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Lipomodelling/Fat Graft following Lumpectomy & Radiation

4 REPLIES 4
cj_1
Member

Re: Lipomodelling/Fat Graft following Lumpectomy & Radiation

Thanks so much for this 😊.  I guess I have been stoical and silent to some extent, especially after getting such negative responses when I have enquired.  I remember my Onc Registrar (brusque and masculine female) saying to me "oh a good bra will sort that out" (err I don't think so) as well as mentioning how thin my hair had got - nice bedside manner!!!!

 

I'm older and wiser now so I will cry, kick and scream if necessary, a sad state of affairs that I have to play the system like this. I've said all along that my physical care was very good, regular mammograms, check up appointments, fantastic BCN, but absolutely no formal emotional support whatsoever.  All very stiff upper lip, don't make a fuss, always encouraging you to grit your teeth and get on with it.  

 

Thanks again SassyEssexGirl, I will grow a pair, and hopefully gain a matching (ish) pair too!  xx

SassyEssexGirl
Member

Re: Lipomodelling/Fat Graft following Lumpectomy & Radiation

I was originally supposed to be a day case but, because I had the uplift AND the Lipo AND the scar revision AND the dogtag removal he recommended I stayed in overnight, however if I had insisted on going home he would have let me.  

I really wish I HAD gone home, I had no sleep whatsoever!!!

I did take overnight stuff with me just in case so at least I had my PJs, phone charger etc.  Should have taken earplugs though!

No mention was made about the uplift being hazardous re getting cancer in my 'good' boob.  My specialist said 'They are sisters, not twins.'  I get a mammogram every year for 5 years so I asked if I could have it a bit early so that I didn't have to have the newly uplifted breast slammed in the Corby Trouser Press, I didn't think that would help at all!  They agreed and I had it scanned, all was well.  They actually sent the bits off for biopsy anyway.

My reconstruction surgeon told me that one of his patients is about to have her SEVENTH procedure, so it seems that there are no funding issues in my area, although who knows how long that will be the case?  I hate the fact that it's a postcode lottery and feel bad for you that it might prevent you getting help.  My surgeon said that, these days, they treat the mental health aspect with as much concern as the physical side.  It seems that approach isn't nationwide.  

I was very open and vocal about how I felt about my appearance and the effect it was having on my mental health.  Perhaps your doctors aren't fully aware of how you feel about this?  Don't be afraid to make a fuss or cry in front of them if you're upset.  Being brave and stoical doesn't get you very far.

Also of course many elective surgeries were cancelled due to Covid.  They are starting them again now but of course there are waiting lists, sometimes very long depending on the area.  Do ask about this and make it clear how important corrective surgery is to you.

I have decided I will definitely have the procedure again, probably at the same time as my nipple reconstruction, but I am going to get my fitness levels back up first.  My gym only reopened at the start of August and I had my op 3 weeks later so I can't do anything for another few weeks at least. It means having a horrid shrivelled boob for at least another 6 months but hopefully it will be worth the wait.

 

 

cj_1
Member

Re: Lipomodelling/Fat Graft following Lumpectomy & Radiation

Thanks so much for the reply! 😀  I've managed to get an appointment with my GP who has agreed to the referral, however there is a little bit of worry about having to refer me out of area and funding issues.  We'll see what happens.

 

I'm interested to know about the actual procedure - were you a day case?  I'm not thrilled about the prospect of an overnight stay in hospital at the best of times but even less with COVID floating around! 😷  My husband reminded me that I did discuss the possibility of having an uplift to good side at one consultation with my surgeon many moons ago, however he was less than positive saying he was concerned that any surgery might "awaken" issues which was a chance I was not willing to take!  Whether this had any real basis or not I am unsure?  🤔

SassyEssexGirl
Member

Re: Lipomodelling/Fat Graft following Lumpectomy & Radiation

Hi CJ!

I had a total mastectomy and Diep Flap reconstruction last year, followed by chemo and radiotherapy.

The radiotherapy, as expected, had a negative impact on Frankenboob and I was left with dents, divots and a shrivelled appearance on the inside, both top and bottom.  Lots of my clothes are V necks and the dents showed above the neck line.

I had Lipomodelling nearly 4 weeks ago to try to rectify at least some of the problem.  The surgeon told me that, in the 12 weeks following this procedure, you can expect to lose up to half of the injected fat, so they try to put in a bit extra.

As of this morning I can report that most of it seems to have been reabsorbed already.  I've been so careful not to lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee, twist or raise my arm excessively, I've been sleeping on my back (which I hate) and basically followed all the instructions and still it's failed.  Apparently it's pretty common to need more than one treatment.

In addition to the lipomodelling I also had scar revision on Frankenboob (the circular scar from the Diep Flap hadn't released properly), removal of a dogtag from my hip scar and my non-cancer breast lifted and reduced to match size and position (which actually looks fantastic, thank goodness, and has really cheered me up!)

I have to go under the knife again anyway as I need nipple reconstruction on Frankenboob.  I will definitely have more Lipomodelling, as many as it takes as long as my surgeon is willing to do it.  It's a lot of downtime though and I am keen to get back to the gym, so I will probably wait until the Spring now for third surgery, especially as I am going back to work next week.  I think it's important to be in the best shape possible too, no point having it done then go on a diet!

I suppose a lot depends on where you live, although it shouldn't.  Get a referral and consultation and have lots of questions ready.  Also ask about an uplift on the natural breast.  One of my breast reconstruction nurses told me that reconstruction is rarely resolved quickly and can take several tries.  I'm very impatient so this did not make me happy!  But I'd rather know than pin all my hopes on one operation and be disappointed.

Just be prepared for a marathon rather than a sprint to get a satisfactory result.  I have to accept that Frankenboob will never look 'normal'.  Right now I'd settle for being able to wear most of my nice clothes again.

If there's anything else you want to ask me about my procedures I'll answer as well as I can.  Good luck! xxx

cj_1
Member

Lipomodelling/Fat Graft following Lumpectomy & Radiation

Hi Everyone

I'm coming up to 12 years free of BC, after having a lumpectomy, 5 weeks worth of radiation and 10 years on Tamoxifen.  My "bad" side is considerably smaller/firmer due to this (my Surgeon suggested I had been "fried" 🍳 by my Oncologist!) and I feel it's got more and more noticeable as I age and gravity is taking hold of my "good" side.  I've never been offered any options for correcting this asymmetry (a good 2 cup sizes difference) and have now been discharged from follow up.  It's negatively impacted my mental health over the years and the physical side of my marriage has taking a real thumping too.  I've seen mention of Lipomodelling on the Macmillan site and am interested if anyone has experience of this please?  Is it available on the NHS?  Thanks in advance x