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Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

They do differ at each hospital/health authority. I was on one of those anti-bed sore mattresses for the whole time that I was there. They are loud, to say the least, but also quite nice. I'm not sure of the technical details, but they blow up quite often, and the air kind of moves up and down the mattress. I too had the massaging wraps around my calf. There really is quite a lot going on on that first night!! They didn't use a doppler on me at all - they used something that took the temperature instead, but I did also have the warming pad on my boob. And of course, the heating was on high in the room.
xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Polly, i was actually making notes on my IPad the day after surgery as I wanted to be able to remember all the bits which were new to me but which may have seemed less scary if i had had and insight into what was going to happen.
i dont know whether all hospitals are the same but East Grinstead had a weird way of making sure I was kept warm on the first night. I woke up from surgery and was asked to roll to one side so they could take the mattress I was laying on away and then roll back so that i was on the bed in the 'step down' ward. I thought this might hurt (wussiness coming into play already) but I needn't have worried - it was fine. They then turned on some sort of blower and i realised i was surrounded by the big packaging wrap that you get in large parcels. Initially the air was cool and I wondered what on earth was going on - especially as it appearing to be being blown right up the middle! It soon warmed up and was kept at a nice temperature all night. Very weird experience though!
i think there were other pads on various places (especially over the 'flap'). I also had massaging wraps around my calves to help prevent DVT And a blood pressure cuff on my leg. So between the massage wraps going off automatically every 5 or 10 minutes and the observations being taken every half an hour i certainly didn't get any sleep.
I tried not to ask what the time was but what I thought must have been a good couple of hours turned out to have been barely 30 or 40 minutes. Do not underestimate how slowly time passes on this first night! Just go with it - you're being well looked after and as I said before the sound of the doppler picking up the bloodflow underneath the flap is so reassuring!
if i can help with any reassurance on any of my experiences please feel free to pm me
duffer
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Polly
That is a good tip from Mandy about te button through nightdresses as the check your flap every half an hour for the first night and then down to every two/four hours fr the next few days. There is no lovlier sound than the sound of the doppler checking out the bloodflow through your flap. It's quite feint but you can definately hear the whoosh of the blood flowing through.
I am sure that my capacity for drinking water helped me recover as well as I did. They had warned me that if, in the unlikely event, that anything was not quite right then it was mst likely going to br in the first 24 hours so when offered water initially I turned it down thinking that if there was a problem then it would have delayed my return to theatre. As always I was being over cautious and there was no need to hold off drinking. I ended up having a small glass full every time they did my observations - i think they hope that you get through 5 jugs (over 12 or 24 hours? Not sure of timesan) but i was up to seven and still going strong. Thankfully i still had the catheter in so i didnt have to move. They do recommend you drink a lot of water and i do think it ajes a tremendous difference to recovery times.
My blood pressure was all over the place during the first 24 hours and, as always, i thought that meant something was wrong but apparently it's fairly normal.
polly_1
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Thanks skigirl and Duffer. I'm off shopping today with my list of supplies needed and will buy BIG! I didn't realise you swell a lot so I'll definately go up a few sizes. I'm already still puffy from the steroids as just finished chemo, not a good look!
Duffer, your doing brilliantly and I'm glad the seroma is settling down.
Polly x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Polly
i agree with Mandy regarding the chapstick and larer clothing. I would also suggest taking in a box of balmed tissues and some vaseline as I found the Oxygen canula must have irritated the lining on one side of my nose. Everytime i took a swig of water my nose would run. I was constantly wiping it which made it sore. The hospital supplied tissues but they werent particularly soft ones.
i bought a new pair of slippers to go in with in my normal size and had no chance of getting them on so I got my OH to bring in my old faithfulls. It hadnt occued to me that everything would swell. My feet were swollen, all my fingers were pudgy! I guess it's something to do with the anaesthetic still being in you system.
i agnonized over te Bridget's and eventually went for 2 sizes larger than normal and they have been fine. A bit of a palaver getting them on and off and definately a two person job!
the hospital i was in didnt have bedside TV's so i took in my IPad - there was no internet connection so I had to take in a dongle to get it working but at least it made me feel that i wasn't totally isolated. I could have used my IPhone but the screen is so small and it was difficult enough with the IPad when you've got fat finger syndrome.
it did make me feel better posting daily onto this site - by the time you et home you have forgotten all the important little seps that you've already conquered.
