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DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

20 REPLIES 20
angelahilldrup
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi,

 

I am due to be seen on 26th November to be listed for the procedure at Wythenshawe. I am mixed between excited and nervous.  Obviously the waiting list is about 4 - 6 months wait.  How long did you wait for your surgery after having your artery review and being listed.  I am under an Irish lady surgeon could it be the same one.  Any advice you can give on what to expect, what it will look like, what the recovery is like and how you are now would be greatly appreciated.  thanks  angela 

aly3
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi Mrs B,

I too had DIEP surgery on Nov 17- just 5 weeks ago, and when I read your post about back pain, I thought I would reach out to you.  I too felt as though I could not stand up straight for 3+ weeks and have thus suffered moderate- severe back pain.  I see my PS this Wed 12/31, but i could not bear the back pain so had my chiropractor do some minor adjustment on my left shoulder blade to relieve the pain that disrupted my sleep.  It did help.  My PS suggested muscle relaxers as an option, but I choose the chiropractor and it relieved the sharp pain experienced during sleep.

Did you experience any abdominal bulging or stomach distension a few weeks after the DIEP surgery- looks like I am few weeks pregnant after I eat due to belly distension and also  feel so much swelling from within my abdomen region- all pins and needle sensation.  Don't get me wroing- I am so happy with results- breasts look great, but only few weeks post op from DIEP surgery and feeling quite bloated in belly region.  Did you experience anything like that???

Aly3

belinda64
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi.
I am 9 weeks on from unilateral mx and diep flap. At 2 weeks I could walk slowly round the block. Then I had a haematoma so went back in for a clear up overnight.
At 4 weeks managed short train journey into town to see the poppies at the tower. Found the stairs in the tube and station hardwork though.

Drove at 5 weeks, not far though, back at work after 6 weeks for a couple of days. Tiring but manageable, then 3 days which I will do up to Christmas. Back to brisk walking now.
I haven't had any chemo or radio though, just surgery to recover from.
I hope this helps, any questions, happy to answer
Xx

jillybee
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

So sorry to hear about all your problems,riversidedawn.It was a mystery as to why I had all the trouble with my implants.Even had to have the strattice removed at the end.Just me.....consultant had no idea.Fortunately I haven't needed Chemo or RT....
I had bi lateral mx as an old implant was removed from surgery 15 years ago....it had twisted apparently.Altogether have had 13 ops on boobs,hence me being on this board as I think I am quite experienced with undergoing all this surgery!!!

DIEP surgery was the answer,however,did have a "lovely tummy"according to the surgeon.You will find out from your consultant the best way forward for you.
I did not like being flat chested .....though some people couldn't understand why I wanted to go through more surgery.It is major surgery,knocks the stuffing out of you.....but now got real soft boobs!!
Take care and gentle hugs.
riversidedawn
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

JillyBee and Doubletroublf very interested in your stories. I had masectomy with immediate implant reconstruction in September. After loads of fluid build up and 3 infections, 2 cycles of FEC I've had my implant removed on Friday and will have chance if reconstruction after chemo. I'm quite slim with no tummy fat and suffer with a bad back do not sure about DIEP but obviously nervous about further implants. Would you mind sharing stories if your complications? I also have to have radiotherapy. Surgeon has suggested expended after chemo then implant after radio. X
drdspg
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi please could anyone tell me how they felt and what they could do 2 and 4 weeks after surgery and then2,3 and 4 months after..I'm hopefully having bilateral DIEP at the end of January but have to return to work by May 1st at the latest. I'll be returning to work half time for the foreseeable future and wondered what I'll be capable of doing as I recover. I've loved doing creative courses whilst I've been off work but don't know when I'll be up to doing them, and there are some interesting work based conferences coming up but don't know how fit I'll be- can any one help?
Thanks!,

doubletrouble
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Languagewhiz, sorry for not replying sooner.  Husband's been away with work and by the time I've been at work all day and then come home and seen to the kids I haven't had any time (or to be more precise, energy) left for the things I want to do!  I will pm you now. x

 

languagewhizz
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi again Doubletrouble - just wondered if you had received my PM? 

languagewhizz
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Thank you June - I have sent a PM now.
June_BCC
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hello languagewhizz

 

To PM another user just click on their name and on the right handside of the screen it takes you too just select 'Send this User a private Message'.

