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Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Ha ha that's funny we should start our own checkatrade consultans/plastic surgeons future patients would be able to choose. When I was diagnosed the nurse asked if I could wait 1 extra day for my results as I would get Mr (removed due to Ts and Cs) if I could. I'm so pleased I did, I only hope he doesn't leave before I'm finished with my check ups. I couldn't ever sing his praises highly enough he's like your favourite uncle who you always want to see. I think with the increase in breast cancer they are all really busy. the consultant who carried out my DIEP surgery  is always rushing about but he has so much work and he even came back from his holidays to hold his surgery. I know there well paid but by God they work hard. if anyone is down Surrey (removed due to Ts and Cs) is a lovely surgeon so polite and very nice on the eye 😉

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

He sounds fab, much like (removed due to Ts and Cs) my breast surgeon. Can't recommend him more highly. But my Plastic Surgeon is one of these types that looks at me like 'how very dare you question me? Do you know who I am?' - I may be imagining it, the guy is super busy and only has a non medical secretary between him and his patients.. I had private health insurance and orig was under a breast consult in Basingstoke, but he only did LD flap so I had to shop around to find my own PS who would do doyble mx and DIEP simultaneously (I just wanted one op, hated the idea of expanders or any delay)
So I ended up having an oncologist in Basingstoke, a breast consultant in Cromwell Road, London, and a Plastic Surgeon in Charing Cross Hospital, London!
Absolute debacle getting anything co-ordinated and I ended up having to co-ord them all to communicate with each other! (distribution of ct scans/bloods/echos done at Basingstoke became a major admin challenge!)
Honestly think I'd have been better supported by NHS. (Could have had it all done at a hospital 15 minutes from me, and had a single BCN look after me)

At least I can say 'you live and learn' 😜
But boy it was all a faff.

We should have something like Checkstrade for doctors and surgeons! That'd be great when choosing a surgeon 😜

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

DN who I had ordered loads of stuff for me to keep at home. I think it depends on hospital/consultant you have, everyone seems to have different opinions on what should be done. the consultants that ive seen at the RVI Newcastle are really good except 1. my present consultant said I could go back to work after 4 weeks there was no chance of that I ended up off work for just over 6 mths. I wasn't allowed to drive for 15 weeks. my initial consultant when I was diagnosed with cancer Mr Nicholson was fantastic I knew everything what was going on, all the treatment I could expect and what could happen to my implants which unfortunately it did hence the Diep operation. I could have a list of 20 questions and he would answer every 1 with explanations. he is 1 of the nicest people you could meet.
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Definitely worth getting wounds swabbed by your GP's dressing clinic nurses... whole reason mine took 2 months to heal was bloody infection. (My neighbour is a DN so she spotted it first, I ended up changing my own dressings as Charing Cross did not co-ord with my local GP so there were no DNs arranged for me... I had to be driven to GPs to see nurses for dressing changes... in the first couple of weeks that was a nightmare (we live on a bumpy old road!!)

Does piss me off that there do not appear to be any standards and protocols in place for such a major op.
(Charing Cross gave me NOTHING. I found that doc by googling!! Showed it to my PS and said he should provide similar, but he poo pooed it and said 'everyone is different'. Well I think we can safely say there are many of us that need clear advice on exercise, how to keep wounds clean, how to spot seroma, and what is 'normal' and when we need to call PS or A&E!)
Such a massive operation.

Be interesting to hear ftom anyone that had the op at Thomas and Guys, they seem switched on there.
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Not getting any dressings etc I have been doing it myself at home. PS didn't seem too concerned when I was there last week said it would heal eventually just seems to be taking a long time. might be a good idea to contact my breast cancer nurse, I have 2 that are absolutely fabulous can't praise them enough. I've downloaded the physiotherapy advice booklet which I find really good I wasn't told to do any of the pelvic exercises so I'm going to give them ago. so thanks for that. it just shows the difference between hospitals.
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Is the wound infected? Is that why it won't heal?
I managed to contract pseudomonas aeruginosa, wound just totally fell apart all around one 'nipple' (gross)
PS, DNs and dressings clinic nurses all stated it would not respond to antibiotics and I had to just keep cleaning and redressing it (just kept getting worse!) Then I copied my breast surgeon in on an email to my PS and he put me on an antibiotic straight away andliterally days later the wound started to close up and it got rid of the infection.
(So pisses me off that one person seems to know one thing whilst 5 others were all adamant antibiotics don't work!!

