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Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

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Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

This reads as empowering Duffer and I hope this gets right where it counts!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I have made the decision to resign from the job. I need to work but I don't need to work for bullies! I have seen a solicitor to see if I had a case for constructive dismissal and he believes I have so I am taking them to a tribunal. I told the solicitor that if he felt I didn't have a case then I would walk away and put it down to experience but if I did have a case then I wanted the bullies to have to justify their behaviour to a tribunal.
They made me feel so anxious worrying whether I was allowed to use my phone to keep in touch with the cancer support network that they made a horrible situation even worse - just so they could show who was boss.
I feel so much better now that I know I don't have to go back. The prospect of not finding alternative employment is less daunting than working for bullying control freaks!
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I'm with you, I'm glad so little found. LB,x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi LB
I had the first mammogram 5 years ago when I was about to hit 50 and they discovered micro calcifications. I was then on regular annual mammograms from thrn. The following year intermediate DCIS was diagnosed and i have been clear until this year when high grade DCIS was diagnosed.
the IDC is grade 2.
i am just grateful that there was so little there
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Carol, I'm sorry they found more and yes, mx was the best decision and I'm gald a scan is in the works. I was wondering, how often over the past 4 years did you get a mammo?
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Ave just had report from oncologist and in addition to the DCIS there was a 2mm grade 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The oncologist as put me on Letrozole for the next five years.
i can't say i am overly shocked as I had a feeling that they would find something more thanthe DCIS. I am so glad that I went for the mastectomy - at least I know that whatever was there has now been removed.
the oncologist is arranging for me to have a CT scan and bone scan just to show that it hadn't spread anywhere - I din't even have to ask - it was his suggestion which I must admit I would appreciate the peace of mind.
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

YAY!!! Have a sweet sleep tonight Carol. , LB, xox
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

😄 Enjoy xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Home...........! Bliss!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