If yu are likely to have to wear Bridget's don't forget to take plenty of ordinary knickers in as well to use under them.
a friend of mine recommended a relaxation tape, which I must admit I was a little sceptical as I am not into such things but I thought I had nothing to loose so I downloaded it onto my Ipod. I must admit it did help me to relax pre and post surgery. If you would like the detais of it let me know and I will pm to you.
My seroma (sounds like a song) is settling down now - it has been leaking very significantly for the past 4 days and is just slowing down now. It hasn't caused me any problems but I am glad i went back to the hospital and they gave me precautionary antibiotics to be on the safe side. It has to come out so better this way - just a bit messy!
am feeling so much better today - amazing to think it's only day 12.
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Polly, definitely need some chapstick! It's such a long operation and the room has to be so hot that I found my lips were so dry and chapped. And bigger than normal clothing. I think with the after-effects of the anaesthetic and the heat I seemed to swell up and my clothes were too tight to wear. Nothing elasticated around the waist - I found the 'hipster' leisure pants sat quite comfortably between my tummy wound and repositioned tummy button. Button up nightware/tops will be useful, because they will check on your breast 'flap' quite a bit, and you will not have the movement in your arm for over-the-head clothing either. You may also find that the bra that you bought before your op will be too small too. As LB says, you change shape quite a bit during the recovery period (which can last quite a few months). If they allow it, your phone and some good reading/puzz;e books!
Carol, patience is the key to recovery! And rest! It sounds a bit like a seroma, which is quite common after surgery (http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/side_effects/seroma). If your health team were concerned about you, then I'm sure they would have you back in hospital to deal with it.
Mandy xxxx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Lilac Blue, very good thought but one that I had already considered. The Bridget's are two sizes up for the very same reason. They feel very very comfortable at that size and I seas assuming that I would go down a size as the swelling recedes. I already have smaller sizes ready. I have noticed this morning that my tummy seems to be flattening a bit so hopefully all is normal.
its got to come out so better this way than building up or needing to be drained.
agonise get myself into a right state before the surgery over which Bridget's and what size to get and only decided on the larger pairs as an afterthought. The largest pairs were only delivered the day of my operation and had to be brough in for me. I was really concerned over how I would be able to put them on when I still had a drain in. I needn't have worried as it was do much more comfortable to have them on that I was able to walk upright after day 2. I do think that it would have helped if there had been more specific guidance at a time when you're already feeling at your most vulnerable.
it also seems that no form of dressing is better than my horizontal sanitary towel to soak up the seepage. The dressings both the hospital and the district nurse put on were saturated within hours.
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duff/Carol, there are setbacks to recovery -- very normal and as lovely Suzy (HI and gentle hugs to you mon amie!) said, patience is necessary. You will move forward and I was wondering if your shapewear isn't too tight? I bought three different sizes and changed them as the swelling went down. I bought my regular size to start with and the pain/pressure on my diep scar was too uncomfortable and found the two upper sizes did the trick with greater comfort. You're doing great and your nurse is keeping a good eye on the drainage.


LB, x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I did wonder if i put a few next to each ther and then put my Bridget's on whether i would look like one of the Ninja turtles!
joking apart though the setbacks do seem monumental - I was prepared for the surgery and hospital but i hadnt really thought about what would be involved in the recovery period. I guess that's down to the brain's survival mechanism of only letting you think about what you need to deal with a bit at a time.
i feel like I've gone backwards in the last two days - I am now beginning to realise that is pobably very normal!
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duffer56/Carol - you certainly seem to have kept your sense of humour. I hope you're ok 🙂 xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi all, my leakage seems to be slowing down now. I have devised a cunning plan to work round it for the timebeing - i am keeping a sanitary towel against the leak point but keeping it crossways (along the line of my tummy scar) - not ideal but seems to be working ok for now! i had to get my daughter to give me the sanitary towels and se took them from her 'hospital bag' as she had it packed ready as her baby is due in nine weeks time.
suzy52
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hello there
Just dropping in to offer up encouragement to all you about to, and recent DIEP girls. I had my DIEP and ANC back on Jan the 10 in the UK - seems like a lifetime ago now.
I was very fortunate with my recovery with no leaks or complications although it was in theatre 11 hrs. I think patience is definately a DEIP necessity, as Morweena says the anesthetic takes along time to leave your system and slow but sure is the oder of the day.
