Deconstruction over and done with now!!!!

After 18 weeks of constant pain since having bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction using tissue expanders I’m glad to say that on Friday November 28th I had the op to remove them. I think it took around an hour but with being in Recovery it seems longer.

As soon as I was back on the ward I was aware that the awful tight feeling in my chest, that hadn’t reduced even slightly in the intervening time, had gone. Yesterday I felt as though I’d been run over by a truck and generally unwell but by the time I woke up this morning I was painfree TOTALLY for the first time in 18 weeks. I’m amazed at how much easier I can move around and I feel remarkably well. I have no post-op stiffness like I had when I had the expanders put in and I can only say that I feel like my old self again. There is some fluid still under the skin and I can feel that “slosh” around occasionally so I hope they’ll drain that if it’s still there at my post-op appointment. The Surgeons think that the skin will shrink back to how it was before as I hadn’t much done in the way of expansion (200mls in Theatre) but if it doesn’t they will tidy it up in about 6 months time.

I am disappointed that for me reconstruction doesn’t seem to have worked. I’d thought long and hard over which op to go for and wanted one with minimum recovery time which was why I chose implants.

BUT, now I feel well again and I know I couldn’t carry on with the constant pain and I was spiking temperatures too which my Consultant felt was due to eother a low grade chronic infection or an inflammatory response to the expaders themselves.

Eirher way, my husband says he’s just happy to see me looking so well so soon and able to move around without wincing. For me, having the expanders removed was the right decision, now I can get on with the rest of my life and prostheses and pocketed bras seems a small price to pay to have my health back.


Well done Trudie

I’ve just been reading your other thread. I’m so glad you are feeling like your old self again. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the new movement and feelings of wellness.

love from Wizz

Hi Trudie

I am so glad you are feeling well, make sure you take it easy as you have been through so much.

Lets hope 2009 will be pain free


Dear Trudie,
I’m so glad that all went well. Reading your message just took me back to the beginning of October, when I had mine removed . That feeling of no tightness is amazing, isn’t it? Your story is just so like mine!
About 5 weeks after op I started using bio-oil and massaged this into scars and surrounding area and this seems to have “freed” me up even more!
Well done you-! Look forward to catching up with you!
LOL Anne x


Very sorry to hear your story, presumably other options are still open e.g. LD flap? I had one done last year and still feel as if I’m wearing a harness but it is nothing like as bad as you have endured. I had the expanders swapped for “real” implants but the harness is still there.

I hope you can feel some peace now and that if you want to try again in the future that someone will take good care of you and make it happen. We’re all different and we all want different things and we can’t always have them; life’s not fair. I admire your courage in this and it’s great that you feel so well now and can look forward.

All the best

Hi D,

I’m sure all the other options are open to me in the future if I choose to try again. For now, all I want to do is get fit, shed the extra pounds I’ve put on through feeling too ill to be active and start planning a holiday!!! LOL! I’m getting used to wearing the “comfies” and am looking forward to going out and buying lots of new bras for the “proper” prostheses. I’m not going to let this stop me wearing pretty undies!! I was looking at bras on the Marks & Spencer website the other night and was disappointed to find a bra I liked was no longer available in my 36B. It was only a couple of hours later that my husband was thinking and said, “Well, you can have it whatever size you like now!!!” Neither of us had thought of that!!!

I’m sure our love and sense of humour will get me through this and I’m so grateful that he thinks I look great, even in the “comfies” and sports bra!!!


hi Trudie,
Just wondering how you’re getting on. You made me laugh about your bra comment- I’m afraid I did exactly the same- went to order a bra from Amoena and was so dissappointed that they didn’t do it in my size -then it suddenly dawned on me!!! Got to laugh about these things , haven’t you!
Hope the pain has remained settled. I am just amazed at how better I feel now that tightness has gone , and my movement is so much better. Guess chronic discomfort/pain can chip away at you without realising, and you don’t realise how bad it was until its gone!
I wish you a very happy lingerie shopping spree !!

Hi Anne,

I’m still painfree although I did have some tightness on Sunday evening. Probably a combination of putting up the Chrsitmas tree and a bad bra!! Obviously it’s too soon for underwiring!!! I still have some fluid where the expanders used to be so it may be pressure from that I can feel from time to time.

I’m due back at the hospital this afternoon for my post-op check. I’m a bit disappointed that my scars seem to have collapsed inwards so will be interested to see what they have to say about that. Also the bottom of my ribacge on the left looks mis-shapen, again their comments will be interesting. Maybe a result of pressure from the expander??

I’m looking forward to buying some new bras and giving up my old sports bras!! Then I’ll feel more normal again!!!


Hi Trudie,
sorry haven’t posted for a while but been so busy. Just wanted to make sure everything ok. Did you see your surgeon? What did he say about your scars and bottom of ribcage? I have some scar tissue on one side (it was there after expander was put in place and developed, I guess, from where the expander was rammed so far into my armpit. Bit disappointed that it is still there as I assumed it may have been removed but he said that instead of removing the capsular contacture he had left it in. so as a result I get some discomfort (nothing compared to how it was with expander in place) but have found massaging area with bio -oil really helps.
Hope you are on the mend and look forward to reading from you soon !
take care XXXXXXX

Hi Happyshopper,

Like you, I’ve been very busy with Christmas and New Year!!! Plus my husband has been off work since December 19th. I now have my prostheses, size 7 which is a C cup, I think!! They look very good but feel a bit heavy to wear so may have to swap them for something lighter. Did lots of lingerie shopping on the 22nd in Nicola Jane in London and really enjoy having nice bras to put the prostheses in. (Interesting though, I found the lady who fitted me for the bras took more time with me and seemed more caring than the lady who fitted my prostheses at the Royal Marsden. My husband was with me and he said afterwards that he thought the appliance officer was embarassed and wanted to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.)

I’ve been told to massage the scars which my husband is helping with. It helps but I think I’ll try the Bio-Oil as you say it’s so good. The Surgeons say that the implants were stuck to the muscle which is why the scars have collapsed inwards and the first thing she said when she saw me was, “You can have a DIEP flap next year if you want!!!” I don’t want!!

I saw the Physio on the same day and she has given me lots of exercises to do the strengthen the muscle and has also recommended masage to stop me developing adhesions. She also said that my ribcage was probably always this shape but with breasts I never noticed it!!

All in all I feel tons better than I did with the expanders in and I’m improving day by day. Even the scars look better now than they did a few weeks ago.

Happy New Year,

Love Trudie.

Hi Trudie,
Sorry its been so long since I posted- hope you had a good xmas!
Just wondering how you’re getting on - I was interested to see you’ve been to the Nicola Jane shop- I am thinking of popping over myself!
Like you, I have been offered recon again- they make it sound such an easy option, don’t they- I don’t think so - my memory is not that bad!
Take care,