73.3K members
1.2M posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

25 REPLIES 25
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Jenny, fingers crossed for you.

I don't remember by surgeon saying anything about changing to a tram flap prior to my op. We did discuss necrosis as a friend had that a few days after surgery and we agreed that as the surgeon is the expert he would do whatever was best for me.

I haven't seen your other post but may be you'll get some answers if you start a thread with tram flap in the heading. Xx
jenny downs
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi all 🙂
I've just posted this as a forum post but though I'd pop it in here too in the hope any of you lovely women I've spoken to previously have any thoughts. I'm feeling worried and unsure now with 3 weeks to go.

Thanks in advance and I hope everyone is doing well 🙂

xx

....
hi there,

anyone out there who had a diep or tram flap reconstruction in relation to:

1) had a diep but was told before the op there was a 10% chance it would need to become a tram flat (taking all muscle) when on the table (although that didn’t happen).

 

2)or had a tram flap as a research of the 10% chance coming true - and how has it been having a tram?

When I originally saw the surgeon some months back he talked about muscle sparing and never mentioned it not being, and someone in a forum mentioned they signed something to say don’t take the whole muscle/s. Now 3 weeks before the op, he has mentioned the 10% chance of taking all the muscle – was anyone else told this and have I imagined it about opting out? I think I put that to him but he was saying they wouldn’t know for sure until you’re chopped open and from what he was saying they would be half way through so it wouldn’t work to stop.

 

Because he was very reassuring at the time today, I forgot to keep my questions head on. Now it’s back and I’m feeling very unsure again. I have a friend who has endless hernias (not from a tram, but I’ve seen the damage), there’s a possibly of me having keyhole to remove ovaries in future so I’m wondering with one muscles there if that would add to the chance of hernias a lot. I also want to build my strength and wonder how having no lower core muscles could affect me.

 

Any folk out there with any thoughts on:

  • having the 10% mentioned
  • opting out of further while on the table from signing something
  • what it’s like having had a tram

thank you so much 🙂

a very nervous & confused,

Jenny x



riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Jenny, hope your appointment goes well tomorrow.

To be honest, the first few days in hospital were really tough and I wondered why I put myself through all this. I was stooping for may be a week. Once I got home (day 😎 I was more upright and able to walk freely around the house. I did get a shock when I ventured outside to walk round the (very small) block - my hips ached!

The healing really improved at about 3 weeks when I experienced a huge improvement over 72 hours. I had a sneaky drive up the road with cushion on my belly. Started driving short non pressurised journeys at 4 weeks (no rush hour driving or time constraints, just chilled out pootling).

I'm now just over 5 weeks post op. Everything is going well, I just can't get over the fatigue. I feel like I'm going through chemo again.

I hope to return to work next week after the 6 week mark, but worrying how I will cope with my low energy. May be I've been sitting around too long and a jolt into reality will do me good.

Belly feels fine now, just a bit of stinging at one end of the scar when I massage it, but uncomfortable tightness had gone. Nice flat tummy, but still have my love handles - hopefully they'll be used for some lipofilling to improve breast shape! Every cloud... and all that.

Good luck with your appointment and Ezzie for your op soon xx
Ezzie1698
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Jenny

 

Just a quick note to say that I am having a DIEP in Nottingham in a few weeks.  Happy to compare notes/provide some info if you need it.

 

I hope your appointment goes well tomorrow - a week earlier and I would have been at the same clinic!  Just a word of warning, watch out for your car parking as the clinic was running over an hour late last week.

 

Ezzie. X

jenny downs
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hello all! So sorry I disappeared. I run a project a la one man band and it’s a very busy time of year where I don’t have any spare brain cells! L It’s SO lovely to read your updates.

