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Not happy with recon surgery

6 REPLIES 6
ForumMember
Member

Re: Not happy with recon surgery

Thanks all very much for comments. I have decided to leave them and just try and get used to them for now. Im also trying to lose some weight as my breasts quite a good insentive actually!

Ithink if im still not happy ill re-evaluate in a few months....

Thanks again.

Emily

xxxx

carolec
Member

Re: Not happy with recon surgery

Hi CazMc

I think you would definitely know if your implant had ruptured. I have been told that with the saline implant (as I had) the implant becomes much smaller in a short space of time. I understand that with the silicone implants it happened gradually over a period of time. I first noticed something was wrong around June last year and went back to my PS. My implant was very tight before the rupture and suddently became smaller and the skin covering the implant was sagging a bit. He referred me for an MRI scan and that confirmed that the implant had ruptured but that none of the outer silicone had broken away, which was a relief.

I can understand your anxieties about the tummy flap op - I was dead against it at first, but it was either that or have nothing at all as I didn't want another implant (my PS said there was a good chance I would have problems if I had another one and I didn't want operation after operation replacing implants). As misspiggy said, everyone is different. I'm 6 weeks post op and thinking of going back to work on the 26th Jan. I've read of other ladies driving 3 weeks after the same op.

It all boils down to what is right for you and if you decide on further surgery, it pays to go to a PS who has the most experience in that type of operation. I changed from my original PS as he had no experience in the tummy flap op and went to someone recommended by my breast cancer consultant who only does the tummy flap and LD flap ops.

All the best

Carole

Diana
Member

Re: Not happy with recon surgery

Hi Mairead,

All recons have their own pros and cons, not to mention the risks and the possible complications. As Carole said, you need to research as much info as you can to help you decide. Some hospital do more LD recons than DIEP, depends on the skill of the surgeons. The plastic surgeons normally suggest the method of recons they are familiar with, not all plastic surgeons can do DIEP/TRAM for example. Some people have awful post operative complications after the reconstruction, depends on your body and how you recover or whether you catch infection on your wound, etc. Each person heals differently. I heard from horrible stories from people who had DIEP/TRAM/LD respectively, you need to evaluate those.

Inevitably, you will have scarring for DIEP, LD or TRAMP. Some scars fade away and some got worse (kelloid or raised scars). Each person's body react different way to cope with this major surgery. You must be prepared to take the risks, accept the consequences if it does not give the result you want, and hope for the best. I was warned by the plastic registra, before my DIEP recon, not to hang my hope too high as things could go wrong during urgery, depending whether our veins are OK for reconnection.

I remember when I sat days after days, trawling the internet looking for information and some reliable academic information to guide me. It is hard decision to make, I have been there and I know how difficult it is to decide.

Good luck with your op and hope that it goes smoothly.

xxx

CazMc
Member

Re: Not happy with recon surgery

Carole,

Can I ask you something?

This sounds stupid, but how did you know the implant ruptured? I had LD followed by mastectomy (they didn't get clear margins first time round) in 2005. It's a mess. However, when I saw the plastic surgeons at Charing X the only alternative is the stomach op. He said 9 hours surgery, at least 3 months recovery...no thanks, I'll live with it.

But back to my original question. I've heard the impants don't last forever and while it's only saline in it, it does concern me if it leaks or worse ruptures. Was it gradual? was it suddenly that you knew something was wrong? Even after all this time, I'm even scared to lie on my tummy in bed, which was my fave way of sleeping before!

Mairead - give it time to settle. I had immediate reconstruction and with hindsite, I think there's a lot to be said for waiting a while until everything settles. Good luck.

Love Caz xxx

carolec
Member

Re: Not happy with recon surgery

Hi Mairead

Sorry to hear you've had problems. I've had both ops - I had mastectomy and immediate becker implant 7 years ago. Unfortunately for me the implant ruptured July last year - it was never right, always tight and uncomfortable. As I didn't want another implant I went for a DIEP flap (tissue from tummy). Its a big op but I'm so pleased not to have the hard uncomfortable implant anymore. I had to have the op as the implant had ruptured - not sure I would have gone for more surgery otherwise and may have just lived with the pain (don't know) but I had no option as the implant had to come out.

My advice is before you decide to go for further surgery, do some research and meet other people who have had the tummy flap done and theres also the LD flap where they take muscle from the back but I didn't choose this as you have to have a small implant as well. Your breast care nurse may be able to arrange this.

I agree with Miss Piggy - my stomach is tight and becomes tighter if I eat too much, but its early days yet (had my tummy flap 6 weeks ago). I must say I'm really pleased with the results and yes there are scars but I'm hoping they will fade with time. Certainly my original scars from my op 7 years ago were almost invisible so I'm hoping these will be the same in time.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

Diana
Member

Re: Not happy with recon surgery

Hi - sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the result of your reconstruction. You said that you've put on so much weight. What happen if you lose weight one day, then it would balance and in proportion. Most people's weight fluctuates, especially when they go on various diets. I have had a DIEP reconstruction which resulting in a flat stomach. My stomach is tight, and I have to be careful not to eat too much. I have seen images of DIEP patients who put the weight back on their tummies.

My new recontructed breast is the same size as before but slightly fuller or perkier. I was told that it would settle and soften. Of course it is not perfect, because it is not our real breast. I dont have big breasts but am just so grateful that at the end of the day I still have breasts. The main thing is the cancer's gone.

Good luck

ForumMember
Member

Not happy with recon surgery

Hi,

Dx with BC in June 2008, had double mast and expanders and have been treated with Zoladex and Tamoxifen.

When i was DX i was 22 and a size 8 with good sized boobs!! Since being on the treatment that im on i have put on 2 stone....great! When i was diagnosed my surgeon asked me what size i wanted to be @ end result but i was so clouded with the fact that i had cancer, i just wanted my breasts gone and the thought of having breasts made my skin crawl!! She said that she would keep to the same size as what i was as i said that i wasnt bothered as long as she got rid of the cancer.

I was fitted with expanders and had them filled every 2 weeks until they were big enough to be left for my opp to put the implants in. I went on thurs for my opp and am really not happy at all.

Because ive put so much weight on i now look really flat chested and look completely out of proportion and i think that this may knock my confidence! I am on a massive weight losing mission as from monday to try and lose the 2 stone that i have put on, but i think that i may want the other opp now where they can take the fat and put it into my breasts but im so worried about the scars!

Has anyone else had both opps and if so would you mind telling me how they look...i know that its early days yet, but i dont want to look like an od bod for the rest of my life!!

thanks!
x