I think anyone who doesn't have immediate reconstruction faces a long wait. I had issues with my treatment and transferred to another hospital. They can schedule my Mx but don't have time for a reconstruction, although I could have had one at my first hospital. I can understand that, but was gutted to find out last week that I now have to wait six months after Mx before I can request a second meeting with the PS to discuss joining his waiting list. Just want to put all this behind me and get on with my life, but it will be two or three years now. Radiotherapy is not an issue in my case.
That's my good news shot for the day! So glad you are pleased with all the recon work. I have a way to go before I make up my mind about surgery to my healthy breast. One day at a time as they say.
Have a good Sunday
I had my "good" breast uplifted and very slightly reduced in size to get symmetry. I am delighted with the end result. I had a nipple created and slight liposuction on the diep flap at the same time as the uplift and since had areola tattoo done. My scars are fading very well and I am delighted with my outcome. The diep is soft and looks and feels like a real breast. The tummy scar is very long but is fading to a thin silver line. I have absolutely no regrets and nothing but praise for my plastic surgeon.
Just to be clear, I was only 24 hrs in ICU then transfered to my own room for 5 days
Sue is right it is a 'big' op. If you don't mind the grizzly stuff you can watch the proceedure on youtube - not everyones ball game but I found it personally helpful. My medical team would not discharge me untill all my drains were removed, the last one clearing on the 6th day.
Pam, did you have a breast reduction to gain symmetry, and are you happy with the end result?
I had mx, chemo and rads in spring/summer 2010 and then had appointment with plastic surgeon about recon in Jan 2011. I had to wait eight months for my diep surgery but I know others who have had a longer wait. It does vary considerably around the country. I didn't go into ICU but had my own room for the first few days when they like to keep you very warm and are checking the flap constantly. I was in hospital for seven days altogether.
Suzy has given you most of the criteria for this type of surgery but my ps won't do the op on anyone with a BMI over 30. As far as previous tummy scars are concerned as long as they are low enough it's ok. My hysterectomy scar was not an issue. Glad you are recovering well Suzy.
I had further surgery in 2012 to achieve symmetry and again a waiting list but not as long as for the diep.
Hope all goes well for you.
Hi Gay - I was a January 2012 chemo gal!
I was neoadjuvant, and I had a bilateral Mx with immediate DIEP recon 27th June 2012 - you may find it helpful to checkout that thread as there is a lot of info on there.
DIEP is a massive operation, and the standard hospital stay is 5-7 days regardless of whether you have already had a mx - often with time spent in ICU to check the flap doesn't fail - high risk in the first 24hours. And the recovery does take weeks... - again, check the thread for 27th June as you will find masses of info there from a number of us.
Not sure how it works in your area, but my treatment plan was co-ordinated by my breast surgeon, and that seems to be quite common - I had two Bcn's - one surgical and the other oncological, so I'd ask the surgical Bcn.
Waiting lists do seem to vary across the country - so if I was you I'd get on one ASAP!
Oh thank you Suzy. Very helpful indeed although as I have had mx perhaps it might not be quite as long in recovery/hospital? Five days in ICU sounds quite serious. Not overweight, too slender or a smoker so good on those criteria. I definitely think I want to go for this and will ask BC nurse or even oncologist next time I see them about timescales.
Good luck with your continued recovery and thank you for answering my post.
I can't answer your questions about time scales for delayed recon as I had my MX,ANC and Diep together.
However I believe some of the physical criteria for Diep recon are, previous scars on the tummy, being considered over weight, or too slender. Smoking, as it cuts down your healing abilities. With all plastic surgery it seems the patients expections also play a part, as further surgery to the healthy breast may be necessary to achieve symmetry.
As to recovery, post op I was 24hrs in ICU, 5 days in my own room, and up and walking straight 2nd day after surgery. It was difficult to get in and out of bed, but tramadol eased the way. I had five drains, all removed before leaving hospital.Once home I gradually came off painkillers and took it easy. I am now 5 weeks on and back to driving, wearing jeans, and doing most things domestic, but not lifting heavy weight. My tummy scar has healed very well and the new position of my belly button is looking good. I have been very good and worn my nhs tubular corset day and night, swapping it out for light control M&S pants occasionaly. My breast scars have been slower to heal, but are on the way now. The new boob feels very firm, but I am assured it will soften in time.
If I had my time over would I choose Diep? Yes, my new breast is my own tissue which is important to me. My surgeons did a great job, and I had a good recovery.
Hope I've been of some help. Virtual hugs to you too.
I've been posting on the Starting chemo in January Jems thread as currently having FEC-T chemo (2nd cycle). I'm actually feeling pretty good and my thoughts are definitely turning to the future and now feeling really positive about having reconstruction of left breast - particularly having a tummy tuck thrown in.
My questions are though: what is a realistic time scale for having an op on the NHS (my mx was 14 Nov 12)? Does everyone get what they want or could there be a reason that I couldn't have the tummy tuck reconstruction? When do you have to ask for it/get booked in? How long do you need to recover as it sounds like another big chunk of life goes on hold?
Sorry so many questions. Hope someone has a few answers.
Love and virtual hugs to all girls who have found themselves on the forum for whatever reason. You're a wonderful crowd.
Welcome to the forum,and am glad the courage is there that you are looking forward towards your reconstruction. My reconstruction has it,s moment but everything is settled now,and am looking forward to discuss about uplifting the other breast.
Wish you luck.
Thank you Janet, I'll look forward to being able to share probably many questions before and after my future op with other ladies that have been there, done that so to speak, and of course yourself and BCC team....Brenda
I've not posted before, being a new member, but have over the last few months read with great interest so many of you lovely ladies post. It has been lovely hearing how so many of you have undergone different types of surgery, majority I believe with no regrets...I have a date 9th April for reconstruction, feeling rather happy that it's now not so long to wait. I'm due for Diep flap after having left mx June 2011, so I will continue keeping up to date with your chats, you all seem to be doing really well.........Brenda