Is anyone undergoing Breast Reconstruction in May or June 2014?

  • BethH
  • 5 months ago

After undergoing mastectomy (surgery to remove one or both breasts, partially or completely), women may choose to have another surgery to reconstruct their breasts using breast implants or tissue expanders, their own body tissue, or a combination of tissue reconstruction and implants.
Feel free to introduce yourself so we can support you through the rest of your journey!

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Yes, I'm in the process of having my tissue expanders filled. They were put in on May 22, at the same time as my prophylactic mastectomy (I had IDC and a mastectomy in September, 2013). I had my 5th of 6 weekly fills yesterday. I had a lot if discomfort after the first 4, but this time I'm having a lot of PAIN! It feels like someone kicked me in the sternum! Does anyone else experience this, & how to you manage the pain?
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Gotta wait til mid august for eXpander exchange ..skin was burnt with a heat pack in january after mastectomy and wounds had to be surgically closed so they are hoping for better expansion
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I had bilateral mastectomy with immediate recon (DIEP) on 28/5/14. I've been very lucky that my surgeon has never questioned my decision (prophalactic due to 3 generations of every female having breast cancer early tho negative for gene). OP was 12hrs and first op I've ever had. Had morphine pump post op and honestly minimal abdo pain and no breast pain (numb). 4 drains (in each breast and either side abdo) which I was discharged with and gradually removed over next 2wks. Abdo binder fitted Day 2 and I have to wear for 10 weeks - I find that I get back pain if I forget to put it on (I leave it off at night). My biggest problem post op was shoulder pain due to being in crucifix position during surgery which morphine did not touch - anti inflam helped best. Also being woken every 1-4hrs over first 4 days for checking flap had me almost loosing my mind. Luckily I had a nurse assigned to me only so she would bring me eye mask so I could avoid being totally woken. The warming blanket I had on for 5 days and that made me sweaty and itchy - lots of ice and cool face washers. My physical recovery went well with no complications - sitting out bed/toiletting day 2, walking bent over with walker day 3, showering self day 4 (borrowing a shower stool helps at home) discharged day 7. Had nurses daily to check dressings and drains and started wearing a bra day 14 (non underwired) - before this I bought a few singlets with built in support. I'm a Physio and so appreciate the importance of mobility - whilst in hospital I walked as many laps of ward as would make me a little puffy every 2hrs. From discharge I walked around house and 2x visits to coffe shop per day!! Driving week 3/4 and stopped using walker and standing upright week 2. My scars I massage twice a day with bio oil once scabs came off - they all look great except a small 2cm area on abdomen. I feel amazing - better than any drug this operation .. no more worries about yearly breast scanning!!
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Wow, it sounds like you've been through a lot but yet you have such a great spirit! Will you still have a preventative MRI every few years just in case? I have sent you a PM with information on how to start a review. Thank you for sharing the details of your reconstruction. Glad to hear you feel amazing!
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Hi Beth I will be honest I'm not sure about the MRI but will head for a check up soon with breast surgeon and ask then. Will keep everyone updated.
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I think Cindy588 was able to do a mammogram. I think I might be more inclined to do an MRI but hard to say. Yes, do keep us posted. ;)
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After many biopsies, lumpectomies, and precancerous findings in my right breast along with a strong family history of breast cancer, I decided to have a "prophylactic" bilateral mastectomy. It was amazing to me the amount of resistance from the medical profession that I encountered, from "Why would you want to do an Angelina Jolie on yourself?" to "Just because your sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, and cousin had breast cancer does not mean you will get it". We have to take care of ourselves because I do believe that we know what is best for us. I did find 2 fabulous physicians and had my bilateral mastectomy in January where they found lobular carcinoma in situ in my left breast. Well, that was unexpected but I am so very grateful I had the surgery. Some have said that I am brave to have done this...no I am not! All of you women out there who have been through chemo and radiation (my sister included) are the true courageous ones. You gave me the courage to go through with my surgery. Because of you, I was able to have skin and nipple sparing surgery. My PS also put the tissue expanders in during surgery. Those are not fun. They were always so tight and hard. I dreaded every time I had them filled up. Physical therapy to loosen the chest muscle helped a bit. On May 1st was my exchange surgery for my silicone implants. So far...my chest feels so much better than when I had the expanders in but it is still tight. I hope it feels softer in time.....
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Wow, you've had an amazing journey in so many ways. Good for you for being proactive. I'm sorry to hear your idea of a bilateral mastectomy was met with resistance. You're right...you have to take care of yourself and be proactive.

I'm glad you found this community on RealSelf along with some other amazing members who have shared their story. We'd love to hear more of your story in a review when you have a chance. This way we can support you and track your progress during the last phase of your reconstruction. Hope you're feeling a little better each day!
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how is it going? I had mastectomies in jan also, did the second side prophylactically after watching my sister go thru chemo hell..,still in expanders waiting for second stage trying o decide if I want to expand a little more before replacement..what kind of implant did you choose? did they do any fat grafting? and how are you doing?
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Hey evesue. I hope you are feeling well and I'm glad you had the second side done. I'm still a bit tight but starting physical therapy again next week to loosen up my chest muscle. I had teardrop shaped silicone implants. I really didn't want big round ones. My.sister had saline and they seemed very hard. I haven't had to have any fat as of yet. Good luck to you. Keep me.posted....
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I had my surgery in Dec 13 but ended up with an sever infection that cause me to have two surgery's to remove both expanders. In two weeks I have surgery again to replace my expanders. Any suggestions or tips for me.
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Hi Marlyn, so sorry to hear about the infection. I can't imagine how disappointing this must be. What date is your next surgery? Are you going to possibly start a pre-op review in the breast reconstruction community so we can easily find and follow your progress? Hoping for good results this time around!

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did the physical therapy help stretch out you pec muscle?..i haven't done any of that. tried doing some swimming and now I know why they call it the breast stroke..not too fun with expanders in place. I have no idea what shape implant to choose..i just know id rather have more fat than implant..and would eventually like to be implant free
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I'm impressed beyond words that you're doing some swimming for therapy. How much longer with the expanders?
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