Cs66 – you sound really great and it’s so heartening to hear the positivity and looking to the future in your words. I bet the bar fitting was quite a moment. That’s something to look forward to that I hadn’t even thought about J

Sisterlylove - I really hope things are starting to heal better. By the sounds of it, it’s not uncommon for this to happen. I spoke to someone who was having theirs dressed for quite a while and it felt like it would never heal. I do hope it’s going ok and you’re mobile and feeling positive. I also can sympathise with the fluid. After my mastectomy, it just when on and on. I was going in every 2 days to empty a cup of it for weeks! At Sheffield they don’t use drains for mastectomies for some reason (or maybe it’s just that surgeon!)

riversidedawn – thanks for the detailed updates and glad to hear you’re a way on in 3 weeks! I laughed into my tea with your public hair comment haha. I had thought that might be the case. How does it feel now? I still have these visions that I won’t be able to stand upright and the tight feeling will be unbearable (I hated it with the mastectomy). Have the blisters gone BTW?

I’m just putting some questions together for seeing another surgeon tomorrow in Nottingham who I’ve been waiting to see for a few months. I’m in Sheffield and although the team seem great here, because they are so new, I felt like they haven’t answered everything as knowledgeably as I need to hear it to feel a bit more secure (if that makes sense). Not sure if anyone else had the need to speak to another surgeon? Anyway, I feel like I’ve got a few things to go on for it with the help of you ladies – so thank you so much. I’ll let you know how I get on J  

Sending warm sunshine form here today to you all J  (yes, it’s actually sunny!)
Xx

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi ladies, how's the recovery going? I'm just over 3 weeks now and much more comfortable, tummy and breast scar look good, belly button finally looks like a belly button rather than the horrible scabby thing I had a few weeks ago.

Just a little word to prepare other skinny belly DIEPers out there - my tummy is nice and flat, but my pubic hair line has moved an inch or so north!! Guess this is because surgeon has had to stretch the skin so much to close the wound!

Bridget Jones knickers hear we come!
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Oh SL I'm so sorry to hear about your complications but sounds like they are doing everything they can.

I can sympathise with fluid build up, aspirations and breakdown of scars as I had lots of complications after my first surgery.

I had my mx with immediate impant in sept 2014. I came home with drains and my mum leaned on the tube and pulled it out! I went on to have my boob aspirated nearly daily for several weeks. One lot under ultrasound as surgeon was worried about puncturing the implant. By this point i was expressing the fluid in the shower - like milking a cow!

When I started chemo a teeny weeny tiny bit of my mx scar hadn't healed but medics were happy to continue. Subsequently I had infections after the first two chemos. The wound broke down and I could see the implant through the hole.

My surgeon gave me lots of sterile packs containing gauze, wash stuff, gloves plus dressings and Inadine gauze so I could clean and redress the wound at home. She also used Manila honey and a dressing containing silver - thought I'd mention these things for you to ask about in case it helps.

I really hope that they've caught this in time and can repair it next week. Sending healing hugs your way.
Dawn xx
sisterlylove
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Claire

its lovely to hear how well you are so quickly 🙂 things not as great for me!

 when I came home all was well but when I went back to clinic surgeon thought one of my mastectomy scars a vertical upto my spared nipple may be compromised and it is sadly.

i have been back and forth for dressings and a truly horrible fluid is leaking from my breast and today the whole scar is now open but is drying a little more.

i am back in hospital Tuesday for a washout and for the skin to be cut back and re stitched. Other breast is really good.

felt quite low about it just hope this sorts the problem?

Dawn I'm going for my stomach to be drained next week under ultrasound as surgeon tried twice to drain with needle and no guide but it didn't happen as apparently fluid gathers in pockets!

SL x

 

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi everyone, thanks for your update claire - that all sounds amazing! Ive come home today, still sore, propped up in bed on pillows and sleeping bags.

Back to normal after 6 weeks?? I'm dreaming but got to be realistic, I think I'd milk it a little longer to get someone else poo-picking!!

My belly was apparently small - although for me it was huge after my summer blow out and I'd put on 5-6 inches round the waist. Surgeon said he'd struggle with one so well done to your's getting a pair of Ds!

