Pleased to read this thread, just home after masectomy and have delayed reconstruction until my results in 10days time and then see what is what. Good to know time scales for the DIEP / TRAM flap not sure which one yet I will have but one of them and good to read about recovery etc.xx
Your family sounds very like mine. We have had numerous family celebrations in rented cottages around the country. Just remember to let other people lift your bags, groceries, bottles of champers, etc. for you. Then sit back and enjoy the party!
Re clothes fitting or not. For the first week, my abdomen was a bit swollen so I wore tracksuit trousers. When everything had settled, my trousers were then too big around the waist/hip line and slipped down a bit. I needed belts with everything. I was only borderline for a Diep/Tram for not having enough spare fat, so the extent to which your trousers, etc. no longer fit will be dependent on how much of a ‘tummy tuck’ you end up with. I hope this makes sense!
Another vote for Diep from me too and I would also endorse what the other ladies have already said.
I am five months post Diep (except it was a Tram because my blood vessels were not good enough when it came to the crunch) following a delayed reconstruction. I was diagnosed with a large high grade DCIS in May 2017 for which I had a skin sparing mastectomy. I wasn’t a good candidate for immediate reconstruction due to another minor medical condition so I had a temporary implant (ghastly shape and solid) which was later exchanged for my abdominal flap (lovely, soft and squidgy) five months ago. My mastectomy was my choice so I think this has impacted on how well I have recovered - with a huge amount of positivity and normality. Surgery has been my only treatment.
One week post Diep op, I had already resumed my social life (my drain went too) and I had also started to do a bit of work, albeit from home and certainly not a full day. By 4 weeks post-op, I had made and iced 3 large birthday cakes for my Mum’s 90th birthday - don’t ask how many parties she had! After 10 weeks, I resumed going to the gym but I did find it hard getting changed in public with the extent of my scars. That did make me cry. Four weeks ago, I went skiing with family and friends for a week and this felt like my personal Olympics! This week, I have picked up my tennis racquet again and I even managed to get changed in public. If Victoria Derbyshire can display her war wounds, so can I!
I wore my normal clothes very soon after my op. I wore Spanx type pants for about 10 weeks which provided protection against any zips, etc. You may find however, that some clothes no longer fit well!
I need another couple of ops for symmetry, a new nipple and filling in a divot at the top of my reconstructed boob but I am not giving it too much thought. I am determined that BC is not going to rule my life. I can’t mash potatoes easily yet due to missing that bit of muscle in my stomach but that is as far as BC is going to impact on my life!
I hope you get a date for your op soon as you can then plan. The uncertainty will not be helping at present. Do you do the cooking in your house? How about some distraction activities like filling the freezer? If I can help any further with questions, please do ask away. I will be very happy to respond.
I'm 4 months post DIEP and despite having some complications, I would do the surgery again in a heartbeat.
I'm pleased with my breast shape and despite not being able to feel it, when I do touch it, it feels like a natural part of me. Hospital was the shortest and I have to say, the most difficult part but there are so many people looking after you, keep a postive mental attitude and you will be just fine 🙂
Getting home, it helped to have my husband shower me and redo dressings and pull me out of the car, but I found ways around everything else to regain strength and confidence.
I'm still recovering, I still have brain fog, I still get fatigue, I get massive headaches BUT I have returned to work, phased at the minute and working up to getting there full time, and I have a social life and have picked up hobbies BUT again, this is a phased approach too and I only do what I feel up to at the minute.
What surprised me is how much this has affected me. I thought I could just bounce back into everything and it has not been the case. I've had to learn to be patient and this is what I've struggled with most as I was always on the go before I was admitted for surgery. It's frustrating not being able to do things, not being able to concentrate and not having the same attention to detail I once had, but I've accepted it and I'm getting on with what I can do 🙂
Allow yourself time x
Hi Kathryn, you are very welcome. They added extra skin to my nipple area at time of mastectomy/reconstruction to make me a new nipple later but it died and fell off. My big op was nine hours long, and the new nipple was made with the extra layers of skin that they rolled over and over until it was big enough - that was after my breast started healing.
I basically had enough of ops etc and hence decided not to have the nipple reconstructed. I also had the areola tattoed but that also gradually faded - I chose not to have that done again either.
I am happy with my reconstructed breast, my plastic surgeon did a very good job - still get nice comments to his handywork when I go my yearly mammo on my other breast 🙂
Yes, I am happy that it is all behind me and that the breast is still as they made it - whether I would the same op again, I dont know. Simply because I was quite poorly but the breast itself feels so natural x
I had a Tram Flap reconstruction in 2010. My reconstruction is still lovely and soft but heavier than my natural breast. My nipple fell off few weeks after it was made. The reconstruction is a little bigger than my natural breast. If you any questions then please ask away. All the best and I hope your op goes well.