Reconstruction worries

Is anyone else feeling slightly disappointed with their reconstruction? I had mastectomy to left side and immediate reconstruction which, despite fantastic care, has left me, 5 weeks pre-op feeling lopsided. I still have some bruising/swelling, and it hasn’t helped that I had to have a couple of stitches as the wound didn’t seal completely. I was able to keep my nipple but they’re worried that it’s still scabbed over, and perhaps the skin below is dying.


I’m happy movement wise, but have tightness and a weird creaking sensation when I move my arm, although the nurse assures me everything’s fine. Sometimes I just feel it’s trapped in a vice.


I just worry this is how it’s going to be forever, and it’s never going to feel any better or look any better than it does now. Lots of people on this forum seem so happy with their reconstructions, why aren’t I? Am I expecting too much? With so much treatment yet to come (fertility wise and chemo) it’s pretty soul destroying!

I have found it takes quite a long time (months and months, not weeks) for the swelling to go down, and the radiotherapy set me back a bit in terms of tightness.  So it will get better I’m sure, but it takes a while!  I am now a year on, and the recon side is slightly too full, but I have to wait another year for it to continue to settle post-radiotherapy before I can get a little liposuction to even things out, and the long-awaited new nipple. 


Also, keep doing the arm exercises!  But again, it takes a long time for the tightness to go.  I do a lot of climbing, so am always using my arms and stretching lots, but a year on, it is still tighter on the recon side and takes me a lot of warming up when I go climbing. 

Hi Emsup don’t worry you are not the only one I have been through two kinds of reconstruction and am still awaiting further surgery. I know how you feel as we so want to feel right again straight away but it does take time and generally always more than one surgery. I guess your surgeon will want everything to settle down first and then if things still aren’t right will offer further surgery to balance things out whether it be lipofilling on the affected side or a slight uplift on the good side. It is perseverance and patience as very rarely is it all sorted in one op hang on in there x

Hi Emsup - I have just read your post from last month as I am in almost exactly the same position as you. I am interested to know if you are any happier with your reconstruction a month later? I am very lopsided, I can’t get my new boob into any of my old bras, and I look so odd wearing t-shirts as my boobs are such different sizes. I also know exactly what you mean when you say you feel like “it’s trapped in a vice”.


I am seeing my surgeon again next week but if anyone has any more tips or advice on reconstruction I would really appreciate that. I had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with an implant.


Many thanks.

Hi Ladies,


At the end of 2013 I had mx with immediate recon of an implant. It isn’t good, two sizes bigger than my natural size, very high, hard and to close to my arm pit. I’ve been referred to a new surgeon and have a provisional date in November to have a flap recon, where they take muscle from your back as I don’t have sufficient in my tummy. I am worried about having this done though as im not keen on going through the pain and recovery again but long term im hoping it will all be worth it. So hard to make decisions on these things. Hope it all goes to plan for you ladies xx