Can anyone advise me about what to look for and what to expect after I return home form my DIEP flap reconstruction?

  • Houston4263
  • 3 years ago

My doctor is five hours away.  Perhaps you ladies could give me some tips as to what to expect.

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Hello Ladies hope everyone is doing well. FINALLY having my surgery on Aug 4. the stories I am hearing is really helping me out. did anybody get a home health aid.
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I am 46 had double mast and diep flap done by probably the best PS for this procedure in country. Dr. Serletti chief of PS AT UNIV of PA. No complications beautiful job but I will not kid any of you that it has not been a picnic. 4/22/14 date 10 hour surgery. I am still in some pain and my belly is swollen. He told me 6 to 8 months before complete healing. Just wanted to say this is tough. Then throw tamoxifen into the mix. I know I will be fine but don't want anyone to think this is over quick. Bless you all!
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Lorraine thanks for you reply. I was due to have surgery on July 7th but my doc cancel it due to them finding something on my adneral gland so now I have to take some more test to make sure everything is clear. Wishing you a speedy recover
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Had mine on the June 23 . Very hard sore, pain swollen, but we can do,this,
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I did my July 23, not a quick healing and the challenge is wearing pants,unfortunately I had muscle that needed to be used so it's an even slower healing, any suggestions on what to wear. Doctor says nothing tight
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I can tell you I anticipated more pain it was more of discomfort. I came home with 4 JP drains. Two drains were for left and right breast, the other two were, for each side of abdomen. A visting nurse came twice to check the drains. You will be instructed in the hospital how to empty your drains. Its very simple. I found safety pinning the drains to the stomach binder less uncomfortable. 3 drains were removed 10 days later one abdomen drain remained for another 7 days. Everyone is different, but hopefully, my experience can give you an idea on what to anticipate and how to prepare. Your breast will be swollen, so make sure you bet really good sports bra, once you figure out what size you are. It took several trips and returns (my poor daughter and husband endured the pain). The first week was the hardest, being totally dependent, on simple things as bathing. As each day passes you will regain strength. It is important to rest when your body tells you, but try to move around through out the day, to avoid stiffness. You will also need alot of support and assistance for a few weeks. I am on day 19 of my recovery and I am able to do more with assistance. I still can't bend, stand straight, stand for long periods, or drive but I can sleep in my my bed (slept 11dys on couch post-op), I can also make quick trip to grocery store, I was able to attend church, was able to aaccompany my kids to a movie yesterday. There is still discomforts but not as intense. I hopd tbis helps and good luck. I had a double mastectomy with the DIEP flap reconstructive surgery on 06/03/14.
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Thanks for this information. It has made me a little at ease I am just praying that all goes well. Hope you will continue to heal. Thanks
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Your welcome. I was extremely nervous days leading to my surgery also. Everything will go just fine. A positive attitude is very important now. I wish you well.
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having breast implant remove due to capsule contracture and doing DIEP Flap in July 2014. I am scare and confused. Any suggestions
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I am at the end of week 2, from a double mastectomy, with skin & nipple sparing DIEP flap reconstructive surgery. I anticipated much more pain than I actually felt. There is alot of discomfort, but as each day passes it gets better. I am still unable to drive or bend so I require assistance. Also no complications and all is healing well. I think you should, consult with your team of surgeons, if you still have any doubts and concerns to be sure this is the right decision for you. If your fear is based on pain, it's not as bad as we imagine. i wish you the best of luck.
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I had so far one in plant removed next year the other due to infections. You can do this, it's not easy at the beginning but I am 4 weeks out and starting to feel better, hang in ..
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I am 34 years old and had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using tram flap procedure. My surgery was aug 27, 2013 took 11 1/2 hours. I was in icu for 5 days, and 3 more days in reg room.blood count was very low , has to have 2 blood tranfusions, flap on rt breast didn't heal like left . Before i left we were using bacitracin on incisions bcuz my stomach one had blistered and left a gap. Since I've been home my stomach incision just right below belly button has opened up a lil a seems to be infected also belly button too. I calles ps n went back in she took out all drains but one and said tuea I will come back put me to sleep and cut open incision and stitch itback. But I am scared infection is too bad ive had 2 rounds of antiobiotics n still nothing. Can I ask to be admitted to have IV antibiotics ran ? Also my boobs are as hard as a rock is that normal does that go away? I will have nipple reconstruction in a few months at that time she will be making rt breast match left in size and hopefully lipo my dog ears on hip scars. Has anyone had this done. Sorry for all the questions. This has definitely been the hardest recovery ever .
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Hi diepflapper This site doesn't seem to get much activity. If you are interested in talking to women going through the same thing as you come see us at Breast Cancer. Org and we are the thread DIEP 2013. Come take a look. You will be pleasantly surprised.
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I am 5 weeks post surgery and the only pain I have is in my back on the same side as the new breast. I think I may have been doing too much too soon. I have an abdominal band the hospital gave me and that helps a little. I take Aleve and that helps also. Swelling in the new breast and abdominal areas are slowly going away and I feel very little pain there. The old (good) breast is saggier and hangs lower than the new one, so the surgeon said he can lift that breast to match the new one. I think I will wait on that procedure, just to see if the new breast will soften enough to hang/sag similar to the good breast. In the mean time I have to find something ( bra or other method) to keep the good breast a little higher so I don't look so lopsided. Any ideas out there? I am 60 years old.
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I just finished 4 rounds of chemo and seeing a PC for a double mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction at the end of January. Can anyone tell me what recovery will be like? And what kind of shape I should be in 8 weeks after surgery. Wondering what questions I should have for my PC. I am 62 years Los and otherwise healthy. Thanks so much, Nbr

