Oh Matty....hope you are feeling a bit better. Just a week today I had my op and I think the adrenaline rush is wearing off. Like most shocks to the system I think our bodies are well used to letting our minds deal with things in stages and come to terms with things gradually. This time next week I expect to be a snivelling wreck once the drains are out and I get a proper look and reality kicks in. My friend said that even though we are under anaesthetic when the surgery was done, that part of the body still 'remembers' the trauma and needs to adjust too. So I am lying in bed at the moment like a stranded beetle at 6am, holding my affected breast although I can't feel it, and telling it, it will all be ok......
And it will be.
I am very lucky as I don't need rads or chemo, just the hormone tabs. I asked for my Lymph nodes to be biopsied before I made the final decision and am very relived that the surgeon thinks it has all gone. All tests negative now. Still have bone density test to go and a 3 month check.
Thanks for that Kentstar gives me hope.
I had a mastex with implant 2 weeks ago. very sore at the moment and feel the cold in my new boob. (Could do with a mini heater into the gel!!)
Have beem offered having the other one made to match when op has settled down which could take a few months
I sat in bath sobbing this morning about the lack of feeling and sensation in it, though I think it will come eventually.
At moment am wondering if I made the orrect decision,
Am a bit low today, had some counselling today as well.
Bit of an odd day
riversidedawn kentstar thanks. Yes I think having recon in stages was felt best 'for me'. I think surgeon also freaked out a bit tbh cos although I'm an ex-smoker, I fell off the wagon and had two cigs, a week before the op cos I'd had to have root canal treatment on a tooth and in a moment of weakness...(only two...but even so, he worried about tissue healing...oh well water under the bridge now and I won't be making that mistake again). Wonder what would have happened if I hadn't confessed? Me and my big honest mouth lol.. I also think he didn't want me to be disappointed if it all went pearshaped bless him. Cos I put so much faith in his clinical expertise.
You know, I think we are all 'commandos can cope' at heart and I was quite prepared to put up with the one stage process, but so glad it has happened this way. What might have been the right decision a month ago turned out to be totally the wrong decision on the day of the op. Getting used to the whole idea of doing it in stages, gently over time, even though that was the only option I hadn't researched! Got a lot of catching up to do in the emotional department and like you kentstar, think I will be chugging along at the top of the rollercoaster for quite some time yet. Not even had a good cry yet...
Reassuring to know that others have been in the same boat and getting on with it
Had the op and recon at the weekend and now home after two days wobbling about with two drain bottles in a shoulder bag. Funny that! - don't carry anything heavier than a cuppa but here are two huge drain bottles that weigh a ton! Plan A was a mx and immediate implant with mesh; what actually happened was a temporary saline expander implant which will be slowly filled over next few months then replaced with anatomical silicone implant and mesh later on. A bit of a shock finding that out just before theatre but given that the all-in-one op might have been fraught with problems - rejection etc, I might have ended up with two ops anyway.
So it wasn't a case of what am I going to do after all, I just let the team get on with it. From starting this journey determined I was going for the minimum possible, angry, etc I think my head is just getting round the whole issue. I feel lucky that I've been involved in the clinical decision making as far as possible but just having to accept compromises and go with the flow and not fight it all the time. A wicked sense of humour has helped but it's going to be a tough roller coaster ride. Anyone else just out of surgery and feeling that they are at the top of the Big One? Especially in the wee small hours of the morning....
Hi, I had mx December 2013 with implant at the same time. However, as cancer had spread to lymph nodes had to go through chemo & 25 radiotherapy and implant was damaged - it is very hard and painful, and feels like I'm carrying a brick around with me. Saw consultant in December 2014 and have now had date for surgery on 9 Feb to remove and replace implant. I also wasn't sure what to do, whether to remove totally or go for replacement but have now decided that at least if I try for replacement, if it still isn't right I will maybe go for removal later on. Understand I will be in hosp 3 nights and about 2 weeks to drive.
As said in previous threads, there are pros and cons with all and it's just a matter of doing what you feel is right for you at the time. Good luck anyway.
Oh decisions, decisions! I'm going through this too. I had a masectomy with immediate implant reconstruction in September. Started chemo end of October. I had seroma problems early on with daily aspiration and the surgeon thinks this infected the implant and the antibiotics covered up the infection only for it to return after each chemo session. After 3 infections and nearly 3 months, the wound still hadn't healed and opened up to reveal the implant which had to be removed.