I am now in France undergoing chemo FEC-T and just had my 4th cycle, yeahhhhh! only 2 more to go! The onco's here have been very impressed by my surgery and recovery, infact one guy thought I'd had a lumpectomy till I put him right :). They are also very impressed by the range of movement I have in my cancer arm. I was religious in my post surgery exercises, for one I was so worried that I would be terribly uncomfortable going though rads with my arm bent, hand under head pose. Ironically I am not having rads! but none the less I have full movement and its great. I'm still very wary of lifting weights but I'm a dab had with the paint brush in my treated arm 😄
So Bon Courage as we say in these parts! And as we say on the March chemo thread when asked how we are feeling 'We Endure'
xxxx Suzy
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hey Ho! Obviously some more needed to come out - woke up this morning and dressing totally saturated and useless. Have been sat a dripping door past 2 hours again. Hopefully district nurse will be round later to change dressing. Still feel ok but getting very bored of scenery in bathroom!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi ladies, an update on my leaking plumbing......
All was fine through the night but when i got up this morning and went to the loo i realised that my leak had increased and was dripping out relatively fast. I must admit i wasn't unduly concerned as I worked on the theory that the original drain was put in to help the fluid get out so if it wanted to come out then fine by me! I then sat there for over two hours - merrily dripping away! It's difficult to guage exactly how much came out but it was quite a fast drip for over two hours so i am guessing it was a considerable amount. It ventually eased off and I got dressed to go over to East Grinstead.
The hospital were great and the doctor checked me over and sent me for an ultrasound to check how much was still lurking beneath. Thankfully the scan showed that there was a minimal amount left so there was no need to remove it with a needle - (my sentiments exactly!).
They then tidied me up, changed all the dressings again (after the scan) and sent me on my way after arranging for the District Nurse to come out daily to change the dressings.
The most traumatic part of the day was having the ultrasound after the dressings nurse had put new dressings on - baring in mind where these dressings were secured (it being a lower extremity) the radiographer needed to remove the dressings before she could do the scan. She was obviously not as used to removing dressings as her colleagues and i did feel like mentioning that had I wanted a Brazilian I would have asked for one! Only kidding! Wasnt that bad!
polly_1
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi ladies, I've been following this thread as I've been waiting for my date for my DIEP op. Got a call yesterday to say it will be on 12th June, yikes, starting to get nervous now.
Spookymoo, my first two surgeries didn't get clear margins either then I had chemo which finished two weeks ago. I'm now having a double mastectomy and DIEP. I know what you mean about it being overwhelming and like you my kids keep me smiling and give me the determination to get through this. You really have been through a tough time with your DIEP so I hope your recovery continues well.
Duffer, thanks for the progress reports. It's good to have an insight into what to expect. I hope that your wound is healing ok and your not a wuss at all. Even the word "seeping" make me feel queasy. Now how big a wuss am I!
Any tips you ladies could give me on what to take to hospital would be appreciated.
Take care everyone.
Polly x
spookymoo
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Carol, it does feel a bit like that - two steps forward and four steps back. Nothing in my treatment plan has gone smoothly since my dx. Chemo didn't really work. First two surgeries didn't get clear margins. The DIEP - well that whole experiences was surreal. All I can say is that my sense of humour keeps me going. And my kids. If it wasn't for my kids I would be in a very, very dark place. You will get there. Just have to take baby steps. And the team at East Grinstead will look after you. They are fab. PM if you would like to chat more privately. This whole "cancer" thing is quite overwhelming and it consumes your life. It isn't fun - to put it politely! x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Why do i feel like i am playing Snakes and Ladders with very short ladders and extremely long snakes!
spookymoo
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Carol so sorry to hear you are having problems with your wound seeping. its good though that they have put you on antibiotics which hopefully will soon kick in. I agree with you -the nurses at East Grinstead are lovely. And the surgeons did a magnificent job. My "boob" Is looking great. I have a circular disc of stitching and the flap is where my nipple would have been. I do have a scar down the side though which has dressings on (iodine) which I am changing every day. The nurse said the dressings on this bit can come off after a week. I have put steri strips on it tlnite and will look at it again in the morning. I am walking the dog for about 30 mins a day (very slowly) bug still get tired easily. Morwenna, amazed at the recovery time ref the surgery : my first op - mx + diep took @ 8 hrs, the next emergency op. Was
4 hrs and then the next one under general was @ 6 hrs so in total the time I was under a general was @ 18 hrs - so that's a long old recovery! Blimey! I hope you feel better tomorrow Carol. And I hope the antibiotics do their work. X
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

It's good that they have given you some antibiotics just to be on the safe side. Just try to rest and I'm sure everything will be fine.
