thank you for your posts, I am booked for a DIEP on 2nd October and have been waiting for just over one year. I swing between being really excited at teh thought of being almost normal again to being really scared so your positive post really helped me.
Sascha, I don't think you should worry too much about the NHS stopping reconstructions, I think this shower we have in government at the moment would break down in face of fierce oppostion like they did with the proposed change to foresty. Can you imagine how strong and angry and powerful all of the women on this forum would be if we united in protest, the coalition would not have a chance!
Hi Lisa, well you were so right its sooooooooooooo fantastic to have my boob back oh how I mist it lol 9 days after surgery and just come back from clinic and they took the dressing off,still got one drain in my back but I don't think it will be much longer, Lisa I'M SO GLAD ITS GOING WELL FOR YOU ,forgot to ask when I can wash my scare and put cream on them anyone know ? mite ring bc nurse and see, Sascha my surgen was amazing but I don't think he's a plastic surgen I looked at his page on the hospital web ang it says general surgery ? but he did my mx 2 years ago and I trust him completely x
Plastic surgeons did my reconstrucion, although I had to wiat a very long time. I had my Mastectomy in Jan 2009 and did not get my reconstruction unil May 2012. However it was well worth the wait.
The silicone prothesis, did you not get a little cloth cover/pouch thing for it to sit in. I did with the one I had which was a Tru Life one. You should go back to your breast care nurses and see if they can change it for you. I got a swimming prothesis which was weighted sponge from Nicola Jane shop, if thats any help.
Hope that helps
THank you for posting this - I am worried they will stop doing re-constructions due to cuts as i am only at the beginning of the journey and really not happy with my MX area and using prosthetics, I cannot use the silicone one as it makes me feel ill to touch. I never liked silicone so I just use foam but its not weighted so not good long term.
Were your surgeons plastic surgeons or breast surgeons?
Latest update - My boob scars are fading more each day. My tummy scar still has a few scabby bits on it but its healing lovely. My tummy feels really tight/stretched, which runs down to the tops of my legs. So I am still walking a bit slower than normal. The swelling on my tummy is going down each day as well. I still have pins and needles in my hands.
How long does the tight/pulling feeling last on your tummy? Now I only had my op coming up for 5 weeks ago, so still really early days I am guessing
Tob1 - good luck on Monday, but I am sure you will be fine. Positive mental attitude and knowledge of knowing exactly what was going to happen to me, is what I think kept me so relaxed and calm. Even when they wheeled me down to theatre and then got me to walk into the theatre and climb up on the bed myself, I still felt as cool/calm as a cucumber. I trusted my surgeon 100%, so I knew I had nothing to worry about.
Pam - Glad to hear about your second op, as I too will be having that op in about 6 months time. I have not had to keep my scars covered but I have been told to apply a mild moisturiser to the scars. I saw my surgeon yesterday for my check up, he is really pleased with the progress that I have made and kept double checking with me about how long ago I had the op! He said that normally he would see me again next week, but as I am doing so well, he said there is no point really, plus all of my dressings have now been removed. The boob scar has healed so quickly, my hubby is really amazed. Well the upside is that my surgeon has decided that he does not need to see me again until 3 months time. All he kept saying to the nurse and his registrar was, she has done so well hasn't she!! With regards to the oins and needles he is going to get me referred to a colleague to see if it is Carpal tunnel or not
I didn't have any epidural either so must be something that your hospital is using but not universal.
Your comment about emptying the dishwasher one plate at a time brought back memories. I remember doing that. It was the late autumn hot weather when I came out of hospital lat year and I remember watering my outdoor pots and greenhouse plants using a little indoor watering can. Took me ages but stopped me getting bored!
I had an eight month gap between diep and my latest op. This time he has taken a bit away at each side of the flap by revising the bottom scar and using some liposuction and created a nipple. On my good side he has done an uplift so I now match in size and shape. Everything is healing well so far so I don't have to see anyone until Sept. For both my diep and this latest surgery I have to keep all scars covered in a beige tape for six weeks which my ps says helps to keep the scars flat. It worked last time so I'm doing it again this time.
