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Reconstruction for Diabetics.

9 REPLIES 9
hbunny
Member

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Oh am i pleased to find others who are type 1.  Im only diagnosed grade 3 yesterday, but also with calsification which still need another biopsy, however looking at an mx as i dont want to live with the possibility of doing this again.

 

Ive been type 1 for 28 years with good control and no complications lantis and novorapid.  However im having problems controlling the bg at present, probably due to the stress.  How did you cope with the control? Op booked for 23 May and getting scared - not sure how im going to react.

Any advice you could give on the whole process with type 1.

Hbunny

Oyster
Member

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Thank you Heather for sharing your experience with me. I have read the details off your reconstruction a good half a dozen times and although a complicated operation I think you done well with your positive attitude and recovery.
I'm glad you're happy with your reconstruction, but sorry to hear that you've suffered from secondary BC.
I'm fine with my body image, but like you, I worry about my prosthesis showing and the clothes I can wear with it. I've noticed that the lighter coloured tops are not the best to wear on their own, unless I wear a cardigan!
I still don't think a reconstruction is for me, but thanks once again for sharing your experience with me.
Take care.
Kiz
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Hi Kizzy
I decided to have my recon back in April 2007 just under a year after my radiotherapy finished, and had the LD flap with a saline implant as was told this was the best option for me with my 32E bra size. I went in the night before and if I can remember rightly was nil by mouth from midnight. I didnt take my Lantus the morning of the op as the surgeon said I should be on a sliding scale. I think I was under anasthetic for around 4-5 hours and when i came round was very bandaged up and in a bit of pain but heavily doped on morphine so it wasnt too bad. The worst part was that night as I remember not being able to get up at all and having five or six drains. But the absolute excitement of having my new breast I think made me feel so positive the next day that i remember the rest of my time in hospital went really smoothly. I stayed about 10 days in total as I think they wanted to be extra vigilant for problems due to the diabetes. The drains came out before I went home and I remember feeling quite delicate for a few weeks afterwards. I took eight weeks off work but felt pretty good after three and able to go for short walks to the park during that time. I did go back to the hospital a few times to have fluid drained from my back but that mainly caused discomfort rather than pain and settled down quite quickly. Although my blood sugars were a bit high for the first few days after the op they went back to normal and the main thing after that was keeping tight control to help the healing process.
It does take a while to get used to the muscle having been moved, and I do still sometimes get cramp down my side which is definitely I think a side effect of the operation, but the positives for me have been huge. I lost my self esteem after all the treatment and was constantly worried about my prosthesis showing and the limits it put on what I could wear. I was in sports bras for the first eight weeks after the op but being able to buy pretty underwired bras again and show a bit of cleavage was so important for me to move on after treatment. My reconstructed boob is a good match but slightly smaller than my real one and also is slightly higher but I am really pleased with the result. I never had any problems with infection, and was told that the area of skin taken from my back to cover the implant looked nice and pink from the start which meant it was nice and healthy. The main problem I had was that the scar along my back did get quite sticky for the first couple of years so it felt like the skin around it was stuck in place which became quite uncomfortable. This was eventually sorted out with massages as I found a knowledgable osteopath who said moving the scar around would release it and make the area move freely again.
Although the reconstruction was a complicated op and gave me lots of discomfort afterwards I would do it all again without hesitation as body image was a big issue for me. It sounds like you are in a good place after your treatment. Whether you decide to have a reconstruction or not, please dont be disuaded by the diabetes as it can be managed fine. I have had secondary bc since September 2008, had more chemo and three more operations to treat liver mets and am feeling very well. I was glad you mentioned that you feel proud of your scar as I feel the same about my scars.
Heather
Oyster
Member

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Thanks Heather and KittieKat for your replies.
Yes please Heather I would like to know about your experience...the good and bad points.
KittieKat, you seem to have a similar worry to myself...if I lean forward will people see the gap between my flat chest and bra? Is your stick on boob easy to apply and comfortable? Don't think I would end up with level looking boobs if I had a stick on one!
For me making the decision to have my mx was an easy one. However, making a decision regarding whether or not to have a reconstruction is a much more difficult one.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Hi Kizzy

It sounds like you are in the same place as me!

I'm also a type 1 diabetic. I had a mastectomy 2 years ago, and am still dithering about whether or not to have a reconstruction. I have already seen the plastic surgeon, and been offered liposuction to fill the "dent" followed by an expander and finally a new boob. This was a year ago.

Although I was offered an LD flap if I wanted one, I have already decided that I certainly don't want such a major operation, and if I do have a reconstruction I want to have the least invasive procedure.

Like you my diabetes is well controlled, and the surgeon has no worries about the operation. It's me that can't decide. I accept my new "look", as does my husband, and I ask myself why I would want to put myself through more surgery, 4 hour round trips to the hospital, and the risk that I might not much like the end result. At least with my stick on boob I can place it exactly at the right hight/angle so that it matches the other one.

I only want something to fill my bra, and give me symmetry but it would be nice to be able to wear a bra, top, dress, bikini whatever without constantly worrying that if I bend foward my prosthesis will be visible.

Good luck to you!


Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Hello Kizzy
I am an insulin dependent diabetic and have had a successful LD flap reconstruction, which was nearly six years ago now. I wanted to post in case you would like to know more about my experience.
Heather. X
Oyster
Member

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

After much debating with myself I have come to the decision that a reconstruction is not for me.
I have spoken to my husband, close friends and my GP regarding this and just feel that I don't wish to undertake a reconstruction, whether now or in the future.
I know some women may find it difficult to accept their new body image, but for me I have never had a problem with it and weird as this may sound, I am actually proud of my mx scar...after all it may well have saved my life!
I am happy with my prosthesis (named Val) and she and I have become breast friends over the last couple of months and will be for many, many years.
Kizzy
Oyster
Member

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Thanks for your reply Jo. I shall contact the helpline team soon.
Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Hi Kiz,

Sorry that you haven't had any replies to your question as yet, but hopefully as my post will bring it back to the top it may be seen by others who can answer your questions. In the meantime could I suggest you give our helpline team here a ring, they're here to support you. Calls are free 0808 800 6000 lines open Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 10-2.

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Oyster
Member

Reconstruction for Diabetics.

Are there any Insulin dependent Diabetics on this forum who have undergone a reconstruction who could share their experience and outcome with me?
I was dx with DCIS in August last year and after having three operations in six weeks, the last one resulting in my mx (due to cancer cells thinking they could set up camp in my breast tissue).
My GP and I have spoken about reconstruction and he gave me some reading material regarding this matter to which I have studied the "pros & cons" of having a delayed reconstruction.
Everything I have read about reconstruction mentions that it is not suitable for Diabetics, such as myself. My Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon and I will be talking about this on my next visit in April and as he is young, modern and forward thinking I believe he may well offer me some kind off reconstruction. My GP said that as my diabetes is well controlled he does not see a reason as to why I cannot have a reconstruction.
Even now, I'm not sure if a reconstruction is for me. I have been debating why would I want to put myself through a long major operation and maybe one or two more operations to have a new breast when I can go along to my local hospital every two years and get one off the shelf!
In the meantime I am happy as I am with my prosthesis.
I was recently advised that there is a Breast Reconstruction talk being held in my area (Cardiff) either this or next month (I wasn't given the date). I spoke to my BCN last week about this talk and she said that even although I'm uncertain if I will or won't have a reconstruction, I should go to the talk and get a better understanding from those who have undergone a reconstruction.
Sorry for the long post.
Thanks in advance for any replies.
Kiz