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ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

15 REPLIES 15
meggiemay
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

huge hugs ......thinking of u 2morrow xxxxx

misha
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi Karen,

Glad to hear your positive recon result. I'm due to have expanders swapped to permanent implants after Easter and wondering if it's all worth it - so it's good to hear of good outcomes.

Your words -
"if it wasn't for the scars and there being no nipples you would not be able to tell"

made me think how surreal the world of breast cancer is. Who of us would have imagined all this before we were diagnosed?

Best Wishes
Misha

karenr
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi

I had a bilateral mastecomy Nov 07 with immediate recon using expander implants. I had to try and get as much expanding done as quick as possible before starting radio. I was very small and very lobsided. after radio my left side expanded ok but the right side expanded very high and pushed under my armpit and yes it was painfull and became very hunch over in the process. I found the expanders very painfull and hard, the area around my port was also sore to touch even to put creams on. In Sept08 as recommended by my surgeon i agreed to have my right expander replaced with another shaped one using the fat transfer method and had my permanent implants put in in Dec98 with some more fat transere. I have to say it has been worth it. They feel like me. My scars have healed to a very thin pale line (hardly visible) and if it wasn't for the scars and there being no nipples you would not be able to tell. my left side is slightly larger than my right but not noticable. Saying that my right used to be abit bigger than my left before the bc. i get some nipples on June 2nd.

Karenr

maxine743
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

i am due to have a reconstruction at the end of the year and am down for a diep but now am getting a bit scared of that big op and yet another scar. i have had a left mastectomy but am having a right mastectomy at the same time as reconstruction. does anyone have any experience of this op with the diep or the tissue expanders. and also i read the tissue expander needs more than 1 op, can someone explain. i am confused and see the surgeon in two weeks so need to make up my mind fast.

meggiemay
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Mary howz it going with the seroma?
Mine took 6wks to seetle dwn but was a complete pain at the time every other day to hospital to be drained!!! But youll get through it...
big hugs
m

meggiemay
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi

Nice to see new kindred spirits.... I am not sure yet what is going to happen! Still having procedures to blow me up.. They gave me a few weeks rest from pain they deflated one side - we continue again monday. really eager now to continue! lol.The implants I have are silicone withe the saline on the outside.. My gap in the chest is rather wide but whether this gets smaller with blow ups I do not know. With rippling..one side is a little but am not really concerned about that at the mo..we will see what more blow ups bring- I may consider what you are going to do at a later date if I am not happy with the final results but still got quite a few procedures left to do-I am just hoping I can get bigger than I was before all this B to C (got to have some perks to going through this lol)we will have to see what the blow ups bring! Silicone implants have been mentioned by my surgeon for future date if I am not satisfied. I am not sure about waiting lists in my part of the world..but I am sure you wont have to wait too long for yours. With yours did you experiance any problems?

big hugs
m

misha
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hello all,

I was glad to see a discussion on expander implants. I had bilateral mastectomies in May last year with immediate recon using expander implants. The surgeon fully inflated them (400ml each) in the same operation. It was pretty awful for the first month as I was so tight I could barely take a breath. The discomfort has eased but I still wake up several times each night and find it difficult to find a good sleeping position. I can clearly feel the ports which are hard and the surrounding area is tender - particularly galling as the ports have never been used!

I found the exercises on this site were helpful and later joined a yoga class. My next step is to have the expanders replaced with permanent silicone implants - I'm on the waiting list. Not looking forward to more surgery and I only hope the result will be better.
One expander has rippled on one side but I've not been too bothered about the appearance as I see this as a temp stage - Meg are you planning to have the expanders replaced - some people keep them permanently just having the ports removed when fully inflated. Seems different options are offered at different hospitals (I'm in Norwich by the way).

This is a longer journey than any of us deserve.

Best Wishes
Misha

doodle32
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi Meg,

How are you? Hope your ok.
Ive had my op everything went ok. I came home yesterday afternoon, Im a little sore but not to bad.

Take Care
Leslee x

Hi Mary,

Ive just been reading your profile, i see you have Brca1, i have Brca2. I see on your profile you are having your ovaries out was that your choice or advice from doc. I decided to have everything taken away.