YEAH!!!!! EESCAPING TODAY!!!!
ok, have to be chacked over by consultant next Friday but I am out of here today !!!!!
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duffer, you sound good and been through the mill with your Belgian Bun - brawh! Good to read that new site for the canula for your drip is working out better and I'm all for stamping feet and actually getting a scan to see for sure that you are 100% in the clear!
Skigirl, I so realte to the getting used to, the heavy feeling leaving, the nerves streaming out and reattaching and my stomach area ihas much more feeling. I'm still more comfortable with a light bra on at all times for compression and still sleep with one, because when I'm braless, the diep breast feels less attached- a slight pulled away from my body than attached to the rest of me, if that makes sense?
Gentle hugs to you lovely women, LB, x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I was really surprised when I said to the surgeon that I didn't know how it should feel - he said it should feel like a breast. Sorry to dissillusion you doc but at this moment this feels more like a Belgian Bun stuck to my chest than it feels like a boob!
doctors and surgeons may well know what a boob feels like from the outside but they sure as hell don't know what it feels like from this side.
i am glad i pushed for te scan because now I am 100% certain that there is nothing nasty lurking beneath and I know how it feels now so I have a benchmark!
trust me though! The very, very first sign of any unexplained redness and I will be knocking down their door for tem to check me out!
i am pleased to say that the new site for the canula for my drip is wrking well - I am so glad I asked them to move it last night. The site where they had it inthe back of my hand yesterday is still very tender and swollen. I keep trying to elevate my hand and wiggle my fingers butthe back of my hand is still swollen. I am sure i used to have knuckes on that hand - I demand to know what they've done with thm as I ould like them back!
thankfully they started my IV drip a little early tonight so t should einished in about ten minutes - yeah - I cn go to sleep at a reasonable time!
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Carol. I'm glad that things are beginning to look up for you again. I'm not surprised that you're a bit paranoid - I would be too. But to be perfectly honest with you, paranoia has become a bit of a permanent state of mind for me following my operation. Any slight twinge, tingle, pain that I haven't experienced before sets my mind into overdrive. For example, just recently, I have been having quite a lot of wierd sensations (and not all of them painless). Of course, my mind thinks that it's starting to die off or something - in spite of reassurances from the medical profession that all will be fine after x amount of weeks post op. On the plus side, I've just got out of the shower this evening and whilst drying myself off, I've noticed that I have quite a lot of sensation actually in my breast and around the flap!! My BS has said previously that the pain/wierd sensations are the nerves 'firing off', so maybe they are beginning to knit together again (after all this time!). I'm sure they said that if you hadn't got sensation back within the year, then it was unlikely to come back at all. Watch this space on that!!
Regarding 'what is normal' for a reconstructed boob. I'm sure everyone is different, but in the early days, I think mine just felt like something was strapped to my chest. It felt heavy and uncomfortable. I don't think I felt very much for the first couple of weeks, but then I had pain down the outside of the breast. I had this for quite a long time - many months. I'm not sure when it stopped (or even if it has to be honest). I have more of an 'itchiness' there most of the time now, which is quite uncomfortable. I can't quite remember when it stopped feeling like a lead lump on me all of the time. There are still days when it can feel a bit like that too, but not many. These are usually when I've done too much and the muscles are a bit tight. I can't stress how important it is to do your exercises. Even now, when I've been a bit lazy, I feel very stiff in my shoulder and arm!! You will get to know what is 'normal' for you though. BUT try not to worry too much when it changes, because mine is still changing after 14 months! The shape pretty much settled at about 6 months, and I'm happy to say I have very good symmetry, even without a bra on.
Another little tip for you! Moisturise!! They will tell you when to start doing this, if not already!. I'm sure when they told me I was mortified. As much as it is uncomfortable to start off with, it really does help with the healing - it breaks down the scar tissue apparently. It also helps with the blood flow and makes your skin feel less tight 🙂
Anyway, have a good evening. Hopefully, you will be able to go home tomorrow xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Scans have both come back clear so nothing lurking within! Don't care if I am officially classed as paranoid - i needed to see that there was nothing under the surface as everything felt just as it did when I was admitted so I had no bench mark to compare to.
the cultures have come back with nothing showing which apparently is not uncommon as i had already been bombarded with antibiotics before the sample was taken.
So! As they are pleased with the way the boob is looking and there's nothing lurking beneath and no discernable infection there is a chance that they will let me out tomorrow. They aren't promising (in fact they have said I'm staying atleast anoth night) but i am reading the hint of escape. I have no doubt that they are waiting for the consultant to see me tomorrow to see me and he will make the call then.
if he doesn't let me come home ten I trust him enough to know that it is for the right reasons. I must admit my faith waivered for a little while as my consultant has been on holiday and is still not back, his registrar has been off since admitting me on Saturday and the surgeon who did the second operation was not around yesterday and my observation (rather than complaint) is that the infrastructure did nt cope with their absenses as well as i would have liked.
i have spoken to the Ward Manager (Matron) to pass on my observations and I did feel that she was happy that I had said something so that they can improve things.
so - drain out, mind at rest, canular moved to less tender site - all is right with the world!
GMT
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Carol you are so inspiring, how you keep your spirits up so well is amazing. I'd missed a few posts and I'm so sorry it's been so horrid. I truly hope you are on the mend.
much love,
Gaynor xx

Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

they are still waiting on the results of the cultures so that they can target the infection. Can't get me off of the IV antibiotics and onto oral ones until they know. Can't come home whilst on IV.
Have nagged (who me?, surely not!) them to chase but he pointed out that they might have trouble growing the culture as i have been bombarded with so many antibiotics already!
I reckon i am here for today but hopefully not much longer!
Doc reckons it is healing (and feeling) the way he would expect. I pointed out that it felt exactly the same before i came in and loads of medics prodded and poked and thought it was normal and did nothing until it was badly infected (15, love) He pointed out that no 'senior' medics had taken a look and he has dealt with loads of reconstructed boobs and knows what they should feel like. He as pointed out that he had been inside it (he did my 2nd surgery) so he knew exactly what was in there ad where it had been! (15 all) I said I still wanted scan to put mind at rest as I couldn't see inside (30, 15) He said I could have one but he wasn't going to take me back to theatre (30, all) I said i would be more than happy if scan came back clear and i was officially confirmed as paranoid (40:30) He said it was my job as the patient to tell them my concerns and nag them until they dealt with them (deuce) He then said that he was happy for the drain to come out but might as well wait until after the scan (damn it!). Game, set and match to the doc!)
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Day 23. Am feeling that I have had enough now! My recon boob is feeling the way it did when I was at home. It doesn't feel to me like it's a problem but it didn't before and it was all festering beneath the surface. How on earth are we to know what's normal - what does a recon boob feel like?????
i have told the doctors i am concerned so they are arranging for me to have an ultrasound this morning.
my tummy scar is hardly leaking now but i am getting so paranoid now it feels different to before and feels like the fat above my scar is 'overhanging' - could be perfectly normal but i am paranoia personified now. I have asked tem to scn my tummy too to make sure nothing 'lurks beneath'. The doctors can't see any point in doing it ut i have pointed out that the peace of mind alone will be worth it's weight in gold! I am afraid I have now reachedvthe 'foot stampng' stage. I am so pissed off that they didn't get round to checking what was behind the redness on my boob earlier that i have now had to be back here almost a week and be pumped so full of antibiotics that i dont think i have any blood left in my veins - I think it's neat donestos!
The canula in my hand where they were givingthe IV was getting very sore yesterday so they had to find another site to relocate it last night. I feel like a human pin cushion.
sorry the latest post isn't so upbeat but getting well fed up now!
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Great and glad you will have time with your sweetie. Bit windy outside, the dog is in the front garden, the man has his head in the oven scrubbing away. I'm truly enjoying andwhat I wanted for Mother's Day!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Other half coming over between 2 and 4 So we'll go for a little saunter to the cafe for coffee and a bun. Didnt really look at the write up for Shades - sometimes i deliberately go for a best seller without reading too much about it first! I just remember thinking 'oh give over, enough already!' (Jewish heritage coming out there- my life, already)
if you're on line this afternoon best bet is pm'ing - will pm My email address to you
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

This is great film and book reviews! I relate to you on concentration at hospital and how resting, on pain meds. In hospital, everything I listened to was intense and a bit overwhelming because as you know, so little stimulation. I remember listening to Simon Mayo Drive Time on R2 and was so following his reading of the confession and then the quiz he does at the end of the show, I said to myself, get a life and it was my life I was living. When one slows down for a medical issue, that you know in your heart, you will come out the other end but the obstacles and hurdles have to be worked through one-by-one before getting there. I can make myself so busy, and the ya-de-yadas in my head and fear this will never end can take over. Carol, I think you are doing great and what possed you to read Shades? The best I can say is my hat if off to E.L. James who came out of nowhere and laughes all the way to the bank. I do like hearing of stories of normal (non-type A) women who shoot to the top like that.

Who is coming to see you in hospital today Carol? I'm around online this afternoon as we one of those oven valet companies coming over in a bit to clean filthy thrashed oven. I still need to get a life! LB, x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi LB
i brought my Kindle in with me but i haven't got round to reading anything yet. I cheated when i came in for my main operation and downloaded Miranda Hart's book to listen to. It was ok but i coundn't really concentrate so gave up.
last books that I chose to read was the Hunger Games trilogy which I thoroughly enjoyed. I only realised afterwards that they had already turned the first book into a film. I saw the film which was ok but didn't do the book justice.
before that i inadvertantly read the first in the 'Shades of Grey' trilogy - sorry ladies but I was distinctly unimpressed and kept thinking surely this is going somewhere so I forced myself to read through to the end only to find that there were another two to follow - no thanks I was unimpressed with the first - i certainly wasn't going through more of the same for another two books.
other than that I am a bit of a Lee Child fan (Jack Reacher) although how on earth anybody could cast shortie Tom Cruise in the part of Reacher, who is meant to be an impressive 6' 4" well built imposing 'take control', imposing personality, needs their head examined!
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

