DIEP aged 61, after LD reconstruction, advice please

Please can anyone advise me. I was diagnosed with bc early 2007, had mastectomy, chemo, radiotherapy. All lymph nodes removed. Did not want immediate reconstruction, just wanted rid of lump. However had LD reconstruction March 2009 which went well and flap very good, however the implant went hard and had to be replaced November 2009. New one going hard and the plastic surgeon has suggested a DIEP reconstruction. She said the new breast will change with me and should last for ever which is very appealing as I will always have problems with the LD one. I am 61 - PS said this was fine and I am fit enough. I would love any advice, one minute I want to go for DIEP (have been advised 8-10 hour op and possible complications)the next I get cold feet but would love to get rid of implant. HELP PLEASE.

Hi Nanarose,

While you are waiting for your fellow forum users to reply, I have put for you below the link to BCC’s animation regarding reconstruction which you may find helpful.

breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-breast-health/treatment-side-effects/surgery/reconstruction/breast-reconstruction-an-animated-guide/

Also if you would like to speak to the staff on our helpline they’ll be only too happy to talk to you about this. Unfortunately due to the Bank Holiday the helpline is closed today but back to normal working hours tomorrow 9-5 Mon to Fri and Sat 9-2, calls are free, 0808 800 6000

Hope this helps. Take care,
Jo, Facilitator

Hi nanarose
I had a delayed diep recon in oct 2007 aged 50, (dx jan 2005). I went for the diep as I didn’t like the idea of an implant.
I am slim so didn’t have much excess tummy fat. The new boob is smaller as a result and the scarring on my tummy quite extensive. This is because the surgeon tried to get as much fat as possible and when he put me back together it was very tight. It took some time healing as the skin didn’t knit.
The op was long - 10 hours and I was in hospital for a week. The recovery was about 3 - 4 months and I needed all that time.
Having said all that - I don’t want to put you off. It was so worth it. Even with the size difference of about 1 cup shopping is now much easier. It looks normal in a padded bra and I can wear lower cut tops with out worrying about a prosthesis showing.
I feel balanced again and even though it looks different I don’t feel I’ve got that constant visual reminder that my mastectomy scar gave me, of what I’ve been through.
Like you I had reservations about the op and recovery. As long as you’ve got the support of friends and family during the recovery time I’d say go for it.
I feel so much better about myself since having it done.
Good luck with your decision
fantan x