Are they swabbing you each time you go to dressings clinic? (mine got told off by my breast surgeon for not doing so... again, not all on the same page.)
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

I don't feel low I just get frustrated that it doesn't heal as quick as I wanted. I have scabbed wounds from surgery in April and wound that will not heal under 1 breast from December been told by ps to stop wearing a bra. my body is like a road map cuts across stomach, under and over breasts and my naval area. I've being going through all of this since 2012 on medication for 10 yrs but at least I'm clear of cancer. I'm out and about walking but I need to up my exercise regime. trying to get fit for my next surgery.
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Oh Milli, sorry you are feeling so low.

Mine is swollen only one side too (just to the right of my 'new' umbilicus, about a 4 inch diameter, and is apparently around one of the areas where they tunnelled through my stomach muscle to free up the arteries (bad cough post ip did not help, swear I blew a few deep stitches out!!)
I have no swelling on the lower abdomen on that side.
(The left side I had SIEA version, way less intrusive and zero pain, but that is rare you can get away with it)

Sounds like you have been through the mill having to be opened up again... I was getting to a point where I was questioning the operation, but for me the alternatives were really not an option.
I could not bear mastectomy scars, and I have a bad back so LD flap is not viable as it pulls the muscle round from your back and a very common complication is back pain. (I already have enough problems there!)
Plus I really did not like the idea of scars on my back for some reason. I know we have scars on our tums and around nipples, but they'll fade/ are hidden (even in my bikini last two weeks, I felt 100% confident no one would see them. Would be hard to hide back scars on hols.

Bear with it, Milli... you have had a set back with your recovery but you will get there. (I was saying EXACTLY the same thing as you a month ago... was so pissed off with lack of mobility and swollen tum.
I also had the initial pleasure of my wounds failing badly due to infection. (AWFUL 2 mths post op watching right boob fall apart and desperately fighting to stop left boob and umbilicle following suit!) But they did eventually heal.

I have to wait til Oct for revision surgery (and new nips if I want them... not sure if I can bear another procedure)
I think my expectations were a little too high on this op. Was expecting lovely smaller higher noobs... instead I have gargantuan H cups with are already drooping! (They were originally lovely and pert) I do feel let down, but hopefully he can liposculpt them to a nice D cup as promised in Oct.

Someone asked me if I'd recommend this operation. I said they'd have to ask me in a year! All the stuff I read said recovery was 3 mths... turns out FULL recovery is 12-18 months!
Think having correct expectations (and decent post op instructions!) would have really helped.
We all need to feedback to our surgeons, they need to provide better care.
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

no the physio I was told to do was very basic. I have to lie on my back knees bent and swing them side to side but not to touch floor with knees. I've been told swollen stomach can last for a while, mine is larger on 1 side so makes wearing trousers difficult. worst decision ever to have this type of reconstruction
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Swelling may be scar tissue.....I am going to look at link.I found I was"on my own",as nobod seemed to con

me across persistent tummy bulge .opened up twice since DIEP,and left with swollen tummy.End of the day it is quite uncomfortable .Take care,you lovely ladies.💞

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

 

Thanks, lala, I just had a quick read through and I'll go through it more thoroughly tomorrow. It's much more detailed than anything I got, nigh night, Caroluna

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

This is the link to the full Guys &St Thomas guide I mentioned...great photos/advice from their Physiotherapists (Charing Cross gave me NOTHING!) Print it off, it is brilliant.

http://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/therapies/physiotherapy/Physiotherap...
Hope the link works... if not pm me..
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

I can't post the link but if you pm me I can send you the great guide from Guy's... great for early recovery.

I would not massage seroma. Just wait for your session with ps/ultrasound.
Even now my bulge feels worse at the end of the day... especially if I have been very sedentary.

