Helo Michelle. A reply from the US. Am currently going thru a DIEP reconstruction for left breast. This is the one where fat and skin are moved from lower belly ( in a football shape) to the breast area above. It is quite time consuming and involved since they must also move and re-attach blood vessels from belly to neck and chest. My surgery took about ten and a half hours. I remained in the hospital for 4 full days and was released on the 5th. I happened to do very well. The most difficult part for me was the belly pain for the first ten days. You will be sent home with 4 to 6 drains. The removal of these drains is extremely painful but lasts less than a minute to remove them all. After the drains are removed, if there is no sign of infection, healing goes pretty quickly. If you have a recliner chair, plan to spend about a week to ten days in it. Yes, nights too. I am now 8 wks post op and feel great! If you have a surgeon as good as mine is ( my oncologist refers to him as "a genious" after watching him perform the procedure for 8 hours), you will be amazed at how tight and beautiful your tummy is! I was cut from hipbone to hipbone, and got a new navel. I did not have enough belly fat to fully do the job, however, (surprising since I thought I'd have plenty) so now I will have to choose another area for more fat. I'm thinking inner thighs. I had no problems with infection, however, am dealing with an area of hardened fat that seems to want to gravitate toward my chin. Although not painful, it is bothersome. During next surgery they will simply suck it out. I waited 8 years for my reconstruction as other family members need attention ahead of me. I am 55 years old and hope some of my story helps you. I feel it is all worth it. Good luck to you!
Below I have put you the link to BCC's animated guide on reconstruction and also the link to BCC's publication regarding this subject. There are a lot of threads running through these forums where reconstruction is discussed in depth, if you put the word 'reconstruction' in the search box at the top right of this page (under messages/friends/bookmarks) this will bring you to a list of areas where reconstruction has been previously discussed. I hope you find this helpful.
I saw your response to Michelle regarding reconstruction and wondered if you would share some information with me too.
I had a mastectomy in April this year and plan to have the other breast removed and double reconstruction early next year. I've read lots about the available procedures for reconstruction and feel most comfortable with the Tummy option you went for.
Could you describe for me what it is like post surgery for you and how you are coping with recovery from both reconstruction as well as your tummy healing?
Any information would be helpful I'm sure. Thank you ever so much 🙂
Many thanks, Caroline
I have dropped you a message ,
I had my op on the 10th September the Tummy one.
If you have questions let me know.