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Silly Questions - DIEP

33 REPLIES 33
joanie19
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

hi
has anyone had surgery at whiston off mr audisio and mr iqbal i am due a mastectomy with tram on 11/11/08 and im really scared also i would like the other boob removed or even reconstructed at the same time but surgeon not keen on doing it any ideas

Marita
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi Gill and others
They took from just one thigh, the opposite side to the mx and its made a slightly smaller breast than the other one. The scar starts at the front and runs right round the inner thigh to under my bottom. It's very neat and for some reason when they use it for reconstruction they manage to finish off with a great nipple shape. One person I showed didn't realise it wasn't my own!!
Love to all
Marita

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

OK Marita
Just have to ask you this-did they take from just one thigh or both?!!
Never heard of that-amazing what they can do!!
Love Gill x

Marita
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hello
I had Mx and TUG flap reconstruction at the end of June. For those who don't know this involves taking the flesh and some muscle from the inner thigh. Silly question I never thought to ask about - no worries over a hairy tummy Gill, how about pubes on your boobs!! I half hoped they may fall out with the chemo but no luck there!
That aside, I was amazed with the results of surgery, far from the mutilation I had in mind, and proceeded to show most of my friends! And the resulting restrictions to the flexibility of my leg required a more imaginative approach to sexual positions!!

Best of luck to all

JackieBK
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Thanks Gill. Excellent tip to get them to write on the arm. Not sure excitement will be quite what I feel but maybe once I finally get there.....

I will have 2 PS teams for my op AND my general surgery to do the prophylactic mastectomy bit on the other side - I'll be at Chelmsford and my general surgeon comes down from Whipps to do his bit. So fingers crossed won't be too much of a marathon op. Good old NHS!

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi girls
Re pain in arm-it didn't last long and had no further implications but it's the 1st thing I recall upon waking from surgery. My op only took 6 hours but in Norwich they have a whole team of PS working on you.

I simply couldn't wait to go to theatre! I had to stay overnight before my op and kept getting up in the night to chat to the nurses as I was too excited to sleep. When the porter came for me I was virtually running to the theatre! There was my poor old OH with tears streaming down his face, holding my hand etc etc and there was me like a school kid on an outing!! Apparently the last thing I said before going under was 'Come on boys-bring it on!!!'. Bet they couldn't wait to knock me out!

So don't worry about this op-they know what they're doing and will take great care of you. You will be thrilled with the results-honestly!

Re bikes-I got on my exercise bike after about 3 weeks although very slowly and for a couple of minutes at a time.

I also got the staff to write in huge black letters on arm-NO DRIPS, BLOODS, ETC!

I really do hope you will all be as pleased as I am with the results.
Good luck!
Love Gill x

JackieBK
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi everyone. I agree with you Winnie, knowing I want this done but VERY nervous as the day approached - what a slow week it will be to the 30th!

I worry about the arm bit too- my left arm has no lymphoedema but is definitely more prone to injury and I also at times get neck problmes that side which can affect the arm The anaesthetist said it will be fine but to remind them not to put a drip in that side!

great to hear about the cycling sunflower - I will try and focus on thoughts about being back on my bike before long!

sunflower8
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi girls- I haven't had the diep - I had the MX with immediate free tram flap recon. I think there are similarities but the tram takes part of the tummy muscle. Like others here it was a long op -11 hrs and difficult week after but now 9 weeks on I am on my exercise bike every morning before shower (PS recommended cycling as post op exercise Jackie) and walking the dog evry day. I have a funny part of my tum though that feels like a balloon filled with water - not the side where the muscle was taken - bizarre! But it is certainly flat - not that it was huge before and it feels tight. I want to get started on tummy strengthening exercises but no physio has been given or suggested - apart from how to cough the next morning! Good luck with the ops girls.

pauline59
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi Girls

Gillc thanks for letting me know what happens I do hope to have diep flap think that is best option for me and fancy flat stomach to go with new boobs ha ha.

Winnie I have not met Mr Graham yet as this will be my first appointment but I know what you mean about midriff thing it is confusing. I hope all goes well for you next week

Winnieslam
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hello all,

Pauline, I have been on Mr Graham's waiting list for 20 weeks and the op is scheduled for next week so that will give you an idea. Whilst saying that Mr Graham only performs surgery on one day a week so there is little scope if there is a big demand however it seems he is doing mine on an extra day. They are all very supportive and helpful at Whiston. However, now it comes to it I'm very nervous.

I still can't get my head round the midriff thing - I think we have had two conflicting views in here about that. Are there any more?

Gill, has your arm got better? - I think I've read about pain in arms before, that doesn't sound good.

Winnie

JackieBK
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Very useful to have this detail Pauline. I had not realised 3 days in bed until I spoke to the ward today - thought it would be less. What do you do?!! I hate doing nothing at the best of times!

My consultant said 6 weeks off work (I am a part time GP) so we are thinking of that though in fact if I did that I would only then work 3 mornings before being off for Christmas so no major problem to delay a return.
I was interested to hear about swimming. Does anyone have any exeprience of cycling post op - when etc?