YAY - no more surgery! You said: unaided Bridget's and no saturated dressings.....small step for woman.....giant step for womankind! I completely agree and you are funny. Ok, let's see what that infection is and patience..all is moving forward. On to light chit-chat..what are you reading? My last kindle book was Kate Atkinson, Life After Life, which I did not think was to back-flipping terrific like the reviews stated.
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Yeah! Dressing didnt need hanging on tummy leak yesterday (2 weeks) that's been going! So i assume that's settling down nicely.
have managed for last couple of days to get Bridget's on and off myself (so much better and more dignified).
Canula where they are pumping IV antibiotics was making my wrist very tender (especially as it was still bruised from the original operation) - it had been in three days and they change the location after 72 hours anyway but I had asked for them to find another vein as my poor wrist had ad enough (bit like it's owner at the moment). I now have the canula in the back of my right hand which seems much better although did cause my fingers to swell yesterday. I tried to keep my hand elevated and wiggle and bend my fingers and they are much better now.
so...unaided Bridget's and no saturated dressings.....small step for woman.....giant step for womankind
just seen surgeon who says i dont need more surgery but not out of woods yet as they need to identify what the infection is so that they can give me the right antibiotics. More to the point - the right antibiotics to go home with......!
looks like i am here for another couple of days
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Your typing is excellent Carol (I hate to think of the pain, that every now and then sharp when you hit a certain key) and now I see the whole picture. You are so good at keeping on your care, even while under care no less. Unfortunately, that is the way it is on the breast cancer conveyor belt -- the real world. That was quite a long time to go without food when you are already barely eating and you flagging up the holes in your care may help the next woman. I had an appointment with oncologist Dr. Russell Burcome at Maidstone after my surgery and found him wonderful and informative. I liked you were offered a tidy up and I too would have declined, yet nice to offer. I think there will be more eyes on your chart and timings; I'd like to hope so. You keep at it, being a advocate for your care because as hard, exhausting and dissapointing as it is is now, it is later where the extra flagging up of were the ball was dropped and YOU reminding them of what comes next, will have a knock on effect to healing. Smart of you to talk to your counsellor and she is helping to snap fingers to get them to wake up a bit. I like knowing that the diep is doing well, the blood supply flowing, breast warm and that of the surgery a success. I had an MRI during my work-up of diagnosis and the only scan I received was for the lower half to find the vein used for the diep, like you. Your PS is now well aware what he is working with to get you back on forward footing. I'm here following you and admire your ability to take action under duress. Stay strong Carol, this will pass and better days are just ahead.

