Really p***ed off lady alert!

Been through Chemo (didn’t work) & actually had an allergic reaction to my last one which was fun,had masectomy to left breast a year ago,couldn’t have recon at same time as had to have course of rads after too, on Tamoxifen for 5 years which does all sorts of odd things to me, & still really struggling with fatigue…went to see surgeon at local hospital last October who informed me I was an ideal candidate for the Tram Flap op & not to lose any weight & was then referred to another surgeon at another hospital (they don’t carry out plastic surgery at my local one)…been to see the referred surgeon this morning who informed me that he wouldn’t operate on me until I lost weight…

I am so angry & gutted right now…I am so desperate to have the reconstruction so I can get back to “normal” & try to put everything behind me that to be told no has really upset me, especially as I was told I was an ideal candidate for it 4 months ago & my weight hasn’t changed since then. Losing weight isn’t easy at the best of times, but seeing as I can struggle with my energy levels some days just to get into work it’s going to be nigh on impossible for me I think.

Has anyone been through anything similar, or has anyone been turned down but found another surgeon who would do it?
Thank you for letting me rant…any comments greatly appreciated as I’m feeling very sorry for myself at the moment!

Hi Jedikitt,

I’m afraid I can’t help, but thought I would reply to your post to bump you up the threads in the hopes that someone else will.

It’s very frustrating having to wait for your reconstruction, and especially so if you have had your hopes raised. I have the opposite problem to you. I was already fairly slim, and have lost a stone and a half since diagnosis. Because of this, the only option open to me is the LD Flap (which would have been my very last choice if I could have selected from all possible forms of reconstruction).

I don’t know where you live, but it may be worth contacting Keeping Abreast (contact Tracey by telephone on 07796 126506 or Google for their website) to ask them if they can provide you with more information. They have regional groups, and you may be lucky enough to have one nearby.

Hoping you manage to get your surgery very soon,

Margaret X

Thank you for your comments Margaret…I will definately check out the website you recommended,thanks! x

Hi Jedi Kitty,
I would be annoyed too if it were me. My own experience is very different as I had an immediate LD recon (even a tad overweight I was too thin for anything else… eh?!) but what I have learned in the two years since then is that there are almost as many opinions as there are plastic surgeons. Since you have been given such conflicting advice - and a referral on the basis that you were ‘ideal’ for this procedure - would you consider asking for a second opinion (to which you are entitled anyway) either at this or another hospital? Whilst I wouldn’t want to go significantly far from home myself, I know that some people choose to quite a distance in order to have a specific consultant (I am just lucky to have one of Europe’s finest at my local NHS hopsital - but her waiting lists are e-n-or-mous for any ‘delayed’ procedures).

You have waited patiently this far, now it’s time to stamp those Jedi paws and insist on that second opinion! I hope you get some good news - and soon.

Take care.

Thank you RevCat! Yes, am certainly going for a second opinion…tried to make an appointment with my GP to discuss it but he’s off sick at the moment, would you believe it!!! Honestly, give me a break life!! x

Hi jedkitty I had a DIEP last year and was told quite clearly not to lose any weight as he wanted plenty of me to make my new breast. He did tell me to keep myself fit, eat healthily and do lots of walks but not to lose weight. my BMI was about 30. I know that some surgeons are a bit funny about operating on anyone who is obese as it does have more risks but unless you are very obese then I think your surgon is wrong in saying what he has and in fact its quite distressing given everything you have been through. I would ask for a 2nd opinion and try and get a much more sympathetic PS (there are plenty about) and get on that waiting list! I had to wait about 8 months once I was accepted anyhow. since having my new body it has given me a lot of motivation and I have lost nearly a stone since my Op. good luck

Thank you saffronseed - your comment has given me hope & I am definately going to get a second opinion!

