discomfort with tissue expanders- does it get better?

Hi all

Just looking for any experiences and advice please.

Last Mon I had a mastectomy and immediate recon with tissue expander. I will be haiving a DIEP recon at a later date. I had my last drain out a few days ago and I had mistakenly thought that it was this that was causing my discomfort. I now realise that it is the implant. I can no longer sleep on my side and feel constant discomfort. It s not exactly ‘pain’ but I do have twinges where it hrts alot.I can deal with the look of it but I’m disappointed that I cannot ever seem to get comfortable.Am I being silly and expecting too much- after all I guess it is only 10 days after the op. Or will I always have this discomfort?


Freddie xx

Hiya Freddie

Sorry to say it but you are def. expecting too much too soon. Can’t comment on implant but have had mastectomy couple of years ago and diep recon two months ago.

After both of these ops I had to sleep on back for about 4-6 weeks. Not in pain at 10 day stage but discomfort which will last a while wee while longer.

The twinges are probably stiches but make sure you do the exercises, it does lessen the aches in the end.

Hang in there.
Anne x

hi freddie i also think its too soon as i had my op in feb this year with recon from my tummy and have started sleeping on my side only about 2/3 weeks ago. give it a little longer. good luck xx

Hi Freddie,

can I just add my experience to this, though obviously we’re all slightly different. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction 3 weeks ago today. LD flap method used though my surgeon managed not to have to cut my back for which I am grateful. I left hospital after 5 days feeling utterly grim but once home felt so much improved each day. I have an implant which is half gel then a saline bag which will be increased in volume via a port on a weekly basis, not sure how this compares to a chest expander. I had real difficulty sleeping on my back and was desperate to sleep on my side. On about day 8 I experimented with pillows and cushions and found that I could get comfortable on the unoperated side if I sort of hugged a soft cushion on my operated side, this allowed a space between the armpit and the arm which was more comfortable. It gets better on almost a daily basis so don’t worry if you can’t do this today, tomorrow or the next day, just try it and see and it will come. Listen to your body. You sound like me and expect too much, but waht’s wrong with taht, as long as you don’t let yourself be terribly disappointed when you can’t do something. Don’t lift more than a kettle and if it pulls or hurts…stop! It will improve.

Good luck.
Lee x


Just to say thank you to you all for sharing your experiences with me. I now know I need to be MUCH MORE realistic!I think I am expecting too much too soon. For me, I keep getting a sharp pain in the cleavage kind of area. This is especially worse when I try and turn over in bed- stopped trying now! I will keep doing my exercises in the hope it will get better!

I also have a bit of a bra dilemma. In a way the support was better as it keeps everything in place, but in another why a slight little rub really hurts.

Oh well, hope it starts to get easier. As for the thoughts of the DIEP option- I really want it but have no idea how I could recover from that with my young family.MAybe something to postpone until they’re older?

Love Freddie xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

freddie it will get better through time. i still get the odd twinge and am not back to normal yet. trying to open a jar yest proved that as it just wasnt happening. my kids are 11 and 13 so they can do loads themselves which does help. please keep us posted on how you are keeping though and remember lots of rest and be kind to yourself. xx