reconstruction swollen

Hi Ladies

I’ve had recon diep tram flap, and 3 weeks on and my tummy is full of fluid, and very swollen, to where i look very lop sided, as one side is alot more swollen than the other, and under my bra is very swollen and full of fliud, is this the norm or shall i go to see my Gp, as this is very uncumfy and looks quite horrible as i look as tho i am blown up on the side if hips ???

Any feed back would be great sal x

I didn’t have the same recon as you, but had a seroma and haematoma after my first surgery last year. I think it’s always wise to get these things checked. It may be a seroma which they may or may not want to drain. Every case is different. If you have redness or it’s hot it may indicate infection which would need sorting out with antibiotics. All in all, worth getting it looked at.

River x

I was given a phone number for the ward I was in should I have any problems after my Tram flap recon, if I were you I would ring the ward you were in so you are not waiting until Monday to get it looked at. I didn’t have the same problem as you though my surgeon did say he would syringe the liquid out if I had a build up.


Can I also add, I was told not to wear a bra but to wear post op cami. It was about 2 months after my op before I was told I could wear a bra.


I must say that I also think you should call the ward and not wait until monday to be seen, sounds a bit like a seroma but get it checked out.
Also I think it depends on your surgeon re bra, as my surgeon insisted that I had mine put on in recovery post diep and I haven’t yet managed to get into any nice ones especially as I am just 3 weeks post reduction - good side and tidy up. Hope you get sorted out soon. xxxx

Wow Marjay, How lucky were you! I had to put up with everyone seeing me lopsided for 2 months - totally hated it! I’m not a lover of bras though when my surgeon said I could wear one again, I couldn’t get one on quick enough!


Hi Aqua,
Never really thought I was that lucky wearing a bra 24/7 right from the start as I thought - rather stupidly, that this was common practice post surgery. During this second lot of surgery, I “came to” in recovery to hear the nurses arguing about whether I should have that bra on again, they didn’t which was a relief as I was swathed in dressings. I now have that sports bra on again 24/7 and can’t wait to be able to go and buy some pretty ones and sleep “braless” for once!!! I must admit I am a little disappointed as following this reduction and uplift surgery I am still wearing the same size bra as I did post mx - fitting my rather large “reduced” boob which is still sooooooo swollen. Started off as a rather large 38FF still wearing the same size bra despite mx and other sdze reduction. I guess it will all sort out and reduce in size eventually - bring on the skimpy lacey ones!!!

Marjay xxx

Thanks ladies … i do think it is just fluid as i have no temp, im going to ring surgon tomorrow, just so he can cheek it out, it is my tummy that is swollen and got fluid in my boob is ok yea swollen but thats to be expected,

but thank you for all your kind words,xxxxx

Hi Marjay

I too missed sleeping with my breasts being free, I reckon that’s one of the worst part of the op! I had my recon in Feb and my breast is still a little swollen though aft op it was huge!! To say I was worried would be putting it mildly though now it looks so much better. I’m sure yours will reduce as the swelling goes down. My Surgeon is a little concerned about doing an uplift on my good breast though as I am chronic asthmatic and I had problems during my mx, reckon I will just have to put up with one breast nearly down to my waist!!


Hi Aqua,
I must admit that my recon took about 3 months to settle and now looks really good, unfortunately, I am still only 4 weeks post reduction but am having to go to the hospital tomorrow as right side of breast is still very swollen and is really hot and red despite a course of anti bugs, I do hope that it will be ok as I have my next appt for my nipple recon on the 1st June, but I guess what will be will be!!
On the topic of further surgery, don’t give up hope as I too am asthmatic but it was in fact a chronic back injury that has scuppered me - a hazard of long term nursing. I am convinced that it is only the usual problem but PS wants my team to rule out spinal pathology as I am finding even walking difficult (my leg goes numb) despite heaps of painkillers! at least I couldn’t care about the weather with all the Tramadol on board. Will the problems never stop?
Think I might go and be a bit reckless and have shower, just for the boobs to have some Free Time!!!

Marjay xxx

Good luck for tomorrow Marjay, I hope all will be well with your breast and you don’t have an infection.

My heart went a bit crazy during my mx and I was really poorly with my breathing and hence I think my Surgeon is hesitant to do an uplift. I suppose its more of a strain on our bodies when we having breathing problems too.

How awful that you have back problems too, that must be so hard for you. I had a bone density test and it showed things aren’t as they should be in my spine, hips and knees - I reckon that’s down to all the steroid tabs I’ve had to have over years for my breathing though I am lucky in that I don’t have to have painkillers regularly. It must be so difficult for you.

No doubt your breasts enjoyed a bit of freedom!!

Take care xx

Hi Aqua,

Many thanks, they certainly enjoyed their short burst of freedom!

I will let you know how things go tomorrow.

Marjay xxx

Hi Aqua,

Sorry not to have been back sooner but still having a few problems. Went back to hospital to the wound clinic and was seen by 3 nurses including 1 specialist nurse. They said that the breast felt warm and was exceedingly red and would get the junior doctor down to prescribe some more antibiotics, doctor came down - not junior but only my consultant! He was concerned that it was red but said interestingly it got worse when I sat up - was examined lying flat and that he didn’t feel it was a problem probably just healing tissue and I had only just stopped previous course of antibiotics so wanted nature to take its course. The wound is still gaping and I have become even more sensitive to dressings so wearing just steristrips to help it on its way and change these after showering. I go back in for my nipple recon on tues so hope it happens with no hiccups.