I regret I was not more active eatlier on (not 'going to gym' active, I mean long wlks and lots of stretches)

Hang in there ladies... I just spent a lovely 2 weeks in Tenerife with my little boy!
I wore a bikini without caring (I am size 16, but the diep has given me a flat-ish tum at least!!)
I was in the pool every day playing water polo/volleyball (really would have loved just to sunbathe and rest, but 12 year old son dragged me off my sunbed!)
Went to a massive waterpark TWICE (all day up steps and down slides on rubber rings, laughing my head off).
Even clambered around a volcano!
It's only 7 mths since my operation remember!
I am amazed (and I had LOADS of complications)
It does get better in a comparitively short timeframe for such a huge operation. I just seem to have turned a corner since my PS reassured me.

You have lots to look forward to ladies. Won't be long now Smiley Happy

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hiya milli

You've had a difficult time... my tummy scar feels tight and uncomfortable and I think the seroma is creeping back. Do you think the physios helped, did any exercises seem to work? I'm feeling fed up tonight, just peed off with still being a bit tender and every time I move my tummy pulls. 

I know it's so minor compared with what many women are going through, but... you know!

I've been taking codeine at night to help me sleep but I know I need to taper down so have cut from 60 mg to 30mg and I must stop completely, I can see how people get dependent on them....

Oh well, tomorrow is another day, night for now, C

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

hi after my operation in Dec 15 I had seromas constantly and had numerous aspirations to remove but they eventually had to operate again in April to remove the seroma. seroma again after this operation but eventually stopped however I have been left with a swollen uncomfortable stomach. very basic exercise was given by physio but no mention of any booklets with exercises
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

 
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi folks

I'm 3 weeks post MX and DIEP. 

I've been wearing light support knickers since 3 days post op, PS happy with my pants... Some seroma in both abdomen and breast seemed to be OK,  last drain out 9 days post op when I saw PS.

Saw BS last Weds and she thought any seroma would go ' might take 6 months', but in the next few days tummy especially felt very sloshy.  I went back the Plastix clinic last Monday and doc tried to aspirate, without success.  Was told I needed this done using ultrasound sound. 

The first appointment when a radiologist who could do the aspiration is next Monday, but it seem to have settled and gone down... 

 

Should I be massaging or can that make it worse? It does seem to be more uncomfortable in the evening and a night on my back seems to reduce it. I've got arnica so I'll take some. Any other tips, girls?

Caroluna 

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Teresa... You are still very early doors in your recovery.
I had seroma (was like a water bed across my tummy!) and had it drained 3 times over a month... on the 3rd time he also injected a steroid.
That stopped the seroma.

I finally got to see my elusive PS last month.. he has told me my bulge is completely normal, and will settle down over 12/18 months (why he could not have told me this when I last saw him, or in response to one of my emails I do not know!! Again, a guide document telling you what is 'normal' would have helped!!! I was given nothing!)

I had the benefit of a cat scan in May that I had a cooy of, so I'd printed off relevant scans and got him to explain them to me.

Short story is: I am fully healed and apparently should have been doing lots of exercise to free off/ break down scar tissue. (Again, he did not tell me this and my physio was worried about the bulge so advised no stomach exercise til I saw PS!!)

Contact your PS for reassurance about what is normal recovery and at what point the bulge will dissipate. Mine told me 12-18 mths.

Don't panic.. ask questions til your mind is at ease.
But from the sound of it it is normal part of recovery and once scar tissue has broken down bulge should reduce.

I'm currently on hols in a bikini in and out of a pool bring very active with my 12 year old! It feels weird but doing ok. It gets better Theresa (I am 7 mths from op date)
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Teresa ,you nay need another ultrasound.I had a couple,they showed fluid that had capsulated,and then loculated.My understanding  now is that as scar tissue,looked like a naughts and crosses board.

Have seen,at my request,in  previous post,lymphoedema nurses,they could not help,and said they could feel scar tissue,then on final visit,one said it was fat.

However,have lost weight,doing lots of walking,and Pilates,Body Balance,and recommenced swimming.My core muscles are good,as is the rest of me,size 14,from a size 16....BUT tummy still uncomfortable,so my thinking us that it is scar tissue,and it does feel hard.