Mine has settled over the week and isn't as magnificent as it was to start with! Looks pretty natural (having had an implant for 3 years) although there is a large dent at the top which may need a bit of filling. But overall I think it's a better matching pair than the bowling ball implant.

My tummy was insanely swollen last week - how was your's claire? I wasn't expecting it as I'd met several ladies with lovely flat tummies just 3 weeks post op. It's still swollen but not as bad - it was so uncomfortable like squeezing into a dress 2 sizes too small and having seconds of pudding!!!

Going to try to get some sleep now.
Cs66
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Just a quick update on my progress post doublevDiep. I'm now nearly 6 weeks post op and pretty much bAck to normal. I still get tired but I went into work for two days this week and today I did all the poo clearing and water changing for my three horses. I am amazed his well I feel as i didn't expect it to be like this. I'm still being careful though and I know I mustnt overdo it. 

My wounds have all healed really well and I'm now using vitamin e cream and scar serum to help. I didn't have any blistering and it's all closed up. I went to m and s today to be measured for a bra as I had no idea what size I am now the swelling has gone  down. I couldn't believe that I am now a 38D! I was originally a B cup! I was slim with a relatively small stomach so god knows how the surgeon managed to achieve that! I'm delighted as I'm tall so thay don't look out of proportion! 

So onwards and upwards. Back to surgeon in a fortnight and also yearly check up,with breast surgeon. Nipple recon after that then tattooing! I'm in a good place now and a lot better than two years ago when I was waiting for biopsy results and the nightmare was starting!

Dawn and SL I hope you are recovering ok and everyone else about to have Diep recon has a trouble free experience,

lots of love,

claire xx

jenny downs
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Riversidedawn, wow, thanks for getting back under the circumstances and for the update. Still very early days but - YOU DID IT!! I'm sure it will all have been hugely worth it long term once you are more back to yourself. Was is cs66 who also mentioned blistering, someone definitely did. As you didn't have a lot of prestretched skin by the sounds of it either, it will be good to find out whether that's something that we've got to live with.

Just a tip to all re fading scars (although it's too early for it now), fushi oils are good quality. The best for scar tissue is rosehip. It's good for aging skin and wrinkles too but defffinitely will be good to invest in a bottle for scars and upset skin although it's about £14. It will last (you could always mix with coconut oil.) I've heard great things about it.

Keep resting and be patient (I'm one to talk!) Hope to hear from you again at some point but no rush to communicate. Hope you've got some audio books etc. xx

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Jenny, yes still in hospital recovering from DIEP last Tuesday. Amazed that once I've got myself to sitting position I'm pretty mobile, it's that 45 degree angle which is the killer.

I've only got one drain in just below the recon boob - quite sore though. I'm in a side room off the main plastics ward, hope I'm staying here as the ward looks Ike god's waiting room!

The recon site is good, some bruising around the edge of the recon. I have a circular patch as rad skin was too thin to attach to. My abdomen is very swollen, red, hot and blistered. Don't know if this is because thin skin was overstretched - can cause blistering apparently. Finding it tricky to keep boob hot, and tummy cool.

I'll post more tomorrow (or later.)
jenny downs
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Thank you riversidedawn and all!! SO SORRY for the delay in seeing this!! I'm a useless tool when it comes to this stuff and I coudln't find the post via my profile (?) so thought nobody had commented. I didn't get any email either so I'm not sure how you're meant to know if people are commenting!

I'm so glad I found it by accident and all your comments. Thanks so much!! Riversidedawn, you will be post op now and I really hope everything has gone great. Thanks for the offer of support too. These are all heartening and reassuring comments.

cs66, that's useful to know that you didn't have a lot of excess skin and It's been ok. Please let me know when you feel like you can stretch as you used to. Does the skin feel really tight still? Also, can I ask, tamoxifen (I think) has given me an odd higher up belly. I'm heard others say it's like looking pregnant as the belly started going out from under the breast area. It might just be that that's where some of us put on weight. I'm wondering if they can get rid of this fat or if it's too high up? I'm also nervous about the sawing through a rib and plumbing in the vessels that way. Wondeing if anyone has had that version. It's a kind of paranoia that zoladex menopause is weaknessing my bone density and the compromised rivb will add to an issues if I fall. 

