my experience

I had bilateral breast reconstuction 2 years ago....

I had bilateral breast reconstuction 2 years ago. The results are very unsatisfactory. I find it hard to explain what happened but I have lost elasticity in the arm pit area and the implants are moving down I am having dicomfort in the chest area mostly feel tight but the implants appear to be soft.

I am 55 years old and feel that I was not a good candidate for this surgery as I am or was quite thin. At the time I was also smoker and even though I cut down substancually I am convinced this had something to do with the result.

I am considering removal of the reconstruction and am concerned about what will happen with my muscles after removal. Will my muscles recover or is there away to repair damage in the area of the chest and under the arm it is quite stretched out.

Updated on May 21, 2009

I had breast cancer and opted for a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction two years ago. Since then I am experiencing a change a muscle tone under my armpits and general tightness across my chest although my implants are reasonable soft. I am unsatisfied with the overall result.

What can I do to improve the overall appearance and possible complications

Updated on May 22, 2009:

I think breast reconstruction is a wonderful thing for women to have access to after breast cancer.

I have seen some excellent results.Even though  I am dissapointed with my own results. I actually do look quite good in clothing and that is a big plus.

I am concerned avout the complication rate of implants and wish I had had mor information before I made the decision. I think because my left breast has a large ripple that they could be ruptured my dr days it is fust the incision site

Thanks for your advice

I need to move on and realize that there are...

I need to move on and realize that there are things that cannot be fixed. I do still believe that BR is a great thing for most ladies. I am resigne to the fact that I will have to deal with what I
have. No sence complaining. I have manage to deal with the tightness and pain. That is 1/2 the battle.
Name not provided

It is so neccessary to have a surgeon that is there when you need to discuss difficulties that you are having with your surgeries. There are many very knowledgable PS out the it is so important to find the right one for you. When you have a diagnoses of Breast Cancer...Do not rush into any procedure befor you know exactly what your options are. Because most of us are shocked and in a state of shock often the thought of having no breasts at all is unthinkable. Having Breast reconstruction actually does take the sting out of the reality of having to be with out breasts. The process sounds so easy. It is not that easy. I had very little pain after my sureries and felt great when my expanders were in.No pain during expansion at all. Actually the problem was I had no pain during expansions and I was so tight and numb. The iron bra feeling did not go away for along time. I did not even feel like the expanders were removed after the implants were in. Now I am having difficulties.

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Comments (5)

Laurel,
Oh my sweetie, we cannot have you feeling this way. Your comments tell me you are not resigned to this outcome. Let's brainstorm!
xo
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Laura,

Thank you for the benefit of your wisdom and also your lively sense of humor.

We must never forget to laugh!

Be Well,

Beverly

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Laurel,

I would like to suggest posting your questions in the Doctor Q&A section. We have many physicians who regularly answer questions for the community here. Many have found this to be a valuable resource. It will help you to know about all of your options which you can then discuss with your doctor.

Breast reconstruction is a long process, but for most it is absolutely worth it.

Please keep us abreast of your progress. We want to support you through your challenges.

Beverly

  • Reply
Thanks Beverly,
Yes, I have posted quite a few questions here and have had some good replies. The bottom line is always that further consultation is required by a Board Cerified Plastic Surgeon.
I often regret my decision to have reconstruction done. I think mostly because I was totally unprepared for the process. I did not know my options at the time. I look back and realize how uninformed I was. I did not know of anyone who had the same surgery I had. Honestly I felt trapped when I realized I was totally alone during the process. When I finally started to question what was happening it was too late. To my Dr's it was not a matter of what they looked like it was mostly that there was a breast mound and they could be covered to look normal.
My husband and I often refer to it as a Gong show.

I know that many women are blessed with wonderful Plastic Surgeons. I was not comfortable with the one I was given. I know that if I had more knowledge things may have turned out much differently.

I truly wish I had access to this and other helpful resources way back when. Unfortunately that was not the case. I have to come to realize that any further surgeries will not correct the problems that I am having difficulty with. Some complications are not reversable.

Still as time progresses I know that in the future there may be more options for breast reconstruction.

It is my hope that the information and support is there for the ladies that need it before there is a problem.

Sometimes I have to take a step back and try not to concentrate on what is wrong with my reconstruction.

I wish things could be changed I am just afraid to follow through because I know at this point I could not deal emotionally with further surgeries.

Thanks again for your support. I think it is wonderful that you are helping support the Ladies on the forum.

Laura
  • Reply
now I am 5 years from my breast reconstrution/implants.
I have not been able to have a revision b/c I cannot quit smoking.
I continue to have pain and my implants have slipped below the muscle. I am trying so hard to quit he smoking as I know that my body needs to be healthy.
I feel awful as my GP does not have much sympathy for my problem. He thinks that is just the way it is so learn to deal with it as it is.
I cannot go to a PS here unless I have a referal.
I want to cry when I see what has happened..the skin and muscle under my arms is progressivlly worse. I often regret my decision to have the surgery in the first place.
I was given the surgeon..did not even know I had a choice. When cancer is involved. There seems to be such a rush to get it done. Things happened so fast that I did not have time to think about it or even do any research.
I have had some excellent advice here on Realself. Unfortunately I do not have a choice as to where I go for my revison. If I had the money I think I would go to the USA
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