sleep?”
“I haven’t had any problem sleeping, but maybe I will tonight….mainly I just want to get it over with.”