I was diagnosed on 1 October 2002 so this my 10th year of NED and finally had my reconstruction this year!
I went to my GP with an inverted nipple aged 47. He thought it looked a bit suspicios so sent me straight to the breast clinic at the hospital where I had immediate mammogram. Three weeks later had WLE but my surgeon was unable to get clear margins around the tumour, I had been told that there was only a 'very, very slim chance' of this happening. I had a mastectomy 2 weeks later followed by 4 rounds of AC chemo, 25 radiotherapy sessions. All followed by 8 1/2 years on Tamoxifen, Arimidex and finally Femara.
This year I finally had my reconstruction via a 2 flap TRAM operation in November, and I can honestly say I wish I had done it 3 years ago when I was first referred to my plastic surgeon. I am recovering really well and now that it is 7 weeks on my boob is softening and dropping so think I can imagine what my breasts will look like in about a years time when everything is finished, lift to good boob and nipple reconstruction.
Hope everyone manages to have a good Christmas, and thanks for all the encouragement and support that is offered by everyone on here.
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I had my TRAM using 2 flaps on 5 November, so like you am still at a very early stage. I had never thought about the size of my breasts before being diagnosed with bc, they always seemed perfect to me, they got bigger or smaller over the years as I put on nor lost weight, but they always seemed in proportion to my shape. After my surgery I was amazed to see how 'big' my reconstructed breast was compared to my existing one, and like you I do feel this 'bulge' when I move my arm about.
When I first saw the size of my reconstructed breast, it looked and felt enormous!!! However I have been reassured that it will settle and they went for a slight 'overfil' in trying to match the shape and size of the existing breast. This is because it is very difficult to reduce the volume of the reconstructed breast, and it is less stressful and invasive to do a 'lift' on the existing breast. My surgeon did tell me that this would be the case, although I think I had forgotten all about that!! My breast should soften and settle over the next 6 months and then they can work out how much of a lift my existing breast will need and use some fat from either my bottom or thighs to get both breasts as evenly matched as possible.
i do think that even though it has only been a few weeks my breast has gone down a bit and the bulge is not quite so noticeable, or may be I'm just getting used to it, lol. I think we are both at very early stages for us to have a good idea of how are breasts are going to look in 6 months time. I think it would be good to discuss how you feel with your ps when you next see them, maybe they could put in touch with a few women who have already had the surgery. They may be willing to let you see how theirs turned out and share their experiences.
in the meantime, as Saffronseed says hang on in there. X
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Went to clinic today and had my dressings looked at by my surgeon who just happened to be around I had all the tapes removed and apart from a couple of bits, all the scars are healing well and dry. He suggested I start massaging the scars which will help soften and flatten them out, and massage all over my breast which willhelp with any lumpy bits and soften it.
I asked about wearing support vests/bras but he said I didn't need to wear anything in bed unless I wanted to, nor did I need to sleep propped up on pillows. He did give me some waist twist exercises to help with the stiffness and tightness in my tummy, and advised I should carry on with the arm exercises. I then had the nurse dress the couple of leaky bits and left armed with a bag full of dressing to manage them at home.
It took almost 2 hours to get to the appointment, normally it's about 45/50 minutes, due to the weather conditions, and not unexpectedly I fell asleep for 3 hours this afternoon.
I still can't believe I have a cleavage, AND a new breast!!! Is it just me who feel this way when they look down at their bodies??
Hope everyone is well.
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Hi eveveryone - been 'lurking' around this site for a few weeks. I finally had my reconstruction using the TRAM flap technique. I was diagnosed with bc 10 years ago, had WLE, mastectomy, chemo and radio but not a candidate for reconstruction with my breast surgeon. Not enough skin for back flap or for expander, and he was not registered to do any other kind of reconstruction. He did offer to send me to a plastic surgeon for the TRAM but felt that as I had had a hysterectomy (cervical cancer 2 years previously) that the operation might not be possible.
After a few years I did indeed take up the offer of meeting the Plastic Surgeon in Oxford and much to my surprise he felt the scars were not a problem as he would make 2 flaps to make the breast instead of one. I did have to lose weight in the months before but it has been really worth it. I went in to hospital the night before, Monday 5th November and came home on Friday 16th due to two drains that were misbehaving, but am well on the road to recovery. I had a bit of redness near my armpit and was put on a course of antib's for a week as a precaution but other than that I feel really well. I do fall asleep some afternoons very unexpectedly but I suppose that is my body telling me to slow down. I'm back to see them tomorrow to have my dressings looked at, and appointment with surgeon on 29th.
i would say to any women even if you have scars on your tummy the Plastic Surgeons are really creative artists that take great pride in their work, in most cases they will find a way to work with what you have available. I am really thrilled with my results (it's a bit big at the moment, but that will settled down) and I have a fantastic cleavage already!!
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