Need advice on Recon Surg for Sept 2010

Hi Ladies,
Hope u can help me as I would really appreciate some advice, I am having recon surgery in Sept.I had a left mastectomy in Dec 2008 followed by chemo, rads & herceptin. After alot of consideration I have opted to have a risk reducing mastectomy on the right side. For the left side the surgeon advised that the skin should be taken from my back (sorry dont know the name of the surgery). Then expanders will be put in on both sides.

Has anyone had this surgery? Im having it at John Radcliffe in Oxford if anyone has had surgery there that would be great. Can u plz tell me what to expect etc? How long where u in Hosp for? What things should I take with me? Bra etc?

Thanx for the feedback
Samina xxx


I can’t help you but I’m bumping this up.


I didn’t have that type of recon but it sounds like Latissimus Dorsi flap … there is lots of info about online.
I had DIEP flap using tissue from my tummy and am thrilled.
Good luck
jacqui x

Hi Samina

I have put for you below links to some of our publications which you may find helpful, also the staff on the helpline will be only too happy to talk you through what to expect with your operation.

Your op and recovery:*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/100/

Breast reconstruction animation:

Hope this helps. Take care,
Jo, Facilitator

I have come home from hospital today following ld recon with expander
I had the op last Thursday and am thrilled with the results even though I am sore and bruised

I spent one night on HD and then 4 nights on a surgical ward
I was able to shower on Saturday with my drains attached.

I was asked to bring a sports bra in to wear after the op but have not managed to wear it yet. I am so pleased that I went ahead with op.

Hello Samina

I am too considering reconstruction in September but on the back of my masectomy. The surgeon recommends that he uses my back muscle to recreate the shape. I have spoken to a few ladies through our local breast cancer charity and they all seem to have recovered well, with time; all of them did it as a delayed procedure.

I must admit I am not sure at all that I am ready to face an 6 to 8H ops followed by 4 months minimum convalescence…I am thinking to go for a simpler procedure and consider recon later if I really feel strong about it.

I hope you don’t mind me asking but how have you coped with your masectomy ?

All the best Salima,

Thanx Ladies for the replies I appreciate it,

Jaclyn, hope ur feeling ok? I really appreciate ur relpy its a real insight for me as i really dont know what to expect and now im starting to panic, spoke to a BCN today and she said it would be best to ask these questions at the pre assessment. Hope u feel better soon, how u managing at home? Do u have family around u?

Anne, when I had my mastectomy at the time I was told I needed radiotherapy therefore I couldnt have immediate reconstruction. To be truthful with u after the surgery I feel as if I have lost a lot of confidence, I know it was the best thing to do and after all the treatment the last thing I want as everyone else is for this horrible thing to return, so after alot of talking to professional and consideration I decided that I wanted the other removed. I dont like the way I look now, so I think im ready for the recon.

So scared though, really dont want to be ill again, god how the brain works lol

Thanx to u all again
Samina xxxx

Hi samina, I’m feeling fine and have not really had any pain, it’s just uncomfortable and awkward to move around to far. Like you I was dreading this operation but also knew that I did not want to not have it and so glad that it’s been done, to wake up to a cleavage overrides all discomfort. I have two teenage girls who are spoiling me rotten and luckily they are on holiday ATM so are doing everything they can to help.

The fear of the op is much worse than the reality. I hope it goes well for you.

Hi all

Following a lumpectomy three weeks ago I have just( today )been told that the surgery revealed some precancerous cells in other parts of the breast and a mastectomy was advised followed by hormone therapy. I am considering immediate reconstruction as I know that I would be unlikey to go back for further reconstructive sugery later. Does anyone have any experience of immediate reconstruction any advice on pro’s and con’s

hi im in similar position but going for different option. I had masectomy in march 2008 and because of brca1 gene opting for another masectomy. i too couldnt have recon at the time due to rads and was really upset, ive also had chemo and ovaries removed.
After long discussions ive opted for a expander (thursday argh) on the side that ive had masectomy in order to stretch the skin and then in 3/4 months a double recon using tummy muscle with the 2nd masectomy at the same time, major i know and im such a wimp but does seem like the better option for me, mainly because i have lymphodema so ld flap recon is higher risk of making arm worse. Really nervous now xx


I had left mx last March followed by chemo and rads. Dr’s told me i could not have recon as i was very young (25) and that it could return to the implant. Finally had my recon 6 weeks ago (had to wait over a year due to grade 2 burn from rads. I had expandable and a right mx too as i have BRCA 2 gene. Its a long process and uncomfortable but thats my own fault as i insisted i have both done at same time which my Dr’s were not happy with. The outcome is great and should take another 2 months to get them the same then i will be having implants put in and hen i’m done. It was only option for me due to the need to stretch skin


Hi ladies,
Thanx so much for all your comments, it was great to hear your stories. Fingers crossed now, cant wait to have it all over and done with. Then maybe I might get my life bac lol.