The surgeon seems lovely but I think she's pretty new and that's making me nervous I think.Although I'm sure her and the surgeon she works with are excellent, I feel like they don't have the longer term insights that a surgeon who's been doing it longer would have. I'm in Sheffield and I've asked if I can see a notttingham surgeon who meant to be really good. They have managed to get me a question asking meet with him but said, either if I opt for nottingham, they can't promise he'd be the surgeon who'd do it. In Sheff they have given me a choice in that one team is DIEP, the other is more muscle/tram. Anyway, so sorry, I'm rambling. I couldnt sleep and it's 2.15am.

Hoping all you amazing women are tucked up in bed (without hot sweats!)
Thanks so much for getting back. Do let me know how you're all getting on. Xx Heart

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Thanks SL that's very reassuring. Hope your recovery continues to go well. X
sisterlylove
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Claire
Thanks for all the info pleased to say my double Diep took place and all is well I had no skin paddles as was nipple sparing and they inserted tiny Dopplers for monitoring so I don't have to go to theatre to have them removed and home tomorrow!
Found it a very big op but delighted with the results wishing riverside dawn good luck for next week
SL x

Cs66
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi SL,
My surgery was about 11 hours. It took longer than they thought as I has scarring internally from a caesarean 21 years ago which had attached itself to the blood vessels they needed to use. I think 8-9 hours is more usual. Don't worry too much about the length of the op. I was really scared too but to be honest once they knock you out it seems like 5 minutes when you wake up in the recovery room! I haven't had any effects from all the anaesthetic and they made sure they gave me loads of anti sickness meds as I was very sick and dizzy after my second mastectomy. No sickness this time and I was up on my feet by the afternoon the day after!
Claire xxx
sisterlylove
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Thanks for replying Claire

Its good to talk to someone on the other side of it, I pleased to hear you are doing well and liking the results!

do you know how long your surgery went on for? So daunting to think of being in theatre for so long...

i will ill post when I can after the op

thank again

love SL xxx

 

 

Cs66
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Wishing you the very best of luck tomorrow. My advice would be to listen to what the medical staff say and your own body. Get plenty of rest and take it easy. I'm gradually building up,what I'm doing as everyday I feel stronger. I've been to,d to wear a sports bra and support pants 24/7 for six weeks. Uncomfortable but I'm doing it. Buy them a size bigger than you normally would as your stomach will be swollen.  My stomach swelling is really going down now and I can really see how good that part of the surgery is as well as the boobs! 

The first night is the worst as they wake you up every half an hour to check the blood supply to the flaps and they wrap you up to keep you warm. That night seemed to go on forever, but from there on I felt pretty good! 

Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes. 

Lots of love,

Claire xx

sisterlylove
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi

 

its so good to hear positive outcomes for diep especially double.

I,m having last minute nerves before double mx with diep/tram recon tomorrow! Can't believe the waiting is over.

any last minute tips on managing a double in recovery would be good 

SL x

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi claire, I was secretly hoping you were closer to me in Bedfordshire! My friend had a single DIEP a couple of years ago, same time I was in having infected implant removed. Unfortunately her's failed so she had LD flap a week later! She has five horses who I help to exercise, I'm sure she wasn't out of the saddle for long. Went on to break her back competing not long after - still out there with a new young horse so there's hope!

Definitely agree that being active helps, I was a fit gym bunny before, downgraded to yoga throughout chemo and rads, only managed to get back to swimming, Aqua and riding since, no high impact jumping around for me.

