It's been good to read about everyone's experiences. I've just been diagnosed with a new tumour in a previously irradiated breast (15 yrs ago). so this time it seems that a mastectomy is the only option. Feeling v shocked. Off to see the plastic surgeon later today to discuss surgery and reconstruction options, so it;s helpful to read what you all have to say. The pump up option seems to have its problems. can anyone tell me of their experiences with DIEP? How long is the recovery time? I may be a bit premature - until I've seen the surgeon I don't know what the options for me will be, but at the moment I can't face the thought of an empty bra cup.
Hi Tinto, Birgit, Shannon, Joseee and all
I am deflated! It feels much easier and now moves and is a bit squishy instead of being rock hard as it was. It is still sitting very high and doesn't look at all like a breast to me when undressed. I think perhaps it may take time to droop a bit. But clothed it is fine. I have to see the surgeon again on 1 September so we can decide if it is ok, needs a bit more inflation, or more deflation. He seemed pleased with it though. We are still talking about lifting the other one, and this time he mentioned creating a new nipple! I think not....... I can get a stick on one for those special occasions......
I also have to have another mammogram on the other breast. The thought fills me with horror. Can do this once but the very thought of doing it again is awful. Mind you, surely nothing could have survived that chemotherapy? And the herceptin (on again for that on Thursday).
Isn't it a lovely day again? This weather is so great it really cheers you up. How is everyone else doing?
As Dilys said, there are many different types of implant. If they have to remove some skin when they do your mastectomy, you could have a recon using your own flesh, like the DIEP, but if this is not possible, then it would be a tissue expander, that I guess would be why they can't give you a full implant.
Some of these expanders are half saline, half silicone, and are already half inflated, so the amount of infation will depend on how big you are already, (I was told it would be a few weeks for me as I am only AA cup, but then I didn't have that implant in the end, but that's another story!) but have a look at the info on the link Dilys has posted.
Whichever you are having, your surgeon or breast care nurse should be able to explain fully why you are having that particular one, and what will happen, so please don't wait and worry, give them a call and find out, you should have all the facts.
The link to the reconstruction booklet Dilys has referred to is http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk//docs/breast_reconstruction_dec06_web_0.pdf.
I hope you find it helpful.
I found all this recon thing very confusing - difference between tissue expanders, Beckers etc. This site has a good publication on reconstruction. Have a look and thing ring your breast nurse and ask away!
Im having a masectomy on 5/4/08 and was told I had to have expander which would be filled over two weeks I hadnt realised nor have I been told that this would be over weeks/months Im upset by this info, it seems Im not getting the correct info. I wanted a DIEP but because of health problems this cant be done but why I cant have a silicone implant Ive no idea.
I am at a similar stage to you, except that I had the becker put in at the same time as mastectomy last May. I get the last however many mls put in next Monday and then wait like you until they let it down. Then we shall see. It is uncomfortable right now as it is getting so full, but paracetamol helps! Not looking forward to the last one but hopefully it will come out right in the end. My port os low down by my ribs. Birgit - what is actually involved when they remove it? I can't really even feel mine.
Let's compare notes as we go!
Thank you for that an apologies for the delay in reading it. I have had another 100ml put in and will have one more before they leave it for a few weeks. I can't wait to have it 'let down' and the port removed.
I notice you were on Tamoxifen, so was I, after 2 years I was switched to Arimidex and I have no problems (weight or discharge) with it.
I had the inflatable implant as well. They do tend to 'overfill' them a bit, as the bob will drop down over a few months. I just had the one op, they did not replace the implant with a new one, which apparently is being done on a few ladies. I just had the port removed 6 months later from under my arm and that was that!! I was offered nipple reconstruction , but as that would have involved further surgery and scars on the donor side, decided against it. If they don't overfill the implant initially, you will end up with a smaller boob on the reconstructed side. I was very happy with mine, no problems. The only thing to add is that if you put on/lose weight, this will make a difference. I put on a lot of weight due to Tamoxifen and ended up with my good boob slightly bigger than my reconstructed one. But I chose padded bras (underwired is fine) and the difference was no problem. Just had to be a bit careful with bikinis, but again, if you look around you can find slightly padded version, which should allow for any slight imbalance.
I had a beckers implant immediately following surger in 2005. This was too uncomfortable so in Nov 2007 I went in for surgery to have what I thought would be a silicone implant. Instead when I woke up I had another Beckers this time part of it is silicone and the other part water and has to be expanded gradually then left for a number of weeks and then reduced in size and the theory is it will drop and look like the other breast!!
I'm due to have the final 100 ml put in this Friday but I feel very uncomfortable and don't think I can take any more.
I would love to talk to someone who has had this procedure and had a good result, as right now this 'lump' is sitting so high, I can't imagine it ever dropping down to form a 'normal' boob. Help!