When Elizabeth Peppas was diagnosed with extensive, noninvasive breast cancer in 2007, she found herself heading into a devastating surgery: double mastectomy. But she, like so many other women, hoped that her loss would be soothed by having immediate reconstruction of both breasts. She opted for a popular, two-stage process, starting with the placement of temporary tissue expanders between the skin and chest muscle and ending with the swapping in of permanent silicone implants.

“Since I was recently remarried, and was a runner and really fit, I didn’t want to lose that femininity,” Peppas, 60, tells Yahoo Lifestyle about her choice to have reconstruction. “But I would not make the same decision again.”

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