Your progress is very uplifting (excuse the pun, I'll need one of those too!) I hope Jenny is out there and feeling reassured x
Cs66
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Dawn, 

i had mine done at East Grinstead. We have private medical insurance so I was next door to the nhs hospital. Same surgical team though. Incredible surgeons. I still can believe how good the results are. My scars are tiny thin pencil lines and I reckon they will fade to virtually nothing. I don't have nipples yet but that's the next stage. My boobs don't feel that numb. As I had a double my boobs match perfectly! It's nice to have a flat stomach too!

to be honest the thought of the op and the build up,have proven to be far worse than the reality! I know some people have a tougher time of it and can have complications during the healing process but everybody is  different. I do think the being very active has helped massively. I have three horses and ride a lot and although I didn't really realise it my core strength is good!

Good luck with your op. Claire xxx

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Thank you for your response Claire, that is really reassuring. I'm booked for the op on 29th and also work in a school, thought I was going to be off work til half term but hopefully will be back sooner. I'm also very active with 2 kids and dogs and try to do yoga and swim as many times a week as possible. My weight gain also tends to be on hips and thighs so I'm a bit larger all over at the moment. Hope I can get back to normal weight soon after the op.

Just out of interest where did you have your op?

Wishing you a speedy recovery. Dawn xx
Debbie61
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Claire. I'm a year post single mastectomy and considering recon. Looked at options and more or less decided not to bother. If I was going to do it I would have diep even though it's the most complicated - have you had nipples made, and do you have feeling in your boobs? And how is the scarring? Thanks. Debbie x

Cs66
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Jenny,

i had a bilateral Diep reconstruction three weeks ago. I'm tall and quite slim and have never carried a lot of weight on my tummy. I did try to gain some weight pre op but it tends to go on my thighs and bum rather than belly! However I now have an incredible pairof full c cups which look fabulous! God knows how he found enough fat for them! I'm delighted! My old boobs were a b cup and having fed two children were not as perky as they once were! I was glad to see the back of them too as they tied to kill me!

i had two mastectomies in October and December 2015 followed by chemo and rads. I had to wait a year post rads before I could go ahead with recon.

my stomach was cut from hip to hip and I have a newly repositioned belly button. The surgeon said mine was the tightest closure he'd done for a while as my stomach was not big. The first week my stomach was vey tight and I couldn't stand up,straight but now I can and the discomfort is lessening. I've taken very little in the way of pain killers and im back driving. I do feel it pulling and I'm very cautious and trying to do as I'm told which is hard as I'm normally pretty active. I still have dressings on for another week but the wounds have healed well. Im hoping to be back at work soon after the summer holidays end (im a teacher) and all being well resume normal activities soon after that. I do find my stomach swells if I do too much but apparently that's normal.

no problems with moving my arms and the breast area feels fine. 

We arr all different but I would say my experience has been very positive. Good luck and please message me if you want more info.

lots of love

claire xxx

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

Hi Jenny, can't offer advice on this but can be with you all the way! I'm having DIEP on Tuesday 29th after bank holiday. I have never had a belly but three years post diagnosis, chemopause and a bit of tamoxifen I have enough now to make a small boob.

On doctors orders to gain weight I've been eating full cooked breakfasts, crisps and sandwiches at lunch (instead of salad), ice cream, fish & chips etc on holidays!

Had immediate implant recon back in sept 14 followed by chemo, infection - implant removed - more chemo, expander implant, rads, permanent implant and uplift on good side all finished by April 16. Never been happy with implant especially since gaining weight.

What date are you in surgery? Keep me posted and we can support each other xx
jenny downs
Member

Diep reconstruction if you're thin with a belly

 hi there, is there anyone out there who's had a deip (one sided) who is thin with some belly fat who could tell me what it's been like on the belly area? I 'm down for a delayed diep soon and one of my concerns is that, although I've put on weight and have a belly, I don't have excess skin. I know they need to cut from above the button to reasonably low in order to hide the scar and I'm picturing the tummy being crazy tight as It’s a fair amount of skin. I've never had kids so I imagine the elasticity of it is good but it makes me feel a bit queasy. I remember the sensation of feeling like I would never open my arms out after my mastectomy. Can anyone offer any reassurance help who has a similar build? Thanks so much 🙂