Love to you dear Carol, LB, xox
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi LB
apparently the radiotherapy I had four years ago has left the skin very delicate and they think this has contributed to the problem.
i am told that the flap itself is fine and the blood supply is good from it's new source but it is the fat beneath the original breast skin which has caused the problem. I have to admit I am a litle annoyed that I was not given a scan sooner - maybe had they checked to see if there was abuild up of fluid sooner then it wouldn't have caused such a problem now. I know in the great scheme of things it was not a long time but if it may require a skin graft to correct then that could have been avoided.
the good news is that my tummy leak is finally settling (the surgeon did ask if there were any other bits he could 'tidy up' while i was under but as the tummy had been slowing nicely I declined his offer).
Yesterday was not a good day - it strted badly and faded!
i had got an appointment for what I thought was my follow up appointment at the breast unit at Maidstone for today. As i realised I was unlikely to have found the escape tunnel from here I phoned ad suggested they moved the appointment. I had assumed I would get the pathology report at the time. I received a phone call yesterday to call back for an appointment time at Maidstone but when I rang the number I realised it was for the Oncologist. I had not been made aware at any of the meetings I had before surgery that I would need to see an oncologist so I went into an anxiety attack. all that had ever een mentioned was DCIS, no mention of further treatment had been mentioned. I thought that as the cancer was till contained and I had let them takethe whole breast away - why would I need more cancer treatment - the breast was no longer there so the cancer couldn't be there either!
Next panic was OMG! what have they found?? Is it much worse than thy thought?? I was in a right state!!
Thankfully there was a BCN on the ward yesterday and I asked to see her. She came to see me within about ten minutes (helps to be in the right place) and she was confused also by the two separate appointments but got onto straight away. She told me that it is standard procedure to see an oncologist after any sort of surgery for cancer - I just wished they had told me to expect to see him it would certainly have avoided the unnecessary anxiety! I spoke to the oncologists secretary ad she has been brilliant and got the oncologist to raise the lack of communication at the multi disciplinary meeting he was going to yesterday. That was one bit of stress which could have been avoided with a little better communication!
this ll occured on the same day I was being starved in case I needed surgery. The surgery was dependent on the results of a scan. The person doing the scan wasn't in till one o/clock but I was 'nil by mouth' from 06:00! when it got to half past one I had a visit from the anaesthetist who said I was on his list for 15:00. I questioned when I was going to have the scan and when the nurse phoned through it transpired that nobody had made the request so if I hadn't chased it up it wouln't have happened and I would have missed my slot for surgery!
i have got through this by my trust in the medical professionals - i know it was a small hiccup but my faith waivered a little yesterday. Inthe real world I would have been at the front of the queue chasing up the admin (pushy broad at the best of times) but I have to relinquish control to the people who are here to make me better! I have spoken to the counsellor today and she has arranged for the Ward Manager to pop in and see me. I dont so much want to complain as much as i want them to know that the situation could have been handled much better and with certainly less anxiety to me.
excuse bad typing only right hand is sore where drip is going in so one haned at mo
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi Carol! Good to read you are on the other side and interesting that the fat necrosis was from four years ago. Will you stay until the drain comes out or home w/drain?
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Ultrasound showed 40-60ml still left in boob so had surgery to remove fluid. Surgery removed 50ml and gave everything a good wash out. I am now back on the ward and have a drain in boob incase any more to ome out.
surgeon says that the fat necrosis was not from the reconstruction flap but was from under the original breast skin which had had the radiotherapy four years ago. They are hoping that it will clear nicely but there is a small chance it is too fragile and, worst case scenario it might need a skin graft - let's hope it doesn't come to that.
am feeling a little sore but no worse and glad it's been done
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Carol, I hope you were able to get slotted in and that you are on the mend. This will pass and God knows you deserve smooth sailing from here on. Take good care and your calm and level way is inspiring!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Good morning LB
i am being blitzed with antibiotics now as the fluid they drained off was definitely infected - the antibiotics are still intravenous but the new ones are super douper ones and take 90/120 minutes to go in. I am now 'nil by mouth' and they are hoping to slip me into somebody's list this morning for surgery to clean out any remaining gunk left in there.
compared to the original 11 hour surgery and recovery I am hoping this will be a walk in the park!
boob a little tender where there drained yesterday but nothing too major and eased by paracetemol.
fingers crossed they find a slot for me this morning otherwise it will be this afternoon
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Carol, we are here reading your progress. I'm sorry for all you are going through and want you home soon but not until it's time. Hang in there and keep talking to us. LB,xox
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Oh Carol, I am so gutted for you 😞 After everything that you've been through, and now this. But, as you say, you are in the right place for it and they can start the treatment straight away. At least, it appears that it's been caught soon enough, but it sucks a lot that you may have to have another operation 😞
I shall be thinking of you tomorrow xxxx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Have just let them draw some fluid off boob to send for analysis to determine best antibiotics. As it turns out they ended up drawing off 80ml of fluid!
i have to say it caused me absolutely no discomfort whatsoever whilst they did it!
The fluid is definitely infected so there is now a greater chance of surgery tomorrow to clean it all out properly.
hey ho! At least it's only a small operation and if i hadnt been here then it would have only got worse and could well have turned into a major problem.
At least now they can determine the right antibiotics to get rid of the infection!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Temperature slightly rased and boob slightly tender so looking at scan tomorrow and change of antibiotics to even stronger ones. They are also saying there might be a collection of fluid which will ned to be surgically drained. Oh joy!
not sure i am ever going to get out of here!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Seen doctor this morning - they still don't think the redness in the boob is a problem but as they don't know exactly what it is they are not letting me out yet. It is so frustrating! I know it's only a minor setback in the great scheme of things and better to be safe than sorry and I'm in the best place but it is so frustrating!
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Glad things don't appear to be so bad regarding your boob, but sorry to hear about your stomach upset now 😞 You're really going through the mill at the moment!!
Glad it doesn't seem to be getting you down though - keep smiling 🙂
LB, I will have to have a look out for one of those seatbelt covers - on long journeys, the seatbelt can still be quite uncomfortable when I'm driving.
xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Have seen the doc today and he doesn't seem overly concerned with the redness of the boob and thinks its more likely a skin problem rather than a problem with the flap. Phew! He does want me to continue with the intravenous antibiotics though but for 48 hours rather than 24 so unlikely I will be out of here before Tuesday morning now.
The original doctor did mention that these particular antibiotics can cause diarrhoea in some patients. Guess who is one of those patients then? Joy! there is an upside though- they have had to move me to a single room with its own bathroom and toilet. Yeah! Upgrade!
polly_1
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I really hope you get out of hospital tomorrow. It must be so frustrating to be back in just when you were just starting to get out and about. Better safe that sorry though and hopefully things will improve for you. Hang on in there x
I live in jeans but will stock up on some soft trousers and tracksuit bottoms. My jeans are tight enough as it is! Lands End always have good offers and I've just ordered some button up nightshirts from there so will have a look at the trousers too.
Polly x
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Oh Carol, I hope this round of intravenous antibiotics does the trick. You have my thoughts and prayers and I hope to see you back on Monday. On the wearing jeans, it took me months till I could because the hip-to-hip flap was so senstive. For the first almost three months out, I wore soft jersey pull on trousers. I bought them at Lands End on sale yet Sainsbury's has some for half the price. Of course some can wear them earlier. I know what you mean about the first trip out and starting to getting back to the 'new' normal. You will get back to it soon enough. Gentle hugs, LB, x
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

