DIEP flap anxiety

I was diagnosed with a grade 2 Invasive ductile carcinoma in February 2023. I was due to have a lumpectomy but the MRI showed a further tumour which was grade 1. I was then told I required a mastectomy of my left breast. I have opted for an immediate reconstruction, (DIEP)

I feel as though I’ve been waiting ages but I know in the grand scheme of things I haven’t. Since my diagnosis I haven’t coped well. I’m due to have surgery on Monday 17th April and I’m terrified. I have a supportive family and I’m trying to be brave for them but the nearer the surgery comes, the harder I’m finding everything.

Can anyone offer me some advice on how I can cope with the anxiety? Also, does anyone have any practical advice about their experience of the DIEP procedure?


Dear Meebie,

We have all been there, and now we are here for you. surgery takes a big toll on us myself I was extremely frightened have similar surgery to you as everyone is different, yes it was painful……however after a couple of days you will be feeling much better and able to cope as you said you have a supportive family which is great news.

Be kind to yourself lots of TLC and treats, most of all one day at a time.

Wishing you well going forward, as soon as you are feeling up to it put a little note on the forum to let us know how your doing.

biggest hugs Tili :rainbow: :rainbow:

I had a single mastectomy and axillary node clearance with a DIEP flap reconstruction just before Christmas. I had never had major surgery before and underestimated the recovery time - googling told me I should be walking without pain after 2 weeks and be driving/doing housework/vaccing etc after 6 weeks but this was wildly optimistic for me. In fact I was in quite severe pain in my belly area for 8 weeks which felt like stabbing needles but it suddenly lifted and I am now much more comfortable. The skin on your belly will feel stretched but it does get better over time.
It was several weeks before I could travel in a car without pain (each pothole jarred my wounds!). I found a mastectomy cushion really helpful, also using it now to help with seatbelt pressure on my radiotherapy burns.
Give yourself time to heal and get lots of help. It’s a journey not a race :blush:.
Four months post op and I’m still being gentle with my body but able to walk 7 miles and do pilates (avoiding stuff like the plank that requires strong abs). You’ll get there by taking it a day at a time. Lots of hugs xx

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