Partner fears touching breasts after reconstruction?


Question from cmanuel: Is it common that your husband/significant other will be "afraid" to touch your breasts after reconstruction? I had a bilateral mastectomy ten years ago and my husband now seems to think that anything above my waist is off limits.
Answers - Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. I think this can be a very common occurrence. Oftentimes both the patient and her significant other can have quite mixed feelings about reconstruction, and/or about lumpectomy or mastectomy sites without reconstruction. Learning one's body all over again can be a process that can take time. Talking to your partner about your own feelings and your perceptions of their feelings can be helpful and even therapeutic.

On Wednesday, March 15, 2006, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Coping with Your Changing Feelings and Relationships. Lidia Schapira, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answered your questions about facing your fears head-on, handling moodiness and depression, diffusing tension with your partner andĀ feeling close without sexual activity, as well as issues of self-image and femininity.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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