LD RECON - DAFT QUESTION????

Just a quick question, I think the answer is no, but more and more people are asking me and now Im not sure… Does the LD muscle taken from your back regrow???

I am a year down the line and I think the answer is probably no - my back still feels tight and strange thoug /i do stretching exercises every day.

The muscle, in my case, still flexes when I use my arm a lot, esp to carry things or when cleaning and so I think it remembers it isa back muscle.

Love
Jane x

thanks Jane, thought so. I only had the op less then 2 weeks ago, and am reading quite a few people reporting the same as you re the muscle still thinking its in the back and feeling strange sensations etc. Still, for me, got to be better then looking down at nothing!

Like you I wanted something rather than nothing and I am glad it is tere, even if it is less than I had hoped it would be. My surgeon did say it often takes 6-12 months to “settle”.

Good luck

Hi there Ness, I had ther same op as you done 20years ago and the muscle has not grown back. My back sometimes feels tired especailly if I overdo things. But all in all it has been a very successful operation. Hope that answers your question, much love, Val

Hello

There are no daft questions, only daft answers …

The msucle doesn’t grow back because it is still there but had been moved i.e. rehomed. Mine doesn’t like its new home and it constantly trying to pull back to where ot really belongs.

Some women find this op to be a success but I have found it disabling and this is not uncommon however it IS uncommon to be warned about the pitfalls. I am in the process of asking BCC if I may keep a posting open for all potential LD flapps to read and be made aware of what can actually happen, and this is not a case of things going wrong, it IS what can happen as a result of this op.

More soon perhaps …
D

Thank you scottishlass and dahlia for your comments. 20 years Val, thats brill stuff, how many times have to had to have your implant (assuming you did have an implant) changed?

Dahlia, im sorry to hear of your problems with the LD, my surgeon is brilliant and did advise me of some pitfalls - but to be honest had I known every last one of them I would still have given it a try, Im only 37 and wasnt ready for a lifetime of big prosthesis bra and restricted clothing choices, and its the only recon that was available to me for various reasons. But I do hope that you get sorted with yours and continue to offer and share your experiences on here. Everyone needs to be fully armed with all the information before making a big life changing decision like this.

Cheers all
Ness. xx

Hi Ness, I had a problem after my mastectomy in 1989 when my implaint and boob felt very hard. Maybe 2 years after origingl. but they put in a different kind of implant and it has given me no problems whatever ever since. I have asked if I need to replace this existing one but as all is well we have decided to leave well alone. My only problem is that I have two boobs of different ages ( this is my way of explaining) as the reconstructed on looks much better than my real one which is less pert shall we say!!! But once a bra is on it doesn’t look so bad. Hubby doesn’t seem to mind ( when I have asked him) and says he is just glad that I am still here. Which is very very true. Lots of love Val ( Scottishlass) X

Dahlia - I hope they let you as I know I can contribute to this. I am 2 and half years down the line and my LD reconstruction is still uncomfortable.

I had the tissue expander replaced in May with an implant as the radiotherapy had made it go hard. I have never been pain free since the op and would gladly put my two pennorth on your thread to advise others.

Saying that - I would have it done again !

Liz x

Yes, I’d probably have done it again but I’d have absolutely insisted on exercising my right to a 2nd opinion and not been fobbed off ergo I’d have had a different surgeon and not been left in such a mess and told to “perhaps focus on other things”.

Anyway, still waiting for an answer from BCC.

All the best
D

Hello all

This is a really useful thread and I’d love to hear more LD flap experiences and opinions.

I’m deciding what type of recon to go for. So far, the best option has seemed to be LD plus implant. I could go for just an implant, or look at DIEP.

I know that the LD can still work as if it’s in the back. Is this short term or can the mind ‘switch off’ the sensation?

What restrictions are there longer term?

It’s a hard decision!

Thanks

River

Hi River, I have been very happy with the outcome of my LD Flap and have no trouble with it at all now. The scarring has faded to nothing and the shape is good. I had no infections and it all healed quickly. I think I must have been one of the early reconstructions as I had it done in 1989. My only odd sensation which I am totally used to now is that I can feel sensation on my back when I touch the skin below this new boob. I suppose it is just because the nerve endings are sort of shared. But I cannot feel it any other time. Hope this helps. from Val ( Scottishlass)

Thanks for that -it’s good to hear a long term experience, and it helps. Some people seem to have probs with the muscle twitching or contracting when they use the back muscle (or remainder of it).