I have never liked the term 'flap' either, but I think they just mean the disc of the skin that has been transplanted and not the whole boob - that's my understanding anyway. I made a joke that they must have used a melon scoop to get it out of such a small whole and was told 'something like that!!!!' I have actually seen a You Tube video of the procedure since having my operation and it really is quite amazing what they do (not to be watched beforehand though lol!!) - my curiosity got the better of me and I'm not terribly squeamish 🙂
I found that my boob took quite a while to settle into some kind of shape that wasn't doughnut shaped, but it is definitely very much like my normal boob now - just no nipple, but that doesn't bother me at all.
LB, I have increased my exercise since the operation too. I play badminton once a week and try to walk briskly for 30 minutes every other day. I also try do either Pilates or a session on the Wii Fit too. So, I guess I'm a little way to what they are recommending. Must try harder lol 😉
Anyway ladies. Get lots of rest and take care of yourselves.
Mandy xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Damn it! Would appear it's still seeping! It's a three hour round trip for us to go the East Grinstead! The doctor i spoke to suggested trying to put some padding between the dressing and the Bridget's ad if was still a problem tomorrow then to get back over there. Unfortunately i am too much of a wuss to attempt to change the dressing myself. I took the drain dressing off this morning and considering it was soggy from the leakage from above it was only holding by a couple of threads (polite erms from what i am sure yu can iagine what it was still attached to) - just doing that i came ver faint and thought i was going to be sick or ass out. As I said - hi degree of wussiness!
am going to play it by ear for tonight ad f i have any concerns we'll phne and go back over but I think there's a 95% chance of needing to go back again tomorrow
hey ho!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi ladies, just got back from East Grinstead. The hospital have given me some precautionary antibiotics as the scar is not as dry as the would hope - caused by the leakage. I personally think that they took the third drain out fractionally too soon and had it been left in for another day then all the fluid would have been able to come out that way. The nurses at the dressing clinic were lovely and i feel much more comfortable now they have changed / removed the dressings. when i phoned this morning i asked whether i should leave the Bridget's off today but the BCN said that if the fluid was coming out then the slight compression from the pants would help it on it's way and she seems to have been spot on! Feels so much more comfortable now - i even walked dwn the stairs normally when we got home (rather than one step at a time).
they have tken the plaster off of my 'flap' (that might be an ok word for the medical profession but it does nothing for me) - this is the first time i have seen the rcon boob and i think the surgeon has done an amazing job! Considering i was a 42D i have what would easily pass for a 38/40 C or D. I know it's still swollen so might come down a bit but i am still well chuffed! i cant work out how he has done it but the scar is circular(ish) but only the size of on old half crown (sorry to all you youngsters - you will have to ask your mum how big that is!)
hi Morwenna - wow! One week per hour of anaethestic - i was in theatre close to 11 hours so i consider myself very fortunate to be this far forward at this tge!
i have to go back to the dressings clinic next week to check on progress so fingers crossed that it all calms down with the antibiotics.
Morwenna
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Just a note for you ladies recovering: they say it takes a week to get over every hour of anesthetic when you have surgery. DIEP takes 8-10 hours or so. Do the math! As well, your surgery is several different places which leaves you sore and stiff at best. It's really not surprising you feel weary and out of sorts, and that's not including the emotional impact of what we are all going through. Cut yourselves some slack -it takes time, but you'll get there! 🙂
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duff/Carol, I hope the problem was sorted and now resting. I did not have any leakage. Anyway, I do agree with Mandy on the rearrangement of our bods. I had friends ask if i had lost weight, no, not really, it went from my stomach to my chest. I have been losing weight and getting in shape because I excercise more than I ever have, since given the green light after surgery. I read this Time magazine article published online this month: Women who had children and exercised about 10 to 19 hours each week either during their reproductive years or after menopause experienced a much greater benefit, with a 30% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who exercised less or were inactive.

LB, x
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Carol, How did you get on with your appointment today? Hopefully, all ok and nothing to worry about. I had a leak from my tummy wound too, but it's healed up lovely now.
It's expected that you're going to be tired. As Em said, our bodies have been through so much in such a short space of time. First there's the emotional trauma. Then our bodies are cut open in 3 different places with things being moved around. It's a lot to handle, and you need to rest as much as you can. Your friends and family will be happy to help out, so let them 🙂 I used to find that I would get tired just making a cup of tea some days!!!
