sue diep flap

due to have mx on right side and diep flap in june can anyone give me any advise on what the pain etc will be like and what i will need at the hospital i am having done at wellington in london has anyone been thier too sue

Hello Sue, I had right mx and diep flap 3.5 weeks ago in Stoke Mandeville, Bucks. The operation went well and I am really pleased with the result although I have had to be realistic about the time needed to recover - I’m not a very patient patient!
The hospital advised me to take pain relief rather than get into a position of being in pain which is harder to control and I had a pca (patient controlled analgesia) which allows you to press a button to recieve a shot of morphine as and when needed. I only needed this for a couple of days and then just took paracetamol. By the time I left hospital I only needed paracetamol when I woke during the night. I did struggle with back pain due to the time spent in bed and the strain of not being able to walk upright but this was a temporary thing.
For the first couple of days I was kept very warm to help the healing process and found it helpful to have a hairband to keep hair off face and neck, wipes to freshen up and squash/juice to help encourage me to drink lots of water. I spent the first couple of days in the hospital gown and then able to wear own (front fastening) pyjamas. I bought some dry shampoo, which did work quite well and helped to make me feel a bit fresher. I had the operation on a Weds and came home on the Monday. At home I found it helpful to surround myself with pillows in bed and to put pillows under my knees as you are not supposed to lie flat - useful to know in advance in case you need to stock up on pillows!
I hope that this helps - let me know if there is anything else that would be helpful to you. I found this site really useful. In the mean time, I hope that all goes well for you and send lots of positive vibes! x

hi June thank you for your help glad all going well with you , I will buy pillows and get some dry shampoo too. Can I ask you if best for my husband to go home that first day as we live in brighton and i am going to london for the op . thank you again sue

Hi Sue. I am fortunate that I only live 20 mins from hospital but asked my husband just to drop me off at the hospital on day of surgery so that he could ensure that the children got off to school ok (and stop me from finding something else to worry about)and try and get stuck in to some work for the day to take his mind off things. I also knew that if he was there I was more likely to get emotional and I so I just wanted to concentrate on keeping it together!I went to theatre at 8.30 am and didnt come back up to the ward until about 7 so it would have been a really long wait for him if he hadnt had any distractions. He did come in to see me in the evening but there was a lot of activity around monitoring me and making me comfortable so he didnt stay for long.
One thing I didnt realise until admitted is that I could use my mobile phone both to make and recieve calls so it might be worth checking what the policy is in your hospital as this may influence your decision (and when you are visiting you can also make sure that you can get a good signal on your network).
Good luck with all your planning and preparations and anything else I can add, very happy to do so.

Very Best wishes June

Hi Sue,

I’m new to this site, and reading yours and June’s. I had left MX and DEIP Flap last October at MacIndoe Centre, in Sussex. The operation went well, 10 hours and two in recovery. My husband didn’t come up on the day of the op as I went into theatre at 8.30am and didn’t get back to my room until 8.00pm. I really dont remember much about that. The nurses were amazing and I was monitored every fifteen as the operation site had to be kept warm to aid recovery. I did feel very hot and drank lots of water. I had intravenous drips etc and morphine which you can press a button to release the drug - cant overdose as it’s all controlled. The anaestetist told me exactly what to expect when I woke up, drains, catheter, drips etc. These came out fairly soon so at least you can pee, that was a bit dodgy getting up, but the nurses are there to help you. I had daily visits from my consultant and anaestetist who were really brilliant and explained anything that I was concerned about. If you are unsure just ask, they will tell you and reassure you. I bought pillows too, infact I took my own pillows into hospital with me, the ones I were laying on were a little too hard for me! You will need some under you knees as it’s impossible at first to lie flat. That will pass. I also bought a triangular pillow for sitting up that helps, I bought mine on the internet it’s handy too when you get home. I was in hospital for eight days and when I went home was really tired, but you get stronger as each day passes. I went for my second op 3.1/2 weeks ago for nipple recon and again all went well, that was six months from the biggy op. I was recommended to buy support bras, I did that and found that the front fastening ones are best as it’s awkward trying to do them up at the back. You will also need support type girdle to help support your tummy, I bought some from M&S a size larger than I normally am to allow for the swelling. I’m still wearing mine now to give that little bit of extra support. Dont be scared of the operation you will be asleep while it’s all going on, and when you wake up the nasty BC will be gone. Just look forward to recovery, it’s long and you have to be patient, just give yourself some TLC.
Hope this helps you Love Chrissy

