Message for Misspiggy

I’ve been looking through some old threads and seen that you had a vein harvested from your arm when you had your DIEP. I had my op on the 6th December so still quite sore. My op took 11 hours (had ruptured implant removed also) and my PS told me that he had to take a vein from my arm cos chest veins would not work. Was told that this was unusual and felt like I was the only one till I saw your thread. MY PS has done a good job on the scar on my arm and it looks like it will hardly show in the future, but I did go through a stage of thinking “why me”.

How long did you wear your girdle - I can’t wait to get rid of it but its only been three weeks. Also when did you start to put cream on the scars? I’ve read so many different threads where some ladies don’t have any tape and some have steristrips. I’m all taped up at the moment and going for second dressing change next tuesday.

The new boob looks good but much larger than my normal boob. Its soft all over apart from the top which is quite hard but hoping that you will soften soon.

Sorry to bombard you with questions.



PS I also had DCIS almost 7 years ago which is when I had my mastectomy

Hi Carole

I had a DIEP 5 weeks ago, my breast is larger than my natural breast and although the majority of it is soft, there is a harder part at the top close to where they attached to an artery - this was explained to me.

The new breast is still swollen, and will ‘relax’ but will take a few months. I am of one of Miss Sassoon’s Ladies, so I came around after the op with no dressings at all. I was told to wear steri-strips for 8 weeks to help reduce the reddening that comes from the body releasing histamine during the healing process. I dont have a girdle - just large pants, but that is my choice !!

I am so thrilled with my new breast and flat tummy!

Lisa X

Hi Lisa

I posted on one of your threads before I had my op and read some helpful info. It is confusing with some of the PSs advising no dressings and others saying better for scars with steristrips. I’m going back tomorrow for dressings to be changed and will ask the nurse about steristrips. I wonder if they are water proof or whether you have to change them after a shower. I’m also going to ask her about the girdle as I was originally told I would only have to wear it for 2 weeks, but I do have fluid on the tummy which has been drained twice. Having read other postings this seems to be quite common and hopefully will settle down soon.

I’m really pleased with my new boob - even though its much bigger than the other one at the moment, but getting smaller by the day. Its a hundred times better than what I had before - a hard uncomfortable implant that ruptured in the end!

Carole x

Hi Carolec,

sorry for the late reply, been a bit busy. I am sorry to hear that you feel a bit sore, is that on your tummy, new breast of the arm? I had no pain or sore with the whole op, except pain on my back the first 10 days from hunching forward. I hope you would feel better soon - just hang in there, some panadol does relieve pain. They must have given them to you.

My arm felt a bit stiff, and sore if straightened, but I did some arm exercises - without raising it above shoulder level and it helped. Massaging your arm & shoulder also helps, it relax the tissues. Yes, my PS said the arm scar would be minimum, but he told me to massage all scars every single day for 10 mins, preferably with vit e or bio oil. The reason that the PS harvested the vein from the arm was because the mammary vein was too small and produced poor blood flow which could result in fat necrosis.

No one gave any advice on how long the girdle should be worn. But when I went for the second check up, my PS told me to keep it on for six months during the day - to prevent bulging!! I thought that was awfully long time. I must admit that I wore the girdle only for a short while. I stopped wearing it after 7 weeks (naughty gir! :slight_smile: ) because I just cant stand it. But thank goodness, it is now 3 months after my op, my tummy is fine, it is still flat as a pancake. My PS told me no gym or sit up for 6 months.

Cream on the scar is a must, it softens the new scar tissue, best to massage it deeply every day before you put the tape on. I am still wearing my Mepiform tape given by my PS. My scar is red in colour but it would lighten as time passes. Both my breast surgeon and the PS told me to keep the tape on, the nurse told me that some women wore the tape for 6 months or so. The tape prevent the scar from over healing and become raised and it also reduce the redness.

Your new boob sounds like mine, a bit bigger than the old one with the top part hard, which makes it look perkier and high. It would settle after 6 months, before the next procedure of nipple reconstruction.

I am fortunate that I have no complication and recovered fast. I am able to do most things, even that annoying cording on the armpit has softened now.

Well I hope you feel better and return to normality soon.

Thanks for your comments. The soreness is at the top of the chest where the scar is going down to the arm - but only occasionally. Its only recently become sore and I think it must be the healing process. I’m due to see my PS next week for a fluid drain so will ask him then.