Unfortunately I slipped in my bathroom 2 days ago and now am finding it even more difficult to get around, the whole back seems to have gone on strike and after several phone calls I am going to see the physio tomorrow morning. Hope they can loosen all up, but really need to be able to lie on my stomach so that I can have injections into my spine to hopefully give me some relief, but I can’t see when I am actually going to be able to lie on tum - anyone any ideas how long I can potentially wait post nipple recon?

Sorry this is so long but being stiff and immobile means that I am once again enjoying the pain killer haze!!!

a fed up Marjay xxx

Oh Marjay, I’m not surprised you’re fed up! How awful that you are having so many problems, I so hope your breast settles down soon. I had an open wound after my second op due to infection but I was lucky in that I was okay with having a dressing on it, it must terrible for you not to be able to have a dressing on the wound. I think without the dressing my wound would have taken a lot longer to heal.
I so hope you get some relieve on your back after having physio tomorrow.

Its just over two weeks since I had my nipple recon but I am having some problems with it so still put the round spongy bit on it after showering, I hold it in place with dressing tape. I honestly don’t think you should have a problem lying on your tummy after the nipple recon as it will be protected with the spongy bit they put on after op, and to be honest I haven’t slept any differently since having the recon - probably even knocked it a few times but its numb in that area so wouldn’t be any wiser if i had!

All the best for tomorrow


Hi Aqua,

Many thanks for your helpful comments, will let you know how my back goes with physio. Am off to bed now as pain killers have begun to kick in. Hope I get a good nights sleep.

Marjay xx

Hi Guys,
Just a quick update regarding my back, my physio took all of my recent history and nodded in all of the right places including hearing about the diep scar and how long it was and the problems I had experienced post op - bleeding during op and the inability to stand upright let alone walk any distance immediately post op. I also went through the recent reduction, uplift and general amount of liposuction that I had done. She then examined me and nearly fell off her chair when she saw my scar = omg what a scar!!! where her words. Basically my vertebrae have become stiff and immobile, prob due to everything just recently and I have been given some nice gentle exercises to start with, will be reviewed in 2 weeks time. Meanwhile my GP has referred me to a neuro surgeon for a specialist opinion on my back, some hint of further spinal surgery = do I need more of the “knife” especially as my PS wants spinal patholgy excluded. What more can go wrong?
Oh well will find out all next week on Thurs.
It makes the nipple recon appear less stressful, will have to wait and see how that goes on Tues.


Oh Marjay, I so feel for you - how awful. So does your Diep scar look really bad? My Tram scar is from one side of my hip to the other but has healed nicely. I really hope you don’t need more surgery, I walked very gingerly post op for quite a few weeks but I am fine now. My consultant did say that due to the big op things may get in the way during surgery and hence some of the post op pains, though things are settling down for me now.

Must say that though my nipple is still healing, I don’t like it being erect all the time - think I may have to put something in my bra once it heals so it doesn’t stick out so much!

Out of all the ops I have had the nipple recon is easiest and most manageable so don’t worry I’m sure you will be fine when you have yours next week.

I really do hope your news isn’t bad next week

hugs xx

Thanks Aqua,

I thought my scar wasn’t too bad but my PS lengthened it when he sorted the dog ears and did lipo to the hips, it is a good 23" and looks well healed except for the bits where he went into do the abdo lipo as well. It is healing but bits look more mauve than the rest of it. I think the physio was more shocked at the length as she was clearly not really listening to what I was saying re the scars or had no real idea or thought I was exaggerating the length only to find I was telling the truth!! That will teach her to listen properly.
Re the nipple how long have you been told that it takes to settle into the correct size and would a normal soft padded bra help? I am still quite large despite the reduction and don’t want to use anything that emphasises my size. Again, I am still swollen from the reduction and am not yet out of my sports bras, I do dream of the day that the nice ones feature in my life again.

Many thanks for the support,it is really helpful and I appreciate hearing from others and their experiences.

Thanks again
Marjay xxxxx

Hey no problem Marjay - its good that we have this site to help where we can.

The surgeon said it would take roundabout 4 weeks for the tissue to heal, though I forgot to ask how long my nipple will be so huge. I wear the M & S t/shirt bras as no seams etc in them. I have been using microporous tape to keep spongy bit in place but it draws more attention to that area so today I just put a Mepore dressing on it and it does feel more comfortable, if nipple looks okay in the morning I may just carry on using the Mepore dressing.

Take care

Hi Guys,

Well all seems to be going in the right direction, my hospital phoned to discuss my nipple recon on Tues. They were insistent on trying to get the appropriate type of dressing for me that I would not be allergic to, how impressive are they. It has given me a real boost being treated as an individual and not as a run of the mill patient, bit worried about long term dressing (week 2 onwards) as most of the ones I can use are extremely expensive and don’t feel I will be able to go without, hope GP’s budget runs to what I need!

Now doing my back exercises regulary throughout the day and who knows if the weather stays good for the weekend, I will be able to get out more and walk with the OH and family - haven’t yet seen the weather forecast but as it is a bank holiday its bound to be rubbish, but will just have to get the wet weather gear out!

Hope you all have a good weekend.