Problems following TRAM reconstruction

Problems following TRAM reconstruction

Problems following TRAM reconstruction I was wondering if there was anyone else out there who is having problems following a TRAM flap reconstruction (I really hope there is no one else but…).

I had a mastectomy with immediate recon in Sept 2004 due to high grade DCIS. Initially, despite the 11.5 hours op all went well and after 2 weeks was allowed home. I was rushed back into hospital as my recon began to swell and had emergency surgery to remove a clot, was left with an open wound to heal for 3 months and feeling pretty low. I have a lovely dimple on my left side of my recon but I have now got used to that but the big problem I am having is there is a large bulge (just like a spare tire) under my breast. It does not go all the way across and so I feel very conscious of this. I had a lot of problems generally getting back on my feet and after 9 months off went back to work in June 2005. I struggled on at work, in bed by 7pm each night due to the pain and discomfort. I went back to my breast consultant a number of times and complained but he did not seem to think there was a problem or the bulge was very big.

Anyway to cut a long story short I went off ill last June and am just getting back to work now following intensive physio and lots and lot of pain killers. My breast consultant seems at a loss as to why I have this problem and referred me to a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon said he would be happy to do lyposuction on this and although this would reduce the pressure to the are ahe would not guarantee that it would help the pain. I had been lucky enough to be covered by my husbands medical insurance but they have now said they will not cover the lyposuction as they see this as being cosmetic treatment and “experimental and unproven treatment”!!! I am trying to fight the insurance company regarding this as I think they are just trying to get out of paying for the op. I am on the NHS list waiting for the op but now not sure if I should have it or not and have been told it could be 6 months before I have the op. If it is not going to solve the problem do I want to put myself through this?

Has anyone else any experience of similar problems or had lyposuction to relieve similar symptoms? I would love to hear from you. I am going for second opinion with another breast surgeon to see what they say on the matter. I just feel very confused at the moment. I still struggle on a day-to-day basis doing everyday tasks and on the day I go into work (work the rest of the time from home) I am in bed at 7pm again due to all the pain and discomfort…I want my life back, is that too much to ask?

Sorry for wittering on so much but I am fed up with all this. If someone had told me that having a mastectomy would mess up my life so much then I think I would not have gone through this. But heyho…!

Thanks
Deb