Em, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I hope you are feeling a little better today, emotionally and physically. What you've gone through, and still going through is so much. You both will get through this. I was exactly where you were this time last year. I do still get 'down' days and I feel sad and sorry for myself, but I remind myself that things could have been so different. That's easy for me to say now, but it really does get better.
Keep smiling and take care
Mandy xxx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi have I seem to have a bit of a leak from my tummy scar this morning. I have phoned the BCN and she says its nothing to worry about but they would like me to come in today so they can reduce the risk of any infection. XML appointment at the dressings clinic was tomorrow anyway so at least I won't have to go over to East Grinstead tomorrow now. It takes us about an hour and a half to get there from here whereas Maidstone is only ten minutes away.
i know what you mean about things creeping up on you - I felt a bit like that yesterday - I just felt so tired of everything. I think the adrenalin must have shut itself off. Much better after a reasonable nights sleep.
I must admit, I haven't even thought to ask about the dressings - I have no idea what sort they are and how often they will need changing etc. I spent so much reseda preparing for surgery I didn't even stop to think what happens afterwards.
am waiting for call back from hospital to find out what time to go over and will catch up again later today
Carol xx
spookymoo
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Duffer Glad to hear you are doing so well. I am still a bit sore in my tummy area but apart from that and the triedness I feel ok. Just a bit frustrated as feel so well want to get back to doing "normal" things and I can't. Which is annoying. I was at Dressings Clinic last Friday. The nurse changed the brown tape and said it needed to stay on for at least 2 more weeks. I have another appt with the amazing plastics team. (I am sure you must have the same team as me although we can't name names here). They are brilliant. The nurse said that sometimes they like to keep the brown tape on for up to two months. So will find out about that hopefully next week. They supplied me with some more tape and some steri strips but running low so will need to get someone to take me out at the weekend to a big chemist to get some more. I have finished the Heprin thank goodness and took my last Aspirin today. But I am still wearing the funky stockings and the "Bridget Jones" big pants. I am hoping to get out at the weekend to get a few more pairs as nurse said we need to wear them for 3 - 6 months.! Glad to hear you are doing so well. I had a wobble on Tuesday and went to see my GP. I think everything got on top of me - the effects of the surgery kicked in and also I lost a really good friend last week to BC - so had a bit of a cry. But feeling better now. The GP said that we put our body through similiar trauma to being in a car crash having this procedure so no wonder we feel a bit grim!
Anyway hope your OH continue to look after you - he sounds like he is doing an excellent job.
Best wishes
Em x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi ladies, i am still doing well thanks - I find it hard to believe that it is only 1 week since the surgery although the tiredess is catching up with me. I think i put all my energy into preparing for surgery and my batteries are now running on low. Physically i am improving day by day and the soreness is easing. I feel sorry for my OH I must be the world's worst patient!
i have an appointment on Friday at the dressings clinic so hopefully they will be abe to get some of the dressings off.
Thankfully my friends and family are keeping us supplied with home cooked meals and it is really apprecated - it's the little kindnesses that mean so much.
Going to toddle off to bed now nd will catch up more tomorrow
Dffer
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duffer56, I have been seeing a psychologist since three weeks out from diep. I develped pstd with anxiety and Ana my therapist has been so helpful egtting me back to me or me-new. We have also worked with EMDR technique and that has moved me along very well. I think you are healing really well Duffer!

Gillian, I too am sorry that you are going through recon again and that time all goes as planned.

Skigirl - hope this week has gone well for you on all fronts.

LB, x
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Good evening Duffer56. 1 week on today!! How are you doing this week? You've not given us an update for a couple of days, and I was just checking that all is ok with you 🙂
You were right with the emotional side of cancer. Unfortunately, my sister was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer the month before me (my poor parents!!!). She absolutely fell to pieces and we all needed to be there for her to support her through the first few weeks. As a result I didn't really have the time to 'ponder' on my own diagnosis and I also felt that I had to be stronger than ever so that my family didn't go through everything again. It was only at my 6 week check with the consultant when he told me that everything was clear and no further treatment was needed that I just fell to pieces. I hit rock bottom and found it really difficult to pull myself back up again. I think I cried for pretty much a whole week. This also coincided with my impending return to work and I was so self-conscious that I didn't look 'normal'. However, with the support of my breast care nurse and a VERY good bra that hides any imperfections I managed to climb out of the emotional hole that I found myself in.
