Adjustable Implants

I recently underwent a double mastectomy and a reconstruction using adjustable implants which have to be ‘inflated’ (so weird!) I had my first inflation last week and since then my chest has been incredibly tight and my breasts feel like rocks resembling over-developed men’s pecs rather than women’s breasts. Has anyone undergone this whole process and come out the other side? I suppose I just want reassurance that I won’t have to change my name to Arnie cos at the moment I’m beginning to wonder.

Hi. This is my first time posting on the forum (although I have found help and support just reading through the forums since my diagnosis). I had a left mastectomy and reconstruction at the beginning of February and have been “pumped up” three times since so I can sympathise! I still feel very tight in the chest and, yes, I too have pecs on one side!!!

Like you, I would be interested in comments from anyone who has gone thorugh this process - does the feeling of tightness ease? I am doing the exercises suggested by my physio, which do seem to help, and my BC nurse has been great. But unless you have been through it, I think it is difficult to appreciate just how uncomfortable this can be!


I had a full sized implant when I had my mastectomy a few weeks ago, but had been due to have the tissue expander one until they decided they could save the skin and nipple, so had spoken to some ladies who had this, some on this site, (including DilysP who is away on hols at the moment, otherwise I’m sure she would have responded!) some on another site, and also a lady I got chatting to in chemo. They all said that the feeling was very tight during expansion, they slightly over-expand before rads, so afterwards they can drop you down a little to give a natural look. All the ladies I spoke to were very happy with the progress, so hang in there!

Good luck

Hi ladies! Well, I went to see my consultant yesterday who told me that the tightness/hardness etc was perfectly normal as the skin is adjusting to the saline solution underneath it. I suppose it is understandable as most of the skin has been taken away but it does feel really uncomfortable. He also told me that new skin forms to accommodate the new shape which I find amazing. It is only a month after my operation and I am constantly in awe at the ability of the human body to heal itself.
I have to go for my next inflation in two weeks time. Good luck with your inflations, Billy. Let me know how you get on!

hi Emma

I had double preventative masctamy 16th Jan, had expander implants fitted. Mine too felt like rocks and found it hard trying to sleep. I was given 100ml during the op but due to complications 6 weeks on and i still waiting for my first expansion. But they are getting softer around the edges and feelings are coming back even though most of my breasts have no feeling, which was handy when PS took scapel too me on last visit. The tightness feeling around rib cage has gone, but i’m sure on my first expansion I will get stiff again, but cant wait to get expanded to feel like i’m getting somewhere. How long before they exchange yours do you have a time scale?
I was hoping to have been completed by summer but things are now going to be 8 weeks behind.
Michaela x

I had a bi-lat mastectomy with tissue expanders at the end of November. Left side due to cancer and right side as preventative. The right side had more skin left behind so this one has always felt better (and bigger!!) and now I can really notice the difference due to Rads. I finished Rads 3 weeks ago, but the left side skin is still very tight from the Rads - in fact I was thinking about going back to see PS to see if they can remove some saline. Trouble is that will leave them VERY different in size!!!

Anyway just wanted to say that they tightness across the whole/central chest does ease, probably took about 3 weeks I guess. I have been back to the gym this week, running on the treadmill and generally feeling a bit more like ‘Me’.

I intend to have a DIEP later in the year (not a normal combination to do expanders with DIEP, but I like to be different!!!).
Hope you get on OK and it feels a little better.

Best wishes

Actually I had Becket implants put in which means there is no exchange as they simply seal off and remove the ports once the implants are fully expanded. They are still really uncomfortable and weird feeling and I am also having a problem sleeping. I can’t seem to get comfortable in any position other than on my back and I can’t run or do exercise which is frustrating. But I go for my next inflation in two weeks time so we’ll see how it goes. I, too am impatient to get things going as I can’t stand the look of my breasts at the moment but I did go out on Saturday night for the first time and I didn’t feel too self-conscious which was great.
Good luck with your inflations everyone!