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I am very swollen in reconstructed breast ani in abdominal area. My surgery was on Tuesday and I
Came out of the hospital today.
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Sounds totally normal :) I was swollen for a long time after reconstruction but it goes down
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did you only have the one breast reconstructed, and how was yr surgery, I wish you the best.
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Yes, it's just one breast. The surgery was fine, it's the recovery that's kicking my butt. The reconstructed breast is hard and swollen. My abdominal is very tight and it's hard to stand up straight. I have my first post-surgical visit with the plastic surgeon's office tomorrow. Maybe they can answer my questions.
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Wow, I am so glad I found this place! I had a mastectomy and reconstruction for DCIS 1/2012. The reconstruction was an implant....3 weeks later I was back in the operatiing room as my incision on the breast opened. This created my own grand canyon. The PS used skin grafting to close the wound, Now 6 months later I am facing capsular contracture. (I have formed scar tissue around the implant which is now so hard I call it --my potato)The PS that did my orginal surgery wants to operate and replace the impant. I have decided to go with a second opinion at another hospital that deals with DEIP and or flap surgeries. Has anyone had this experience? removing the impant and going with micro surgery. I am in pretty good health....my first two surgeries I did not have any health issues. I also live in Israel so I am dealing with socialized medicine, which in some ways ia a hassle, but there is not cost. Also they seem not to be in a rush to release you from the hospital ( I was there 8 days for each visit).,I did do much research after the first surgery as my mind was thinking,,,CANCER. Also, has anyone has experience wil Alloderm? Thanks and good luck to all that are facing your surgeries!
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I had a double mastecomy in 10/12. as of today I have capsular which is so painful. So i am going for a Consultation next week. I want these Things out. I have been in pain since I had the silcone put in. Cant take it no more
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I am so sorry to hear about your difficulties. I just had my reconstruction surgery (9/1 new team, new hospital) to find out that my problem was not CC, but a decision made by my first team. They did not see it until I was on the table. This made my year or so a living hell, so I know what you must be going through, I can tell you after this third one, I am very happy with the results. I wish you all the best and hope you get the results you want. Let me know how it goes. I will still another "retouch" to correct the rest of the miserable mess they made the first 2x's
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Hi, I have been reading all of the wonderful supportive posts here! I had a double mastectomy on 11/18/2010 and went through chemo and radiation. Initially I had expanders but because of the radiation it was recommended that I have the diep flap surgery. (also one of my expanders had a hole init and wouldn't expand). I have been walking around with two different sized expanded fake breast mounds. I didn't care because I was very glad to have the cancer gone. I went in on 6/12/12 and had the DIEP flap surgery in Round Rock, TX (just outside of Austin) Luckily I was blessed to have Dr. Habash complete the procedure. I was terrified of being put under for the estimated 8 hours. My surgery actually lasted 11 hours due to difficulty from radiation. He was able to get the veins and capillaries connected. It has been 2 1/2 weeks and I feel great. I am off of pain mess and able to bend and stretch almost normally. I am trying to build my strength back up but I am still resting a lot. I'm sure that is what is helping me heal. I just wanted you to know that this was a great procedure for me and I do not regret it. I was very worried about the stomach cut but it actually was not as bad as I had imagined. I am still sleeping propped up on pillows and also use a pillow under my knees just to protect my stomach and keepit from pulling. I wish the best to those of you that decide to have this procedure. It did make me feel better restoring my body and feeling "normal" again. I am now 45 was 43 when this whole process started. God bless and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.
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Hi Saylor. Good for you, iam so glad to hear that you are doimg well. Thank you for shareing your jounery with me, MY surgery is expected to take 11 hours, Iam having a mastectomy and then both breast re constructed. All ready had the left breast removed last year, at that time i wanted both gone but the dr. wouldnt do that. ( live and learn). Hearing that you and all the others that have shared their stories have done just fine, really does help. I pray that you keep me in your prayers My surgery is aug. 29. thanks and God bless
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Hi Saylor, I am going to have the Diep done next month, December and Dr. Habash is my surgeon. I am glad that it went well, I am hoping for an easy time. I have handled the Mastectomy very well and hope for the same. (but I have never had my stomach cut) It was nice to read all these comments and then see Round Rock and Dr Habash mentioned. :)
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