I’m having physio for cording at the mo (joyous!) and she is able to give me some insight into the operations and immediate post-op, but not the longer term. I don’t know whether they’d think I’ve got enough tummy for DIEP, but I’ll ask next at my next appt. It’s still a bit new, and I’m still healing from my first surgery…

I had segmental mx(like WLE I guess) and SNB early August. Lymphs clear but extensive high grade DCIS and 8mm infiltrating carcinoma and several other foci. Several margins not clear so have to have complete mx, but can have imm recon. Hence my BIG decision to be made!

Thought I would just pop back on and let you know update. Im now 3 weeks post op. Just to let you all know that the unbearable back ache that I suffered for the first 2 weeks has now subsided - thank god, it really got me down and I was prescribed ‘Tramadol’ apparently really strong pain killers which did help. On Friday I noticed an area under my arm which was looking red, and a funny colour. Turned out to be a couple of stitches that had become infected, was put on antibiotics on the Friday and saw surgeon on Monday, he thinks this is a minor problem and is not too concerned, he has cleaned it up and steri stripped it back together and fingers crossed it will have done the job. Go back on Friday for another check up.

Appart from that hicup my back scar is healing really well and the flap at the front is also looking good adn it hasnt been inflated yet! So far so good. I am impressed and do not regret my decision to have this op.

Take care all
Ness. xx

Hi Ness
Glad to hear things are improving. It’s all so unpredictable isn’t it?
I’m still in a confused state about what I’m going to do re recon when I have the full Mx. I’m still reading and talking and finding out. But your current experience is encouraging.
Take care and keep getting better.

Hi River
Wasnt sure whether to write to you personally or not. I dont want to influence your decision at all but just wanted to let you know my personal thoughts.

I would deffo have had recon at the same time if it had been possible (it wasnt as I needed radio afta, but I was always, 100%, right from day 1 of dx sure that I would want recon. I guess thats a question you need to ask yourself - R you 100% for a recon?

If you had delayed recon you have 2 ops, both of which take some recovering from, would it be better to get it all done at once???

I have heard that you get a better ‘finish’ having it all done at the same time - but I can only tell you what mine is looking like - 3 weeks today and very impressive. (mine was delayed, 11 months since mast)

Take into account the awful, big, heavy bras you will need to buy to hold your prosthsis (asda do very good ones for £6), then you have to clean it every day. Then in my case the kids kept pinching it off my bedside table and playing football with it or catch, LOL (we have quite a relaxed attitude about it in our house, kids are 5 and 9) If you intend going on holiday swim suits are very expensive and, as I found, its a right pain in the a**e swapping prosthesis from cozzy to bra for lunch etc.

You also have to choose your clothing accordinly in case you bend down and people can see your prosthesis, and the amound of body tape I have used over the past year to stick my clothes down…

And the bottom line is as much as actually having the mx didnt really bother me too much (probably because I knew it would be temporary in my case) it is not that pleasant to look down on every day, however that is just my opinion, I have a couple of friends who have chosed not to ever have any recon and are perfectly happy with what they see every day. That is something only you can answer.

Sorry to waffle on, if I think of anything else that might be usful to you I will add it.

Ness. x

Hi Ness

Thanks for all that. Yes I’m 100% sure I want immediate re-con. I want to minimise the ops as far as poss, and don’t want to have nothing there when I wake up. I couldn’t cope with prosthesis. Luckily, it’s very unlikely I’ll have radio. Just drugs, but I’ll deal with that when I get to it.

My problem is deciding what to go for -

a) implant only - which doesn’t affect another part of the body, but probably wouldn’t match my other breast very well (I might anyway have to have reduction in that one) and the recon would be harder and colder.
b) LD flap plus implant - would give a more natural looking breast, apparently
c) DIEP - not sure whether I have enough tummy for this, but I think could give the most realistic result

I’m not too worried about the different operation lengths and recovery times, more how I will feel longer term, if I had scars on a different part of my body, and potentially a weakened back with the LD flap and a back muscle in my breast. I think you probably get used to the sensation of the LD in the breast. And then the one that people seem to call the Rolls Royce - DIEP. As I said, I dn’t know if that’s possible anyway.
I’m going to hospital tomorrow so have a 100 questions to ask!