They won't open me up again,so stuck with it.Does get very uncomfortable especially towards end of the day.Wear support wear most of the time.It is disappointing,and what frustrates me is that I have not heard of anyone else having this following the DIEP.Love and gentle hugs.💞💞💞

 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi Jillybee and forum,

 

Just read your post with interest. I had Diep surgery on the 4th April this year. I too, now have a large and uncomfortable swollen area, above the tummy scarline, that is full of Seroma (fluid). My consultant has drained it twice, extracting a litre plus of fluid each time, but the relief is short-lived as it quickly comes back. Your post suggests you think or have been told, this is going to be a perminent situation? I'd be interested to know how you are now? I'm going to be seeing my consultant on Friday and this question is going to be top of my Agenda. I hope things have improved for you.

 

Regards Teresa

 

 

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

My chiropractor recommended arnica.  I said 'what, rub it on?'  She said 'there are tablets.'  'If your body is responsive to them, they may work, if not, they do no harm.'   Off to Holland and Barrett.  Chose the stronger homeopathic tablets for about £7 for about a week's worth.  At the end of the week the swelling was gone.  Don't know if taking the tablets helped, but they may have done. 

Couldnt be bothered with the support pants after that.  They no longer had a job to do.

Member

Re: post op diep flap

We are all having very similar experiences!

I am 5 months post op (28/11/15) and have 'the bulge' around and on the right of my new umbilical.

 

Worsens when:

  • I am seated for long (I am home based and sit all day!)
  • When I stretch
  • If i do not wear support pants.
  • If I wear jeans/skirts that rub across umbilicle area

 

I wonder if there is any pattern to us all here? Any of the below in common?

 

1.Cough: I had a bad cough when I had my op, turned very bad post op and I had a hacking cough for 2 months that hurt like hell when I coughed (did not reach the towel in time one time and i swear it felt like I was being shot! (One of the only times I cried like a baby from the pain. Possibly blew some deep stiches?).

 

2. Drain rub?: I was ambulanced back in to local A&E 5 days after I got home, with excrutiating pain right where the bulge now is... PS suspected the last drain was rubbing from the inside. Drain was removed. (Hard to tell if that was the issue as the pain went when paramedic gave me morphine... his stuff was way better than stuff I had post op!Smiley Wink

 

3. Seroma: I had a lot of seroma in my tummy on that side after drain removed... PS he drained it with needle 3 times, on the third time he gave me steroid injection (the seroma felt like a waterbed... pressed it and it was slooshy... my Bulge does not feel like it is fluid, it feels like a very full sponge. Really uncomfy.

 

4. Lack of Post Op Advice: I was given NO take home info when discharged re post op care/ exercise/ massage/what is normal/when to worry. Not even told how important support garments actually are. (My PS said 'the jury is out on whether you need to wear support pants or not'! I can't help but feel if I'd worn decent support garments non stop for first few months that I would not be in this situation now!)

 

 

My PS is also very lackadaisical about me post op (we don't all have the same one do we??Smiley Wink. VERY hard to get him to see me or take my concerns seriously.

His sec just replied to my email saying 'it's normal, he's not concerned, he'll see you in May as planned'.

Wow, he has not even seen or felt my bulgy bit and he knows it's nothing to worry about?)

 

 

My boobs have formed lumps which is a hunk of fat hardening and an area of very thick skin. Very uncomfy and painful.

I  think if I had been shown how to massage them and how often/hard, then I would not now have lumpy boobs.

I have FINALLY managed to track down a specialist physio who is massaging the lumps out of my boobs, and HE is a little worried about my tummy and has advised me to go to my GP to get referred for an ultrasound first in case of hernia (he has told me not to do abs exercise til I know what the bulge is)

 

I think the Plastic Surgeons need the equivalent of the BCNs, someone we can pop in to see and say 'can you just have a look at this to see if it is something the PS needs to see?'

I appreciate how busy and important they are, but they need to show some empathy.

These bulges are so debilitating, and, like you ladies, mine really does get me down. (and my son, who still does not have 'mum' back after a full year now!)

 

I hate the thought that this is it and I will have to just put up with this feeling now. It hurts and I can't wear anything that sits on my waist as it rubs. I can't exercise properly yet either.

