Booked in for Mastectomy with LD Flap next week

Feeling very positive. But, not sure what to expect after the operation. Has anyone had this operation please?

Hi Acorn
I am sure your fellow users will be along with support and shared experiences soon, you are also welcome to call our helpline to talk through any concerns or queries you may heave.  They may be able to put you in touch with someone who has had this type of surgery via our ‘One to one’ support service, you can read more about this here:

breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-services/someone-talk/one-one-support?utm_source=Homepage&%3Butm_medium=Promo&%3Butm_campaign=1_2_1_support

BCC have published an information booklet and an animated guide about reconstruction which you may find useful too so here’s the link:

breastcancercare.org.uk/node/1153855

Best wishes
Lucy BCC

Helpline 0808 800 6000

Hi Acorn

I had a left side mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with LD flap on 29th July this year. I am really pleased I had this op but underestimated how tough it was!! I was due to spend a week in hospital but after having the op on a monday persuaded the consultant to discharge me on the wednesday as I knew would recover better at home and hate hospitals. He let me go home with 3 drains still in place,daily district nurse visits and frequent clinic visits to him and breast care nurses. I gradually reduced the drains and 10 days later was “drain free”!! The last drain came out earlier than it should due to a blockage so I was warned about fluid build up. I have since had to have my back aspirated twice and had a steroid injection. Fingers crossed it now seems to have settled. I was very tired for the first 3weeks as I also developed anaemia and slept a lot. A V pillow was essential and also front fastening bras and bra extenders. I lived in button front cotton pjs. Doing the exercises really helps and I have no movement restrction but am very careful with my left arm. The actual breast is amazing. Better than my other one albeit with no nipple yet! I did not want an inplant if at all possible and my wonderful surgeon managed to do it just using my back muscle -Iam 36a. Although the first week was painful and awkward with the drains etc painkillers controlled this well. The tightness around the back can feel strange as can the odd way the breast can move by itself!!! This is settling down a lot now. I had planned to go back to work six weeks post op but am not up to it yet. I think I probably need a couple more weeks. This was my third operation under general anaesthetic since May and Ithink my body just needs more timecto recover. Hope this helps and please do ask me any questions you want. Take care and good luck!!

Jayne xxx

Hi Acorn, I had my op the week before Jayne. I had an implant with my flap as I am a bit bigger, 36B/C and a sentinel node biopsy at the same time. Because of previous scars my incision is vertical from just under my armpit but doesn’t show. The scar on my back is very neat and is covered by a bra. I had my operation on Tuesday and came home on Saturday with 2 drains which were removed 2 days later. I too had fluid drained from my back twice but that has now settled down. Pain relief in hospital was great. I had an epidural directed exactly at my right side which was kept in for 3 days Because this was done I had a day in high dependency as a precautionary measure. When I came home I felt very swollen and tired. You really do need help around the house and to get dressed for a few days. However my 8 month old granddaughter was staying and I gradually managed to look after her except picking her up to start with. I was driving after 5 weeks, I couldn’t turn round easily before that to reverse. Doing the arm exercises is very important. My arm movement is almost back to normal except for raising my arm straight up and I think that’s due to the position of my scar. I still have swelling in the breast and though it still feels hard is a good shape I have had no problem at all with the op site on my back or the back muscle (When fluid collects in your back it is lower than where the scar is) So, 2 months on and I feel fine, am doing almost everything I was before the op but being careful at the same time. I was told to expect 6 months for everything to settle down properly. It’s a long haul but the first few weeks are the worst, you have to remember its a big operation and to look after yourself. Take care , Helen x

Hi Denise,
the bras I got to start with were the pull over the head soft crop tops. You can get them in M and S. go up a size from normal though because of swelling. Getting into them is ok Affected arm first then head then other arm. You may need help pulling them down at the back for a few days though but once on are very comfy. I also had pyjamas with a baggy Tshirt top, same method. I wasn’t told about the epidural till I saw the anaesthetist the morning of my op. it was his decision and I was happy to go along with it. My car is a manual. As my affected side is my right I didn’t have any issues with the gear stick or hand brake but I believe 5 or 6 weeks is about what to expect. I did try at 3 1/2 weeks just round the block and it wasn’t great. My implant is only a small one and obviously I don’t know what it would feel like without it to compare. At the moment the breast feels hard but is getting softer, I think that’s the muscle recovering. And it feels a bit heavier but it might be because I’m thinking about it. That side is higher than the other but will drop a bit with gravity. Depending on the final result I may get the other side adjusted. When wearing the crop tops you can see the difference but last week I bought a lovely soft mastectomy bra which made me look more even so fitted Tshirts are back!
Helen x

