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Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Are you all bandaged up lankylass? After my initial recon I had no visible stitches and no dressing, just some clear copydex type glue dressing so I could see it straight away. After the removal I had huge dressings. It was a bit of a shock when they came off as I had a nice pert implant with clean straight scar and now have a lumpy bit of meat with a wiggly bulgy scar -,but I know it's temporary.

You'll feel much better when the drains come out a dressings are off. Obviously it's going to be a bit small but you know they're going to sort that out. I think it's quite an exciting prospect being pumped up s x watching it grow - like puberty fast forwarded!!

Marty hope you're feeling a bit better now. Surgery makes you low I know it took weeks for me to recover from the anaesthetic and it's emotional too. It's early days, you can't expect to have feeling yet as the nerves need time to repair.

10 more weeks of chemo to go then I'll know what's happening to me, roll on April, I finish the week after Easter and my birthday!
lankylass
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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.

Matty2
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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.

Kentstar
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Matty, I too was worried I would never "feel" again on the implant side, without going into detail lol had a special hug with my other half the other night and there was feeling! I was so pleased because to me that means it is settling into my body x it does get better, every day a little bit easier x
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Oh beryl sorry you feel low. Did you have immediate recon or have you been through chemo? It's do hard to know what to do for the best and you feel led by the specialists. I have immediate implant recon in sept but it rejected do I'm now questioning what to do after chemo. Hope you feel better soon. I think implant us much easier to bounce back from than recon from other parts.
Matty2
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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

Beryl

lankylass
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

I think they can do rads with expander in. No I didn't want implant either but like you not enough tummy and LD would compromise my shoulder as it's my l side and I'm l handed. Sure it will all work out in the end...
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

A huge learning curve lankylass. I can't see onc delaying that amount if time for my rads. Got to see surgeon towards end on March as chemo is coming to the end so we can discuss what we're going to do. I don't want Ld flap was I have a week back snd not enough tummy for DIEP so a bit stuck! Got a good book recommended by Macmillan nurse called the breast reconstruction guidebook, very interesting read but doesn't rate implants very highly, but I still think that's the only wat forward for me.

Hope your mx results are favourable and you don't need any further treatment. My onc had already decided on chemo and rads from thx biopsy results. Funny how they're all so different.
lankylass
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

My expander was put in and partially inflated under chest muscle and will be gradually filled starting 3wks time when initial healing up done. Then will be about 2-3 mths a bit at a time to the right size. Then another op for the implant swap. It will be about 3wks before I get results of mx and snb so I assume if more treatment such as rads needed this can be done with expander in. But not final implant cos of ? capsular contraction? Have I got that right? It's all a steep learning curve isn't it?
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

I hope everyday continues to improve for both of you. I was diagnosed on 3rd sept had mx and implant on 22nd sept! Unfortunately the implant got infected and after chemo no 2 was removed in December. I've got a fold if skin remaining all ready for imant when we're ready. Chemo now until about 10 April. I've got to had radio too but surgeon wants to put expander in before rads than change to oermanenr one after rads. I need a bit if adjustment to good side too as it wasn't at all symmetrical last time as I'm small and droopy! Watch this space. How long dies it take to fill the expander? I'm not sure oncologist will agree to the delay.
Kentstar
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

I had immediate implant placed under the chest muscle using my own skin as a sling. I was very, very large breasted so plenty to use! I also had reduction to the healthy breast. I am happy clothed but they do differ a lot in size but I am on diet and hopefully the reduced breast will get a bit smaller, although based on my previous experiences it is unlikely to get much smaller. The mastectomy side is a thicker scar and no nipple freaks me a bit when I look. I personally hate having to massage the scars which make it all too real. I think the emotional wobbles are down to reality sinking in about what happened so quickly. Routine mammogram was on 4th Sept and surgery 4th Dec, luckily I had DCIS, a pre invasive cancer contained within the ducts so no further treatment required. I get annoyed when I can't do what I want to do because I'm either too tired or sore. I still have very slight area near nipple on reduced breast that still bleeds a little. I now find it is just enough to place a piece of gauze over nipple to keep it clean. I want to be able to sleep on my right side, but that is my implant side and it just isn't comfortable yet to do so. The implant every day feels more like part of me rather than a foreign body. The electric shocks and sunburn feelings get less every day but still manage to make me catch me breath sometimes. Sorry, I have rambled on haven't I lol quick answer yes, I'm happy with appearance considering I had no choice and wobbles are down to a bit of everything. stella x
lankylass
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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

 

 

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

What surgery did you have kentstar? Are you happy with appearance or is that why you feel wobbly still?
Kentstar
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Out of surgery 2 months almost and still feel I'm close to the top of the roller coaster! Physically, very well but mentally still tad wobbly but doing ok. Glad surgery went well for you x
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Pugsey my thoughts are that with implant it leaves you with an alternative option if there are complications. Hope it goes well.
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hope you recover quickly lankylass. Do they think there's less chance of rejection by doing it in stages? I think that's the route in going down after chemo.
lankylass
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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.... 