I hope everyone else is ok this evening 🙂 xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Skigirl, I honestly think the Bridget's have made a significant difference - it's ironic as that was the thing that I was getting most stressed about. I, like you, never used to be a worrier. I have come to realise that I turned into a 'what if'er about 4 years ago. Exactly at the time I got diagnosed with DCIS the first time. I have turned into a right worrier always dreading the worst. If you could have seen what a wimp I was at every stage you would have thought me a total wimp! I was worried about having a wee, putting the Bridget's on when I still had a drain in, having the drains taken out, I worried about absolutely everything. I realised over the past few weeks that I changed character when I the abc DCIS before - so much so that I asked for the psychological counsellor to see me in hospital as I realise I need to deal with anxiety issues. She is writing to my doctor so that I can get some counselling locally too. I think sometimes we concentrate so hard on the physical issues connected with the cancer that we forget to take care of the emotional and mental side of it too.
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi everyone.
Duffer56, you are doing so well. You seem to be doing so much better than I did. I was still taking codeine by your stage of recovery! I remember really suffering with my stomach, but I was never told to wear your Bridget Jones' knickers - maybe they really are helping. Everyone is different though - I'm perhaps just a bit more of a wimp than the average person lol.
Gillian, I too am sorry to hear that your LD recon failed. That was my biggest worry, and I should imagine everyone's worry regardless of the type of recon that they have. Even after a year, I still worry about things going wrong, although I realise it's a bit silly to do so. Especially as I'm not a natural 'worrier'!!
Em, I agree with LB. Leave the housework! It's not worth hurting yourself for, especially as you have been through so much already.
At the end of the day, we are all still here to tell our stories, and that is worth celebrating 🙂
Take care everyone xxx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi ladies, Day 5, had a good night's sleep last night and feeling much better today. Getting a little easier to walk around but still taking it really, really slowly. Took the compression socks off this morning to wash my stinky feet - hat a pallaver getting them back on! That's going to be my excercise for the day!
Hi Em, sounds like you had a nightmare experience but hopefully you've got there in the end - even if you have a horrid scar to go with - as if it's not bad enough when it works right the first time. My surgery was longer than they anticipated, i was in theatre for close to 11 hours. I had had the CT scan done on my abdomen first to determine where the best bits were for the donor site (sorry, always think of a doner kebab when I think that), but when they did the operation my bits were a different way round and the surgeon said he had only had to deal with that half a dozen times in his career so it took longer than expected. I didnt really take in what he was saying at the time so i will find out more when i speak to him again When i am dealing with a full deck!
Hi Gillian, sorry your LD flap failed nd you're now faced with the DIEP. i can only comment on my experiences but for me I was so worried about each step of the process that I had worked mself up into a nervous wreck! Everything is alien and you've got nothing to compare to or prepare for. It's one of the reasons that i started posting on the forum - i know it would have helped me if i had got a better idea of all the little things. If you want to PM me please feel free. I was going to try to put all my little baby stps together in case it helps others going through the same thing. I tried to make notes on my phone because what seems really minor now was damn well major at the time! You would not believe how worked up I was at the prospect of putting on the Bridget's when I still had a drain in - i was petrified. As it tuns out it was nowhere near as bad as my imagination had led me to believe.
if any of you wnt to PM me - please feel free - I think the medical staff are brilliant but thy cnnot understand the silly little worries that we have when we're caught in the middle of it all!
Duffer
Gilliancw
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Duffer56
its good to hear you are doing so well. its great to read your journey, I'm having DIEP op in October. I had a LD flap done last year but unfortunately it failed so I am very nervous of having the DIEP done.
take care
gillian xx

Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Spookymoo - Em, You have been through the mill - that all is good now and I'm sorry to read that your arm vein was offered up in the end and left you with quite a scar. It's hard but forget that housework, it's not worth the reach and pull that can come with it. You have come so far and, I admire your additude under all the stressful conditions of getting to where you are now. Kudos to you and I'm tracking your progress as well. You are doing great!