Take care
Samina xx

Hi really need advice as not sure what type of reconstruction to go for. I went to see the consultant and plastic surgeon today and basically i can only have two types of surgery.

1st one is where they take the skin from your back and pull it to the front (sounds really painful!)

2nd - cut across the abdominal area and reconstruct your breast from there.

Has anyone had either of these as would be grateful if anyone can tell me if they have had any problems with either of these.

Sorry for waffling as really new to this.

Hi Shirley

I have been told about a new procedure called a lattice reconstruction, where an implant is put in and then cell tissue placed over the top which will grow a bit and cover the implant and the breast tissue. I live in Staffordshire and I met the plastic surgeon last week who explained this to me. I found a lot of information on the US cancer care website where it is more common. This procedure reduces the operation time as there is no transfer of tissue or muscle from another part of the body so hastening recovery. I am meeting with the ps again this week to see if my skin is suitable as I have damage from the rads 2 years ago. As far as I can see, all surgery is a risk anyway, and if it works it seems a good option.
Will let youknow what he says.

Annabelle xx

Hi to everybody.
I thought i would share my experience with you all. I had mx and immediate recon. I had the ld back flap done. It was a very long operation (9 hours) because i also had reduction and uplift. I am very pleased with the results although its taken a while for me to “like” what i have now. I think i expected it to look more like a normal breast too soon! it takes a while for the muscle and the swelling to settle down. I get back ache from time to time where they have taken the muscle but need to learn to sit down from time to time. Im in the police force and returned to work last month after 4 months off - im now up to 6 hours a day!! I wouldnt hesitate in recommending this operation BUT please remember that its a long slow process and dont be as impatient as me!! lol

If anybody has any questions then drop me a pm.

good luck to you all.


Hi Lol

I had MX and immediate DIEP recon (using abdominal tissue) on 6th July. It was long op (I was in theatre 10.5 hours) but my recovery has been pretty fast and I am back at work full time today (I work in an office and have a sedentary job). You have to be very patient because you can do very little for the first month and then build up gradually. Like all other reconstructive surgery it carries various risks, but other than some blisters from dressings and a wound infection which was quickly cleared with antibiotics, I have been fine. I am still stiff through my abdominal area, and my breast has a sort of dull ache, but nothing too uncomfortable.
I have not regretted it for a moment … though I am a little disappointed at the moment as it looked so fantastic for the first month (exactly like my natural breast) but has been swelling and hardening over the last 2 weeks. Also have unexpected results from pathology of removed tissue which means that I now need to have radiotherapy which is likely to cause further changes in the shape of my new breast.
Send a personal message if you are considering this surgery and would like further information.


I was diagnosed on 27 May and had right MX and reconstruction Wednesday 28 Jul. I was not sure whether to have reconstruction or not and if so which type but the clinic gave us a DVD which gave options (stomach, back, or implants) and I discussed with my husband and we decided to go for the reconsruction from back muscles . I am not too vain but didn’t fancy swimming etc with flat chest one side.

I am pleased to say that it was a good decision for me, the op took 6 hrs. everything went very well, bit sore but not as bad as I expected so far. I came home after 5 days with a drain in then went back 2 days later for it taking out. I felt fine though initially a bit tired. I have been told that I must not lift my arm above shoulder height for 4 weeks and have some exercises to do 3 times a day, other than that I could do a lot for myself straight away and now almost three weeks later I am still a bit sore and achy but generally OK

My new boobie looks very good almost like before when viewed from above, my husband helped me shower initially and and thinks it look good and thinks we made right decision too. it feels OK, I am wearing a good comfortable bra.

I have a long scar across my back which will be under the bra strap and a circular patch of new skin and scar where the nipple was but it looks OK.

Once the swelling goes down etc the new boob might not be quite as big as old one so I will have the option of going back for an implant or some more construction from stomach muscles , however at this stage I doubt if I will do so as can see no point in more ops unless vital.

Hope this helps in any decision making

Best wishes