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post op diep flap

hi, I had right diep flap reconstruction July 2015 with amazing results. I did have extra mesh inserted above my tummy button area as my ps said it was all trying to bulge out. I just wanted to ask if anyone still has abdominal pain. I have found that as I try to resume to normal activities like reversing the car, cleaning, getting in/out of bed and cantering on the horse almost impossible. I do still do all these things but find that the following day I'm in so much pain! Maybe it's early days but I was never told that this would be a permanent lifestyle change. Has anyone else the same!

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

So sorry for what u have gone thru im the same had diep flap surgery june 2015 and still have swelling in my stomach li le u its worse when I sit too long or walk it goes rock hard and sore just wondering if its always gonna be like this I su ppose I shoulnt complain im alive
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

 Thank you Jilly Bee...... I haven't got any closer to an answer yet.  Waiting for my Plastic surgeon to reply.

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

I find,now I have had surgery,and haven't got cancer,you are off the radar.I dont mean that unkindly as staff are lovely....however,they have cared for you,and now you are on your own....despite the fact we have complications which are not resolving.I have seen my GP....and she,at my request,referred me to the lymphoedema nurse....

i just can not get my head round the fact I am to have fluid in my tummy for ever.Am OK in the colder months,as wearing Spanx,corsets etc,but in the summer ,am going to be so uncomfortable....

It I s something I may have to learn to live with....but finding it hard.Love and hugs,and I hope you get answers,Tekkie....x

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi there

I had diep flap surgery in June 2015 for the same reason as you, DCIS, fortunately the cancer has not spread, so also no radiation or chemo.  I am very grateful and a little vain to say that I love having a flat tummy, but I have had pain since the procedure that seems to get worse and not any better.  There is nothing to see, all looks fine, wound healed nicely, I was not bruised at all.   I have not been exercising other than walking which is fine, but I struggle to swim, tummy muscles are too sore.  If I cough or sneeze or get up from a lying position it is the worst, but the pain is there all the time.  My plastic surgeon is 800 km away from me, so it is difficult to see him, but I will do if this persists.  My GP says all looks fine to her, but nobody seems to understand that it is awful to have pain all the time.  So I don't really have an answer, but it is nice to know that I am not the only one ;-)

 

 

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Ramone01,it NOT. A common problem,and this is the problem ....my BCN. has never come across it following a DIEP....apparently they had a case at our late regional hospital,once....and was sorted by inserting blue dye and cauterising the leaks.....they tried that with me,to no success...I have fluid in me.Tissue had formed round the seroma and also gone into pockets.

i have now come to the end with my surgeons ,however,asking my GP fir a referral to Lymphodoema nurse.

You may not get an answer,the fluid may go,in a year/18 months,I was told......last month!!! Bearing in mind have had this problem for well over a year already.

It is uncomfortable,I wear binders and corsets ...hate,hate them...😤😤😤😤😤

As you say,end of the day is worse.....

AND,SO,SO SO disappointing,after all what we have been through.Let us know how you get on....hugs.J.xxx

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi I am from Sydney Australia and I had a prophylactic double mastectomy as I was Neva positive. It took me a long time to decide on which surgery I was to take and was told that there could be complications with failure of the tissue but was never told about the complications with the tummy part of the procedure. It has been 7 months since first surgery in May 2015 and have recently had rectification surgery 2 weeks ago. My tummy has been swollen and bloated since the first op. The doctors tell me it will go away but I know it is not right. It is very uncomfortable and seems to get worse as the day goes on. I am to see my ps in the next week and I will persist until they can tell me what is going on. I am glad I am not the only one going through this and they must know it is a common problem. My clothes which are meant to be bigger on me around the tummy are tight. Something is wrong I know that. Would love to here from others as well.
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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Well, I have a bulge on the right side but really don't feel bloated.  I have an issue with my abdomen in general.  I got a cold yesterday and began coughing, etc., and when I blew my nose I caused my belly to do flip-flops for the next 15 minutes until it could calm down.  I got airsick and threw up in the airport restroom too and again my belly didn't calm down for 1/2 hour or more.  The cramping is very painful and savage.  I had a diep flap for breast reconstruction last Feb 2015 here where I live in Anchorage, Alaska performed by a highly rated surgeon.  I was so worried about hematomas, obstruction or scar tissue and what not that I even had a colonoscopy a month ago (all fine) because I was concerned about the bulging.  Sneezing, coughing, vomiting or just whatever engaging the abdominal wall is causing me real concern.  Anybody out there experiencing the same?