 

Best wishes

June, moderator

 

languagewhizz
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi doubletrouble. Sorry, only just saw this. Thought I had notifications set up but didn't know about your reply and question. I'd be really happy to talk to you via PM but, being a bit new on here, I don't understand how to do it! Can you help?

doubletrouble
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hello Mrs B and Languagewhizz

 

I am planning to have bilateral DIEP at BRI sometime in January (date yet to be confirmed).  This follows on from a double breast cancer diagnosis last year (6 weeks apart) which resulted in bilateral masctectomy.  I had immediat recon with expanders which went horribly wrong and after 4 ops and 3 weeks and 2 days later I was allowed home with no reconstruction only my flapping skin from double skin sparing mx!!  A further attempt (i.e. 5th) with expanders in January and whilst they are still in situ, I've had nothing but problems with them, spent a week in hospital on IV to treat a suspected infection, they are very painful and now after an ultrasound I've been told that certainly the right side has capsular contracture.  For me it reaffirms that I'm doing the right thing by going down the DIEP route (which for me is a last attempt as my tissue has been severely compromised already) and there is a chance that it will not work!  Please could you pm with the name of your surgeon (although I suspect I know that already) and just wondered if you'd be willing to share any pictures with me?  Thanks for any wise words of wisdom, hints/tips you are able to offer me as I so desperately want this to work out this next time!

languagewhizz
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi Mrs_B. I just thought I'd say hi as I have also had a diep reconstruction at the BRI very recently. My op was on October 8th. My case was slightly different from yours because I had a skin-sparing mastectomy  followed by an immediate diep reconstruction. I was home 5 days later and have been pretty amazed at my recovery. The reconstructed breast is quite amazing - it looks so real! The tummy area is still a bit peculiar as the scar makes a real ridge effect, if you know what i mean, but I'm guessing that will even itself out in time. I am in very little pain to say it's not even quite 4 weeks since my 8 hour operation! The next stage for me is in just under 2 weeks time when I'm going back in for a bit of augmentation to the other breast and the creation of a nipple. Don't quite know how that's going to be done! have you had it done yet? Like you, my care was absolutely fabulous. I can't speak highly enough of all the ward nurses at the BRI. Good luck with the rest of your recovery 🙂

chillipink
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi password I've tried to private message you with name of surgeon and answering your questions but it's saying you don't have enabled for private messages.do you have an email or can you enable so you can receive private messages thanks
Password2
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi I sent you a reply about the surgeon you had at wythenshawe and what your recovery time was like.
Password2
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi I am considering having the Diep reconstruction done at Wythenshawe and wanted to know which surgeon did yours. what was the aftercare like.  How long does it take to get over, how long did it take you.  Have you had any problems with you stomach since ie muscle wise.  Is Wythenshawe hospital in your opinon the best place to have this done in Manchester.  Sorry for all the questions. Please reply.

 

chillipink
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi.yes I'm loving my diep as well.I had it last September at wythenshawe by a fantastic female young surgeon.my scar is just above the pubic area hip to hip but bikini knickers hide the scar.my hysterectomy and c section scar have gone as they pull the skin from the tummy downwards.as they have to re site the belly button.you cant even see any scar around the belly button.I'm waiting for uplift to remaining breast and nipple transfer.us ladies have been to he'll and back but as I see it after this next op will look as near to as I was before diagnosis.don't feel guilty if you want to look as near to as you was before diagnosis it does our confidence a world of good
Mrs_B
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi Annie

I'm so sorry to hear about all the messing about with your previous reconstruction.