I'm really pleased with my result so I hope you are all too.
Hi Lisa, so glad all is going well reading your comments has really helped me , I.ve had my pre op tests and everything was fine so i'm having my L D recon on monday 18th june (ahhhhhhhhhhhh) now i.m really getting scare
let you all know how its going as soon as
i'm up to it . xx
Kim 1, just looking at your post when are you having your op , hope all goes well xx
Not sure about the Epidural, it just seems to be a pain relief that Salisbury Hospital uses.
So today is day 17 after my op. I am moving around alot better and can almost lay flat in bed, but not quite yet, so still using a pillow under my legs. I went to Hospital 8/6/12 for a check up and dressing change. All I have now in the way of dressings are two square plasters/dressings on my boob. I needed two small stitches under my boob, as there was a small open bit on the scar/wound line, however I never flet a thing as the nurse did it.
Fed up of daytime tv though and still have constant pins and needles in my hands, which has been waking me at night. Been pottering around the house, emptied the dishwasher one plate at a time !! Being good and taking things very easy still
That's fab feedback and a great support for those about to have theirs. Epidural in tummy? What was that for? Just curious as I didnt lol! Well done and the straightening up just comes naturally I was worried I wasnt up enough or too much etc. but I think you body know what it can do!xx
Geewiz - I too was so happy to get rid of my prothesis, I hated it. Everytime I have looked down for the past 3.5yrs, all I could see was a concave chest and a fake boob. Now all I see is a cleavage, it has already made such a difference.
Dib - I am getting straighter everyday, today my hubby has commented on how much straighter I am all ready. I got myself into bed last night and again hubby commented on how much easier I did it than I did the night before. I am walking up the stairs much easier as well.
Today I dressed myself apart from the button on my trousers, as I still have these stupid pins and needles. Everyday is getting easier and easier. However I am very bored sitting around doing nothing.
Hi Newforestmum,glad your op went so well,i had double mx with ld flap recon last aug and all is well now.i have expanders removed in 6wks time and implants put in. but your post has reassured me with regard to my 28yr old daughter who was tested positive for brca1 gene so decided to have preventative surgery.She should have had double mx with recon from her stomach on may 25th but the op was cancelled.it should be rescheduled for sometime this month,but she has been told that she wont be able to stand up straight for a couple of weeks because of the stomach side of the op,how did you find this? please keep us posted and well done.xx
I am so pleased to hear you have had your reconstruction, and that it has gone so well. You may remember we had mastectomies at a similar time. I had my reconstruction almost three years ago, and am absolutely delighted with it - I had a follow up op several months later to reduce my other breast to match, and have also had a bit of fat transfer since then to even things up again. I was so unbelievably happy to get rid of the prosthesis!
I'm glad you are being looked after well - I remember being told I could lift a mug but not a kettle! Nearly three years down the line I am still delighted, not only with the new boob but also with the flat stomach. Hope you will be just as happy too.
Thanks ladies, glad mypost has helped some of you who have up and coming ops. Before my op, I asked questions of the ladies who had already had their ops, so I thought it was only fair that I put up my story for ladies, who are still waiting for their ops. I have been as truthful as I can, as it is a big op and I think the better informed you are, the better prepared and less worried you will be.
So I still have the pins and needles, which is still really annoying/frustrating me. My bob feels fine and my tummy is still tight, so I am still walking hunched over, but I am getting straighter. However as I am not straight I do keep getting a bit of back ache, but in the grand scheme of things pins and needles and back ache are nothing compared to the operation that I have had.
I am being very good and following doctors orders, so I am sat down watching tv or on laptop. I then get up and have a little walk out to the kitchen etc. I am so not used to sitting around doing nothing, so to say I am bored is the understatement of the year !! Especially as Tom is great and fussing over me constantly, but I can see things around the house that need sorting out, but I can do nothing about it.