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Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Well,back go from seeing consultant who did my DIEP summer 2014.....had seroma in abdomen,drained twice,had 2 lots of surgery....still have tummy bulge......The surgery was done by my surgeon at local hospital,who did my mastectomy,but wanted him to see tummy.

He said report from ultra sound showed no abnormalities.

looked at me,no hernia...which I knew.

said it was body fat,moved down,due to surgery......

my ulrasound atually showed fluid and tissue,by the way.

said for me not to have any more surgery.....however,I do hope I get one more visit to my surgeon at local hospital,just to get closure....she was thinking of drains and steroid injection,and she still may down that route.

My BMI is 28,so will endeavour to get it down to 25.

so hoping for flat tummy....so,maybe there are others with a tummy sticking out...will have to look at Spanx etc.

hugs to you,Sandybugduck.....let me know how you get on...I wish I could stick a photo on here!!!!

xxxxxx👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩

 

 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hello,

you need to take care when you start back at the gym.

No chest exercises for at least 6 months and then be very carefull. Listen to your body, if you have any pain at all in your chest stop and do something else.

Im just really getting back into chest exercises now confidently, 11 months after my op... push ups and   bench presses put I can still experience some sharp pains so stop when I do.

 

For me I do a lot of free weights ..squats, lunges, curls, deadlifts, one arm rows, step ups, bench press

Machine exercises include seated row, lat pull downs, shoulder press, pull ups, hanging leg raises which I love as it really helps stretch my tummy.

I do interval training so I get a good cardio work out at the same time as Im not into long hours of running on a treadmill.

 

I recommend, if you can, finding a good trainer and explain about your recon surgery.

They can help put a program together, my guy is wonderful and very supportive.

 

Also get some really good tight tights that support your tummy.

 

Good luck

 

 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi, recent diep July 21 st flat stomach but still feels like it's going to rip open every time stand up.Managing to swim but would like to start at gym soon what exercises would you recommend?
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hello Jillybee

I live in Sydney Australia Smiley Happy

As this is still a fairly new operation here there are no forums I have found with anyone going through the same issues.

 

Fortunately for me I don't have quite as bad symptoms as you seem to be suffering.

 

I don't like the sound of steroid injections, they need to be so precise where the inject you. It would really need to be a last resort!!

 

I still wear my binder mostly at night, or really whenever it just feels too uncomfortable, as it really helps with the swelling.

The best control knichers are my Spanx ones but there are many on the market. Its just to really keep everything as tight as you can bare. We can also get tummy control tights so people will never know whats happening under a long t shirt or sweaty in  the colder climate.

 

I tried pilates but really didnt get much out of it I prefer doing interval weight training, makes me feel so much stronger. And walking, I love walking which for you is a problem living in the UK with your weather. My partner in English so know all about it Smiley Happy

 

Lovely to meet you and keep in touch

Sandy xxx

 

 

 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

HELLO,HELLO,HELLO....sandybugduck.....welcome to this solitary club,where I am the only member...and you look as if you have joined me....I had my DIEP July 2014.Seroma,drained twice,2 operations,still have tummy bulge....it has capsulated and loculated.....gone in to pockets.

referred back to my Plastic Surgeon...as went back to my consultant who did my mastectomy Seotember 2013,failed implants,hence DIEP.

as you say,we really wanted something good out of it,having had Breast Cancer....all so disappointing....with a capital D.

what tight control panties do you wear?

I still wear my binder from my DIEP......

Last  port of call for me,is drains and steroid injection....not too hopeful,but so hard all of this.Only going back to see my plastic surgeon for sort of second opinion.....not that I don't trust my oncoplastic surgeon....

where do you live?i am in East Anglia.

I still dream of a flat tummy,but as you say,so uncomfortable Am going to try swimming again,tummy drags when outstretched....do Pilates,TaiChi etc and walking.....can't lay on tummy though.

