My email is email@example.com
could you send me an email so I can attach the Word document to the reply
Hi, I had my bilateral mastectomy in May 2015, no reconstruction. I was further diagnosed with secondaries in February 2018 so my reconstruction has been put on hold. I will be going to Whiston Hospital to have my DIEP flap reconstruction when the time comes. I am having difficulty deciding if I want to go through with the surgery or not, I am very worried about infection more than anything. Any Ideas or hints would be helpful, its really thought provoking. How do you make this kind of decision.
Please can I have a copy of your Blog?
good to have friends we can talk to.
I am discussing a possible immediate DIEP reconstruction but need to have radiotherapy. Can anyone advise the effects of radiotherapy on the reconstruction please? Many thanks.
Hi Miss Wizy
I still have the alerts turned on so I can pick up any new messages.
I am 4 and a half years on from my DIEP now and am still pleased with the reconstruction. I have had some minor issues with the tummy scar but certainly nothing major. I think that being overweight to start with - (although it did enable them to take a good deal of excess tummy fat) has caused a couple of niggles but hardly surprising when you consider the amount they removed. My issues have only been once of uncomfortableness rather than anything serious. The reconstructed boob has been fine. It took probably best part of 18 months to 'loosen' up (from being like a Belgian bun) but hangs quite normally now and nobody would ever know that it had been 'man made'!. It hasn't restricted any movement and, other than initially where the skin had been compromised from previous radiotherapy, I haven't had any issues with it at all.
It is smaller than the other boob so I sometimes 'enhance' it with a 'knitted knocker' just so that it evens them up a bit but, to be honest, most of the time I don't bother. I never got round to having a nipple put on - I was going to have the tattoo done instead but also never bothered with that either. I think at the time I had just had enough of operations and hopsitals and recoveries!
Let me know if there's anything else you would like to know - I am more than happy to answer any queries - however big or small!
Hope it all goes well for you
I hope you are still picking up messages from this site, I found your honest message so helpful.
I'm due to have a mastectomy in the enxt few weeks and can have reconstruction at the same time, but which option to go for? I'm veering towards the DIEP as this seems the most natural & long lasting surgery to have.
Are you still pleased with your results, I'm still a bit confused about whether to have silicon implant or DIEP.
All the best
Hi Tracy H
I cant offer any advice Im afraid I just wanted to say Iv read your post and I cant express how sorry I am to hear of your experience . Youve had a rotten time , not too sure if youll get anywhere on here asking for recommendations as I think site is monitored and certain things seem to be erased from thread . But always worth an ask .. you might have to ask to speak to certain ladies via private message . Im not sure how you do that though .. I was wondering myself about that one . Good luck xxx
Ps Anne just noticed the date of your entry ..what a plonker I am . Youll be fully recovered by now lol . If you dont mmind Id like to know what decision you came to ..and what was your deciding factor . Steph x
Im having a diep 5th Dec . And like yourself I found it a bit of a minefield . I just read the breast reconstruction booklet , I was also fortunate that two ladies showed me their reconstructed breasts .. one implant and one LD .. I thought both looked good and I felt that I would be happy if mine looked like either . After reading booklet over and over and looking at the comparison chart I kept getting drawn to the diep . That I decided would be my choice .. to my amazement when I went to see my surgeon she asked what thoughts Id had and when I said mx with recon she said she was pleased that Id come to that conclusion by myself and proceeded to say she wanted best outcome for me so she was going to refer me to another hospital because she only did the implant technique . She said she was happy to do the implant but felt Id be better suited to the other options . Her belief in what was best for me made me feel confident that Id made the best decision for me . So I think if you follow your own instincts and discuss it with your surgeon then you cant go wrong . There is always risks with whatever your choice is but with an awareness from the booklet , this forum and professional opinion you will at least have made an informed decision . I wish you luck with your decision Im sure youll make the right one . Big hugs Steph xx
Hello Anne 77
This is perhaps too late, but I will provide details of my experience, I had the LD flap with implants, the implants deflated and I was told by new surgeon the previous surgeon had left the wire in me thus they deflated, she replaced and in doing so she sliced through the centre of my breast leaving a HUGE scar, claiming she had problems removing the implant, she also sliced through the nipple reconstruction I had at a cost of £3000, in addition to that the implants are HUGE and cause me severe back and front pain, two specialists have said the implants are OVERSIZED and am having HUGE problems trying to get another NHS hospital to re-do, when I was first diagnosed with BC, 4 weeks later I was diagnosed with Oral cancer, we sold our house and paid for all my treatment, yesterday I received a letter from the NHS CCG implying I had the mastectomy for cosmetic reasons! they must have all my medical notes confirming I had DCIS high grade cancer and was told the mastectomy must be done within 4 months, but was delayed as a result of the infection I contracted at the first NHS hospital which necessitated surgical removal, I later learned it was MRSA, again we had to pay for surgical removal another £2500 and this delayed the mastectomies, needless to say I am livid. My advice for anyone considering implants - think about it, I am now investigating the DIEP flap and would appreciate any information on DIEP FLAP including surgeon recomendations, I am prepared to travel to a good surgeon
Because I had no choice - in the sense that they thought mine cpould be done in one go; there was no need for the expander one to be put in. However my surgeon did say it would be on the table for him to use along with the 2 different shapes of implant if necessary - I left it to him! I did say which i preferred the look of - the teardrop one, it looked more like me!
