DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi everyone

Thought I’d share my diep reconstruction experience.

I had a delayed reconstruction at Bradford Royal. My mastectomy was in February 2013. I had my reconstruction on 15th September this year.

Firstly, I’m really happy with the results so far. The operation and recovery is hard however. Bottom line though, is I’d say it’s all been worth it.

I had fabulous care provided at the hospital and as a part of my abdomen wound has been slow to heal, have been cared for wonderfully by my community nurse.

My plastic surgeon has worked wonders making the scaring so minimal, I am likely to have a thicker scar on my pelvic area due to the poor healing, but am fine with that.

The worst part of the recovery? Not being able to stand up straight for the first three weeks! I found I was taking painkillers for my back more than anything else.

Was it worth it? Before my op I hated anyone, even my husband, seeing my mastectomy scar. I hated my scar and avoided mirrors when dressing/ showering. Now I feel more confident and even though I now have more scars on my body now, am no longer ashamed. So yes, it was worth it.

I’m now looking forward to my next consultation with my plastic surgeon to discuss creating symmetry. I’m 40 next year, and it’s the best present I could have.

Hope this helps any of you considering your options.

Oh yes,how I agree.Love mine.Had DIEP end of July,at Chelmsford.Had bi-lateral mastectomy last summer,long story,but,after 8 lots of surgery with failed implants had DIEP,and how fantastic is that.Now got fluid and still wearing my binder and some fat necrosis in one breast…but,feel so fabulous.Wearing real bras,not mastectomy ones.I know where you are coming from…had back ache when I got out of bed,but managed to walk upright soon after.So good to get your pits,as I want to sing about my treatment and outcome from the roof tops.Popped into BC clinic today,saw old faces,and put old bras n the recycling bin.That was good.
Serving surgeon end of next week…hope to get fluid drained and see what they will do about had lump in boob.

Love,gentle hugs and brilliant to read your pistol.

Hi Annie

I’m so sorry to hear about all the messing about with your previous reconstruction.

Regarding scaring, not gonna lie, the tummy scar is long. It’s hip to hip. It runs along, meeting just above the pubic area. This area has been slowed to heal. I think it’s due to the skin being thinner there and me having deeper stretch marks from two pregnancies. My scar is still quite red, but the surgeon has done such a good job with the stitching I can already see that the scars will be very neat once I am properly healed.

My new belly button is very neat, and whilst it’s still a bit red around the edges, I expect the scaring to be minimal once fully healed.

Scars are funny things. I hated my mastectomy scar and wouldn’t let anyone see it. Even though I’ve in effect created more scaring, I honestly don’t mind. I’m proud in a way now of these new scars and look at them positively. For the first time I can understand the idea of being proud of scars. I even don’t mind that I’m gonna end up with scars on my ‘good’ boob when I have it lifted to create symmetry.

My tummy scar is low enough to be covered by my knickers. The scars on my new boob are low enough not to be seen once I have my bra top on.

Hope this helps.

Hi.yes I’m loving my diep as well.I had it last September at wythenshawe by a fantastic female young surgeon.my scar is just above the pubic area hip to hip but bikini knickers hide the scar.my hysterectomy and c section scar have gone as they pull the skin from the tummy downwards.as they have to re site the belly button.you cant even see any scar around the belly button.I’m waiting for uplift to remaining breast and nipple transfer.us ladies have been to he’ll and back but as I see it after this next op will look as near to as I was before diagnosis.don’t feel guilty if you want to look as near to as you was before diagnosis it does our confidence a world of good

Hi password I’ve tried to private message you with name of surgeon and answering your questions but it’s saying you don’t have enabled for private messages.do you have an email or can you enable so you can receive private messages thanks

Hi Mrs_B. I just thought I’d say hi as I have also had a diep reconstruction at the BRI very recently. My op was on October 8th. My case was slightly different from yours because I had a skin-sparing mastectomy  followed by an immediate diep reconstruction. I was home 5 days later and have been pretty amazed at my recovery. The reconstructed breast is quite amazing - it looks so real! The tummy area is still a bit peculiar as the scar makes a real ridge effect, if you know what i mean, but I’m guessing that will even itself out in time. I am in very little pain to say it’s not even quite 4 weeks since my 8 hour operation! The next stage for me is in just under 2 weeks time when I’m going back in for a bit of augmentation to the other breast and the creation of a nipple. Don’t quite know how that’s going to be done! have you had it done yet? Like you, my care was absolutely fabulous. I can’t speak highly enough of all the ward nurses at the BRI. Good luck with the rest of your recovery :slight_smile:

Hi please could anyone tell me how they felt and what they could do 2 and 4 weeks after surgery and then2,3 and 4 months after…I’m hopefully having bilateral DIEP at the end of January but have to return to work by May 1st at the latest. I’ll be returning to work half time for the foreseeable future and wondered what I’ll be capable of doing as I recover. I’ve loved doing creative courses whilst I’ve been off work but don’t know when I’ll be up to doing them, and there are some interesting work based conferences coming up but don’t know how fit I’ll be- can any one help?

JillyBee and Doubletroublf very interested in your stories. I had masectomy with immediate implant reconstruction in September. After loads of fluid build up and 3 infections, 2 cycles of FEC I’ve had my implant removed on Friday and will have chance if reconstruction after chemo. I’m quite slim with no tummy fat and suffer with a bad back do not sure about DIEP but obviously nervous about further implants. Would you mind sharing stories if your complications? I also have to have radiotherapy. Surgeon has suggested expended after chemo then implant after radio. X

Hi Mrs B,

I too had DIEP surgery on Nov 17- just 5 weeks ago, and when I read your post about back pain, I thought I would reach out to you.  I too felt as though I could not stand up straight for 3+ weeks and have thus suffered moderate- severe back pain.  I see my PS this Wed 12/31, but i could not bear the back pain so had my chiropractor do some minor adjustment on my left shoulder blade to relieve the pain that disrupted my sleep.  It did help.  My PS suggested muscle relaxers as an option, but I choose the chiropractor and it relieved the sharp pain experienced during sleep.

Did you experience any abdominal bulging or stomach distension a few weeks after the DIEP surgery- looks like I am few weeks pregnant after I eat due to belly distension and also  feel so much swelling from within my abdomen region- all pins and needle sensation.  Don’t get me wroing- I am so happy with results- breasts look great, but only few weeks post op from DIEP surgery and feeling quite bloated in belly region.  Did you experience anything like that???