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How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

7 REPLIES 7
scone
Member

Re: How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

Hello Ladybird Dancer

I had LD recon without implant in Oct 2011. I resumed full exercise programme 3 months post op.
Like you, I am only slim so I have had 2 fat transfer operations to fill out the reconstructed breast, I was given over 12 months to put weight on, I had my 2nd fat transfer last week and they managed to get 100ml out of me!!
I have never felt my arm movements have been impacted at all by the surgery.

My PS has donhie an excellent job re: scars, he attached the ellipse shaped skin graft from my back and transferred to breast, the top line of stitching is always something I hate, it was done by my surgeon during my mx and he stapled rather than stitched me, but my PS stitched the lower edge of the skin graft and it's barely noticeable.
I think this was the best operation for me as I did not want an implant and didn't have the necessary fat fof the DIEP recon
Good luck

x

RevCat
Member

Re: How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

Like truffle shuffle, I have excellent range of movement and strength in my arm. I do exercise my arm/should quite regularly to help keep it supple (though it is coping really well without its stretches as I am not allowed to do them at the moment whilst my good side heals up from reduction surgery). I was told never to lift anything over around 5kg/11lb with that arm on its own (lymphodema risk) but can use it perfectly normally in conjunction with the other hand for far heavier loads. Similarly, I was told when exercising with weights, never to use anything over 1.5kg/3lb in that hand when lifting above shoulder height. There is a lot of conflicting info around, but I know women who had LD flaps who swim, ride horses and/or motorbikes, and do all sorts of exercise regimes. I am not a good or especially keen swimmer, but can swim umpteen lengths of a pool with no ill effects. I was driving six weeks after my surgery no bother at all. Most of the time I don't really think about my arm/shoulder at all.

I suppose I should say that in the early days there were some strange sensations and even a bit of twitching, because the muscle still thought it was in my back, but they dimished pretty quickly and now rarely occur. Sometimes if I am bathing/showering I do notice the muscle contract as I use my arm, but it does not hurt and would not be noticeable to anyone if I was dressed.

Hope this helps.
truffle_shuff
Member

Re: How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

Hi, well after initial period of getting over the operation, no I have no probs with lifting , pushing or pulling, but I am not going to over do it, for fear of lymphodema, and some times I feel a slight pulling on the scars. however I do now feel much stronger in body as I do more exercise , yoga is brilliant and also helps with the suppleness of scar tissue. your body will set your limits . To be honest my worse time for restriction in movement was when i developed frozen shoulder, my own fault, I did not move enough, frozen shoulder is agony, but I have full range of movement.

Oh and like Revcat syas scars are not whopping big things asin past, its amazing , they are just thin lines which were held together on the outside with glue, not like train tracks of old.
keep well x

rosebud50
Member

Re: How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

thank you for sharing your experiences. Can you comment on your strength to push, pull or lift after this? (Excluding caution for lymphodema. ) do you notice a change to movement?
( the surgeons say no one notices but my brain has other ideas)
thank you for sharing.
RevCat
Member

Re: How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

Hello Ladybird-dancer,

I am two years on from an immediate LD reconstruction (no implant) and like truffle shuffle it has been a great success. Because I had quite large breasts, my plastic surgeon told me the recon would be smaller, and it is. I had radiotherapy (25 zaps) which evidenlty can cause any reconstruction to harden, but mine is soft and a really good shape. I recently had my healthy breast reduced to make it a better match for the reconstruction but a lot of people have no need or desire for that. I doubt you would have any issues with asymmetry.

I have identical and full movement in both arms, helped by keeping up some of the exercises every day. To be honest sometimes the scar on my back feels a bit tight, especially in cold weather, but there is no pain and it eases with gentle stretching. I tend to be a bit careful with that arm as I had axilary node clearance, and reptetitive movements or heavy lifitng can trigger lymphoedema. The scars are mostly hidden (my surgeon aimed to make incissions that would be hidden by a bra) and are just very faint lines now. My plastic surgeon told me to keep tape on my scars for three months, and then to moisturise and massage them... it seems to have paid off.

Does your surgeon have any photos s/he could show you? By seeing what it might look like might help you decide.

You will make the right decision for you. take care and all good wishes.
truffle_shuff
Member

Re: How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

Hello . lady bird Dancer
Well. 4 years on from LD................ I hardly notice the difference, im just so thankful my brain told me to go for it, muscle boob, feels and looks the same as other side, scars , well no one notices them under bra line, as for movement, I swim, do yoga and most other things , no one would ever know. I did have frozen shoulder after but a few physio visits got that working.
Hope you soon reach a decision which is the right one for u, im so thankful, to who ever , what ever led me to have the ld done, as I am the mardest person on two legs .

take care you will find a way through this period. x

Louise_BCC
Member

Re: How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

Hi Ladybird-dancer

Firstly, welcome to the discussion forums, I'm sure you will find them a great source of information and support.

Whilst you're waiting for others to share their experiences, I thought you might find our factsheet a useful read as it covers options and recovery following surgery. Here's the link to the page where it can be downloaded or ordered:

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/breast-reconstruction-bcc7

Kind regards.

Louise, Facilitator

Guest user
Not applicable

How does one's body feel after LD reconstruction?????

First time I've been on this site. I have kept my consultant at bay for nearly two years as the idea of a mx is just too awful for me. He wants to do a mx with an LD flap.
What I can't get into my head is:
a) how can a bit of my back muscle ever look like a breast shape - I'm only small as it is, 32A/B............small but beautiful. I mean, if you stick a beef steak in a sock, it looks like a bit of beef steak in a sock, not a foot in a sock... I have so little fat on me that it would be mostly steak and no fat that would be used!
b) How on earth does one's back recover afterwards?
c) Is one ever able to use the arm as before?
d) How bad do the scars look?
These are questions that you may think my consultant should be able to answer, but I think only women who have had the experience can help me. Can you help me?
I am so frightened of the whole experience going wrong I am virtually paralysed. It's only now that I am just about able to write to this specific audience who, in my opinion, are the only audience who could possibly understand.
Many thanks for reading this, best wishes to you all.