I can understand that if you have just had surgery you are loathe to do more.... it is the anaesthetic and all that, not least staying in hospital as a patient - it is another world. And you leave feeling rubbish. Listen to the advice of the experts, then your family and go from there with what you think too.
read your post with interest. I found out this week that my WLE resulted in no clear margins so am now booked in for a mx. I have been told to consider my reconstruction options and my surgeon seems keen to go for the immediate option and I have seen the words 'strattice' on paperwork. I just dont feel at the moment I could face more and more surgery after still recovering from my original op only two weeks ago so am leaning towards the implant option. My main dilema is whether to have the fixed or adjustable implant, would you mind if I asked how did you decided on your choice?? Many thanks and best wishes to you!! xx
I am post op and that is what i am really struggling with.
Mine looks ok, now the post op swelling is going down and i have been lucky enough to have a skin sparing mx with silicon implant. But it feels odd and when i touch it it feels odd. I got really upset when my other half touched it and i could not feel anything. Lost the plot actually -so am now going to see a clinical psychologist. Tried gardening today - and it feels different, I suppose we'll adjust to that.
Lady in hospital bed next to me was have a double mx adn no recon, she had had implants and they had become infected. She was 41 and had discovered riding as a new hobby
Hi Lilac and Everyone,
I'm seeing the surgeon on the 25th Feb re BMX and DIEP, but I'm not sure recons are preferable to nothing at all, regardless of cosmetic outcome.
I dont know if I want breasts with no feeling. I'd love to hear if anyone else is having this dilemma.
Also, even more important, how will you feel any changes after recon? Has anyone found anything untoward? Did you find it yourself, or has anyone been offered scans on the recon breast? Were you given advice on self-examination?
Hi-its ages since I came off the forum- when they changed to the new form which I had difficulty with. I was diagnosed Oct 2011 & had a mastectomy end Oct 2011 followed by chemo till March 2012. I decided to have an abdominal flap reconstruction & after fattening up for a year (what?!! 'eat pies' the plastic surgeon said- after all these years of dieting!!) had recon at end July 2013; I could not tell you what I had as during the op the surgeon found bloodvessels were fine (they were mine so of course they were!) so had to lift a little muscle & put in some abdominal mesh so presume moved from DIEP to TRAM. On Mon gone I went in as a day patient & had liposuction & lipofill to reduce & alter shape- & had new nipple made- now got fingers crossed for success happening under the delightful dressing so I can move onto tattooing. Apologies to ladies I got messages from & could not get back to courtesy of forum changes and my struggle with Windows 8 !
The posts in this thread shows how different the experience of diep reconstruction can be for two different people. And that's the most important take away from this discussion.
Don't make your decision based on what happened to someone else because there is no way to know what will happen to you.
Don't decide to have a diep because someone says that they found it to be an easy surgery and recovery and are happy with their results. Make the decision knowing that you could land in either camp.
Too often we talk about diep from the standpoint of the surgery and the time/difficulty involved with the reconstruction process, or from the standpoint of appearance. But the surgery and reconstruction process is temporary. And the appearance is something that you eventually adjust to, whether your reconstructed breasts meet your expectations or not.
What a reconstruction is really all about is living without your natural breasts and living with reconstructed breasts for the rest of your life.