District nurse was concerned that boob redness was not improving so suggested I phoned hospital. spoke to doctor who saw me earlier in the week and he asked me to go to hospital so he could take a look. He still doesn't know what it is or whether it is a problem but has decided to give me intravenous antibiotics. great idea but means I have gad to be admitted again. Just when life was starting to get back to normal! I know they are just being cautious and that it's the right thing to do bit I really hate being back here!
i definitely won't be back out until at least Monday (2 nights) - I didn't bring anything with me so have scrounged a charger fir my phone from the nurses station!
hopefully the antibiotics will work and then I can get outa here!
Moya
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I had seromas in my breast and axilla which started leaking three weeks after surgery when I had cellulitis. The dressings they used in hospital were very bulky and my skin blistered where they used tape to secure them. The answer was sanitary towels in my bra (!!) which worked brilliantly.
Hope that helps
Moya xx

Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I had a thought too! I expected to be ble to wear my jeans back out from the hospital - that what somrwhat optimistic! I managed to get them on but no way on earth were they going to come clse to doing up - I seriously underestimated the amount my tummy would swell. when i got home i ordered a pair of tracksuit bottoms a size larger than I normally have - they have been a godsend!
Not overly glamourous considering the surgical stockings stay on for three weeks ad the Bridget's and sports bra stay on for six weeks!
Had a relatively normal morning today - asked the dstrict nurse not to come out until this afternoon so we could have a run out to have breakfast and pop round a garden centre. It was lovely to do something so normal!
still leaking but manageable and as always'better out than in!'
Lilac_Blue
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

I bought online a very thick, long sheepskin seatbelt cover that can easily be velcroed on/off to passenger or driver. I still use it and it displaces the weight, very soft and cost £15. There are cheaper ones but they are too thin and short. Thick and long is what works best. One of the best things I've purchased for recovery and it's still in use.
polly_1
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duffer, that's great that the leaking is calming down.
Skigirl ,thanks for the tips for the journey. I'll definately try the rolled up towel idea for the seatbelt and bring a pillow for the bumps..ouch!!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Yeah! Small step for man - giant step for mankind. Managed to sleep for a little while on my side last night. I do hate sleeping on my back and keep waking up with back ache.
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Leaking seems to be subsiding now - at least through most of the day. The district nurses are coming in daily to change dressings. We were just getting to the point where we had a good idea on the best type of dressing to use and then today i had a different nurse who didn't have the dressings which we had been using so had to use whatever she had in her car. The upshot of that is that the dressings she had are twice the size of the ones we'd been using and I have felt really uncomfortable all day as the dressings go from just under my (new) belly button but all the way down to my pubic bone. It feels like I have been wearing a Lonsdale Belt all day long. I could barely straighten up wen she went as I was so padded up!
apparently they have to order the dressings and it takes a few days for them to come through - by the time they arrive I am hoping that they wont be needed!
the boob is still a bit red in places and has spread a little outside the outline the dctor drew on - still doesn't feel like a problem.
Lilac_Blue
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Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Duffer/Carol, wonderful all is calming now two weeks on doing well!
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi all, 2 weeks post surgery!
am feeling much, much better today. Seroma is settling down now. Redness on boobie seems to be a bit better now too.
i have a little area of irritation above my tummy scar - irritatingly i didnt mention it to the doctor as it wasn't there yesterday. I am thinking that it may be where one of the dressings was yesterday. I will get the distrct nurse to take a look later.
am managing getting up and down stairs better and sitting and getting up from being seated is improving too.
i felt that my boob was a little uncomfortable last night trying to get to sleep. Nothing serious but it felt like it was laying heavy especially as i still need to sleep om by back. I rolled up a towel to ellevate my arm a little and that seemed to do the trick. It seems tohave helped with the skin irritation too so maybe it's been dragging the skin a little.
other than that - all going well!
skigirl
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Carol, I too had an area on my boob that they called 'an area of concern'. It took longer to heal than the rest of the flap, but it did heal ok in the end. I also have an area of fat necrosis, which causes a slight dip in the boob/chest wall, but it's not too bad - not bad enough to warrant any further surgery anyway. I'm a massive wuss when it comes to surgical procedures, so things would really have to be bad for that!!
After my biopsies, I discovered that I was massively allergic to the steristrips that they use. I also took my dressings off earlier than I should have and I had blistered. It took quite a while for the redness and blisters to subside, so I told the consultant and they didn't use them during my operation. I had some kind of glue instead(very messy to clean off!!).

