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After DIEP surgery

12 REPLIES 12
Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Hi, I am now almost 7 months post DIEP surgery. I found i was most comfortable in a button front in a nightie for a good two weeks post surgery. I had a problem with a leaky seroma from the tummy scar after two weeks which took a couple of weeks to heal. I wore a sports bra (with bra extenders) for a good six weeks and 'bridget jones' knickers for the six weeks too. My tummy scar (all 17" of it) made my tummy feel very, very tight and is probably onlt now starting to loosen up properly. My recon boob has felt more like somebody attached a Belgian Bun to my chest for that past 7 months. It has only been in the past few weeks that it has really started loosening up. It feels so much better now but I must have been rather optimistic to think it would be back to normal sooner.
I was really concerned with the way my tummy scar was healing as it felt like a length of rope under the scar line. Apparently this is quite normal and I was told that massage is very important. Shame they didn't mention that to me when i was discharged but it needs to wait until the scar has healed before you can start anyway. I have been seeing an osteopath for the past few months and she has been massaging the scar for me and It has made a tremendous difference. I was finding that i was still very uncomfortable in bed when i tried to turn over as i was having to pivot up on my elbow, sit up and then turn over which was very disrupting to my sleep. I was like this for almost 6 months but now it is improving really well.
I thought that when they said a 6 -8 week recovery period that I would be back to normal then......oh silly me! I didn't work for 3 months and then went back part time and even then I had a nap when I got home from work. It is more like 6 months before I started feeling anything like normal again.
Still - if I had to make the choice again I would make exactly the same decision. X
Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Hi I am seven weeks post mastectomy and immediate reconstruction DIEP and back to normal in the physical sense. In answer to your queries I was advice to purchase  a none wired, no seams bra so the type that is soft and goes over your head and can be bought from Sainsbury, Matalan etc not expensive I think £6 and I bought the XL as there will be swelling to the new breast. I bought 4 as you wear them day and night so easy to wash/dry and not worry. I moved to a type of sports bra at 4- 5 weeks  for additional support and now just got back into my under wired bra - its been mostly about the swelling of the new breast which does increase in size as the day progresses and when you are more active. I did go to a specialist mastectomy shop to be measured about week 4 and to be honest paying the £40 for a bra at that time was not sensible as your breast is so changeable and glad that I had the confidence to say no.

In hospital you need button front nighties or pjs but remember its hot in hospitals so fleecy can be to much as I found out in October. Front fastening as the nurses will be keeping a close eye on your new breast to ensure the flap is working and I was checked 15 minutes for 6 hours then 1 hourly for 6 hours then 4 hourly until discharged. So as you can see front is ideal and ensure the sleeves on pjs or nightie can roll up as you need your blood pressure checked on the opposite arm. Regarding pants I just wore my normal pants as they do not go through the muscles no need for support pants and just wear what feels comfy but the scar will go from hip to hip so you will not want the elastic sitting on the scar either. My tummy has never been so flat and its tight with a new belly button.

Going home I bought jogging pants x2 for ease but tended to wear my pjs in week one at home as I was so shattered. Week four onwards just wearing normal clothes again so its not about buying lots of items. I was up and back to normal mobility by week three and no pain killers. Everyone said I look so well  from week three and that is great but dangerous as it encourages you to attempt more........!!!! Remember its big surgery and I thought about getting to surgery and the process and not about the emotional impact i.e. as I had changed for ever and that came to me about week 5 as I was starting to prepare to return to work and I am working through the feelings now.

I started to massage the scars at week 4 but this will be advised by your plastic surgeon as to when, how and with what as surgeons differ so much.

I hope this provides an over view as you prepare for your DIEP and happy to answer any queries no matter how small as its really important to gain answers to prepare yourself.

Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Can I second this question as I'd like advice too. When I had the mastectomy I wore Royce post surgical bras which were the mot comfortable I could find. I have no idea what size to buy for post DIEP.Also re knickers and clothes..I imagine it must be fairly similar to a C section on the abdomen but not going through muscle. I wonder how long it takes to be relatively comfortable? 

Help please..

Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

I wore soft - mostly cotton different coloure d sports bras bought on Amazon and shapewear - high waist pants from Matalans.  The pants I bought in one and two sizes larger and the bras I went up one size.  I was in bed for most of the three weeks after diep, alhtugh did take slow walks around the garden a few times a day.  I bought button up the front pj's w/bottoms in both two to one sizes larger.  It was suggested to me that if I could find pj's in slippery material, all the better so slide across the bed.  I moved slow for the first few weeks in walking and sitting  up from a lying position.  I could make my son his packed lunch and give him breakfast before school, yet dinner, no not really and of course no driving for about 6 weeks so the school gate was out.

