WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Video

Voiceover: Cheryl Eustace found a 5cm tumour two years ago. After successful chemotherapy she had a breast removed to prevent further occurrences.

Cheryl: I really didn’t realise how important my breasts were to me. I thought that it would be far more traumatic to lose my hair than it would be to lose a breast and it was a complete reverse. I was quite shocked at that actually. I just can’t even, up to now, realise how important this breast is.

Voiceover: After two years of living with only one breast Cheryl feels ready to try a reconstruction.

Cheryl: I actually forget, I’ve been through all of this and forgotten that I’ve had cancer. Then I look down when I’m getting dressed and putting my bra on and suddenly it’s just there, it’s still there. It’s just a reminder the whole time and actually I would just like that part of my life to be over now.

Dr Christian: Cheryl, hi, I’m Christian, Dr Jesson.

Voiceover: Cheryl’s come to the clinic to find out if reconstruction is possible.

Dr Christian: You’d really like a breast the same as your other one or as close as we can get it.

Cheryl: Yes.

Dr Christian: Before we talk about it can I have a look and just see how it looks now.

Cheryl: You can.

Voiceover: Sadly, things worsened after the mastectomy. An infection developed which had an impact on her remaining breast tissue.

Dr Christian: Very obviously you’ve lost all the bulk of this breast pretty much completely haven’t you? It looks to me very clear that if we just put an implant there, and it may be one that starts off fairly small which we gradually expand to allow time for these tissues and the scarring just to stretch out a little bit. I think we could get that much better, I think you’d be much happier with it. But what are you currently using? Can we have a look at this?

Cheryl: Yes, I’ve got a prosthesis which is a full bra. It’s quite something.

Dr Christian: But you’re not happy with this.

Cheryl: No it’s just a nuisance having it.

Dr Christian: As you so clearly said it’s this constant reminder of what you’ve been through.

Cheryl: It is a constant reminder, it is. It would be super to get rid of that actually.

Dr Christian: What I propose we do is we send you to a specialist surgeon who deals with re-constructive surgery and you can have a good talk about the various options which will definitely involve an implant of sorts but you can also talk about the possibility of a nipple, whether you want a nipple re-constructed. They may be able to reconstruct it from a bit of finer tissue, like from your ear or something. You may decide that’s far too much bother and quite frankly if you’ve got roughly equal breasts you will be happy with that. You don’t need to worry about it.

Cheryl: Ok.

Dr Christian: Does that sound like a reasonable plan, would you be happy?

Cheryl: Very.

Voiceover: Hopefully a new breast will mark the end of Cheryl’s journey.

Voiceover: Hoping for a happy outcome is Cheryl Eustace. She’s been living with only one breast since a mastectomy two years ago. But today, it’s time for her reconstructive surgery.

Cheryl: I don’t feel feminine when I look at myself. I remember as a child a friend of mine had a three legged dog. That’s what my breast reminds me of. It does remind me of amputation, it reminds me of a three legged dog. Awful.

Voiceover: After a meeting with Christian she is ready to put the past behind her.

Cheryl: I’m hoping that this will be the end of my breast cancer experience forever. I’m actually quite nervous. I think I’m more nervous now of having this done than what I previously was with the original mastectomy. I am a bit scared.

Voiceover: Cheryl has lost so much tissue that there’s not enough skin behind which to put an implant. Instead the process will be gradual. Plastic surgeon Mr Ramakrishnan will have to reshape the breast using an expander.

Mr Ramakrishnan: With Cheryl we used a very simple technique of reconstruction. This is by using an expander, a balloon which is placed under the skin. We stretch the skin out to the required size in comparison to the opposite breast and when we have reached the desired volume we remove the expander and replace it with an implant.

Voiceover: Over the next few weeks Cheryl will go for regular top ups so the expander can gradually stretch her skin.

Dr Christian: Hi Cheryl, how are you?

Voiceover: After just two weeks, Cheryl’s back to show Christian how she’s healing.

Dr Christian: It’s better already isn’t it?

Cheryl: It is yeah. It feels like the start of a breast? It’s really quite nice.

Dr Christian: I can see even looking at it now at this early stage I can see the end result is going to be really good. I hope you’re going to be happy with it. You’re happy all ready so it’s doing something.

Cheryl: I’m pleased with it already, yeah.

Dr Christian: I think that’s going to be great. Thank you.

Cheryl: It sounds like it’s going to be a year before I’ll have the full result but it’s something to look forward to.

Read the video transcript

Consultation: Breast Reconstruction

Dr Jessen treats a breasts cancer survivor who wants to receive an implant to replace her breast that had to be removed during treatment.