Hi Denise, I think you must try and stay positive. I tried not to worry about what was happening too much. Waiting for results was the worst bit, but once I knew what was happening and had made my decision I felt a lot calmer. I just trusted my surgeon, he knows what he is doing, and sort of went along with most things. It’s important to keep asking questions though then you feel more involved. Like you I live in a rural area, so driving was important. I stocked up the freezer before my op and got lifts to the nearest town for shopping. I was lucky, my daughter came to stay for a few weeks which also took my mind off recovery. And go on holiday. By 6 weeks you will feel fine and it will be something nice to look forward to :slight_smile:
Helen x

I am also having an LD flap on the 18th but at the moment without a MX -  my surgeon is removing all the skin and the nipple as I have cancer cells on the surface of the breast and it is rapidly spreading. This is after having WLE and ANC on the same breast last year. I have been following your post for advice on what to wear and how it may feel afterward. s.  I bought a V shaped pillow from Dunelm Mill - it is an orthopedic one so very firm and have been practising sleeping with it - surprisingly it is ok. I was going to wear Vest tops and pyjama bottoms in the hospital - I do usually get PJ’s with b utton up fronts from Primark - they are very cheap so will take the tops in as well. I was told to expect to be for around 4 nights minimum. Also told that the drains are not so bad as the ANC op as there is less fluid coming out.  I wouldn’t  be the least bit surprised to wake up and find the surgeon has done a Mx though as I am sure he will find more once he is in there. The thought of this op makes me feel quite sick, as was the shock of being diagnosed again so soon. I was told that they operate with you sitting up! One surgeon at the front and one doing the back!  Any other tips gratefully received - also if anyone else has gone through my bizarre op. Take care  K M x

Hi Acorn
This is probably too late for you but this is my experience. Had left mx and node clearance with ld flap recon on the3rd September but no implant as I will need radiotherapy. I had no comprehension of what I was letting myself in for and, as a usually fit person, no idea how to cope. I came home after 5 days (despite nasty diarrhoea ) and am apparently making a great recovery.
My surgeon has made an amazing “breasticle” which bodes well for the future! I was. 32DD and had little spare tissue for her to work with. Came home with 2 drains which we’re horrid but have been much more comfy since they were taken out. Only have shallow baths at the moment and underarm is very painful (had SNB 2 weeks before and found showers quite sore then). Do the physio exercises ASAP , take painkillers and take it easy.
I am the biggest wimp on the planet and cannot believe that I’ve managed to handle everything - sickness, pain, injections etc - but if I can, anyone can. My GP has been great too and has advised that I don’t go back to work Neil after treatment is finished.
I hope hat this helps but feel free to contact me if you want the. Wimp’s view if Mx/LD

Love and hugs to you xxx

Hi Denise, Just wanted to wish you all the best for tomorrow. Remember to take it easy and look after yourself when you get home. It’s a big op and takes a long time to get over fully but will be worth it. It’s a good excuse to get out of doing the jobs around the house that you hate :slight_smile: take care and let us know how you get on. Helen xxx

Hi Denise

Wishing you all the best for tomorrow. I am sure you will be pleased with the results eventually!!! Seven weeks on mine is getting better everyday and puts other breast to shame!!! Take it easy and do not push yourself. I am tentatively thinking of returning to work gradually the week after next -not a physically demanding job but very stressful. Please let us know how you get on. Will be thinking of you tomorrow.

Jayne xx

Hi, Everyone… I had my operation 11 days ago… The operation went really well, and I feel much better than I thought I would … Friends and family have been great, visiting with smiles and dinner… At this rate, I’ll forget how to cook!!
I’ve learnt to rest, as my body tells me (via my scar) that I need to sit down… And for once, I’m taking notice!!!
I received my results last night… For the first time, I wasn’t sure what to do… My cancer turned out to be Grade 3 not 2… One lump was 27mm and the other 15mm… Because my nodes were clear , I’m borderline whether to have chemo or not! My consultant recommended a oncotype DX test, which is a more specific to my lumps… I’m just hoping it will come back with a positive answer… If, it’s medium risk, the decision is back to me … :((
I’m going to write on the chemo forum to see if anyone else has had this test… But, still feeling very positive, I’m not sure how else to cope with all this… So Positive and laughing is it :)) take care xxx