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Diep disappointment

8 REPLIES 8

Re: Diep disappointment

Hi Rachael I had reconstrution in my right breast 2010 and on my left breast 2 weeks ago. I no how you feel but it is very early days for you. It easly takes 6 months for the breast to take its shape and start to feel normal. You will also get feeling back in your under arm, it all takes time. I kept a small journal on my reconstruction in 2010 and I can now look back on it and realise that all the soreness, bruiseing and swelling is all normal for such a big opereraton. So just be good to yourself and give it abit more time and I'm sure you will be fine.

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Re: Diep disappointment

To lisa, cubbykins, Ruth, saffronseed and Janet,
thanks so much for your words of support. You are all saying what my mum, friends and hubby are saying and I thought, that I am "an impatient patient"! It's so good to hear that generally things still will settle and soften. I too had vessels linked under my arm which is bound to increase swelling there and is prob contributing to numbness down arm. Isn't it funny that the whole time after my diagnosis I actively avoided this website (denial!) but right now it's been invaluable. Thank you BCC. I will keep you posted about things. X

Re: Diep disappointment

Hi Rachel,
Sorry to hear you are not happy with your recon. I had my diep recon 6 and a half weeks ago and hade a follow up appointment today. I was told that my recon will settle a droliver the next few months. They will see me in 3 months for further review and to plan next steps (I'm hoping for some more volume and a reduction on my good boob). I used to have huge boobs but was always able to get my arms by my side. I totally understand the feeling you are talking about, I have it too but it is getting less like a tennis ball under my arm pit. I had my blood vessels attached under my armpit so this probably adds to why it's swollen and remember it's major surgery we've had and will take time to settle. Have you started to massage the area? I've got some hard areas and was told today that they can take months to soften. I'm not wearing under wired bra's yet, way too uncomfortable! I bough a cheap vest type sports bra from Primark and it's comfy. Genie bras are supposed to be fantastic.
Give yourself some time honey. It really is early days
Best Wishes,
Lisa xxxx

Re: Diep disappointment

Hi Rachel,
Sorry to hear you are not happy with your recon. I had my diep recon 6 and a half weeks ago and hade a follow up appointment today. I was told that my recon will settle a droliver the next few months. They will see me in 3 months for further review and to plan next steps (I'm hoping for some more volume and a reduction on my good boob). I used to have huge boobs but was always able to get my arms by my side. I totally understand the feeling you are talking about, I have it too but it is getting less like a tennis ball under my arm pit. I had my blood vessels attached under my armpit so this probably adds to why it's swollen and remember it's major surgery we've had and will take time to settle. Have you started to massage the area? I've got some hard areas and was told today that they can take months to soften. I'm not wearing under wired bra's yet, way too uncomfortable! I bough a cheap vest type sports bra from Primark and it's comfy. Genie bras are supposed to be fantastic.
Give yourself some time honey. It really is early days
Best Wishes,
Lisa xxxx

Re: Diep disappointment

Hi Rachel
I had my TRAM using 2 flaps on 5 November, so like you am still at a very early stage. I had never thought about the size of my breasts before being diagnosed with bc, they always seemed perfect to me, they got bigger or smaller over the years as I put on nor lost weight, but they always seemed in proportion to my shape. After my surgery I was amazed to see how 'big' my reconstructed breast was compared to my existing one, and like you I do feel this 'bulge' when I move my arm about.
When I first saw the size of my reconstructed breast, it looked and felt enormous!!! However I have been reassured that it will settle and they went for a slight 'overfil' in trying to match the shape and size of the existing breast. This is because it is very difficult to reduce the volume of the reconstructed breast, and it is less stressful and invasive to do a 'lift' on the existing breast. My surgeon did tell me that this would be the case, although I think I had forgotten all about that!! My breast should soften and settle over the next 6 months and then they can work out how much of a lift my existing breast will need and use some fat from either my bottom or thighs to get both breasts as evenly matched as possible.
i do think that even though it has only been a few weeks my breast has gone down a bit and the bulge is not quite so noticeable, or may be I'm just getting used to it, lol. I think we are both at very early stages for us to have a good idea of how are breasts are going to look in 6 months time. I think it would be good to discuss how you feel with your ps when you next see them, maybe they could put in touch with a few women who have already had the surgery. They may be willing to let you see how theirs turned out and share their experiences.
in the meantime, as Saffronseed says hang on in there. X

Re: Diep disappointment

Hi RachelC,
I had a DIEP flap on the 10th November and I have to say already I am really happy with the shape. It is slightly smaller than my other , normal , breast, but I always knew that would happen as I had a small tummy to take it from.
I also have to wear a bra all the time for 6weeks. It does feel a bit blob like as it is firmer than my real breast and has no sensation, but to me after having no boob for 1 yr , it is beautiful. It certainly isn't wide, but a perfect shape.
I do hope it settles down over the next few months and you are happy.
x

Re: Diep disappointment

Hi Rachel - You will find that your new boob will 'settle'. I had delayed DIEP/TRAM a year ago today. After four weeks you will probably still have swelling - like you mine seemed to go round my back almost and I thought it was a wierd shape - but was I was very happy with the new clevage. I wore bra's 24/7 even in bed which supported my new boob and over time it reduced in 'fullness' and is now quite a nice shape, although higher than my other breast which I was expecting - but I am due an uplift to get both boobs symetrical. I am very pleased with the resultnow but it does take time to heal and look the way you want. i wear underwire bra's now too (I didn't at first). You will have a follow up appt with your PS in a week or so and if you are still unhappy with it why not chat to him/her about it then. I thought I looked like Frankensteins daughter for the first few weeks, with scars and everything - but when I saw my PS at my follow up he was so pleased with the finish and took so many photos's saying it was the 'best one he had ever done'! - he was right it just needed time to settle and the scars to heal. I now pinch myself every day as I can't believe that I have my body back. hang on in there xxxx

Re: Diep disappointment

Dear RachelC

I am sorry to read that you are feeling disappointed after your surgery. You may find our publication on breast reconstruction helpful. Page 31 has some information about recovery from the operation. I have attached the link:

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/sites/default/files/breast_reconstruction_web.pdf

You could also give our helpline a call to talk things over. They are open from 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays. The number is 0808 800 6000.

Take care

Very best wishes

Janet

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Diep disappointment

I had a delayed diep at the end of October 2012 and am now 4 weeks post surgery. My wounds are healing well but I have to say that I am really disappointed with the result and wondered if there were any people out there who can tell me what to expect over the next few weeks/months. Basically I was a 34B and now seem to have a D on my reconstructed side. It appears to be quite horizontal with a lot of fat round the side which along with a lack of sensation down my inner upper arm means that I feel I have a ball under my arm and can't put my arm down by my side or swing it. Friends with big boobs tell me this is normal but as a small breasted woman I am just not used to this and don't want it. It feels alien to me. I am comfiest in my sports bra as there are no cups. A cupped bra just doesn't fit as boob too wide. Underwire is just a no no! Am I Being too impatient at only 4 weeks? Will my new breast 'drop' and sag as I'd like it too and will the fat at the side go away in time? My surgeon is pleased and has said liposuction will even things up but to wait til everything is settled. How long will that be? at the moment I am regretting having gone thru all this as really didn't mind my prosthesis. Help And advice appreciated.