Did you find this useful? YesYes NoNo

911 of 1349 people said they found this useful

Comments and Questions

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

My ovary hurts because I whaked it with a steel ball! what should I do?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hi I have fully checked my balls and found a huge lump what should I do?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, 2014 at 46. I had my a double mastectomy with a flap taken from my abdomen in order to have reconstruction at the same time. It was a 16 hour surgery and when I woke up the following morning I only had one breast. According to my surgeon my left breast kept getting blood clots. In November I had a tissue expander placed under the muscle of my left breast, which was very painful. Over the course of 5 weeks I had the expander filled to the desired size and then I had the implant surgery in nearly 6 weeks later. This is a lengthy process - for me, I'm 7 months in and I have 2 more procedures left, which will likely be near the one year mark. I have so many feelings about this ordeal - some negative and some positive. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I really think I would have had both breasts removed, then expanders placed in both breasts, followed by implants. Right now, I have 2 uneven breasts and I'm not happy with the results. Keep in mind that it's only 1-week post implant surgery, but there are clear differences between my breasts that make me feel inadequate. It's very hard not to compare them to natural breasts. In addition, I'm unhappy with the fact that my surgeon left so much up to me without providing me with clear recommendations. The surgeon is the expert, not me. There are so many things I would do differently about my breast cancer experience. I suggest doing your research and when you think you have all the answers, do MORE research. Be prepared because nothing was what I expected. I could have had more control over the decisions if I had been slightly more informed about portions of the surgical process that I didn't know were important at the time. The what if's are important. I have to continuously remind myself that I didn't choose to be in this situation. I'm a healthy 46 year old woman that eats healthy and exercises. I'm still scratching my head about how this happened to me. I'm happy to have survived. I'm a stronger woman for it.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi I had my left breast removed in Feb 2014 and followed with chemo and radio therapy. As my skin was damaged by radio therapy, my surgeon advise me to wait for several months before having reconstruction. I had tissue expander put in after my surgeon removed my right breast but I did not have any pain. Just had reconstruction done using my own fay ,skin and muscle from my back. Over a year, I had several meetings with my surgeon and his team at Royal united hospital in Bath. They listened to how I would want it done then they gave me several options with all the details and pros and cons. I agree with you that the surgeon should know best and he is the expert in this field. I was not rush to make decision as they guided me all the way through. I only had my op on 20th May 2015, it looks fine to me as I feel reasonably comfortable with my new breast. My advise to any one is as same as you, DO MORE RESEARCH. Also my surgeon told me that I may need more than one operation to get right therefore I have to wait and see.

Is expanders painful as I'm have them in 2 weeks and I'm getting a little worried as I don't no what to expect





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I am thinking of having my left breast off so when I have my expanders in they will look alike and then I don't have to worry about getting cancer in my other breas Just want to no will they remove it if there is no cancer in there





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have to see my doctor soon and the only thing I got left is inplants which I did not want but turned down by 3 PS cos of my lupus Expanders then inplants just wandered if you can give me some infro on what there like and if it's painful please help my anyone and let me no thankyou





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Has anyone got an answer for me Can I have my other breast off and have 2 breast inplants in stead





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Six years ago I had reconstruction using my back muscle. Everything was fine until 18months ago when I started pain in my hip and then my ribs and 4months ago in my shoulder all down the same side as my reconstruction. I have been through the nhs system and have not been diagnosed all bloods, xrays are normal. The pain was so bad I went to see a Chiropractor who thought it was all caused by the use of the back muscle causing my body to be out of alignment. I have had one treatment and slept through the night. It is such a relief that somebody actually listened to me and gave me a reason. Because all tests were normal I felt like nobody believed me.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm still waiting to here about another referal to another PS to see if he will do me a tissue reconstrution on my right breast as iv got lupus iv been turned down twice so if he turns me down it expanders and an in plane in which I didn't want but wanted to no if I do have in plants is it poss to have my other breast removed and have 2 in plants the same if anyone knows the answer could they please reply





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have not had my reconsturtion done yet but I. May only be able to have inhancers and then in plants but I did not want in plants but iv seen 2 plastic surgeon and they have refused to do it because I have lupus so what I wanted to no was can I have my other breast removed and have 2 inplants in so my breast will look the same if anyone no the answer I would be very happy as I don't no what to do and if it is at all possible to remove my other breast





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


More Information

  1. Embarrassing Illnesses

    Episode Guides - All the episode guides from Series 1 of our groundbreaking health s…

  2. How to Check Yourself

    Videos - Self-check guides for the balls, boobs, vulva and skin.

  3. STI Checker

    Embarrassing Bodies Homepage - Do you like things safe and secure or do you live life on the edge?…

  4. Sagging Breasts

    In Conditions - Everyone's boobs eventually succumb to the downward pull of gravity…

  5. Constipation

    In Conditions - Constipation is extremely common and can affect a broad range of ag…

  6. Vaginal Dryness

    In Conditions - Vaginas should normally be moist, but due to a number of factors, s…

  7. Prolapsed Rectum

    In Conditions - This is a painful condition that can result in the rectum protrudin…

  8. Perimenopause

    In Conditions - The perimenopause is an inevitable right of passage leading up to t…

  9. Erectile Dysfunction

    In Conditions - Any glance at your email spam filter will tell you that erectile dy…

  10. Enlarged Prostate

    In Conditions - An enlarged prostate (known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)…

  11. We're Coming to Get You!

    In Episodes - The Docs are back, and this time they're coming to get you!

  12. Enlarged Labia

    In Conditions - Many women are born with larger or more noticeably asymmetric labia…

  13. Dr Pixie McKenna

    In Videos - Find out more about Dr Pixie McKenna

  14. How To Check Your Breasts

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper explains how to self check your boobs for breast can…

  15. Endometriosis

    In Conditions - Around 2 million women suffer from Endometriosis, and it's when the…


Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here