Take Care
Leslee x

IzzyC
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi, I have had double mastectomy with tissue expanders and same as you been in a lot of discomfort, had a seroma drained a few times and admitted with infection of left breast.
I think things are getting easier with less discomfort but it's almost been 6 months. I try however to do my upper limb exercises and found a good book on Amazon called the Breast Cancer Survivors Fitness Plan and it has exercises for after mastectomy/lumpectomy and the different kinds of reconstruction.

Mary

meggiemay
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

my thoughts are with you for friday babe......wishing u a speedy recovery let me know how it went.
thinking of u
m XX

doodle32
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi Meg,

Good luck for monday, i thought same about going one size bigger lol. I know what you mean about being active i used to go gym with my sister but had to stop. I took up college doing computers got to try and keep mind active if nothing else. I really hope things start to settle down for you, the thought of more ops is horrible isnt it . Ive got one more to go, going for hystrectomy next friday, 27th. My boob on left did ripple but it fills out when its full although i can see my port tube, but my surgeon said it will go when they take port out.

Take Care

Love Leslee x

meggiemay
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

cheers for insight

i had both nipples removed.one was pointing outwards after lumpectomy and they were both very dominant after having my son..thought like boobs easier in the long run..nipples were always pertruding bras/tops.. so it will be fantastic to have life without the worry lol..i like u wish to be c cup 1 size bigger..no point going through all this without some perks lol...I have taken it really really easy as i am due for next procedure monday...still have weekend must try and take it easy but its so hard as normally very active!..do not want to remain one size bigger than the other for much longer and really want to be finished..I like u am considering the nipple procedure afterwards but if these implants dont improve with end couple of blow ups might have to consider another op with the silicone ones.(have yours rippled at all?).please keep in touch luvly to hear from u ...its a wierd and yet wonderful experiance to relate to someone whos had the same..much appreciated.

keep smiling
m xxxx

doodle32
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi meg,

Glad your feeling a little better. Ive finished being blown up now i used to be a b cup i went to a c. My right side is fine the muscle they used from my back gives it a more natural look and feel, I had my nipple removed from this side so my scar is were my nipple used to be. My left side is harder and was more uncomfortable when being filled than right side, my surgeon said it will soften over time, i kept my nipple i wish hadnt now cos it points a little to the left, my scar on this side is at the bottom of the breast and a bit to the left. The gap between them isnt bad. When im dressed no-one can tell you wouldnt know which is the result i wanted. I go back in may to have my ports removed and nipple tatooing.

Take Care keep in touch

Love Leslee x

meggiemay
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

thanks leslee

Its a longer road than I thought- spent last 5 weeks with one side deflated due to pain..bit lopsided! i think at last it is improving muscles were completely in spasm. My ports too get on my nerves when trying to get comfortable.. When you were having it done did you find that one side was better than the other.. One seems to be more towards the armpit/gap in middle quite wide..if so does this improve with blow ups/size? I know they will never be the same again but have not spoken to anyone who has the same. Good luck with your next op..I think a wise and brave decision..mine was more of a preventative as one side was cancer and other large pre cancer.
keep smiling
meg

doodle32
Member

Re: ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Hi meggiemay,

I had bi-lateral masectomy and recon done in dec 08 i to was fitted with expanders they took muscle from my back on right side but not on left. Ive just finished being blown up i have to say i didnt find it to bad but they only put 50mls each side at a time i dont know how much they are putting in you but that way your body has time to adjust. I do sometimes feel uncomfortable on my left side because there is no muscle there, i can feel the ports too. You have to remember how much your body has been through it can take a long time to heal. Im hope someone comes along and gives you some advice im sorry i can only say at your next blow up app just mention it. Good luck hope you feel better soon.

Love Leslee x

meggiemay
Member

ADVICE IF ANY PLEASE-1 stage expanders

Had double mascetomy end nov and expander implants..the ones which are silicone inside with the saline on outside..in process of being blow up!!! BUT SO MUCH PAIN....mainly around armpits/chest and shoulder blades..if i do any normal physical activity.(cannot spend rest of life doing nothin)... ANY advise appreciated as I know so many have saline or silicon but with these implants i have not read about.... your views/where u r appreciated please...keep smiling