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implant care - any advice?

12 REPLIES 12
bookish
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

@Debcully I went the other way: I had radiotherapy (many years ago, right enough!) before the mx/recon. I know it was still a worry for them in the surgeries, but I'm not noticing much of a difference between the two sides, at least so far.

Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hi Debcully - I had an implant followed by radiotherapy, so happy to answer any questions if I can. Evie xx

Hope213
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hi Debcully,

No I've ended up not having radiotherapy. I had surgery in November and i was always told It would be highly likely id have radiotherapy. The consultant said more often than not people who have a mastectomy don't have radiotherapy. It tends to be those who have a lumpectomy who have radiotherapy. But he said there are some anomalies - i had 3 tumours which were grade 3 which he said meant there could be some benefit to radiotherapy to me. After a long discussion last month weighing up risks to implant and other side effects, against the fact that I had good clear margins the consultant decided due to radiotherapy being a marginal benefit that the risks outweighed the benefit. Hopefully they will have a similar discussion with you too. Instead my main treatment is hormone therapy. Im 43 and because my cancer was highly oestrogen driven, they are going to town on me with this!

Take care, sending much positively.

X

Debcully
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

Ok thank you both for your replies...have either of you had radiotherapy on your implant side? 

bookish
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

@Debcully Hi. I had a bilateral skin sparing mx with immediate implant recon at the start of January, so still fairly early days. I have no regrets going this route. They look pretty darn good! A little less than 'perfect' when I lie down, maybe, but there's a lot of settling period to wait out, and then I was told there might be a little lipofill if needed. I also know someone who went own-tissue and wasn't any happier, so it's not like one is automatically 'better' from a looks view.

My surgical team were really odd and dodged the whole photos question, but no harm in asking. My tip if you're looking online as well or instead, is that I found very little on a websearch - mostly just American plastic surgeon before/after sales shots. However, more recently I stumbled across a couple of Reddit posts that I felt were much more 'real' of it all. Fair warning, one was in a slightly dodgy section!

Also more than happy to answer any further questions you have, here or PM.

Hope213
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hi Debcully,

Overall I’m really pleased with my implant, I only have the one. It’s a really good match to my natural breast but just feels a little fuller. I had surgery in November. The surgery was not as bad as I thought either. I did the physio exercises I was given following surgery and I soon had my range of movement back. I had the implant on top of my chest muscle so I could still use this muscle.  I would definitely recommend implants. Your surgeon will probably be able to show you some before and after photos as mine did, so you can get a good idea what they look like.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Take care xx

Debcully
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hi there...sorry I’m not giving advise as I’ve not had it done...what I do want to ask you though is what you think of the girls? I’m possibly about to have this done and am wondering what they may look like? 

Hope213
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hello,

I had a mastectomy with immediate implant (silicone) reconstruction in November 2020. My implant sits on top of my chest muscle. I had a couple of physio sessions and I was given exercises to make sure my arm movement returned to normal. The physio also advised not to lift anything too heavy until 12 werks past op.

I was advised by my surgeon to wear a post surgery bra for 24 hours a day for around 12 weeks. He said this would help keep the implant stable and knit to the skin. In my recent check up I had some scar tissue forming around the edge of my implant under my arm. The consultant suggested firmly massaging these lumps. Less than a week later they had gone! I also apply the E45 to my skin on my new breast as since surgery I have a couple of stretch marks. 

Hope this helps, this is the main care I've been giving to my implant:) feel free to ask any other questions. 

X

Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hi @bookish - it’s curious isn’t it that we aren’t sent home with instructions. Now you mention moisturising, I remember that I was told to massage the edge of my implant I think once a day in the early days, once it had healed enough. Mine is a pre pectoral implant that sits on top of the muscle, inside a sort of sling thing, and I think the idea was to help the sling knit into the body. I don’t do that now, but I do moisturise that breast when I remember. I had full node clearance and I’m good at remembering to keep that arm moisturised to protect the skin, but don’t always think of the breast (I’m ashamed to admit). So I wouldn’t think that massaging your implants would hurt - but you could always send an email to your plastic surgeon’s secretary and see if you can get any further information. I have often found the secretaries to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

But if you think of any other questions do ask and I’ll see if I can help at all. Evie xx

bookish
Member

Re: implant care - any advice?

Thanks, both 🙂

@Evie-S I'm the same - nothing was said about should/shouldn'ts, just the usual 'look for redness' etc etc.

I'm wondering stuff like... should I be moisturising them, now or in a little bit of time (for info, I had a skin-saving mx, not expanders). I don't think there's any massage-y type stuff that'd help, but is it actively harmful?

I know I had a pile of other vague wonderings when I wrote that post, but can't think of any right now. Seems odd that there's no booklet for this, really!

Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hi bookish

I have a silicone implant, but wasn’t given any instructions about caring for it so I don’t do anything, except check the area in case it has hardened or for any odd changes. But I’m happy to help with any questions if I can. I’d be interested to see if anyone else was given care instructions.

Evie xx

ZoeK_BCN
Community Manager

Re: implant care - any advice?

Hi bookish,

Thank you for your post.

I am sorry you haven't had any response yet. I am hoping my response will help our members to see your post and share their advice and experience.

In the meantime, for any clinical question, our breast care nurses are here and happy to talk.

Sending you our best wishes,

Zoe

bookish
Member

implant care - any advice?

Hello you lovely lot.

I'm after any advice on caring for implant reconstructions, short- and long-term. Googling gives me a lot of augmentation stuff (not useful, but kind of funny: I have implants and ended up smaller, hahah!) or surgical info on reconstruction (still not so useful as we've done that already).

Really, just any first hand hints and tips, or links to useful resources, about the best ways to adapt to living with the new girls and doing what's best for all three (?) of us! LOL!

For background: had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate silicone implants at the start of Jan this year. And loads of stuff before that, but yawn 😉

Thanks in advance 🙂