Someone who had an easy time with the surgery and reconstruction might find over the next years that either physically or emotionally or even from a relationship standpoint (the sexual implications of reconstruction) they have great difficulty living with a MX/BMX and reconstruction. The best anyone can do is to really think it through, really try to understand what's involved and what all the possible short-term and long-term outcomes might be, really look into themselves, and then make whatever decision is right for them.
I had immediate reconstruction first time round, 13 years ago, and now realise maybe not the right thing to do, as I just thought well, all over and done with, get on with life, not allowing myself time to get my head round I had breast cancer. However, this time round, thenother side,was in a totally different place, opted for immediate reconstruction and have been fine about it.!
Hi Wicko. It's not easy making these decisions, for most of us anyhow. At the end of the day, it is YOUR body and you must follow your own instincts and not be pressurised by others. Similarly, after a year or two it won't make any real difference to you whether you took 4, 8 or 12 weeks to recover. I had an immediate LD flap 8 weeks ago, with no implant - I really didn't want to run the risk of ruining it if it did turn out that I needed rads after all, and I didn't fancy having something that wasn't 'me'. I admit that my back still feels really tight, but this will improve with time. My new breast was very swollen and firm to begin, but now the swelling has gone down and it is going soft and natural feeling. I am small breasted anyhow, and reasonably tall (so my LD was longer than on a shorter person) so easier to reconstruct without an implant, and since I'm slim I didn't have enough on me for a DIEP flap. Finally, don't be rushed into making a decision - a few weeks more shouldn't make any real difference (check with your surgeon if unsure) - it is better that you get your head around it all and come to the right decision for YOU. Good luck. xx
I have sent you a pm with my email address as well as replying to your post.
We have to make such important decisions so quickly that it feels as though everything just takes over I felt like I was on a runaway train!
When I was given my diagnosis I was in a job where I didn't get paid any sick pay - just SSP and I had a mortgage to pay so when I was first given the various options for reconstruction I started thinking about the various recovery times. My initial instinct was that for me the DIEP was the best solution but I because it was the longest recovery period I started thinking about the other options too so that I could get back to work quicker. It was only when I had calmed down from the initial shock of diagnosis that I realised that what ever decision I made was going to effect the rest of my life and that I had to make the decision based on the rest of my life rather than short term financial problems.
I am in my mid fifties, somewhat overweight and quite large busted so in some ways the decisions were easier to make. Had I gone for an implant then they weren't sure that they could match the size of the remaining good boob. The option of the LD was next and, I am sorry but it just didn't appeal to me.
The things I liked about the DIEP was that the tissue would be mine and it would react like normal breast tissue. The old boobs had started to go south and the tummy tissue was going to be the closest match to breast tissue and, with time, would react the same way.
For me personally mu greatest fear was waking up and looking down and seeing nothing there so it was a no brainer to go for the immediate reconstruction. I know we always would find a way to cope with anything thrown at us but I really, really didn't want to have to face nothing there. I know it's vanity and I hold my hands up to it but personally I would have been devestated if they couldn't have done it at the time. I was fortunate that I didn't have to have radiotherapy or chemo before the reconstruction so an immediate reconstruction was, in my case, thankfully an option.
Yes it does add to the operation time but when you're under then you're under and have no concept of time. It must have been very worrying for my family and friends waiting for the news that everything had gone ok but I didn't know anything about it! I have also read posts on here where ladies have, for whatever reason, had to wait for delayed reconstruction and when they were ready they have had further delays getting on surgeons lists to get the reconstruction done. Everything happens fast when they need to get rid of the cancer but if the reconstruction isn't done at the same time then the urgency goes aswell - I guess they have limited resources and the priority has to be to get rid of the cancer. For me, I got the disgnosis at the end of March, they wouldn't do any surgery within so many weeks of the biopsy so I ended up having the mastecomy on 15th May.
Having the immediate reconstruction is no walk in the park as you have more than one operation site. They move your belly button as well so technically you have 3 operation sites.
Even tohugh I had an infection in my reconstructed boob that required another small operation to clean out infected tissue I never felt it was a problem. The operation on the tummy does take ages to heal. For the first 2 weeks I hobbled around, the following couple of weeks I ventured out cautiously, my friends cooked meals for us so I didn't have to and after 2 months I felt ok enough to do a few hours work, after 3 months I went back to work - albeit part-time. I had a problem with a leaking seroma on my tummy site but it was inconvenient rather than anything else and how else. I was tired becasue I couldn't get a good night's sleep for a good few months as I can't sleep on my back but now it's settling down ok. It feels weird becasue it's such a big site. In my case (becasue I am rather 'chunky') the surgeon replaced 600g of breast tissue with fat from my tummy it's hardly any wonder that it takes a fair time to heal.