Hi , Thank you both for your advise , my husband is going to go and see friends where I have the surgery and return to see me that night.
I will check with hospital about phone. sue

hi seeing ps on 23 may to get date for surgery real feeling emotional
now about it all , so anyone who has time to offer advise and support i be so thankfully sue

Hi Sue,

What you are feeling is so normal. I was the same, OK one minute and a blubbing wreck the next. The Plastic surgeon that I had was marvelous, he explained everything to me, as no doubt yours will too. He went through everything with me, what to expect when I woke from the operation, the monitoring of the nurses etc. They are very skilled people and understand what you are feeling. Speak to your breast care nurse, she will understand you and give you more support. Dont be afraid to call them they work with patients like us all the time and they do understand your emotional state so much. It is quite natural they you feel emotional and anxious about all this, once you get the date for surgery that will be another thing ticked off the list. I was pleased when I knew the date for mine as since I was diagnosed it was literally 4 and a half weeks to my surgery very swift indeed, all I wanted was the BC gone and get the first partof my reconstuction done in one go. It is a big operation to undergo but I truly have no regrets. Have you got your bras yet? If not I have got a contact that my PS gave me of a company that supply them, they are very nice people and very sypathetic and understanding. Bras are not cheap but they are very good as you need the support post surgery. I did get some others from M&S sports type ones which are ok but I do find the MX ones better. Would you like me to send the details? I’ll be happy to do so. Also I took in nighties that had front openings, I dont wear pj’s and they may be difficult with the tummy wound too, so would suggest a nightie which would be more comfy. Try not to worry too much, easier said than done but we have all been there and here we are all are to help and support you, it really does get better.
Thinking of you, and take care, Chrissyx

Hi Chrissy,

Thank you for your support, yes please the address for the mx bra would be good as I need to buy tham still, have got couple front opening nightie how many do you need to have.

Also I would like to tell you a little about my case I had Bc back in June 2009 and following remove the lump the surgery in sussex did breast reduction on the breast following this I got bad case of mrsa which gave me on going breast infection by jan 2011 this year when I when to london to see another dr who clear mrsa up after more surgery sadly after all this I have been left in great pain this being cause by nerve damage in the breast and infected tissue which is why I now need the mx and diep flap the surgery said this is only way to stop the pain and to make sure no more BC due to their being both parget and Inflammatory breast cancer in the family.

It been hard couple years from the first lump being found and I am so glad to have your support and advise hope things are going well for you , I will let you have the date for the surgery when I have it.

Thank you again


Hi How everyone doing , I spoke to breast care nurse today and she also said what I am feeling is normal feel beit better for a good cry with her today take care all

Hi Sue.

Sorry for the delay in replying been away. However, the name for the mx bras: MaCom Compression Garments - recomm. by my PS. Their tel no is +44 (0) 20 7386 0011. Contact there James, very compassionate man and very helpful.(You can view the bras on line, go on the internet and just type in MaCom.) He got my bras to me within a couple of days as I was rushed into surgery. Their customer care is superb, if anything isn’t right for you they will give you a full refund. In fact I sent back some girdles that were not quite what I needed, no probs money refunded. I ordered black and skin coloured bras, black useful because if you weep any blood it doesn’t stain. I took half a dozen nighties in with me, but I stayed in the hosp. gowns for a few days which was easier. First few days a bit grim, but you soon get over that and day by day get stronger. You really have been through the mill, poor you MRSA on top of everything else. MRSA Another of my big dreads thankfully at MacIndoe it’s spotlessly clean and had no probs. there. Things going well for me at present saw my Onco. two wks ago all OK and breast Surgeon last week again all OK had a good chat and blub with him but soon reassured me. Second part recon brilliant and see PS end of month for tattooing. Sorry this is going on a bit. Take care and thinking of you, be strong, Chrissyx