As you say,we are going to have to learn to live with this,floaty clothes,and binder off and PJs on....like as I write this.

hugs......xxxx

 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

I had Diep reconstruction May 2014 and also had a large bulge on my right side. It was really unsightly so uncomfortable, felt like I had a soccer ball in my tummy.

My surgeon really had no idea what it was so I had scans and an ultrasound which showed nothing.

When I went back in for the second part of my recon surgery in Dec 2014 my surgeon reopened my tummy scar and had to restitch where he said the tissue had stretched thus giving me this bulging.

I was excited for the first few weeks, it seemed like I was on track to have this flat stomach I had hoped for because really after breast cancer we want some good to come out of it.

 

Sadly 10 months later It's still swollen just above the pubic area, and it's feels like a really blown up balloon, you push it in and it bounces back. It is also worse after eating or when I need to go to the loo, or when sitting for long periods of time.

 

At my last check up in May my surgeon said he thinks its nerve damage and whilst it wont get any worse it will never get any better either.

I am very active in the gym 3 - 4 times a week and no amount of ab work makes the slightest difference.

To help, I only wear tight control panties otherwise it is just too uncomfortable.

I hate it... but I do love my boobs and Im alive so I have learned to live with the constant bloated feeling.

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Carolec how I sympathise.I am seeing my surgeon next month about my  persistent seroma.Had a letter today from another consultant offering me a scone opinion,if needed.I suggest,if unhappy,maybe you can do the same.My poor tummy is so big,and incomfortable.Despitebwearing my binder......love and hugs.....that's all.....J.x

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi I had a DIEP flap in 2010 but have never posted on here before about the tummy problem.  I have an abdominal bulge on the left side that became apparent not long after the op.  I felt as if I was hitting my head against a brick wall as no doctors had a solution - I wasn't told to massage or exercise.  I then had a small op to drain the fluid and have a mesh put in but a few weeks after the op the cavity filed again so it was back to square one.  I also had a scan for a hernia which I did not have and was offered an exploratory op but by that time I had had enough!  I still have a "tight cord" feeling on that side but have learnt to live with it. The bulge only is noticeable when I stand as when I am lying flat it is virtually the same as the other side.  I didn't realise that there were many people with the same problem as I have always felt that the doctors thought I was an oddity but it just goes to show they should make more of this problem.  I think the sooner after the op you deal with it the more likely it is to resolve itself.  Make a nuisance of yourself with those doctors - I don't think I did enough - and good luck everyone! Xxx

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Shebyrd.....this is an old post.How are you? I still have swollen tummy,aspirations,ultrasounds,2 operations.....still there,has capsulated and gone into pockets....just uncomfortable ....a year after my DIEP.....no one here appears to have the same problem.....gentle hugs....
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Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi shebyrd

 

Welcome to the BCC Forum.  I hope other members will soon see your post and come along with some replies.  (You have posted on an old thread so the original contributors may not use the forum much any more)

 

You might also find it helpful to phone our Helpline for some information and support.  The opening times are 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays.  The number is 0808 800 6000

 

Very best wishes

 

Janet

BCC Moderator

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

A month following the diep flap surgery for breast reconstruction I developed a round ball size area on my left above the scar. First thought hernia. It got larger. After cat scan I was told that my diep fascia had weakened and fat cells are in that area and is getting larger. The fat cells are normally below the top skin and the superficial fascia. The deep fascia is very dense and strong to protect the vital organs. I have found no way that fat cells can get below the diep fascia. I'm told it is dangerous to have them there. I was told they never cut into the diep fascia but know that not to be true for they cut into my muscles near my groin to take blood vessels to use in the reconstruction of the nipple area. Why does the hospital read me the reports as it occurred in the hospital and the doctor has now given me and my husband separate stories. I also had two pulmonary ambolisms with respiratory heart failure According to what I was read off the hospital records and have been given another different answer. I need to find out what this now very large buldgue is and what harm it can cause if not rectified. It has been a year since reconstruction and I am getting worried.
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Reading all this thread.I put something here a few days ago,but received no replies.I am now 6 weeks post op,delayed bilateral DIEP.Have fluid in tummy,and 600 Mls was drained last week,and going back to hospital tomorrow.I hope they drain more off.