I now need to get through chemo and also have radiotherapy. So my decision is whether to have an expander implant put in between chemo and radiotherapy (sometime in May/June probably), or wait til after all the treatment is finished and have either DL flap or DIEP - unfortunately I do not have any spare fat so will probably still need an implant even with these options.
It's hard because reconstruction before radiotherapy extends the treatment and may be affected by the radiotherapy, but options after RT are limited to more invasive surgery.
I'll pop back in a few weeks to see what everyone's decided!
This was really helpful to me as I am having this op on 18/1/15 on the advice of my surgeon and you sound really positive on it. I am 68 so it may be an even longer recovery for me but you have inspired me to get some extra help! Thank you.
Thaks Zuleika and Kentstar
Tomorrow I am having a mastex (one side) with immediate implant. Have been hoping to find some positives about my decision and you have given it to me. Can have the 'nip & tuck' on the other one later on
I followed my consultants advice and now can't wait (well some trepidation) to have Beast removed and over and done with
Lankylass I had right mx and strattice reconstruction with implant on 24th nov. Of course everyone's journey is different and I've had the odd complication but am doing well now and very pleased with the result, my surgeon was excellent and under clothes even at this early stage you just can't tell, although its a different matter when I take my bra off as the real one droops and the new one stays up lol - but I'm in my fifties so not likely to want to go braless anywhere! Like you I was/will be very active and am itching to get back to exercise asap, I'd started physio but developed a scar infection over xmas and the antibiotics knocked me about so had to stop for a while, all good now and if you can access it I'd recommend the pink ribbon pilates programme. Anyway good luck with op and if you want to ask me anything fire away. X
I am going to have - on Tuesday - a mastectomy with an implant. It was a tough decision. I had my lymph node biopsy just before Christmas and they are clear so implant seems the best option for me. I am 64 and quite looking forward to having a 'pert' boob. I can have the other one made to match if I want as well.
I have been given the option in future to have the DIEP flap but as someone else said it would mean a different hospital a long way from where I live(about 1 1/2 hours journey)
If it doesn't work - I have been given options - will just have to wait and see.
Can't wait to b rid of the Beast though!
I had WLE for DCIS two years ago and I've had a recurrence with possible invasion in the same breast. Can't get out of a mastectomy this time as it is too widespread. So in 2 weeks I will be having a left sided mastectomy and strattice/implant reconstruction and sentinel node biopsy. My surgeon was really helpful explaining all the immediate recon options, however as I am left handed and a fairly active 61 year old, we discounted LD flap as I would have needed an implant anyway and my shoulder would be affected. TRAM flap would have affected my tummy muscles and core strength. Also I was offered DIEP flap but this would have been a more complicated option in a hospital 2 hours drive away. A longer recovery time etc. As I live alone with no family to help and a lot of carer responsibilities I need to be back on my feet asap.
So I am having immediate recon with biological mesh/strattice and a teardrop implant which should hopefully look more natural, plus a shorter recovery time although I will be going home after 2-3 days with a drain.
There is no easy solution and I have had to give myself a talking to about why I am more concerned about how I look afterwards rather than be rejoicing that the cancer will be gone - and hopefully no radio afterwards.
If it all goes pearshaped I will consider DIEP in the future if it is still an option.
Although I've been reading the threads for the last 6 months this is the first time I have posted. I am luckier than most as I have had DCIS non-invasive, node negative. This has not stopped me from having had 4 operations while trying to clear the DCIS but conserving my breast. After the first 3 ops which failed to clear the margins my surgeon said that he would advise me to have a mx with my choice of reconstruction if that was what I wanted. You're right, there are so many options and I was given as much time as I needed to go through these with both surgeon and breast care nurses. I did a lot of my own research and decided that the DIEP was, for me, the only way to go. Why? Implants although probably the quickest and least invasive route will probably need replacing further down the road and may not be so natural feeling and looking. Other types of using own tissue etc usually involve using some muscle and again my preference was not to use any muscle unless absolutely necessary.