Sorry that you feel let down regarding your recon, but I do wonder sometimes about the information that is given by ‘unqualified’ surgeons. I’m assuming it was your breast surgeon who told you not to lose any weight?
Whilst it is undeniably disappointing to be told by the ps that you need to lose weight, you must remember he is the expert in these matters, and is putting your health and life first.
These operations are massive, and I believe most ps will not operate if your BMI is over 30. Make no mistake, this is a massive operation, and there are real risks with the long anaesthesia with being over weight.
I know it may seem harsh, but the important thing is for you to be operated on safely.

The cynic in me wonders if your PS is stalling for time - putting the onus on you to lose weight before your op means you are not actually on a waiting list, and therefore not part of the dreaded statistics!

I think I’d be tempted to get cross and point out that you WOULD have lost weight by now if you hadn’t been expressly forbidden to do so.

I hope you get there in the end, and most importantly, are happy with the results.

I had a delayed diep recon in 2011. My surgeon won’t do the op on anyone with a BMIover 30. As has been said the risks of the long anaesthesia time with this op are very real and being obese increase this risk considerably. It is sad that you were given the wrong information at the start. I was told that yes you do need some spare flesh for this op so the best BMI was about 27.

Hi Jeddy Kitty,
I’m so sorry you’re so upset, all this BC stuff is crap isn’t it. I hope you achieve getting the reconstruction which is best for you.
My story, I had a referal for a reconstruction but then I had BC spread to my ovary so had to postpone, I’ve been postponing for months now and it’s strange that the hospital I had chemo and operation at didn’t communicate with the hospital that were going to do the reconstruction. I came back home after a hysterectomy operation with a letter waiting saying we’ve a date for your reconstruction - I felt like fainting - NO MORE!
Keep pushing, you’ll get there. Feeling normal again is so important. For me, going back to work gave me that.
Much love, Claire

Just wanted to add my experience. I had a delayed TRAM in July 2011 following MX in Oct 2009. Ive always had a weight problem-too much unfortunately!!!. When I saw my plastic surgeon in Mar 2010 I was over 16st and Im 5.5ins. He is a very experienced and skilled professional and didnt mention my weight. When I raised it with him he said he was more concerned that I didnt smoke , have prev stomach surgery or be diabetic. I did loose a bit of weight and got fitter before the op and it was very successful. Ive got a full d cup to match from the results and Im delighted .Hope you find a surgeon who is understanding of your personal circumstances.
Good luck
Cathie x

Hi Jedikitty, just read your post and I hope you don’t mind me replying. I wanted to say, after reading that you want to get back to “normal” that I felt a bit like that before my reconstruction. Unfortunately I now feel far fom normal!!! The last thing I want to do is upset you or be negative but sometimes I think it’s easy to think all will be so much better when in reality it may not be. If reconstruction goes well I know a lot of people are really pleased and do feel a lot better but for me it’s just the opposite. If I could turn the clock back I would gladly live with the flat chest I had after double mastectomy. If i’d not had reconstruction I suppose I would always think maybe I could have felt better about myself but that is all in the mind. It’s 5 years since reconstruction failed for me, I had LD and then went onto have Tram flap to try and put things right but I would give anything to undo it all. I know I was unlucky but after all this time I have started with all sorts of pain and discomfort which I know will never go away. I don’t know your situation but if you were happy before breast cancer what do a few cosmetic changes to your unclothed body really matter. I know it’s easy for me to say that but I really was a lot happier before reconstruction. The truth is that we can never be the SAME. So embrace all that is good in your life and enjoy it to the full. I can’t talk about my reconstruction and all the problems I had with it to anyone in person because the emotion is just like a big volcano waiting to erupt and I know I would go into serious melt down if I did. However if it does go well the fact that you can wear a bigger variety of necklines and look natural must be a great confidence booster. I have seen some amazing results and I know there are so many people that are so glad they went ahead with the reconstruction and I’m sure all will work out well for you. I was very unlucky I know but I wish I had been more aware of the other side of the coin so to speak. I don’t want to put you off I think I just wanted to air a view that its not always the answer to make you truly happy with yourself. Wishing you all the very best…
Kindest regards