Reconstruction Following Mastectomy - Boston, MA

Decided to go through with reconstruction...

Decided to go through with reconstruction following mastectomy. Due to some pre existing medical issues, I was not a candidate for TRAM flap, so went with the expander and silicone implant on one side with breast reduction and lift on my healthy breast. The transition has been very difficult for me, mostly the cosmetic " look" of my surgical breast. I went from a DDD naturally to a C or small D. The skin is quite thin, rippling with some pitting, but I was told this was because there is no fat under the skin, so my PS will attempt fat grafting in the next couple of months. The shape is disappointing, very flat, feels a but hard, no protrusion, but maybe the fat grafting will help. But I have to understand it is a process, but I will be honest, so far....I'm disappointed. I should have asked more questions about kinds of implants, shape of them, the feel of them, silicone vs saline, and my doctors expected outcome post op. But at the time, I was still trying to get over the diagnosis of having cancer. I am not having the nipple reconstruction. Frankly, I can't feel anything on my mastectomy side anyway, and I'm not planning on nursing any more babies, so what use do I have for a nipple? Just one more thing I have to keep covered.

2 months post op, not happy

So it has been two months since my reconstruction on one side and lift and reduction on the other. I am not happy with what it looks like, but some have told me it takes time for a good result, sooooo, I'm asking for comments, good or bad. Should I be happy or is this not normal?

Inspiration

This sun reflexion photo was taken by my brother the morning of my surgery last week. It stayed on the wall for about 20 minutes, then faded away? Awesome, right?

Implant tight?

I am three months post implant on the left following mastectomy, three weeks post fat injection to correct rippling, folding and shape. My implant is still having trouble dropping, is very tight, and my scar is becoming ropey or thick. The chest muscle is very tight, especially under my left arm and the outer area of the Implant despite ROM and stretching excercise. It is becoming very uncomfortable. I did finally find a PT who specializes in post reconstruction and breast cancer, but she does not take insurance and is too expensive for me as I have not been able to return to work yet. Any suggestions?

Diet

Has anyone come across a good book that tells breast cancer patients what food is good and what to avoid?

8 weeks post fat injection

Hey all. Thought I would update. I'm 8 weeks post revision of implant surgery due to implant shifting, large fat pocket on top of breast and lots if pitting and wrinkling. I underwent fat injection to the breast and liposuction of the large fat pad, ( see original photos ). The pitting and divots and wrinkling are much improved, although I have noticed over the past week or so, some pitting in the middle inner aspect is returning a bit, but I was warned this may happen as usually only 50 % of the fat will be absorbed by the breast. I will probably have to have another fat injection in a couple of months and from time to time, but I am so much happier with the appearance. The breast continues to be very tight though, so I consulted a PT who taught me some stretching excercises to do a few times a day to help stretch the entire chest muscle. Even being a Nurse, I never realized how large our chest muscle is and that you need different kinds of stretching to loosen the entire muscle. One thing that helps a lot was laying on my back to the edge of the bd. allow your arms to go over the top of your head and fall behind you while holding a one pound weight. This stretches the inner, or cleavage area, of the muscle stretch out. This has helped a lot. I am developing som very ropey like scarring over my scars which the PT told me can be helped with cross friction massage? I just have to find someone who can do this as a lot of places do not. Going back to work next week!?!? After three months off, my stamina is still not up to par, but as a Hospice Nurse, right now I can. Make my own hours, so that will help. So, for all who asked, here are some photos to compare with my originals. Notice the missing fat pad, ( I think it moved to my butt ), and the fuller, more protruded breast. Wrinkling and pitting is also better. Hang in there friends. If there is anyone in the south shore of Boston area out there, we should chat privately. ( I think private emails are allowed). I have found the support from this site so helpful and comforting and I found a great support facility in this area to share. Take care of yourselves and eachother.

Important help for scarring and tattooing

I almost forgot!
Last week on the Doctors, they did a segment on a new group that began an organization, http://p-ink.org, that helps women with Breast cancer who may be considering tattooing to cover surgical scars etc. these great ladies match you up with tattoo artist that match your profile, ( what kind of tattoo you are looking to get ) with Tatoo artist who will either tatoo you it at minimal cost or sometimes for free!
They are hoping to Travel through the states this summer to offer these services
To women who are interested or considering tatooing over breast scars, ( or are interested in donating money or time to help women who are considering tattooing , ) . I contacted them and have been talking to the woman who started it and I have offers my help in time and Nursing care if needed. I think it is a great organization and worth checking out. They do have a face book page which, if you " like " will send you out updates on where and when they will be around. You may be able to google p.-ink on The Doctors and see the piece. It gave me a lot of hope as , because of an abnormal scarring condition my family has, my scars look terrible and I am considering getting one tattooed. Just an FYI. Have a good weekend!
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