DIEP - Done and dusted!!

Hi everybody.

Had my op Saturday and was allowed home last night. To all of you waiting to go in it is sooooo worth it! Not so much painful, but uncomfortable, and the first few days where extremely restrictive, warm and because of checks sleep was almost impossible, but to look down now and see a cleavage again instead of a huge gap, to have a stomach flatter than its ever been, and to feel “even” is absolutely awesome.

I won’t go into details on here of what happens but if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask or PM if you wish.

Am now trying to rest up and take things easy, feel a bit like a trussed chicken with tight bra and girdle, but what the heck! am just so over the moon with it all.

Thanks to you all for your best wishes and good luck to everyone.
Anne x
PS am trying to come up with ideas of what to do with the prothesis

  • so far: microwaving it, burying it or my preference - driving over it with my car (when I can drive again) hehee

Anne, so good to hear you are safely home. I think you are so brave coming back on here so soon to give help to those of us still facing this op.

As for what to do with your prosthesis, i was told that you can hand them back to your breast care unit at the hospital and they send them to third world countries.Sounds like a fantstic way of someone less fortunate then us to be helped.
I certainly will take mine back if i have the nerve to go ahead with my Ld on the 11th of May.

Have they mentioned whether and when they will do your other side to even you up or is it too soon yet?

Can i also ask how long your op was? and was it Diep or Ld?

Hiya mounties

Thanks for the reply. It sounds an excellent way of helping others by donating, but I know I will get such pleasure from squashing the daylights out of the horrible thing - I do have two actually so will probably do both!

I had a diep - the op was about 4 hours and after a couple of months they will look to see how they compare and maybe lift the south facing one a little.

Off to have another cat-nap.
Anne x

Hi Anne,

I’m so glad it all went well for you and you are delighted with the results - I am more eager than ever now for a nice cleavage!!!

As for what to do with the prothesis, I shall be giving mine to Denzil, my 11 month old Yorkie. He keeps pinching my bras with the prothesis still in them and running around the house! I don’t know why he is so fascinated with it!

But what a wonderful idea to donate them to a good cause, I shall ask my BC nurse about that as she has never mentioned it.

Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend!!!

Tracy xxxxxxxxx

I was delighted to read your notes tonight. I am having a TRAM reconstruction very soon- going in on the 12th May. I am starting to feel very nervous but feel a bit more reassured now. Is there anything you recommend taking into hospital with me ? Bought button up pyjamas today ! Hope your recovery goes well.
Sarah x
ps where did you have your op? Mine is in Oxford.


Thanks Tracy for the reply - marvellous images in my mind of your little dog with your proth. Nice one.

Hella Esskayeff, glad to be of some help. Not long to wait now. Button up pyjamas are good, but didn’t need mine until almost last day. Make sure they are easy to pull up as you only have use of one arm. Find out if hospital are going to supply bra, you may need to get one beforehand. Plenty of magazines, chocolate!! My kids bought me DS games which kept in going.

I had my op in Brentwood, Essex. All the very best for yours.
Anne x

hi there…this is interesting reading.

I live very close to Brentwood - did you go into the Spire?

if you could PM me the name of your plastic surgeon I would be very grateful. I am currently under Queens - finished treament just over a month ago, but am gathering info for when i am ready for the recon. If you are under the Spire, I imagine we have the same consultant.

Thanks and wishing you a rapid recovery

Thank you Anne for your reply. Enjoy driving over your prothesis.

I have now made up my mind to go ahead with my op and feel really excited at the prospect.

Has anyone else had recon at Leicester Royal Infirmary with Mr Smith? Would really love to hear from anyone who can vouch for how good he certainly seems to be.

I’d like to add support here too. Just had my DIEP on Mon 20th and home couple days ago. My tips are, take a little fan for your face and a face flanel because after the op, your body temp is kept very hot and it’s rather uncomfortable, but if you can have a cool flanel to hand and pop it on your face, and a little fan (Accessorize sell cute ones for £.99 it helps ENOURMOUSLY!! Out of the treatment plan, I’d say this op is poss the touhgest to recover from, but it really is worth it. I’ve now got one fantastic, pert, round, sitting up nicely boob and the other one looks like a 42 yr old boob (that I actually thought looked ok before all this) so when I go in to be ‘evened up’ think I’ll give the 42 yr old little hoik!! I’ll then have a lovely result. So - anyone going in, it’s worth it. x

When you say this is the toughest op to get through, do you mean its much tougher then a mastectomy? My Ps did tell me its far more painful then the mx i had but you never really know what that means and i’m having my recon on 11th May, so not long to panic. And i am starting to panic!!!

My op is at the Leicester Royal infirmary and my ps is Mr Smith. All he has told me is that he will have to do a jigsaw of pieces from my tummy, back and liposuction from my thighs to make my new boob. So does sound very painful. I’m only a size 10 so i don’t have a lot of excess flesh for him to use.

