I had an immediate DIEP reconstruction in January, and was told in May that I may have to wait up to a year for my nipple reconstruction, removal of my dog ears, and liposuction. I was surprised to get a call about three weeks ago to say there was a chance it could be done during the summer, and even more amazed to then be offered a cancellation about 10 days ago. My nipple was reconstructed by cutting a clover-shaped piece from the flap skin on my boob and folding it round to make a nipple shape. Apparently they don't cut through all the layers of skin, so that the area which has been cut isn't completely raw. It was kept covered in a foam dressing for the first week, and when I saw the finished result on Friday, I couldn't believe how good it looks. I also had liposuction from my reconstructed boob, but there is still a bit of swelling, so I can't tell how well matched it is to my good boob now. I was fortunate in that the reconstructed boob has dropped to match the other side perfectly.
I also had my dog ears removed, and general liposuction around my hip area. When the surgeon removed the dog ears, she opened up the last 2-3 inches of the original DIEP scar, so it is now very neat and tidy, with no additional scarring. I couldn't believe the amount of bruising from the liposuction, but none of the procedures were particularly painful. I think the whole thing took about 1.5 hours. I should have the tattooing done in about 6 weeks.
When I was first told that I needed a mastectomy in November, I never would have dreamed that the end result could look this good - I am really shocked by the level of skill of the plastic surgeons who have treated me, and absolutely delighted. I have always been really pleased with the original DIEP operation, but the latest bits of surgery have made such a difference to me, especially having a really realistic looking nipple.