Has anybody esle needed further surgery to hold their expnader in place?

Hi everyone, I’m now 11 weeks post-op following Bilateral Mastectomy and Immediate Reconstruction using tissue expanders. The immediate post-op discomfort hasn’t lessened that much, in fact I’m still on Tramadol and Lorazepam regularly!!

3 weeks ago at the Royal Marsden I was told the pain is being caused by my left expander moving!! The Consultant was able to move it with her hands and that reproduced the pain I’ve been getting in the ribs. She doesn’t know why this has happened and quite honestly told me that she doesn’t have any magic solutions for me. She suggested I try wearing a tight fitting sports bra 24/7 until my next appointment and see what happens.

I went back yesterday as my right expander has swollen up a lot and it turns out there’s an infection on that side so I’m now on antibiotics but Miss MacNeill said that she doesn’t think the expander on the left is going to settle without further surgery to make the pocket smaller.

I wondered if anybody else has had this done and if so what it entailed? As my chest is still too tight to drive wouldn’t this make it feel EVEN tighter?

Anybody got any ideas?

Trudie.

Hi Trudie

I had a bilateral mastectomy in Nov 07 with immediate recon using expanders. My left expander moved down and my right expander had moved up and twisted under my armpit. I have just had some surgery which i have now a permanant implant in the left (complete except the nipple) and i have a different type of expander to the right, this will be changed in 3 months time for a permanant implant.

You didn’t mention how much expanding that you have had already, and did it start to move once you started the expansion process. My were fine at the start but once i started expanding i started to feel tight and they started to move. My breast care nurse told me that they have no control in where they expand, They go where where is more flexibility in the skin. Unfortunately mine was under my armpit…

I really hope you get yours sorted out as you sound like you are in more pain than i was in and mine was bad enough.

Karen x

Hi Karen, I’ve had no expansion at all yet. This discomfort has been there since day one. the movement started after a severe bout of pain and temperaure which they thought was an nfection on the left side. Now the right hand side is infected. I think they’re reluctant to expand in case that makes the pain worse. I’m still unable to drive which is so frustrating. I’m considering asking to have them taken out as I feel they’re totally alien to me and can’t see them ever getting comfortable.

Trudie.