Pugsey
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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.

lankylass
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Thanks ladies for reassuring I'm not alone with anxieties. Can't wait to get it over and done with now and looking at the first few weeks home alone recovering, as a big adventure! Will look at pilates programme Roseka thanks for that. I've also signed up for a Paddlers for Life scheme on Windermere when I'm fit enough, which my local cancer support group told me about.
riversidedawn
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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!

drdspg
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

You are all right, none of these decisions are easy to make- just the opposite , incredibly hard.
I had a double mastectomy 3 years ago before having chemotherapy. I had tissue extenders put in as the plastic surgeons were keen that I kept all my options open. They needed me to get on with the chemo and were worried that recovery from a DIEP would slow the start( I have a rather complicated medical history). Well I'm now three years down the line and am having DIEP surgery in 10 days. I chose it because it seems to give the most natural finish and it will be all tissue from my own body. If I gain weight , I will gain weight all over and the same if I lose weight. As I'm in my 40's I was concerned about needing implants removed and reinserted in 15- 20 years. And then what would I do another 20 years down the line; would I get to a point where my skin had just been cut about too much to cope with any more. What if I'm not even fit for anaesthetic. For me I feel that the DIEP is right. At least with reconstruction there is no pressure to make your mind up immediately. I wasn't able to have the reconstruction done straight away for medical reasons. I would have liked to have it done sooner.
I can imagine with two active children the long recovery time could be difficult. I don't know how you feel about prostheses; I have one for my right breast as I had an infection so the tissue expander was removed. From the outside I look completely normal and haven't minded having it in my bra pocket. I think the main thing is not to compromise on the type of op if you could wait a bit to have the ideal one. Having said this, I am aware that for some women, it's so hard to even begin to move forwards before reconstruction is complete . I do hope this helps and don't hesitate to get in touch.

multimum
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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.

Matty2
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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

 

Thanks Beryl 

Zuleika
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

I agree kentstar, I was led by my breast surgeon. In an ideal world, I would not have had an implant and I seriously considered just having a prosthetic. I didn't have enough fat in the right places to have a diep or l&d flap. However, I'm pleased with the result.
Good luck with your progress
X
Kentstar
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

I had right mx and implant under chest muscle on 4th dec 2014. My BMI was too high for diep plus I have had hysterectomy so I did not have to agonise over a decision. The first 2 or 3 weeks it felt very uncomfortable but each day it feels more like part of my body. It feels and looks ok apart from no nipple, which I will have sorted later. I also had reduction done on left breast and in clothes they look very even although the reduction side is currently about 2 cup sizes bigger. Very strange having 2 very pert boobs c/d cup after huge j cups lol. Decision wise I was always going to be led by the plastic surgeon as I think they do know what is best for you as an individual x
roseka
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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  

 

Zuleika
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Good luck ladies, with your forthcoming ops. I was so relieved to be rid of the cancer. The best bit was buying new lingerie, in 3 cup sizes bigger than before. The choice was much better in a C cup, as opposed to AA !
All best wishes
Z
Matty2
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hi

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!

 

B

lankylass
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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.