My surgeon did not do the DIEP but referred me to a surgeon at another hospital who did. Within a week of my referral I was booked in and had the op on 4th November last. Really quick, no hanging around. I can honestly say that although its only been 3 weeks everything has been brilliant. I 've had no pain as it was handled very well by the pain management team and when I left hospital on the 10th November I was off everything. My new breast is fantastic even though I don't have a nipple at the moment. It feels just like my other one, warm and soft. It's still a bit swollen and may change over the weeks but I'll see how it goes. I do have a very long scar, hip to hip where the flesh was taken from but as no muscle was taken I have not lost any strength. I am now walking about a mile a day and doing the shopping, with my husband. I feel really well. I should add that I am 64, so no spring chicken but I was and have always been really fit all my life which probably makes a difference when it comes to recovery. The operation is a long one due to the complexity of it but you don't actually know anything about it. As you say everyones experience is different and you have to weigh up the pros and cons for your situation. I just wanted everything done at once to get it over and done with. Might need a bit of tweeking though. Oh, do have a bit of a seroma in the tummy area but it's being dealt with and not really a problem for me at the moment. I think it's fairly common.
All in all it's been a bit of a roller coaster ride and I try to keep positive. My treatment on the NHS has been brilliant, can't fault it. Good luck with your decision, hope this helps.
Hi I am 19 months past radiotheraphy had mx in 2012 I have finally been offered LD reconstruction. 🙂 I am pleased but now got my life back on track work etc so am reading all the info given to me by the surgeon and as I live alone thinking how I will manage after. Have an appointment in Jan for another chat and surgeon said all being well can go ahead in January :)) New Year new boob any of your stories those of you that have had this op would be appreciated he tells me I wont need implant I am only a size 8 thanks ladies xx
I had an immediate diep reconstruction after a dx of lots of DCIS in a b cup. I'm 45 with 3 children aged tween 5 and 13 and boys!! I initially wanted an implant, an immeduate implant, actually whatever they could do quickest tbh!!! but the more I looked into it and researched I realised implants could be quite a commitment long term ( replacement, infection risk etc etc) which for me being a hospital-phobe, swung me round. I'd also heard the inflation time can be difficult for some.
My hospital were very balanced with the info I was given but were always honest that a diep would offer some benefits over implants, feel, softness and particularly symmetry in my case. Although you need a strong-stomach to cope with the description of the op and immediate recovery as , as tends to be the way they tell you every possible hitch and side effect in one go!!
I'm nearly finished, 9 months on, I was lucky enough not to need any balancing to the other boob and I'd say no one would know what's happened to me in clothes , even underwear and it would take very close scrutiny , even naked to spot!! That , if I allow myself to dwell on it, is fairly amazing after 3 pregnancies, alot of breastfeeding and a mastectomy.
I was only in for 3 nights, but again that's largely due to my hospital fears and I know pushing my luck ...first few days after are grim but doable stomach very tight difficult to walk for few days... then lots of rest and complete help needed at home for 2-3 weeks then 2ish months to function pretty ok light exercise, driving, kids..I haven't really had any pain outside of the first few weeks.
scarring is something to think about with diep even though I'd seen lots of photos, the reality of a hip to hip scar is a shocker to start with . I also got the occasional tightenings in my stomach particularly if I overdid it for the first few months..
The other issue for me was a fair bit of delayed shock after the main surgery, including nightmares and /or insomnia I'd definitely been on autopilot coping with all the decisions and dx in a quick time frame. I think its unavoidable to some extent but wish I'd been a bit better prepared for its appearance.
Overall I'm pleased I found the nerve to do it and definitely very pleased with the results. Hope helpful for you.
you are right it is a very difficult decision to make particularly at a time where you are still going through surgery. I opted for a single Mx, did consider double but after speaking to my surgeon again was told they were reluctant to remove healthy tissue and the chances of it coming back in the other breast was very small - although since I have known of a lot of ladies who have had a reocurrance in their other breast and/or opted to have both off. There is no right or wrong it is a personal decision to make. I had a delayed diep as at the time I just wanted the breast taken away and I wanted time to consider my options and do some research on what was best for me - initially I thought I would never go for reconstruction as I had had enought surgery - but once I started feeling better I realised I did need to get my body back and opted for a diep as cosmetically the results are better and they last longer. Why not ring the 'someonelike me' support service here at BCC - they will put you in touch with ladies who have had to make similar decisions and you can talk one to one with them and ask as many questions as you like - that should give you a better idea and help make an informed decision when you see your surgeon in the new year. I am four years (nearly five) down the road since my diagnosis and I looking back I am happy with the decisions I made and am very pleased with my new breast and my body is nearly as good as it was before. Don't feel rushed or pressured into having to made quick decisions on something that are so important. lots of hugs xxx