Jackie

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi Pauline59
In answer to your question regarding recovery time -(presume you're having a DIEP flap?):
I spent 5 nights in hospital following my DIEP flap. The 1 st 3 nights were uncomfortable as you cannot get off the bed. I had 4 drains (either side of abdomen and one at each breast-I had the other lifted) plus a catheter and cannulas. I woke from the surgery with a pain in my right arm as this was tucked behind my back for the entire length of the op. Not much pain from the wounds and no dressings either which surprised me. All the stitches were internal -they glued the wound together. Back ache was a problem but only due to lying on it for 3 days!
You will be kept really warm to enable the blood to flow more freely.
On day 3 I had some drains and the catheter removed and was able to get off the bed (very slowly!) and go for a wee! You are encouraged to walk like a little old lady-bent over-to protect the tummy wound.
I had my op on a Friday and came home on the Weds. I was back swimming and driving within 4 weeks-tho the hosp recommended 6 weeks!
My main problem was tiredness-I'd had a mastectomy in the December and the DIEP in July and I think my body took a long while to recover from 2 major ops in 7 months.
My GP and Occupational Health adviser wouldn't let me go back to work for 3 months! I guess that would depend on the nature of your job though.
I am now fit as a fiddle-loving my new body and absolutely thrilled with the results. It is definitely, without a doubt, worth doing.
Hope that helps!
Love Gill x

JackieBK
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

It has been SOOO good to read all this. I am going for a prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction on the R at the same time as reconstruction on the L with a DIEP flap on Oct 30th (so we can think of each other on that day Winnieslam!) I delayed the op so I could have the summer fit and active but now the days are crawling by. Just wish it could be over and done with. Always good to know there have been others who have already been there!

pauline59
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi Girls

I have appointment to see mr Graham in dec at whiston and i am very aprehensive about what to expect. I have read this thread and feel a lot better as some of the so called silly questions are just what I was thinking myself, like what will happen to stetch marks. How long is the recovery after op does anyone know ? and what is Mr Grahams waiting list like?

jodieb
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi ladies,

I had a DIEP in July. I can honestly say, it's the best thing I ever did. The results are fantastic and more importantly, I feel like a woman again. It did wonders for my self esteem and confidence, both of which virtually disappeared after having a mastectomy.

It is quite a long recovery after the op, but it's well worth it for the fantastic results. Anybody thinking about having this done, I would highly recommend it. Not only do you have two boobs again, but you also get a free tummy tuck!! Fantastic!!

palomino98
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

I had skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate DIEP in March. The nipple was removed and this circle, a bit wider than the areola, was replaced with skin from my tummy. It is paler than the breast skin, and has a tiny speck of a faint mole, which still surprises me on the very infrequent occasions that I catch sight of it in a mirror.

I wanted to look 'normal' in clothes, and it does. For that reason it was worth it.

Having put on 2 stone, my tummy below the navel is flat when looked at sideways-on. The weight has just added to the michelin-tyre above my waist, which was there before the op and far worse now.

The doctor who went through my pre-op examination assured me the whole team, not just the breast surgeon, plastic surgeon and anaesthetist, have an early night before immediate DIEP ops. He said, "Mr ...... (the plastic surgeon) does not watch the clock during this surgery".

I am long separated though my ex is my best friend. My last physical relationship ended a year before I was dx and it would not have survived this trauma. I cannot imagine having or wanting sex again, nor stripping off in front of anyone outside hospital. The outline in clothes is overweight but reasonably the right shape - I can wear a scoop-neck top without anyone guessing what had been done. But what I see in the mirror repulses me and nobody else is going to get a look. I am in complete admiration of the ladies able to go forward with this, well done, you're an inspiration.

wonder1
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

i am also waiting to get a date for this op, i have also been asked to do stomach scrunches to help the blood vessels. phew.......

have sent off for a dvd showing the op , connected to "this morning" where lady was on talking about her double diep.

Pancake
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Gill that is very funny

I have an appointment with Eliane Sasson tomorrow to discuss a diep, I'll act dumb and also ask her these questions.

Deb

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Don't panic Margaret! They wouldn't just remove half your tummy and leave the other half just hanging there!! Go and discuss it with the Plastic Surgeon-they can probably do miraculous things like cut the scar bit off??
Remember how much the skin stretches! It's definitely worth having done for the tummy tuck alone!

I still feel odd about having no nipple on the new boob-I get some very strange looks when changing at the gym-am just waiting for someone to ask where my nipple is-I could start a mass panic like when someone loses a contact lense-'Oh my goodness! Everyone stand still-don't move I've lost my nipple'!!!! LOL!

One of male teachers offered me his tummy fat as the surgeon wasn't too sure whether I had enough to make a DD-he lifted his shirt to reveal a very hairy tummy!!!! Imagine that!!

Love Gill xx

naunamh
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

OMG Gill, this means that I would have to have my breast made up from half my tummy. who wants a caesarean scar on their boob?

I have been sitting giving my huge stomach a once over and am not sure that it would be good for this!

As for the weight gain and loss if I wasn't laughing I would cry!

