Sally and Dawne, thank you both!
I can't believe how many positive responses I've had in just a few hours.
I realise it's a big op and not something to go into lightly. I'm already working on getting in shape and losing this weight I've piled on during chemo. I want to be in tip top condition when I get into that operating theatre. I don't want to waste away of course (some chance!) as I need to keep some of my C section apron for my lovely new breast.
I think the thing that appeals to me most is there is less chance of having to have an implant and all the skin stretching that would go with that. As well as the scars being in less visible areas and more natural looking results (not to mention the flat tummy :-D)
It's wonderful to hear all of your positive stories and how happy you all are with your results. Hearing your experiences makes me think my one little scar really shouldn't be a barrier to getting the result I've dreamed of, once I'd got my head around the diagnosis and the rapid speed of events after that.
I can't thank you all enough, really. I've gone from feeling totally down in the dumps to having a big smile on my face again!
Thank you all.
Yep - me too - had 3 C-sections (95, 98 and 00) and had a DIEP in 2007 - the fact that I'd had sections wasn't even raised during the consultations with my PS. My DIEP went absolutely fine.
Hi Wendy(and all!)
Just thought I'd add my experience too!
I had 2 c sections - one in 1986 and one in 1988 - both scars below the bikini line.
I had a very sucessful (delayed) bilateral TRAM and DIEP during the same operation in 2009 folowing bilateral mastectomies in 2002 (and lots of problems following initial bilateral LD reconstruction in 2004 - long story!!)
I had been scheduled to have bilateral DIEP but apparently during the op, the blood vessels involved on the left side were not so good, so I had TRAM on that side and DIEP on the right - but I'm not aware of any differnce in either side - abdomen or "boobs!"
As has been already described, it's a huge op and recovery(particularly as I had bilateral!) but for me, so worth it for the end result.
Wishing you all the very best with everything - please don't hesitate to ask if you need any more info
Thank you geewhizz!
You sound exactly the same as me, in terms of plenty of flesh to spare in the abdomen area 😄
I don't know if part of the problem is that my surgeon doesn't do that particular op, so it will mean travelling to another hospital to see a plastic surgeon. That isn't a problem for me, it's no more than 5 miles away from where I live, it's just not where I've had the rest of my treatment.
Ladies, you are all wonderful! You've given me a little courage to push for what I want, at least to have the option explored a little further before I can be ruled out as a possible candidate anyway.
I love this site, thank you all!
Carolyn isn't the only one - I had a my third child by emergency caesarian section (1999), but have also had a successful muscle-sparing TRAM reconstruction (2009).
Your plastic surgeon will give you lots of advice about what is best for you, and will have a lot more knowledge than a BCN.
I was apparently the perfect candidate, as not only did I have plenty of abdomen to spare, the skin was also nice and loose and therefore perfect for sewing together afterwards!!!
Ooh Carolyn, that's brilliant! I'm glad your surgery went well and you're so pleased with the results.
You've cheered me up no end, thank you.
I think I've been managed to convince myself that a flat tummy is my reward for going through all this nasty cancer stuff. Not a choice I would have made of course, but a little perk at the end of such a difficult time.
I won't give up home just yet, thank you!
I had 2 C sections, 1979 and 1984, so quite a long time ago. I have just had right Tram Flap reconstruction on 14th Dec 2010. Everything went according to plan and I now have a lovely right boob and a nice flat tummy. It is a big op (10 Hours) but I am so glad I went through with it. Your surgeon will discuss things with you regrding your previous scars.
Hope all goes well
Thank you for replying Angie.
I really wanted the TRAM flap as I understood there was more chance of getting away without an implant. I've got plenty of spare tummy with my C section apron!
My problem with the LD flap is I'm going to need to faff on with skin stretching and inflatable implants and then possibly have to that implant removed and a permanent (are they ever permanent?) implant put in. The disadvantage of having large boobs (or boob) I suppose. That's why I'm thinking I'd rather have a smaller set and not have to go through the implant process, but I'm not sure how small I'd need to go. Did you friend have to have an implant with LD?
Then there is the scar on the back, which I really don't fancy. My BCN said well no-one sees your back, but in my mind fewer people will ever see the area above my bikini line!
I'm probably over reacting, I'm sure I am. It's silly to feel this emotional about reconstruction bearing in mind everything we go through to get to that point. I suppose it will take some time to get my head around it all.
Good luck with your treatment Angie. I hope your chemo is manageable and you sail through the rest of it without problems.
I was hoping to go for the TRAM flap reconstruction too as I thought it'd be easy for them to just go into the same incision as my C Section scar so interesting that you brought this up. I'm still very early days at the moment as having Chemo and still have Rads to come but will ask at next meeting with Consultant. I also have a friend who had a LD Flap op who was really pleased with the result so I suppose it's just weighing up the pros and cons to both methods.
Thank you for replying. That does help, my scar is a very small horizontal scar, only about 6 inches, across the top of my bikini line, very low down.
You've given me some hope! There are a few reconstruction evenings going on around here, so I think I'll get myself along and see what they say.
I think what is really putting me off the LD flap is the whole skin stretching and implant thing. I really don't think I want an implant. If that is my only option then I'm thinking I'd rather have the other one off and just have a small pair reconstructed. I don't even know if that's an option, but otherwise I think I'm going to go without it, which is a depressing thought really. In my head I was going to have a brand new lovely body by this time next year!
Thank you again.
I went to the BCC talk on reconstruction just before Christmas and the surgeon leading the talk was asked this question. He said that as long as the scar was the horizontal low bikini scar it was not an issue. Same for hysterectomy scars. Hope this helps.
Hi, I'm one year on from diagnosis, had mastectomy, chemo and rads and now on Tamoxifen.
I'm now considering reconstruction and had thought I'd prefer the TRAM flap option, even though it's a lengthy op, I've only heard good things about it.
Today my BCN told me that I won't be able to go this route because I've previously had a C section and was talking about LD flap. Has anyone been able to have a TRAM flap after C section?
I'm feeling stupidly emotional about this for some reason.