Hi, Im due to have a bilateral DIEP in January and was wondering if anyone has found a riser-recliner chair to be helpful- my husband has suggested buying one for me. This is a delayed reconstruction so I will be glad to look normal again. I have actually completely forgotten that "normal" people have nipples- wonder what it will be like when I eventually get that done too!!
Hi Jill. I had MX and LD flap 2and a half weeks ago. I am small breasted and have gone entirely without a bra the entire time - I bought a selection comfy, seamless crop tops from Asda and M&S and a cheap (£12) sports bra from M&S, but when I put them on I found them really uncomfortable because of the swelling - that's possibly more due to having an LD though - possibly quite different with a DIEP? I got some decent cheap button-through PJs from Matalan (£12), though for the first 24 hours I was in a hospital gown so they could keep checking on the recon. Best of all are the very stretchy vest tops I bought from Matalan for just £5 each - easy to get on and off, soft and comfy, and I'm wearing them to all my appointments, as my top is on and off. Bigger breasts probably need more support though.
Immediately post-op, you'll have loads of painkillers, so while you'll be uncomfortable and find it difficult to move about in bed, if you keep up with the pain control it is all manageable. The hospital beds can be raised up either end, so it does help with getting out of bed, sitting up, etc. At my hospital, visiting hours are quite restricted, but this was good as there is nothing better than rest to help heal - some visitors were nice to get though. I have been eating like a horse since my op, but I bled a lot in surgery and became anaemic, so I think it's my body's way of getting the resources to make more blood. Best things I took into hospital (as advised elsewhere on this site) were a small shoe box to keep any little bits and pieces to make them easy to reach, ear plugs! and eye mask esp for night when other people are getting checked every half hour, and ginger cordial, which makes water that bit nicer when you need to drink loads to rehydrate in all that heat - and helps if you are feeling a bit queasy after anaesthetic. Dry shampoo can be a good thing too, and some magazines rather than a book, which is a bit harder to focus on after srugery. Good luck - you'll be fine!
I had this surgery in July and already it seems so far away now. I'm not as 'well endowed' but prepared by spending too much money on sports bras which turned out to be a waste of money. Because you are so swollen around your back and under bra strap they dig in and were really uncomfortable. Plus because they're new they're a bit stiff which also doesn't help. I ended up buying one of those stretchy all in one bras - out of Asda for £4 and it was the best buy - they come in small, medium and large and although a bit sore to lift your arms to get it on it's worth it.
The swelling and bruising are a bit of a fright. I was swollen from my armpits down to the tops of my legs- but within two weeks the swelling was pretty much gone.
I also wondered what to wear for hospital (being like Marilyn Monroe and only wearing perfume to bed usually). Best buys for me were stretchy knee length leggings (which don't look great with surgical stockings on) and pyjama bottoms. On top I bought a couple of stretchy vest tops from M&S which were cheap. The new lightweight dressing gown was also a waste of money as I haven't worn it.
You will be kept really warm after surgery to ensure the blood vessels are dilated so you won't need much to wear. I didn't wear a bra until the day I was discharged - they like to be able to continually assess the transplanted area of the new boob to ensure it hasn't 'died'!!
I think the thought of it all is worse that the reality. I was gobsmacked at how easy the 'tummy tuck' bit was and was back driving after 3 weeks. You get through it - you really do. As every half day passes your body will have made significant progress.
All the best - any more questions - just ask. xx
Just a couple of thoughts Jill.
I haven't had this surgery but prior to my surgery i was wearing 36 E/F (still am but my right breast is currently c cup (with tissue expander and wearing a partial prosthesis). I always wore underwired balconette bras but as you can imagine these are a no go at the moment. I have found a lovely range in Debenhams called Nurture (Maternity range) that go up to 40/42 and g / h cup very soft (no scratchy lace / bits) No wires but very supportive. They are £15 - £18 approx. On the nightie front i got a couple of Gents button through nightshirts. I was lucky i found them on a local market but they are M & S (below knee and button all down the front / Ideal 'cos every Doctor / Nurse / District Nurse wanted a look).
Take Care Gilly x
Hi there Sara,
I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post today. This is not my route of treatment but i am really pleased to read such positive, practical and helpful comments as i have to undergo further surgery early next year. I had mx (June 2013) , following two attempts at WLE (Consultant was unable to get clear margins). I have a tissue expander in my right side which will be replaced by permanent silicone and the left breast lifted / reduced at the same time. I am encouraged that i will be OK having the surgery, i was wobbling a bit and wondering whether not to bother (feeling a bit surgeried out.....), I'd also had Chemo 6 x FEC T commenced November 2012 - February 2013.
I hope that you are feeling OK after your Chemo today and take it easy for a few days.
Take Care Gilly x
I'm sorry to hear this is the second time you're going through this, life is so unfair. I would follow the post op advice you've been given and take all the help you're offered. It can be difficult to let go of control and i struggled a bit at first to accept help. However I gave in and eventually was quite comfortable sitting back while my mum got on with my housework 😉 Just take it a day at a time and rest up to allow your body time to heal and recover. My next appointment with the plastic surgeon is not until june 2014. He said this allows time to complete treatment and time for everything to settle down after radiotherapy which i think should hopefully finish around Feb / March time. I,m not sure how much longer I,ll need to wait for the surgery but have read on here that the wait can be quite lengthy. Best wishes xxx
Hi lilymole - I had a mastectomy and immediate diep mid August and it seems a life time ago now! But I just wanted to drop by and wish you the best of luck. Wobbles are to be expected and normal, I had plenty! The thought of getting the cancer out kept me going and I just looked at the diep as a bonus. Obviously it's major surgery and I would advise you to accept all offers of help and support as you will need a good few weeks to recover. Overall I've made a good recovery and have no regrets. I was in hospital for about six days and had the most amazing care. I did need to go back for a small skin graft but that's all healed now. My stomach still feels tight and the chemo does make my scars hurt which I've been told is normal. But the main thing for me is the amazing result. I am having a reduction on the opposite side, but right now and relatively soon after surgery I have two breasts and a very natural looking cleavage and that makes it all worthwhile. Good luck with your surgery and stay strong xxx