jillybee
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

I had implants,they failed,then got talking to a friend who had the DIEP,so I decided to go ahead with that.How fabulous is the result!!!flat tummy and soft boobs.Our hospital had BRA evenings,Breast Reconstruction Awareness evenings.May help you.I was dead against it at first.Just went for implants,then get on with my life,as I mentioned,all went pear shaped.My reason partly was because the hospital was an hour and half drive away,and could not be bothered with the trips down there .....now wish I had gone for that option initially.What ifs and should haves are no good though
Toughieone
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Thanks ladies. You all sound totally amazing and inspiring. As the days have gone on I'm finding I'm changing my mind all the time!! Maybe I have too much time to,think about it! I just don't know? Reading what others have written and speaking to ladies who have been through it shows that their are positives and negatives to any procedure. As you say, life is too short to worry about the what ifs and what might happen in the future. I have to live for the here and now and make my decision based on that!, arghhh!, easier said than done. Hehehe
Zuleika
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hi Toughione, please don't be put off by implants. There's some negativity towards them, especially in the media. But I have had implant on mx side and smaller implant on my good side to achieve symmetry. I'm really pleased, they look great and the recovery was quite quick. I did need revision of the mx implant, as it was too high. But they look amazing. I'm not worried about what will happen to them in the future, life's too short for that, in my view. If they need revising, or I want them out then I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. The other thing is that the implants used after mastectomy are very high quality. I was told about all the potential rims with them, but I was fine
Good luck
chillipink
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hi .Its tough for you to decide.after 2 failed lumpectomies no clear margins ,I was told mastectomy was the only option.I'd already researched about reconstructions and diep is what I had.these are reasons why implants and ld flap were a no no for me . 1----- diep looks the most natural and feels just like the other breast. 2------- it will age with the other breast ,when I loose weight it will loose weight also ,when I put weight on it will put weight on,it rises and falls exactly same as other one.implant don't give this effect as the implanted breast will always be slightly higher and doesn't move.ok it's long surgery but you don't know because you are asleep.I have a family and I went back to work after 13 weeks.I could of gone back after 8 but I get full pay while on sick so why not.don't think about surgery times or recovery times you have to think about the rest of your life and what is best for you and your body not what's best for your family and quick fixes ,it's your body.and it's how you want to look and how you feel afterwards.4------ one of the great things is I have no c- section scars anymore and no stretch marks as they have all gone along with my post baggy baby belly hooorahh .my scar is very low yes it's hip to hip but bikini knickers cover the scar.,and my stomach is completely flat ,so diep is like a tummy tuck thrown in.I'm just waiting for a nipple reconstruction and then I will look as near as before diagnosis. I wish you luck in which recon you choose. diep was for me the best decision I've made .but we are all different .just thought I'd share my story
lespen
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hi Toughieone

 

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.

 

 

Kirstie
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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

Toughieone
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Thankyou to,you all for your kind words and advice. I'm still trying to decide but it's good to hear what others have gone through. I'm going to try and call the advice line tomorrow.
Big hugs xxx
Sodastream
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hi Toughieone. Like you my initial reaction was to ask for a double mx and get implants. My surgeon was very honest and said they wouldn't remove a healthy breast at this point and he would do the single mx and see me six months after radiotherapy to talk about reconstruction if that is what I wanted. My reaction was is he mad, I'm 44 of course I want reconstruction. However I trust him and realised he was looking at the long term and wants to give me the best reconstruction he can whilst I was looking for the quick fix. I'm now 8 weeks post surgery and am so glad I listened to him. I found the mx a breeze and had no pain what so ever. By only having the single I was able to do everything for myself re personal care and just needed help for a couple of weeks with hanging washing out and hoovering. If I'd had a double I would have really struggled mentally as I'm so independent and would have hated being reliant on others. The good thing is I've now got time to live with my body and decide the next step knowing I haven't rushed into making decisions. I really don't mind being flat on one side and will have an LD reconstruction or the other breast removed depending on the results of my BRCA test. My advice is keep talking to everyone as this helped me sort it out in my own mind and don't rush into anything. Good luck. X
Nolton9
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hi,

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.

 

 

 

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Hi Toughieone

Here's the link to the 'Someone like me' service saffronseed has kindly mentioned,and please also feel free to call our helpliners to talk things through, they are on 0808 800 6000 weekdays 9-5 and Sat 10-2

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-services/someone-talk

Take care
Lucy BCC

saffronseed
Member

Re: Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

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

Toughieone
Member

Reconstruction - don't know what to do!!

Been lying awake for the past couple of hours thinking over stuff! As you do!
Had my last chemo today and now have to make a decision regarding surgery early,next year. Had 2 WLE on right breast before chemo but still showed DCIS and small invasive area. Only option now is mx but I am so undecided about what to do. Saw plastic surgeon and reconstruction nurse yesterday who were very helpful but the variety of options is just confusing me!! My gut reaction was to have a double mx - get rid of both and hope this horrible thing never comes back but my surgeon has explained that I will be monitored more closely now and that the chances of anything happening in my healthy boob will be picked up a lot sooner.
I'm so confused!! The DIEP flap seems to give the best result longer term but at the moment I don't feel it's the option for me as the long surgery and recovery time are putting me off, especially with 2 very active boys at home. The plastic surgeon did say that this could be done years later if I opted for implant now then chose other surgery in a few years time when it was more suitable.
I've been reading all the threads with interest and know everyone's experience is different. We all make a choice and decision based on our own situation and advice from professionals and friends/family but ultimately I'm scared I make the wrong decision!! Anyone got any advice they can offer please! Xxx