Hi Chrissy,
Glad you are doing good, i will call Ma Com tom as I am up in london next week so maybe go and see them. I hope to get date too so will let you know when. I will make sure I have another nightwear too thank you for your support sue

Hi Sue,

Glad to hear that you may be able to go to MaCom I didn’t realise they were in London, as I just 'phoned them and looked at the bras etc on line. They are really nice people to deal with and bend over backwards to help you, in fact James who I spoke to gave me a 10% discount, he said to me you need all the help you can get, how kind people can be ay. Well wont be long now befoe you get your date, I think the waiting is the worst you just want it all to be over and done with. Let me know. Take care, and thinking of you, Love Chrissyx

Hi Sue,
I had my mx and diep reconstruction on March 17 this year so I’m now 9 weeks post-op. I agree with everything said so far but would also add that you should get some big pants. You want something that will reach up over your scars, including your new tummy button, which I found was more tender than the big scar across my lower tummy. M&S do a good range. I also got a few sports bras from them. Its worth getting one size bigger band size than you normally take to allow for the swelling during the first few weeks.
I was in hospital for 6 days and once I was home, took it easy for a couple of weeks. By four weeks post-op I was able to walk for a couple of miles each day. Now I can ride my bike, walk, swim (breast stroke, not crawl)and do most everyday activities. You just need to be sensible and do what you body tells you and rest when you are tired.
I’m waiting to see the PS in August for the next stage. I need a fat transfer to fill out the dips and hollows in the new breast and a reduction on the other side.
Good luck!

Hi Sue, thinking of you this morning as you have your appointment with the PS today. Hope it all goes well for you

Best Wishes, June

Hi Sue,

Hope all goes well for you today thinking of you.

Take care Chrissyx

Hi All the meeting with PS when well should have a date by end of the week, he when through all the information and took time to speak with me about my fears. Alao saw the breast surgery who was also very helpfully I know for sure now I am in good hands. Thank you all for your support I will let you have date take care and thank you for being their for me sue

Hi Sue,

Glad your meeting went well with the PS, another hurdle over and done with. Only the date to get now then you can prepare for it. Good idea from Jane about the bigger pants, my dearest friend went into M&S for me and got a pack of 5 I think, they were really good and comfy. When I came out of hospital the admission nurse said to bring in a really comfy pair of joggers or trousers with high elasticated waist, it dosen’t matter what they look like, think COMFORT! I was pleased to have taken that advice. Take care, thoughts with you, Chrissyx

Hi Chrissy,

Thank you I am going to M&S next week to buy big pants and I got pair of joggers old but really comfy I will take with me , what top is best to wear home. How are you doing it been so good to chat and make new friends. sue

Hi Sue,

Glad to see you are being positive, getting the biggy knickers etc, good about the old joggers, you will find them comfy as long as they are not tight around the waist. I took a button up front cardigan in with me for when I went home it’s easier to put on rather than trying to drag over your head. Also wore this to my follow up appointments as it’s easy to get on and off for examinations.

As for me I have got a major panic on, I found another lump in my ‘good’ breast last night. Didn’t sleep much, and have been calling my surgeon this am to try and see him in his clinic this evening, in fact whilst writing this the ‘stand-in’ secretary just called and she’s trying to contact him to see if it’s possible. I cant wait until next week, think I’ll go mental with the worry. I see my PS next week so if I cant see the breast surgeon I’ll speak to him about it. I only saw my breast surgeon on the 5th May so I’m sure he would have picked up on something them, perhaps I’m worrying over nothing, but this horrible disease does your head in. Anyhow will keep in touch let me know when you get you op date. Take care love Chrissyx
PS Just got phone call to say my BS will see me tonight at 5.00pm phew! Feel a bit more relieved now will let you know the outcome later.