Correcting 'defects'. Yes or no?

Hello ladies, Hope you are all bearing up. I was wondering if anyone on the forum might have some advice or be able to share their experience of having a ‘defect’ improved? I’ve had quite a lot of trouble with nerve pain since my lumpectomy. Can’t decide if I can really bear to go through any more Sh**. I want to try and put all this behind me, as I’m sure you all do. But I have to admit, I am upset at what has happened to my breast. Ignoring the scars just for one minute, it seems to have ‘shifted’ in the last few weeks. The skin has gone limp (flaccid) and the texture like bumpy orange peel. Especially in the morning I can see a new dark ‘dent’ in two places, like the flesh underneath has shifted, and it’s newly painful. The shape has also changed, and is quite different to the other one. (Damn!) Initially, my BCN said (as if it would be just a breeze) that ‘defects’ could be tackled with an injection of my own fat. Does anyone know how painful this is (on the breast), or indeed what this means in terms of them cutting the fat out of somewhere else in your body? It sounds unlikely to me that this would really be like ‘an injection?’

Thanks so much, if anyone has any advice…

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hello @skysurfer no useful advice or experience I’m afraid - but I’ve just come on the forum for the first time in a few months to see whether there was any discussion on the forum about longer term impacts of radiotherapy on breast/arm after lumpectomy. My boob was initially fine (I breezed through radiotherapy with minimal skin damage/fatigue) but about two/three months post radiotherapy it started to get firmer - I initially wasn’t that worried - the discharge advice says its normal to get change in size and firmness - but its now noticeably bigger than the other one and a weird shape - I had oncoplasty during the lumpectomy and I think that tissue got damaged post radiotherapy (I had lymph node involvement and radiotherapy which I think increases the risk of long term boob effects). Also got more shoulder stiffness and some arm pain although fortunately no arm lymphoedema so far - but I think the boob swelling/misshape might be partly breast lymphoedema as its worse at end of the day and compression bra seems to help. I guess I’m trying to get a feel for how common this is and what people do about it. The other thing I keep worrying slightly about is how anyone is going to do a mammogram on this boob - the firm tissue is starting to feel like a golf ball and I feel like it might pop in the mammogram machine (not really - but I’m really struggling to see how a mammogram on this could be possible). I’ve not had much pain so far - still largely numb from surgery (9 months on). So - am interested to see what replies you get!

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Thanks for your reply @berry 25. I know what you mean about thinking ‘how am I going to get through a mammogram with this thing’. I can hardly bear to touch mine, let alone squeeze it into those cold metal plates. My weird shape is different from oedema; it’s sagginess. [Sadness?] It feels like all this stuff is moving about in an empty bag, and not only is it painful, but it literally makes me feel queazy. It’s amazing you feel numb from surgery: it just shows how different we all are. Mine is sometimes shooting nerve pain, others just a dull ache. But I am wondering whether this pain would get better if the skin was filled up again, so stuff couldn’t move about?

It sounds like fat transfer, they do it with liposuction .
I had it on my bi lateral mastectomy, on the radiotherapy side ,as the skin was sticking and nerve pain .
Good luck with what’s best for you .

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I had fat transfer. They suck some fat out from another part of your body, do ##something with it (can’t remember what!) and then inject it into the boob. It wasn’t painful for the boob in my experience, but did get quite a bit of bruising where they had taken the fat from. Cosmetic rather than painful. Good luck
Liz

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Thank-you @Lizaki: that really helps.

Thankyou! @lyndy61 I hope you feel better now

I had surgery in July on both breasts and have just come to terms with how they look, my scar on the on the sides so less visible front on, but the dents are more visible.

I’m due radiotherapy in January and have wondered how this will affect them both and how long to wait it I want any correction/ fat infill etc. I did a scar workshop with www.pennybrohn.org.uk and they refer to radiotherapy as the ‘gift that keeps on giving’, there were people on the course who’d had their treatment years ago and now experiencing side effects.

Hi. Maybe you could talk to some of the BCN nurses on this site for more info? Like you, I don’t understand the fat procedure and, like you, I’ve got to have the RT in January. Am dreading it. For one thing, I can’t bear to have more changes that mean I have to buy new bras. I’ve bought and discarded sooooo many bras which I’ve found painful since the op. BUT : Remember elsewhere on this forum, there’s good news too. Lots of advice and stories are shared because they need to solve a problem: others are ok with RT, and therefore just move on. People like Jenny (I’ve cut and paste what she said below) did not have too much trouble:

Jenny

I felt a bit off immediately after each session - the sort of feeling I used to get after working a night shift . I personally had a sit down for half an hour with a coffee and often a piece of cake and after that I was ok for the rest of the day. Everyone is different though - some people even fast .

Some people have said that they were cold during radiotherapy and advised warm trousers and socks. I wore a crop top rather than a bra so that I could keep it on around my waist all the time and pull it straight back up afterwards .

Make sure you are well hydrated before you start your sessions and start moisturising your breast / behind your breast / between your breasts / decollete 2 weeks before you start your treatments. I had a phone call as part of my preparation and had the opportunity to ask questions then.

Skysurfer

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Hi there,

I had a lumpectomy back in March followed by radiotherapy in May. After the radiotherapy I definitely noticed a change in the breast tissue and the dent where the original tumour was located became a bit darker and there’s a noticeable dent there still.

I was advised pre radio that things could shift shape and colour and so I’m just accepting the results. I didn’t expect a perfect breast afterwards, in fact it’s so much better than what I’d built myself up for. Yes it’s noticeable when I look in the mirror but I’ve accepted im still here and trying my best to get on with it.
I also had nerve pain for quite some time, particularly in the area of lymph node removal. That has definitely improved and so may just take a bit more time for you.

It’s super tough I know and I know it’s a constant reminder when we look in the mirror. Do what’s best for you hun but I do advise to speak to the BCNs on here who can offer the very best support.
Take good care xx

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Hi @M0lly-Chorley.

Thanks so much for that. Super tough is right: I bet none of us thought this would ever happen to us…Best of luck yourself.

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