MX + LD flap reconstruction - wound care

Hi Ladies

I had my mx and reconstruction this time last week and came home from hospital yesterday :slight_smile: I will be going back next week to the see the surgeon but in the meantime I’m not sure what I’m doing with looking after the wounds…? All my drains are out, and I do have a slight oozing which the hospital are happy with. I want to have a proper shower (!) but I’m a bit scared to go near the wound with anything let alone soap and water…Last night I had a gentle feel under the front and side bits and noticed that one bit where the drain had come out was a tiny bit smelly. Now I don’t know if this is due to not having washed it (!), or whether it might be the start of an infection or something. Can anyone help me with this, I’d be really grateful if you could :slight_smile:

Gilly xxxx

Hi Gilly

My back wound was still a bit ‘wet’ when I came out of hosp and I was under strict instructions not to get it wet - think it was three weeks before I had a ‘proper’ shower. Did use waterproof dressings that helped. With the ‘dry’ wounds, I was told not to soak them, just a gentle pat with warm water and no towel rubbing!

I’d keep an eye on the smelly drain hole - if there’s any redness or heat, get straight back on to them. Even better, give them a call this morning and ask their advice - if there is anything brewing it’s better nipped in the bud!

Hope all goes well!


Hi D

Thanks for getting back to me :slight_smile: I decided not to have a full shower or wet anywhere in the end! My other half went out and bought some Savlon anti-septic wipes and I’ve used those instead. I’ve still got my post surgery dressings covering the front and back and I’m not supposed to do anything with them. I’m still on anti-biotics so these will probably help as well. Apparently my surgeon will remove the dressings on Wednesday next week. It just looks weird as I can see brown oozy stuff underneath the dressings but I keep being told that this is normal! I’ve sort of lost the plot as to what normal is these days…How are you getting on with your recon? Are you happy with what you’ve had done, and how many weeks/months on are you? I’m completely numb which is only to be expected, but it sort of feels as though I have something strapped onto my body which shouldn’t be there…?

I think mine is going to look ok and to welcome it I’ve called my new boob my Whammy Pammy lol …Do you have any feeling there at all?

Gilly xxxx

Hi Gilly.

My main message is patience - it does take time to settle - it’s a pretty big op after all!

I had MX to left breast and immediate LD flap +implant recon on the 26th Jan.

My plastic surgeon (who took over once the BC surgeon had done the MX and lymph node removal) has done a great job of matching my ‘new’ boob to the old one - even down to the right level of ‘droop’!

A week in hosp - they didn’t let me go til all drains removed. Did get a seroma on back that needed draining a few times, but that resolved itself quite quickly. I was driving and back at work (part time for a couple of weeks at first) 6 weeks post op.

Five months post surgery and the new boob is really starting to feel like it belongs to me - obviously don’t have the level of feeling and it still feels a bit firmer and heavier than the other one, but improving all the time. The PS warned that it does take a long time to completely settle down. It’s a bit bigger than the other one but this may still alter and I have a port in the implant so it can be adjusted at a later date if needed. It’s a bit perkier (they are now nicknamed Pinky and Perky) than the other, but all of this is totally unnoticeable in bra and clothes - as is the slight bulkiness under my arm where the muscle was put through. That felt enormous for weeks, but again is starting to feel more natural and is unnoticeable to everyone else.

My scars around nipple area and on back are improving all the time (I do use Bio Oil). I can see that the nipple area scar will be difficult to spot in a year or two. The scar on my back is bigger and more ‘serious’, but still improving and is covered by my bra strap.
My shoulder and under my arm still feel a bit stiff and tight, but I have virtually full range of movement and am back gardening and horse riding - albeit carefully! Make sure you get and do the exercises!

I’m 5/6 way through chemo and that does make the recon feel worse at times, but I’m assured that this is temporary. I’ve found out that they are also now recommending rads. This was a calculated risk I took - my plastic surgeon said that even if get capsulation round the implant and, worse case, down the line I need the capsulation removed and a new implant, the final cosmetic result will still be better than a delayed recon.

Overall I’m very pleased with the result (obviously still wish it hadn’t been necessary!).
Good luck!

Hi D and Gilly
I’m a little further down the line than you two, I had my MX and LD flap recon on the 18th Nov 2010. I was also a week in hospital so drains (2) were removed before I got out. The seroma in my back was drained about 6 time, I think there is still a little bit of fluid there but they are happy to leave it as it will eventually be absorbed. I was also driving after about 6 weeks…not very far but the freedom was wonderful.
I was definitely told not to shower for almost three weeks ( well not above the waist anyway) I didn’t have dressings as my surgeon uses glue but it did ooze from certain areas for a while, mostly at the points where two scars came together. He did a reduction type scar on my recon so it would sort of match the other one when he did it. When I did shower I was just to let the water run over it…no soap and no rubbing and a clean towel every day to pat it dry.

D… you are lucky, the were obviously able to save your nipple…thats what i miss most! My healthy boob was lifted and reduced in April and I’m a lot more balanced now. Do you know, it’s only you mentioning the bulkiness under your arm that made me realise that it has gone totally! Yipee!!

Am I the only person who has had this surgery without any scar on my back?!

I am still totally numb front and a chunk of my back and not expecting to regain any feeling this far down the line. Although if I prod my recon boob it feels as though someone is prodding me in the back!
On the whole I too am pretty happy with the outcome, obviously would far rather never have had it but all things considered. I am happy to wear low cut tops etc which I doubted I ever would
OH …and looking forward to getting a new nipple!

I hope I haven’t waffled on for too long


So pleased that you’re happy with the result - how on earth did they do it without any back scar!?!?

They didn’t save the nipple, so I have a ‘disc’ of skin from my back where it used to be - good job I didn’t have any tattoos! Haven’t decided about nipple recon yet - that’s down the line after all rads anyway.

Main thing for me is that I woke up with ‘something’ there and I have a totally natural looking cleavage. My days of topless sunbathing in a public place were probably behind me anyway!


I have no idea… he said if he was to tell me he’d have to kill me!!

Seriously, he said if I was happy for them both to be smaller than they were originally then he could do it without a back scar, so no skin was taken to place in nipple area…so less skin…smaller boob!
I’m sorry you lost your nipple too…bummer!
Of course, what would they do if you had had a tatoo on your back, that will surely be something that will crop up quite a bit these days.

I do agree with you, I would have hated to wake up with nothing…not that it looked much like a boob at first… but it does now ( even in its nippleless, scarred state) and has softened more and more as time has gone by.
I think my topless days are long gone too unless I want to clear a beach!!

Elaine x