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Are expander implants painful?

7 REPLIES 7
Kaya51
Member

Re: Are expander implants painful?

Hi Greenleaf and Kate. Thanks for telling me about your experiences with expander implants. Both sound very reassuring. 

 

Kate the magnet with no external port sounds interesting. Not heard of that before. I will ask my surgeon about it when I see him.

 

Greenleaf I'm pleased to hear  that you are finding the process not too bad and have no trouble with the port. Yes, I've heard that the silicon and implants are softer than the expander implants.

 

I'm finding everyone on this forum so helpful and I've learnt a lot. It seems that people can have such different experiences to each other even if they have the same procedure. But I'm feeling much more optimistic now I have heard that you find the process fine, as I've previously read mainly about ladies finding it very painful. I have been offered different reconstruction techniques, which is lucky but at the same time hard to make a decision. Hearing about your experiences is a great help. Wishing you all the best with the rest of your treatments.

 

greenleaf
Member

Re: Are expander implants painful?

Hi Kaya - I had an expander-implant put in in February, it was filled half way in surgery, and have had two more fills so far. We're all different, but I've found it absolutely fine - a little tight and achey straight after each fill - but no pain. I still have a way to go though so it might be a bit more bother as it gets fuller. I know many women just sail through this process though.

 

The port sits just under the skin under my arm, and it's no trouble at all - I can even sleep on that side fine. Once the expansions are finished I have the option of keeping the implant permanently - would just need one small procedure to remove the port. I'm thinking though of having it replced with a permanent silicone one, as I think they're softer (the expanders are saline in a silicone shell - and mine feels pretty rigid :-)). The combination expander-implant is a great option if you want to avoid as much surgery as possible - I know of many women who have temporary tissue expanders than then have to be swapped for a permanent implant. Good luck with whatever you decide!

 

Janet x

kate48
Member

Re: Are expander implants painful?

Hi Kaya. My tissue expanders do not have an external port. The port is inside the Breast with a magnet that allows the surgeon to find it and top up with saline directly into the port. My surgeon uses these to avoid the discomfort caused by the external port.
Kate x
Kaya51
Member

Re: Are expander implants painful?

Thanks lankylass. I find it reassuring to hear that you have had your implant inflated three times and have not had too many problems. I am still debating what to do and it is helpful to hear your experience. Wishing you all the best for the rest of your chemo.

lankylass
Member

Re: Are expander implants painful?

I had expander and mesh put in after skinsparing mast l side in Jan. Just in the middle of chemo so will have permanent implant replacement later this year. It has been inflated with saline 3 times and only problem I have is the port being right under my armpit. I have some cording from lymphnode removal which can't be resolved till the permanent implant is in. Other than that, no real probs or pain though the tubing is a bit uncomfortable under the skin.
Kaya51
Member

Re: Are expander implants painful?

Hi Rosie14. Thank you so much for replying to my thread. It was interesting to hear about your experience. I'm sorry you had trouble with infection and hope you will soon be able to have your permanent implants without needing another tissue expander. You are right, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution but I'm seriously thinking about having an implant and am wondering if you could tell me how much pain you had when you were having your expanders inflated?

rosie14
Member

Re: Are expander implants painful?

I had a db mx last July and had tissue expanders inserted. I had to have radio therapy and due to complications following surgery the radiotherapy was delayed. Consequently I had to keep tissue expanders in longer than I would like. They were inflated on about 6 occasions and due to repeated infection on the left hand side had to have one removed a month a ago. The surgeon is hoping that's there will be enough pocket to put implant in without having to have another tissue expander. I am waiting till the skin has healed more before he will perform the swap for implants. The fact tha you had you mx 2 years go you shouldn't get any of the problems I had and it will be less intrusive for you rather than having muscle removed!
Hope this helps. I don't think there is an easy solution sadly. Good luck with your decision!
Kaya51
Member

Are expander implants painful?

I am just wondering if any of you can tell me about your experience with expander implants. I had mastectomy (left side only) two years ago followed by chemo and herceptin. I was unable to have immediate reconstruction for medical reasons. I have been given an appointment now to go and see the surgeon about reconstruction but am finding it very difficult to decide what to do about it.  I have been looking up information about the different options and don't feel I can't face the long tummy flap operation and I don't really want to interfere with my back muscle either. I did previously ask the surgeon if I could have implant only and he said it should be possible as I have not had radiotherapy. I presume this would mean I would need expander implant. I am concerned about this though as I have read about women finding this process very painful. I would be interested to hear about any experiences of expander implants and would be very grateful if anyone could tell me how they got on with them. Does everyone find them very painful or do some women have more bearable experience of them??