Had recon but feeling tight...

Hi All

I am 20 days post surgery having had a mastectomy and recon using back muscle (sorry for writing in longhand but not so up on the jargon). I know it is still early days and I am healing well. I do my exercises each day but breast and underarm still feels very tight. Can someone tell me how long it took for their’s to soften (which I have been assured will happen) please. Also had 3rd trip back to hospital yesterday to have a seroma drained - 460mls. I try and leave it longer each time between ‘drain’ but the volume seems to stay the same. I hate ringing and feel like I’m making a fuss but when I asked if this is normal I am told that some women go back 3 or 4 times and some 8 or 9.

Lyn xxx

We must have had our ops at about the same time. My back feels as if its full of fluid and I had hoped to have it drained last week but all they said was how wonderful(!) it all looked and that it would take about a year for all the lumps and bumps to disappear. I don’t remember being told that before hand. Do you have to continue having treatment or all you all done?

Hi Lyn,
I had a Masectomy last January and unfortunately suffered from seroma for a few months! I was forunate in that one of the GP’s in our surgery was happy to “drain me” so I didn’t have to travel to the hospital every time. I too tried to leave it as long as I could between drains but it used to get to such a state where I was very uncomfortable and had to ask for another drain. I asked the BC nurses if I could have loyalty points.
I have not had a recon yet but may consider it in the future. In the meantime I need to loose weight as my BMI is too high at present!
It is early days for you and I hope it does settle down soon.
I am back to work full time and living life to the full after undergoing chemo and rads.
keep smiling and best wishes to you and your family.


LD recon is well known for being tight.

I am 2 years down the line and find the discomfort unbearable and am told it will never go away because the nerve from the muscle is being stretched round your back to your chest and it is not where it belongs.

Unfortunately that are many unscrupulous surgeons around who do not tell upfront of the pitfalls of this surgery; there are many pitfalls.



I am one year post op and my ld recon is still very tight and hard. I think there is a bit of variation in how long it takes and the advice from BCN’s and surgeons seems to vary. My BCN thought that it would be as soft as it was likely to get in about 6 months and that actually seems to have borne out. My back is still tight although I do exercises daily.

Good luck
Jane x

Thanks to everyone for your comments.

Hi Jan

I had my surgery on August 5th. Just now waiting for an appointment with Oncology to find out when I start my Chemo. Queried the appointment when having fluid drained yesterday and when the BCN checked it out she said Oncology know nothing about me. They now have to check with the Breast Care secretary if she has passed on the referral. I hope to be seen early Sept. Let me know how you are getting on.

Lyn x

Morning Lyn,
Sorry to hear you have to have further treatment,hope you get your appointment sorted, it’s stressful enough without the admin letting you down.
My surgery was 30th July. I had very wide spread DCIS which could only be cleared by having a mx. I’ve just been given the all clear and realise I’m very lucky that I have been treated at such an early stage. I have always felt a bit of a fraud as the consultant who broke the news (of the DCIS) made me feel it wasn’t ‘really anything to worry about’,I was given a leaflet as my first introduction to the club no one wants to join!
As for the after effects well! My drain in Hosp was filling at a rate of knots but it was still removed on day 5. I haven’t had any taken off since so although I can feel it sloshing around my back when I move I guess it must be ‘normal’ Did you have an implant as well? that’s the bit i can’t get used to, it still feels like i want to take it out! The tightness in my back comes and goes, I take a small cushion with me everywhere when i go out, still can’t get comfy in the car yet.
Sorry this has been a bit of a waffle but if you want to compare recons please keep in touch - DIEP’s seem to be more popular than LD’s at the moment

Good luck, Jan x

Hi Jan

In the post today is my appointment with Oncology. Next Wednesday the 2nd.

I didn’t need an implant - boobs too small! But caught sight of myself in the mirror this morning, clothed, and realised recon seems noticeably smaller than my own boob. When I first made my choice of an LD my consultant said if there was a difference in size he would fill will fat from my tummy - Woo Hoo!! but that wouldn’t be for at least another 6 months.

The tightness I feel seems more pronounced now than when I first had the surgery which seems daft. On the upside the fluid seems to have slowed down.