 

This new forum format makes it difficult to read dedicated past diep surgery threads, as all  current questions have been answered at one time or another and those past threads do contain some really excellent answers. I could be wrong on that because I have not really rooted around all that much, yet the compression of all active treatment rolled into one, is not as easy as it was before  - imnsho.  LB,x

Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

hi Buzzy, I was given two anita sports bras to wear,  Anita do mastectomy wear so they are very well designed broad straps and back you may have seen them already, I know its normal practise at our hospital to get these after surgery, Michelle our "appliance" lady is fantastic and comes to the fit you before you are up and about, I seem to remember I put them on once my drains were removed.  I then wore them none stop for probably the next 10 weeks - day and night, you need the support.  With regards the rest of me,  this was the first time I actually lost weight so I continued to wear my sweaty betty legging which have no fastending or harsh waist bands and I did go and get some seam free big knickers from M & S.   Its been a while for me so am a bit vague on the clothes but I got a few cotton vests Muji if I remember correctly could put them on quite easily.  I think i was moving my arm okay, no worse than the mastectomy but it was the stomach that was the killer, got myself lots of good pillows as I could not lie flat for ages and had to sleep propped up and also with pillow under my knees, to stop the pulling.  hope this helps good luck x

Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

HI Buzzy

 

I hope your DIEP goes well. I am considering this reconstruction option after being told I need a right sided mastectomy following 3 unsuccessful WLE's. I also have invasive cancer on the left which was removed during a WLE but because it was 3.3cm and all of it didn't show up on the mammogram they are suggesting a bilateral mastectomy. I do have a big tummy but not sure if I have enough for two new breasts.

 

Please let me know how you get on. I go back to see the consultant with my decision on the day you have surgery so I will be thinking of you.

 

Sharon

 

Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Thanks Gaynor. I've been to Primark today and got some nighties with buttons down the front for easy access! also some baggy jogging bottoms and some big knickers! Good old Primarni as we call it in our house! xx
Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Thanks Jayne that was very helpful. Sorry but I did laugh about the washing the lettuce bit! I think I have some bra extenders somewhere. Good tip. Only a week to go now so I'm stressing right out now! xx
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GMT
Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

I had a pedicled tram flap last week, 20/8/13 and came home on Bank holiday Monday. Since being home I've worn jogging bottoms and tshirt mainly for comfort. havent tried anything else yet but it is very early days and apart from going to hospital this morning for drain and dressing check, I'm not going very far. I've also been advised to wear compression /shape wear type pants. I bought some cheap ones from Primark, £5. They come right up to under bra line and managed to keep them on yesterday till 6 pm! I didn't wear them in hospital. A lady I met at a local reconstruction group recommended Primarks sports bras £4, soft cotton and these are really comfy. I usually have a 36 D but bought 38 D and these have been great. PS said bra should not be constricting so Genie type bras may not be a good idea as I find they can latch onto you.The pants I bought in my usual size. I took short sleeved pj's with me in hospital but wore their gowns for most of the time. It made it easy for them to get to my new boob and stomach and I left mine open most of the time as it made it easier to move in bed. Wore my pj's on day 6 when started to feel more like myself. A nightie may be better than pj's but as I say I didn't really wear much of my own stuff.
All the very best for next week.
Gaynor x
Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Hi Debs

Sorry I can't help specifically with the DIEP surgery but wanted to reply as I too struggle to get replies!!! I had a mx and immediate LD flap reconstruction on the left breast 29 July . I went in Monday and was home weds with 3 drains. I could have stayed longer but hospital was not conducive to peaceful recovery!!! I lived in cotton button top pyjamas in a size bigger than normal and found front fastening soft supportive bras on ebay. I also got bra extenders which are invaluable. The first couple of weeks at home I did barely nothing- only my exercises which are very important. I had amaemia post op so tiredness was a problem- washing a lettuce in week 3 took me 35 mins and I had to have a break in the middle!!!! I am now 4 weeks post op and each day is bettter despite having to have two seromas drained. The actual breast is amazing- such a talented surgeon. Everyone is different but I know I underestimated the recovery time. I had planned on being back at work after 6 weeks but the earliest I am looking at now is 8 weeks. Hope this helps a little Debs.

Jayne xxxx
Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Thanks I never seem to get any replies to my questions!
Member

Re: After DIEP surgery

Hi Debs,

 

While you are waiting for replies from your fellow forum users, our helpline staff will be only too happy to talk to you about the questions you have.  Calls are free, 0808 800 6000 lines open at 9am today until 5pm (Mon-Fri) and 10-2 Sat.

 

Take care,

Jo, Moderator

Member

After DIEP surgery

Hi ladies, I am due to have a DIEP reconstruction on 5th September. I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice about what sort of clothes to wear in the first few weeks after surgery. I have some loose kind of jogging bottoms but should I buy a size bigger to account for the swelling? Were you advised to wear post surgery bras or no bra at all? And is it easier to have button up clothing for a few weeks? So many questions!

Thanks

Debs