Also have suture stuck inside a breast,with a small sinus,so,leaking.Supposed to dissolve,but how long will that take? Thankyou Neets70 for finding this thread.At least I am not the only one with problems.

I would live to know his the "class of 2010" have got one in last few years
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi I haven't used a forum before so hoping im commenting in the right place.

I had diep recon on my right breast on March 28th this year. I had DCIS and treatment was to just get it all out. Fortunately nothing had spread so I've not had to have chemo or radiotherapy. I feel so very blessed that it was caught early.

I'm on here because I've just been in so much pain since my surgery and today it feels dreadful. The worst pain is my abdomen and I'm wondering what on earth they did to me for it to be this painful. I have asked my ps and he told me is was very loose inside and they had to tighten me up a lot!! I've had three children and they corrected my muscles that hadn't joined back up after my pregnancies. I was grateful at the time but I'm wondering if this has caused me the extra pain. My abdomen is also swollen today from my tummy scar up to my ribs. I've only noticed the swelling today and I don't think it's been this bad before. I have tried to get hold of my plastic nurse but she is in surgery all day and can't call me till tomorrow.

Has anyone experienced anything similar to me and experienced such a prolonged time of horrible pain.

Sometimes it feel like I have thousands of pins pricking my tummy and Its unbearable to touch
My gp thinks that this is nerve pain and has prescribed me pregabalin which eases it a bit but makes me sleepy. I also take co codomol which helps a bit but also makes me sleepy! I have to take pro plus to keep me awake so I can function normally. (I'm not a coffee drinker!)

It's been 5 months since my surgery and sometimes I just wonder if this will ever end. I'm wondering if this is normal or not and whether I should be making more of a fuss with the PS?

Any ideas, comments, advise VERY gratefully received!

I feel so blessed to be cancer free but boy this is difficult!!
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

I had a Diep reconstruction 3 and a half months ago. The recon boob is doing fine but the tummy scar feels uncomfortable on one side. It feels, as you describe, like a piece of rope underneath. I saw my PS to see if I would benefit from some physio but to be honest I got the feeling that he felt I was overreacting.
I do feel that the problems with the tummy scar are treated almost as collateral damage once the boob is sorted.
I still find it can be uncomfortable sleeping at night as I need to almost sit up to turn over.

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi there
I have exactly the same feeling as you bloated from below my breast to my scar. It also gets worse when I eat. What happened in your case and did it calm down of its own accord

thanks
nicola
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi
I had diep last October and still have tummy discomfort; very tight and don't feel I'm standing upright. I also have swelling to the back of the scars. I have not put on weight, it is a distortion and the bruising is still there .. very feint, but visible.
I cannot understand why we cannot find any guidance regarding physio or exercise. There are many of us out there with similar issues.
I want to take control of my healing and recovery, but cannot find any guidance.
And, just to cap it all, have frozen shoulder Smiley Sad Smiley Happy
Any exercise programmes or physio advice would be great.
I do walk my dogs regularly, so probably do around 10/15 miles per week.
Thanks for the rant
Gill
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

hi

had diep 5 weeks ago saw ps today and breast looks good but have small swelling on my left side just above the scar he said massge it can anyone tell me what I should look out for please alos want can i do now has ps said just take it easy still and rest but would like to do little more around the house etc

sue

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi ruby

My new DIEP breast moves very naturally and does not flatten at all. If anything it is quite a bit firmer than my own breast nd sits a bit higher now than it did originally. My cleavage looks really good and is very natural though.

Jacqui

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi i am considering a diep after 4 failed inplants they look awfull with flattening when i move my arm and flex the muscle can i ask does this happen when you have had a diep i live in west yorkshire but going to a hospital in Salford for opinion.RubyRuby.

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling 6 months after diep reconstruction

Hi
I'm new to forum, but feel very reassured reading everyones comments.
I had DIEP 8 weeks ago July 21st, new boob is fine if a little bigger than i would of liked,I've never been in any pain, but do have lots of other sensations going on,a couple of little plastic staples have popped through tummy scar, but Ps said not a problem,tummy looks good but i still can't get into any of my pre Op clothes, my PS seemed very surprised at this & checked me again on Friday & assured me theres no fluid. I didn't drive until a week ago & am preparing to go back to work but have no idea what i'll wear!