Take care, Lyn xxx

Hi Lynn
I had recon an new nipple on the 22nd July, so a wee bit longer than you. My back is still very tight and feels like I have a square brick inside my boob. Have been told this will soften with time!!!And also will be able to have a refill!! in time too. As seemingly the muscle they moved from my back was bigger than expected!! Did you have a recon nipple as well by any chance???


Hello Jenhar
Did you have everything done at the same time, mx,ld recon and new nipple? I only had the first two but had hoped to get it all done in one hit so to speak, guess I should have said if i wanted a nipple too!!
I feel the same as you the implant feels like a brick hanging from my chest, especially when bending over, I feel like picking it up seperately.

Hello Lyn,
Hope your fluid is less now, mine’s still sloshing about and my back is really tight at the moment, time to exercise me thinkss
Take care both of you and any other LD ers out there
Jan X

Hi Jan & Jenhar

Just waiting to go to hospital for another ‘draining’. Going to Wales for the weekend to see my daughter and don’t fancy the journey from Brighton with the extra load.

My surgery was for the lot - mx, LD, recon and nipple. Like both of you the breast is like a solid lump that seems heavy when I bend forward. The nipple tho is amazing. It will always look like I’m feeling cold if you get my drift but I am really pleased with the results.

I was getting worried because I seemed to be reading and hearing such negative responses about LD flaps but looking at another post this morning I read about someone who had a really positive experience and so I guess once again it’s all very individual.

It’s good to be talking to ladies who are almost at the same stage as me. Hope we can stay in touch.

Lyn xx

Hi Lyn
Hope you have a great week-end, take it easy and let your daughter look after you, mine is coming home so I expect ‘retail therapy’ will take place at some point.
Sounds like I shall have to put in a request for my missing nipple lol
Jan X

Hi ladies,
I’ve not been on here for ages, but am cosidering having an ld recon next summer. However, some of your comments have set me wondering if it’s the right thing to do. I guess the result does depend on the surgeon you have. I’ve heard that mine is very good. I’m worried now that I might get even more trouble with my back than I already have! I suffer with pain due to increased curvature of the spine. Maybe the ld would not be the best thing for me? I’m seeing my bc nurse next week to look at photos of recons and maybe discuss it a bit more. But I’ll have to wait until March before I can discuss it in depth with my surgeon.It’s so difficult to make a decision, yet I hate the way my chest looks after my mastectomy 18 months ago. Any advise welcome! ( I’m 53 yrs old, and my remaining breast is rather heading South! )
Take care of your selves. Anna x

Hi AnnaG, I don’t know what area you live in but before I had my LD reconstruction I was put in touch with another lady who had had it done in the past and the lady came to my house to have a chat and offered to let me see the finished job! I too did this for other ladies who were in my shoes a year or two later. I had my mastectomy done at age 39 and the reconstruction done at the same time. There are various different viewpoints about which way to go ahead. From my experience alone…I am extremely happy with the outcome. My “good” breast is also “heading south” so I have what I call my 39year old breast and my 59 year old one. If I can answer any other questions regarding this, please just ask. If you live near me I would even show you if you could face it that is! Love Val X (Scottishlass)

Thankyou for your advise, scottishlass.
Sounds like you’ve had a good result, which I needed to hear. How much time did you need to recover from the op, and did you need to have a further op later to finish the procedure off?
I live near Northampton. I think my bc nurse is going to try and get me in touch with someone local who has had an LD recon done. There maybe someone at my local support group, which I haven’t been to yet.
I’m actually growing to dislike my remaining breast and wanted it removed, but my surgeon is not keen. Have you thought about having your “59” year old breast lifted? So that it matches the new one better?
Thanks again,
Anna xx


I had my delayed LD reconstruction with implant almost 3 weeks ago at Haretlepool. My mx was Oct 08.

I was initially very apprehensive about the pain and results, I think I had read too many tales of things going wrong… But have been surprised at how well it has all went.
I have had a little discomfort and a slight collection of fluid in my lower back. The new breast does feel a bit alien at the moment,but then it is a D cup. I am sure this will just take some getting used to. I am over the moon with the results and look forward to getting the old breast hoicked up from under my armpit in 6months or so lol :slight_smile:

Hello AnnaG

Had my LD rec last December,it went well without any complications. I do experience tightness in my back but not always. I exercise on regular bases and joined Pilates which are fantastic.

I also live not far away from you so if you want to get in touch let me know.

Bye for now Gosia xxx