Regarding scaring, not gonna lie, the tummy scar is long. It's hip to hip. It runs along, meeting just above the pubic area. This area has been slowed to heal. I think it's due to the skin being thinner there and me having deeper stretch marks from two pregnancies. My scar is still quite red, but the surgeon has done such a good job with the stitching I can already see that the scars will be very neat once I am properly healed.

My new belly button is very neat, and whilst it's still a bit red around the edges, I expect the scaring to be minimal once fully healed.

Scars are funny things. I hated my mastectomy scar and wouldn't let anyone see it. Even though I've in effect created more scaring, I honestly don't mind. I'm proud in a way now of these new scars and look at them positively. For the first time I can understand the idea of being proud of scars. I even don't mind that I'm gonna end up with scars on my 'good' boob when I have it lifted to create symmetry.

My tummy scar is low enough to be covered by my knickers. The scars on my new boob are low enough not to be seen once I have my bra top on.

Hope this helps.
Dianne
Annie22
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Really pleased the diep is working for you. Can you tell me about the scars? Is there a scar around your belly button? And is the other scar from hip to hip under the bikini line or is it shorter than that? The reason I'm asking is that I'm already scarred from a previous op and have been offered a diep to put it all right, but I wonder if I shld just be grateful to be alive. I had mx for dcis. With ld flap recon. Cancer appeared in recon. Then had chemo, rads, Herceptin, lumpectomy on recon. So never had nipple done as recon. looks a mess. I can live with it although pretend it isn't there and never let my oh see me naked. The implant has hardened and breast moved under my arm, so I only wear stretchy bras and threw all the others away as nothing fits. At the end of each day I feel tired as the discomfort is draining, but people live with terrible injuries that I'll never have. So, the only solution is more ops. Replacing the implant wld not work as a lot of the problem is the ld flap. I've got one of the best surgeons to do the new op, but am I seeking a perfection that isn't there? Will I damage a perfectly good bit of my body just to fix a hideous bit? I don't know what I'm asking you really, other than real honesty about the scars. (I am slim, aged 56 and have always eaten well and still run, so I have a lovely tummy area and slim waist. I feel really anxious that this is the bit of me that looks good)

jillybee
Member

Re: DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Oh yes,how I agree.Love mine.Had DIEP end of July,at Chelmsford.Had bi-lateral mastectomy last summer,long story,but,after 8 lots of surgery with failed implants had DIEP,and how fantastic is that.Now got fluid and still wearing my binder and some fat necrosis in one breast.....but,feel so fabulous.Wearing real bras,not mastectomy ones.I know where you are coming from.....had back ache when I got out of bed,but managed to walk upright soon after.So good to get your pits,as I want to sing about my treatment and outcome from the roof tops.Popped into BC clinic today,saw old faces,and put old bras n the recycling bin.That was good.
Serving surgeon end of next week....hope to get fluid drained and see what they will do about had lump in boob.

Love,gentle hugs and brilliant to read your pistol.
Mrs_B
Member

DIEP reconstruction and loving it!

Hi everyone

Thought I'd share my diep reconstruction experience.

I had a delayed reconstruction at Bradford Royal. My mastectomy was in February 2013. I had my reconstruction on 15th September this year.

Firstly, I'm really happy with the results so far. The operation and recovery is hard however. Bottom line though, is I'd say it's all been worth it.

I had fabulous care provided at the hospital and as a part of my abdomen wound has been slow to heal, have been cared for wonderfully by my community nurse.

My plastic surgeon has worked wonders making the scaring so minimal, I am likely to have a thicker scar on my pelvic area due to the poor healing, but am fine with that.

The worst part of the recovery? Not being able to stand up straight for the first three weeks! I found I was taking painkillers for my back more than anything else.

Was it worth it? Before my op I hated anyone, even my husband, seeing my mastectomy scar. I hated my scar and avoided mirrors when dressing/ showering. Now I feel more confident and even though I now have more scars on my body now, am no longer ashamed. So yes, it was worth it.

I'm now looking forward to my next consultation with my plastic surgeon to discuss creating symmetry. I'm 40 next year, and it's the best present I could have.

Hope this helps any of you considering your options.