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 😉
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 😜
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.💞
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
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
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?
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.💞💞💞
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.
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.
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.
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!;)
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??;). 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.
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!
Thank you Jilly Bee...... I haven't got any closer to an answer yet. Waiting for my Plastic surgeon to reply.
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
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 😉
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
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?
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!!!!
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.
I live in Sydney Australia 🙂
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 🙂
Lovely to meet you and keep in touch
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!