The doctors and nurses were very clear and told me to take things very easy to start with otherwise it will take me a lot longer to recover!!
Pam - glad to hear you are doing well. I have to wiat six months for my reduction as my surgeon is very particular. I used to wear a 32H before being diagnosed with BC. When my surgeon asked my what size I wanted my new boob to be, I told him to do what ever he thought was best, bt that I definately wanted them reduced in size. He suggested a D cup, which I said was fine with me, althought Tom's face dropped a bit !!! The surgeon tells me that he put about 600 to 700 grams in my new boob, however I have no idea what cup size that will work out to be. Plus on the other side my brain is telling me if I have it reduced lots, then I will be lessening my chances of getting BC in the other boob? I am sure you ladies will understand where I am coming from. Plus I have always had huge boobs and am really looking forward to having much smaller boobs!
Tinfish & Kim - I am glad that my story has helped you both. I am sure you both will be fine though. Good luck with your ops
Anne - yes I know exactly what you mean about taking it easy. I too am being constantly reminded by my hubby to take it easy. Bless him every quarter or an hour or so he is offering to get me drinls or food. I think this whole thing has affected him so much more that it has affected me
Tob21 - Glad my story has helped you and your hubby. As for positive, well my friends and family hve been astonished at how positive I have been throughout this whole episode, from first being diagnosed in Dec 2008 right up to today. I think being so positive has helped me to get through all of my treatments, it has also helped my hubby and 3 daughters to cope with it all.
Best wishes to you all
Thank you so much for your post, reading it has made me feel better about my op coming up soon. You sound so positive and I am hoping to have a "pain free" time so I hope my pain threshold is as high as yours seems to be. Fingers crossed
Thanks also to all you lovely ladies who sent me replys to my post the other day.... I really helps to know I'm not going through all this on my own!
I hope your recovery continues to go well Lisa, Anne and you too Pam. Enjoy the Guiness tinfish, I don't drink.......do Ben & Jerry do any thing iron rich????
Great news, you are just a few days behind me, mine was done on 19th May.
Like you, I am stunned at the lack of pain.
Now you are home, you do need to remember that you have had a major operation and you do need to take things easy..bla, bla, bla.... Sorry, I get reminded of this like every 10 seconds!!!!
Everything now will be a breeze, you are over the worst and life can only get better... Anne x
WOW Lisa you sound great and what an informative post, its making me feel better about my op 27th June DIEP, the drinks sound like a good idea but as you said not too nice. I went for pre op on Thursday and was told to increase my iron intake so I am sitting here drinking a Guiness.
Glad you are home and all has gone well. From now on you should find it just gets better and better. It's strange about the pain isn't it? I didn't have any either just felt a bit tight and as you say uncomfortable in the drain sites.
I've just had the next bit of surgery you talk about, mastopexy (uplift) with a bit of reduction and liposuction on the new boob plus nipple creation. That was ten days ago and things are looking good. But strangely I have had far more bruising and soreness from this than the diep but I haven't had any movement issues!
Good luck with our recovery.
Well what can I say - after 3.5 years of waiting, I now have a cleavage again and I feel great !!
So here is the run down on my delayed tummy tuck lefthand reconstruction.
I went into Salisbury Hospital 24/5/12 the afternoon before my op, as I needed to have a vascular ultra sound (same machine as when pregnant) done on my tummy to find the blood vessels that needed to me moved. My surgeon Mr Horlock joined us for most of it and even had a go himself to find some nice blood vessels. I then went up to settle in the ward. Mr Horlock came to see me and Tom (hubby) on the ward and then drew all over me with his marker pen. However what he said next completely threw Tom and I. He told us not to sit in the ward all evening and told us to go to the pub for a nice meal and a glass of wine, but I was not to get drunk !! He then proceeded to give us directions to the nearest pub !! So obviously I had to do as my surgeon told me and Tom and I went off to the pub for a couple of hours! One of the nurses commented that Mr Horlock likes his ladies to be very relaxed before their ops.