Polly, one thing I would suggest is a pillow (or two) for your journey. Unfortunately, it is still law for you to wear your seatbelt which will be uncomfortable for you. I bought one of those little rectangular pillows you would put on a bed or something and used that for my tummy area. I had a rolled up towel over my shoulder that lifted the seat belt away from my breast. But, as you say, dose yourself up with painkillers. You will also have to watch out for those bumps in the road!! I had a 50 minute journey home and that was long enough, so you may want to consider breaking the journey up, even though you will just want to get home.

I was dosed up on morphine during my first night, so I wasn't really too aware of the disturbances - just woke up when they came in for a check up and a sip of water! You just get through it though 🙂

xx
Duffer56
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Have been back to East Grinstead for check up following last week's leaking seroma. Leaking seems to be slowing down now. my tummy scar was leaking quite significantly for 4/5 days and has only slowed down in last 24/48 hours. No problem at all apart from being messy and soiling clothing etc.
i did also mention a slight redness on my reconstructed boob. I noticed the day after surgery that my skin was itching slightly at the edge of the plaster dressing. I had already mentioned to the pre assessment team that i ad recently had a reaction to the plaster put on after my biopsy. I have ever had a reaction to plasters in the past but the plaster they put on after the biopsy was very tight and began itching hours after i left the hspital. I had been told to leave the plaster on for 48 hours but it was itching so much and felt so tight that i ad to loosen the pressue. As i moved the plaster i realised that it had actually blistered beneath. once the plaster was removed totally any irritation went within a couple of days.
the doctor didnt seem unduly worried about the redness but there is a little heat in that area so he wants to keep an eye on it. To gauge whether it increases or decreases in size e has drawn round it in marker pen (cheers!) - looks a bit like a shark!
the doctor did mention that it might be because i had radiotherapy on that boob 4 years ago and that could have left the skin on that boob as extremely delicate and sensitive. He did also mention 'fat necrosis' but also said tat was unlikely as i had noticed the irritation so soon after surgery (phew!).
the doctor also surprised me by telling me that the effects of radiotherapy on the skin can appear up o 20 years after treatment! They ay well have told e that four years ago but to be honest i would have been in such a daze at the time that i wouldnt have retained the information anyway!
am under instructions to keep an eye on it and any concers give them a ring and go back in. Watch this space!
polly_1
Member

Re: Infection in reconstructed boob following DIEP

Hi ladies,
skigirl, that mattress does sound nice, not sure if my hospital has them but hope they do.
Duffer how are you today? I hope your taking it easy.
Sounds like the first night will feel like a very long one but your right, you just have to go with it and things will get better. I remember having the massaging wraps on my legs after my c-section but the warming pad on my boobs is a first! I did wonder how they keep them warm as I know that's really imprortant. I just want to get thoses first few days over with to make sure the blood flow is ok then hopefully onwards and upwards.
I'm having my surgery very far away from home at St John's Hopital in Livingstone and I live up the top of Scotland so it's a 6 hour drive home. Think I'm going to need some serious painkillers for that! I have family nearer the hospital so we may have to stay with them if I really can't face it. Love my family but really hoping to avoid that.
Polly x