Margaret

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi Girls
I just love these 'silly' questions-which aren't at all silly!
I was told that any blemishes on the skin, ie stretch marks, scars, moles etc will simply be transferred to the breast so lets hope none of you have a hairy tummy! I too had caesarean scars -though very low down-and they are still in their original position.
What made me laugh was when my surgeon told me that if I put on or lose weight then so will my new boob!!! It will always be tummy fat and will never convince itself it is a breast so we will have to watch the weight!!
They scan your tummy prior to the op to find where the biggest blood vessels are then use that part of the skin/tissue for the boob-so how much of the tummy they use depends on how big your boobs are!
I'm still thrilled that I had a DIEP flap.
Any more silly questions? Fire away!

Good luck!
love Gill xx

ForumMember
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi Deb/Margaret

I wonder whether our helpline or the Ask the Nurse email service may be of help to you. The staff on the helpline will be able to talk to you about your queries and offer you support and information. Lines are open from 9am today until 5pm weekdays and 9am - 2pm on Saturdays, calls are free on 0808 800 6000.

The link to the Ask the Nurse email service is:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/content.php?page_id=119

Hope this helps.
Lucy

naunamh
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Debs

I am so pleased that you asked such a question because I want to know this and more. Years ago I had a caesarean and the scar stretches from my navel downwards. What happens in this case? Can a diep still be done?

Feeling very stupid.

Margaret

Pancake
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi Winnieslam

You think your question is daft, it made me laugh as its the type of thing I think it but never ask. So now I am going to be brave and ask a even dafter question;

Here goes, ....Note to readers. Please do not underestimate my intelligence, I do have a brain really, I just cant work this one out:

If you have a diep and they transfer the skin from your stomach to your new breast, what happens if you have stretch marks on your stomach, will you then have them on your new breast.

Deb

Winnieslam
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hello Gill and Sparkler,

Will it be a case of - if I show you mine, will you show me yours?!

The answers to my questions are all very encouraging especially about the window blind bit! Don't think I'll mention number 3 to hubby for a while though!

Going to Whiston to Mr Ken Graham - I think others on this site have been to him - he's just about the only one doing DIEP in the northwest - unless anyone knows different.

Also, I never thought about the comfort breaks!

Winnie

ForumMember
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Must add.................................she is a new but very good friend of mine!!!

Love ya Gilly
xxxxx

S

ForumMember
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

She is a crazed flasher!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

Only joking.

Not taking away from this thread Winnieslam - I just hope when I get round to having my recon it ends up looking as good as Gills - it really is amazing. I am sure I will show mine off too if it looks as good.

S
xxxxx

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

OK girls, let me explain just in case you're all thinking I'm some sort of crazed flasher!
I will admit that both 1966ruby (and her partner!) and Sparkler have seen my new boobs-but only in order to show them how great the DIEP flap is! Honestly!

Hope you're still encouraged Winnieslam! Where are you having your surgery?

Love Gill (AKA The Flasher!)

ForumMember
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

I too have seen Gills new boob - looks fab!!!
ps - she is a friend of mine
xxxx
S

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Now come on 1966ruby-reveal your identity!! You got me worried!!!
Love Gill xx

Lindles
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi, I had diep and one new boob, which now matches the other, after lipo, had a new nipple and you can honestly not tell the difference unless you study it, also fantastic tummy. Sex no problem, biggest problem was in my head.

I actually asked my consultant about his lunch break because this also worried me, everyone thought it was a funny question and he answered - 'I was not to worry as he had 3 shredded wheat for breakfast'. I had a team of 12 round me and a 8 hour op and they all managed getting food and nature calls (I think). Good luck, will be thinking of you.

Linda x

1966ruby
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hey - I can vouch for Gill's new boobs and tummy because I have seen them!

She looks amazing! Sex after one week - wow!!

gillc
Member

Re: Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi
I had a DIEP flap in July and am absolutely thrilled with the results so don't worry!
To answer your questions:
1. There is a whole team of people in the theatre so when breaks are taken, you are not left alone
2. It pulls down like a blind-it will be very flat and tight but if you have excess flesh elsewhere that remains
3. We had sex in traditional style a week after my op (!!) though my OH was very gentle and careful not to rest
his weight on me

If you have any other questions don't hestitate to ask. I now have the boobs I had when I was 20 (they lifted the other at the same time) and a lovely flat tummy for the 1st time in my life!!

Good luck
Love Gill x

Winnieslam
Member

Silly Questions - DIEP

Hi all,

Just got my date!!! 30th Oct so really pleased but also nervous about the long op. I saw the surgeon a couple of weeks ago and he asked me if I had any questions and I felt like a silly schoolgirl and dried up completely!!!

I've learnt a lot through on this site but have some burning questions:

1. Does the surgeon stop for a break during such a long op and go for his lunch leaving everything opened up??

2. What happems to your (my) midriff bulge - does it pull down like a window blind or will I have a flat tummy with muffin top?

3. When is it comfortable to have sex in the traditional style (Q from my OH)? Or any style for that matter!

Any enlightenment on the above gladly received!

Love to all especially those waiting

Winnie