I had my share of problems from the infection and possible necrosis in the boob to the 3 weeks of leaking seroma from the tummy but I put all these down to being 'inconvenient' rather than anything more. I don't know if I was fortunate or not but I can honestly say I never had any pain - the only pain relieve I took was Ibubrofen and Paracetemol (actually whether I needed it or not...).
My boob felt like a Belgian Bun for a good 4 / 5 months and I started to think that was going to be as good as it was going to get but over the last 2 months the tissue has loosened and it feels like a boob! Yeah! I have cleavage and I defy anbody to notice the difference (well....so long as I keep my clothes on).
Another advantage is that it is my tissue and therefore it won't need replacing in years to come.
For me it was the right decision and if I had to turn the clock back and make the decision again knowing all the bits that go with it I would make exactly the same decision again.
feel free to pm me for as much (or as little) info you want
Hello! i have just been diagnosed as needing a mastectomy and am veering towards DIEP reconstruction. I feel as though everyone is trying to influence me towards implant, hubbie because he doesnt want me to go through the longer surgery or recovery period but rest because its "easier"! i feel quite strongly about not wanting an implant and just wanting "me". am i doing the right thing? i am also thinking that i want immediate reconstruction as dont want 2 ops. how long does it take from diagnosis to surgery (been 2 weeks since i was told)? any hints and tips would help as i am feeling really scared and so emotional, which is so unlike me......usually tough as old boots!! the Bridget jones knickers and hints and tips doc sound great!! Elaine X
Dear Duffer (I hope that's right as pressing reply took me off the page...)
Can I please have a copy of your DEIP blog? Is it full of advice and aftercare tips?
No one has mentioned Bridget Jones knickers to me but they sound useful...
If you let me know about blog that would be great and I'll send you my email address.
Many and huge thanks
I have just had a Tummy reconstruction on 10th September ,
found some threads and I think one lady did a blog of here experience but can not find it on the new web site !
Drop me a PM with any questions and I will respond while it is all fresh in my mind at the mo.
I'll ask for you Hi Trudy
I am seeing my consultant next wednesday re surgery, I will ask her about Mr Juma for you. I will write in on my list and hope I remember to take it! last time I just nodded blindly, didn't take anything in and couldn't think of any questions to ask! Must do better this time! When are you scheduled to have your surgery?
Mr Juma Hi there,
I think you should speak to Mr Juma secretary and ask if Mr Juma has any patients that you can speak to regarding the operation, or if you could see any photo's of his work. Finding out how often he performs this operation and when did he do his last one will give you and idea of how experienced he is. I had DIEP in London last year and my surgeon showed me lots of photos of the ops he had done. I think it is really important for you to have confidence in Mr Juma before you undertake such a big operation.
Hope this helps
waiting for date hi thanks for your reply. still no luck with info about mr juma.hope all goes well with you. will just have to keep my fingers crossed. will keep you informed.
still no luck hi nicky
having op at countess of chester because murryfields do not have the backup for my surgery. maybe you could ask about him for me. thank for your reply. will keep trying fingers crossed hope he is ok.
Don't know the surgeons your talking about but I had DIEP flap done just before Christmas. Had a problem with a bit of flap dying but they can remedy that. I believe it is a bit like having a ceasarian and it takes a little while for muscles to knit back. Mind like having a baby everyone's experience will be different.
Good Luck let us know how you get on!
Treakle x x
Sorry can't help you. I am due to have surgery shortly (WLE) at the Countess, but my consultant/surgeon is Mrs Harding McKean. I have a friend who has been under Miss Redmond but have not heard of Mr Juma at the Countess. Are you having your op there or somewhere else?
Hope you manage to find out about him somehow
diep flap reconstruction please help hi i am just waiting for a date for a double mastectomy with diep flap reconstrution. has anybody had their op performed by mr juma he carrys out his ops at the countess of chester nhs and private at murryfields and i think he also has a practise in blackpool. i have put threads on before but havent had any replies. someone somewhere must have had an op carried out .by mr juma please help me i am getting very worried