Is it very painful and do you get looked after ok as far as pain control is concerned? I have only ever had my mx op so i am terrified of having another operation, but would like to know approximately how long the operation lasts for?

Sorry to ask so much but as each day passes it is getting so close to boobie day.

Dont panic Mounties. What I mean, is that its a bigger opp (obviously) and the recovery is longer. I haven’t ever been in pain and have only been taking paracetmol so that’s not an issue. The results are worth it. Just be sure that when you come out, you’ve got someone to help you around the house as you do need to rest. You’ll be fine. You’ve come this far so go girl. x

Thank you for replying Mary, you’ve helped me a great deal and i am going for it.

I feel its the last part of me to get back from the damned cancer and i’m having my boob back.

Thank you xx

Hiya marygettingbetter (love the name!)

Your boob’s two days younger than mine, hehe, how you doing?
Mine’s a bit like Jordan today, feeling quite heavy and swollen and looking a bit bruised in places, but not painful.

Trying hard to rest - its lovely to be home. Peace and quiet, nothing like it.

Anne x

Mines the same. Perfect shape and match but still bit swollen and bruised. Tummy needs more time to adjust as feeling rather tight and a bit hard. I’m assured this will all soften out soon. So pleased I’ve done it though. It’s now time to get life back on track again. Just enjoying nice sunny days with book on sofa. Does the soul good. Also enjoying making husband do EVERYTHING!!!

Mounties - I go in on the 12th for Tram flap so like you I am starting to panic but it is reassuring to read the comments from those that have been through it already.

I have read that you are quite bent over for a few weeks - is this right?


Sarah, Good to know we are both going through it at the same time. Hope we can stay in touch and keep each other informed on how we are feeling?

I would imagine we will be bent over for quite a few weeks as our tummies are going to be so sore, but at least it will give us more chance of looking at our new friend betty boob.

It does feel to me like i am going to meet a freind i haven’t seen for 2 years since my mx and it will be good to have her back.

Bit concerned everyone saying about being in HDU, are you really that poorly after the op? Please someone tell?


You’ll be in HDU purely because they need to check the flap every 15 minutes or even more than that and need to be near you to do so. You are not in there because you are really ill. You need to keep still, are attached to monitors and hot, really hot, but all doable.

It feels like you’re just in a general hospital bed, but as you need care constantly, like feeding you, heehee, checking your obs so so often you have to be in HDU. Don’t worry about it, its all worth the effort.

Hope this helps.
Anne x

Anne, Thank you for always replying. Sorry to keep asking so many questions, i hope you don’t mind?

As i’m on Aromasin i get terrible hot flushes and night sweats. I am 53. As you say they keep you hot, i presume they wrap you in a thermofoil blanket? Does that cause problems? Did you suffer with the hot flushes whilst you were kept in bed?

How is your pain now you are a week on from your op? Will you have the other side done and was yours from your tummy or back?

Sorry as i say if i am throwing too many questions at you when you are trying to recover, but just want to be as prepared as possible before the 11th dawns.

No probs. Glad to be able to help in any way,

I’m on Letrozole, similar sort of hormone treatment, aged 52 so going through the same hot flushes. You will still have these plus some whilst in the HDU. You’re not in a thermofoil blanket but the room is kept warm as it is imperative that your flap is kept warm so the blood vessel they have attached is ok.

You will have on long socks (mine were full length stockings) which are quite tight, then over those goes pumping boots, kind of like blood pressure wraps that go round each leg from ankle to knee and then pulsate making sure you don’t get a DVT. These are also a bit noisy.

Your flap will be covered in a thick wadding, you in a hospital gown, then usual bedding covers. Your bed will be tilted according to the op that you have, your arm wont be able to be moved,. You’ll be attached on your other side to a drip, have drains (I had 4) and also a catheter. The nurses will bed wash you and feed you.

When the hot flushes come I’m afraid you have to just grin and bear it - someone suggested one of those mini fans and I wish I had had one. I just grabbed the nearest bit of card and flapped that over my face or got the nurses to do it.

It all sounds horrific, but it really isn’t. Its two days. Have you had chemo - if so, this is a walk in the park. Just keep your sense of humour, be prepared for it and I’m sure the minute you look down and see that cleavage you won’t give two hoots what it takes to make sure it stays there.

My pain now is minimal. Have had two para today. More stiffness and being uncomfortable from the corset thing really, my breast was from my stomach - even a mole that was once on my belly is now on my boob - how weird is that!

Just concentrate now on getting yourself as fit as you can, its a fairly long op, and the best advice the nurses had was to practise deep breathing and they will be nagging you to do this from the minute you come round - getting plenty of oxygen to that flap.

Don’t worry about the questions, I find coming on here a break from the sofa, bed, armchair, garden lounger, hard life isn’t it!!

Fire away if you have anymore. PM me is you wish.
Anne x