Am I being ungrateful/unrealistic?

Hi, I had left sided mastectomy October 2012 with immediate tissue expander; chemo and fills with TE in place. It was very hard going, but I didn’t mind. March 2013 I had more lymph nodes removed and TE removed as it had become infected - two leaky holes with fluid running out and down the front of my body, to be be exact. But I didn’t mind, because I was alive, and shortly aferward I got the news that the cancer was gone. SO GREATFUL! March 2014 had reconstruction with implant and reduction of right breast. I wasn’t offered another option by my plastic surgeon and was SO GRATEFUL!!! that I trusted him fully and didn’t question it. The trouble is, it looks awful… Puckered, sits much higher than other breast, looks worse than I did when I had only one breast and used a prothesis. Went to my review appt to ask about revision - plastic surgeon was quite annoyed with me; said it would be too difficult, I would hardly see any benefit, and there is no funding for further surgery. I came away feeling dreadful - after all, I’m alive and cancer free; how many women would gladly swap places with me. But still, can’t help feeling cheated, and because of that, guilty. 

Hello Wonkyboob

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You should not feel guilty. Your ps has done a bad job, and how dare you question him!  You have every right to feel aggrieved. You need a second opinion maybe?



Haha it sure is!

I too had very similar experiences to you with by bilateral mastectomy (I had cancer in both breasts at the same time) and immediate reconstruction with expanders in September 2013.  The expanders were nothing but trouble and my PS continued along this route but after 5 unsuccessful attempts, I asked for a second opinion and it was deemed that due to the amount of operations I’d had that I was no longer suitable for implant based reconstruction.  My PS referred me to another hospital and in January 2015 I had bilateral DIEP reconstruction and have just had a smaller operation 2 weeks ago to address some issues of fat necrosis and symmetry.  I too, like you, will need at least another operation (possibly more) as they’re rather bigger than I’d wanted and I  still need nipples doing.  I completely agree with you, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made and they feel like me and do not hurt the way that the expanders did (incidentlaly when these were removed - they’d only been in since January 2014 as I was left with nothing but my hanging skin from e/o September 2013 - January 2014), the right one had ruptured and had leaked into the surrounding area. My body had developed capsuluar contracture on both sides so luckily, the slimey green gunk that the now empty implant was sitting in was unable to escape and travel around my bloodstream.  Although, I had been feelingn SO fatigued and exhausted for a few months leading up to my DIEP and believe that my body had been working so hard at trying to fight this infection as well as acgtually forming these capsules to isolate the expanders for the rest of my body!  Incidentally, my planned DIEP was on 20 January but had to be postponed to the following week as I was a mess inside and they had to deal with that first and let the infection clear before attempting the DIEP recon the following week.


So glad you are pleased with your results!  Which hospital did you attend for the expanders and then DIEP?

A few people have contacted me to ask where I had the DIEP. It was at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. Highly recommended.