Duffer56, I did stairs before going home and having had a prior cesarean section (13 years earlier), it was easier without stomach muscles cut. I stayed in 6 days and I needed no blood thinning and I was a cow and did not wear the compression socks, my bad. Hope you were able to to get much needed sleep.
spookymoo
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Duffer gosh I which I had seen your posts earlier. Have come off this forum for a bit before my DIEP. I had my MX (left) with immediate DIEP down at East Grinstead too the week before you. I went in for surgery on 7th May. I had a few complications though. All scans and pre-assessment checks went well. Advised tummy veins looked good. I had chemo first which I finished last Dec then a WLE and full node clearance Feb and re-excision March before advised multi-focal and needed MX. I had first surgery Tues 7th May which was mx and diep and appeared to go well. But blood supply to flap failed so went back in a further 3x and in the end had a vein taken from left arm which has left me with a scar of epic proportions. Having said that, despite all the problems, the staff were brilliant. The plastic surgeon team were amazing and really determined to fix things and the nursing and aftercare were fantastic. I was discharged Monday 13 so I just missed you! I have been down to dressing clinic on Fri 17 and all looking good. I am in the Big pants and have ordered some more "pretty" ones off M+St website as think we have to wear them for a while! Still quite tired but up and about and desperately trying to resist the urge to do housework. Also have youngish children so find looking after them tiring. But so far so good. finished my last Heprin shot last night (had to inject myself whilst on chemo too so used to it although I still hate doing it) but am still wearing the fab surgical stockings. Look after yourself and hope things continue to go well post op for you. Em x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Thank you ladies - it does feel good to be home! I am taking it very, very slowly. One step at a time (literally this time, it takes me an age to get up and down the stairs).
district nurse came round today to give me the blood thinning injection. I didnt realise that they send you home with seven days worth and expect you to inject yourself. I used to be a blood doner so i dont mind needles but i would never look at the needle and i certainly couldnt handle injecting myself. Once i explained my concern the hospital arranged for the district nurse to call in to do it - phew!
still a palaver getting in and out of the Bridget's but oh so comfortable when they are on - they hold everything nicely in place - i sneezed earlier today and it wasnt too bad at all!
am only awake this time of night because i have been dozingon and off all day - am going to venture up the stairs and get myself off to bed
xx
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duffer56, that is amazing! Do take it easy, go slow and I'm so impressed with your progress.
Gentle hugs, LB, x
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Duffer56
It is lovely to get home again, isn't it? Everything just seems so much better, despite any pain or discomfort. Just remember to take it easy. You may not be in pain, but your body has a lot of healing to do.
Take care xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

came home yesterday (Saturday) which is amazing considering 11 hours in surgery on Wednesday and out on day 3!. Am still a little sore around tummy scar but eased with normal painkillers (paracetamol and Ibuprofen). So nice to be in my own bed last night - I actually felt that I got some restful sleep. My boob (or flap as it is now known) has given me no problems whatsoever. Just before I left the hospital they asked if they had taken the last stitch out and they hadn't so I was a little wary as I was thinking that the stitch was around the nipple so would hurt to take out. Took me a minute or two to realise I don't actually have a nipple anymore so it was painless!
Am moving around very slowly and tire easily but I don't think that's bad for day 4! My partner is helping me with the Bridget's - he is more used to working on his allotment than hoisting up ladies drawers but he's getting the hang of it! The first time he helped me pull them down he commented "blimey! It's like skinning a rabbit!". He's doing ok though he gas cooked be breakfast and keeps me topped up with tea and coffee (and chocolate biscuits which, of course are compulsory when taking Iboprofen)!
all in all - I can honestly say I have experienced no pain - only discomfort!
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

That's fantastic news!! Absolutely well done you.
Xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Yeah! Just seen surgeon and not only is drip coming out today but he has given me the ok to go home!
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duffer56, you are up early and posting early. I too thought the early days in hospital went by quickly and your posting each days new change is giving woman who are waiting an insight into the moment. If I were to have a diep, I'd be reading this thread. I would pull the crotch over since there was some give in those big knickers rather than pull it down. The shapewear knickers I have in three different sizes and I changed them get the proper compression as the swelling went down. Those knickers can be bought with a closures at the crotch and those cost a fourtune compared to my Matalans bought online day four of my hospital stay. I glad I did that because on phase 2, six months later, I had scar revision onmy hips and out came the graduated sizes once again. I could not stand upright until about 9 days and I had to force myself. That I looked up online and what I found it that it's pretty much the norm to walk the hunched over stoop for up to two weeks, so you are doing great! I too would like t hear your tummy button report.