When I got back to the hospital, Tom went home and I settle in for the night. Around 10pm I was given a small bottle of something called Fortie Juice to drink. Not the nicest Blackcurrant juice in the world, rather an acquired taste, but apparently packed with vitamins etc that would hlep me get through my op.
25/5/12 the day of my op. woken at 6am and given two more bottles of Fortie Juice but this time Tropical and Lemon. I managed the Tropical but not the Lemon. 8:30 I was taken downstairs for my operation. My operation lasted for 7 hours in total. Thankfully I was fast asleep for the whole time!!
I was expecting to wake up in great pain plus have 4 drains and a cathether. However when I came to I did have 4 drains and a cathether but I had no pain anywhere ? I had a drip, a morphine drip on a button, which I could press once every 5 minutes, as and when I needed it and I had an epidural in my tummy. I also had some cuff things on my legs to help prevent clots, bit like the thing they put on your arm when they do your blood pressure, but I had one on each calf, which alternatively blew up and down every few minutes or so.
For the first 48 hours all I seemed to do was sleep, I just felt exhausted. Once I was a bit more awake I realised that they were also giving me anti biotics and an injection in my thigh twice a day to help thin my blood. The very small injection in my leg is the only thing that I could call pain, as it feels a bit like a bee sting for a few seconds/minutes. I was also given paracetamol, although they did keep asking if I wanted anything stronger for the pain, but I was in no pain, so I said no. The morphine drip was taken away on the third day. as I was not using it.
I must be totally honest and say I really have not felt any pain, when I spoke to the doctors and nurses, they said that everyone has a different pain threshold and that mine must be very good. I just think that I am just tough as old boots !!
The worst things for me have been that ever since I woke up from the op that I have had numb fingers with pins and needles in them all the time. This had made it very difficult for me to do anything from feeeding myself to using the toilet to getting myself dressed etc. Then to my horror on sunday as I laid in bed, I got a funny feeling down below and thought oh no, please no, but it was a definate yes, I had started my period !! I was mortified!!
The first time I got out of bed, I wondered if this is when the pain was going to arrive, as I stood up for the first time, but no nothing, I just felt a bit tight and a few little twinges from the drain entry sites. I think it was on day three that the two drains from my boob were removed, which made things a bit easier to get around. The nurses gave us some little bags to carry our drains around in, to make things a bit easier for us.
Over the next couple of days I started to move around a lot better, especially when my period stopped. On about Tuesday they removed my epidural, again I wondered if this was when the pain was going to arrive, but again nothing. I then just had to wait for the two drains in my tummy to stop draining, so that I could come home. My surgeon was estimating that I would be able to come home on Thursday or Friday, depending on what came out of the drains. Thursday there was too much, but Friday morning my surgeon checked again and said that it was now low enough for the drains to be removed and that I could go home after lunch.
So I came home yesterday afternoon and so far so good. I have managed the stairs and managed to sleep in my own bed, which we were worried that I would not be able to get into, as it is a waterbed. In a minute I am going to attempt to have my first shower, washes in hospital are just not the same !! I still have the pins and needles in my hands, which my surgeon is hoping will sort itself out over the next week or so, but he has told me that if it does not, then I am to keep reminding him. I am getting straighter as I walk but I am following doctors orders and taking things very easy, just sitting around watching tv and catching up on emails, etc.
My surgeon Mr Horlock was brilliant. He did my op which started at 8:30 and lasted for 7 hours, he then came back into hopsital that night at approx 10:30pm to visit me. Saturday morning he was back in hospital by 9am visiting me again. In actual fact he visited me everyday and when he was not in hospital visiting me, his registrar told me that he was texting her for updates on my progress.
As for the staff in Salisbury Hospital's Laverstock ward, they too were amazing, nothing was too much trouble. They were all so friendly and chatty.
Well I think thats about it but I will keeep you all posted on how things go over the next few days/weeks, once the swelling goes down and I start to return to normal. The next stage will be in six months when Mr Horlock is going to reduce the other side to match my nice new boob