Baby steps down the hall to the tv lounge today is a huge day 3 recovery progression. I'm so pleased to read it was not nearly as bad as you had thought! Well done and you are doing so well...kudos to you Duffer56!! LB, xox
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Morning Day 3. OMG has it really been three days?? Talk about baby steps - I have come such a long way in a relatively short space of time. Each tiny achievement is really a massive step forward! getting the 'Bridget Jones' on for the first time - i had wound myself up to the point of panic but I got through it and it was nowhere near as bad as I had imagined. The breast care nurse helped me on with them the first time and I held them away from my front whilst she pulled them up over by bottom. Once you're through that bit it's easy. The next milestone was going to the loo and having to take them off again to go and putting them back on again. The nurses are great but not all of them are used to the drawers and so look at me a bit blankly when I ask them to help me on with them. Then when they do they think that I have got a size too small as they are such a chore to get on. It hasn't been painfull just my anticipation causing me stress. I have been to the loo half a dozen times yesterday (and this morning) and each time it has got easier. With the drawers on I can stand up straight and get on and off the bed easier - baby steps but sheer joy!
i am taking it easy but i may venture down to the TV lounge later today - a change of scenery would be nice and I feel up to it.
Blimey! Is it really only day three??!!
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I can just imagine!!! I never had to wear any compression knickers - I guess each health authority does things differently. Apparently, they only make you wear them here if you have any form of liposuction. I did find that the clothes that I brought in to go home with didn't fit round my tummy though - you do swell up quite a lot!! I kind of assumed that because they had removed my 'mummy tummy' then I would be thinner than before, but ended up walking out of the hospital with my trousers half way round my backside haha!! As you say, not very dignified. But, I don't seem to recall that I cared that much as the walk to the main entrance was quite a way and me, being me, decided that it wasn't that far and I could walk myself. If they offer you a wheelchair - accept it lol 🙂
Are you getting around ok now? Or still struggling? I remember one of the health care assistants being really strict with me and me getting cross with her. She was adamant that I could stand up straigher than I was doing. I'm not usually a rude person, but I seem to think that I had something to say about it!! Even now, it can seem as though my skin is really quite tight around my stomach. I think my skin was so stretched from pregnancy, there wasnn't much left to stretch any further. It was weeks before I could stand straight upright.
You sound as though you're progressing really well. Try not to push yourself too hard though 🙂
Take care xxx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I am still waiting to see exactly where my belly button is!
Catheter out this morning - unfortunately that meant i had to get the Bridget Jones knickers on! I was NOT looking forward to that! as i have had the DIEP flap they use the knickers like compresion bandages - once they're on they are lovely and comfortable but getting them on and off is a two person job - especially as i still have a drain from my tummy that they haven't removed yet - dignified or what??
i was panicking before i came in as to what size to get - as they are quote snug i have ended up with 2 sizes larger that before the operation becasue of the swelling.
like an idiot - i bought myself a new pair of slippers to bring into hospital - didn't take into account that everything swells after a lot of anaesthetic - couldnt get them on so got my other half to bring in my tatty old ones - problem solved!
the other benefit of wearing them is that it makes it easier to cope with a cough or sneeze and moving on and off the bed etc. - I am not afraid of asking for help - however undignified it may be!
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Look at you Duffer56, great to read the updates and now on the other side. Well done and I'm so pleased for you bucause I think you are doing great!!

Skigirl, I get a kick out of knowing you have a heart shaped tummy button. 🙂
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I was given one on the first night as i had a tickle in my throat from the tubes and kept needing to clear my throat- it works!
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Lol - that's funny. But how great that you have that communication channel. Mind you, I think I was quite happy to sleep for the first day haha. Anything for a rest 🙂
Another piece of advice, which they may have told you already, but at some point, you will need to cough/sneeze, etc. If you roll up a towel and press it against your tummy, it helps. No, I didn't believe them at first either, but it does actually help.
I don't blame you for keeping the catheter in. Try to get as much rest as possible. It really will help with your recovery.
x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

good advice. I have asked them to leave the catheter in tonight as i am drinking loads of water and i dont think i am up to getting up and down to go to the loo! That may well delay it for a day anyway. Boob ok just wary of moving with the tummy!
am really chuffed - have got my Ipad working with a dongleb- until last week i didnt know what a dongle was! X
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi! I'm surprised to hear from you so soon. I'm glad all is going ok for you. Don't forget to keep your breast nice and warm 🙂
Yes, they don't let you rest for too long. I was only in for 5 days - Op on the Monday and home on the Friday. Don't rush it though. If you can benefit from an extra day's rest, then stay there if you have the option. When you get home, you try to do things that you shouldn't!! The surgeon wanted to send me home on the Thursday, but the nurses said it would be better for me to stay the extra night, so I did.
Take care xx