Upcoming Mastectomy with Reconstruction - Conyers, GA

I will be having a reconstruction after mastectomy...

I will be having a reconstruction after mastectomy. Today I went to a different PS and she suggested that I do a two step reconstruction...tissue expanders, then silicone implants. I originally wanted saline but the doctor recommended the other. I didn't qualify for the DIEP or TRAM flap due to previous abdominal surgeries and a hernia I have present. It was suggested that I do only implant based reconstruction at the time. I will be getting 800cc implants but I was told today I will probably only be to a C cup at the maximum....which I was very upset to hear but technically there is no cup sizes involved...its cc. My doctor did say after the tissue expanders are filled, if I wasn't satisfied with the size I could do the latissimus dorsi route with the implants to add a bit more volume.
I do have to say ...todays appointment didn't go quite as I had hoped. In my future I had planned on getting breast implants and I was expecting augmentation results. I had to snap back to reality and realize its not going to be like that. Reconstruction is totally different than augmentation.
I also wanted to note that it seems as though finding any pics and information on breast reconstruction on larger patients is scarce....especially on patients that have lost a significant amount of weight and are still large but comfortable where they are at.....Sometimes I feel as though many think that just because one is larger than average..or has saggy skin from weight loss.....there is no need to reconstruct "nice and perky" breast.....and that's not the case at all. ( I understand that some reconstructions don't turn out great...but it seems as though most do)
I hope that any woman who has had a mastectomy or a mastectomy on a larger woman.....doesn't feel that they aren't fit enough.....or attractive enough to deserve to have your breast reconstructed because I have met doctors that certainly feel that way.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us on RealSelf. I'm glad to see you're already meeting some other members that have been in or are in similar situations. I realize reconstruction is a very unique for each person, but it's nice to have some support during the process. Have you met Trinalll and Cindy588? They're toward the end of their reconstruction but have been helpful in the community. Wishing you the best with your reconstruction process. Please keep us posted!
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It is so important to be told that this process is nothing like augmentation; I was never told that! And that this can be a long process as well. I am thankful to be alive, and had to come to terms with the fact that these breasts are not like real ones. But a good surgeon will work with you to make you happy. Find one you feel you can trust (and trust them - listen to their concerns). God Bless you on your journey!
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Thank you so very much! I am hoping for the best..but my life is way more important and I think now that I have actually scheduled everything....I am starting to come to terms with the reality.
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Pain from expanders

I had my mastectomy and its been 3 weeks. I had breast reconstruction as well with alloderm and tissue expanders. I had 4 drains and had 2 removed 2 weeks later and then the other 2 came out on week 3. Those drains were so painful. I hate the TE. They are so hard and I am just now starting to be able to deal with the pain. My expanders are very hard and uncomfortable. My muscles have spasms. I was filled to 500cc at the time of surgery! I have heard that is waaaay too much. But anyways things are improving and I am getting better. Still trying to decide on silicone or saline implants. My exchange surgery will be coming soon...

Week 4 of my journey

I am in week 4 of my recovery from the mastectomy and reconstruction. I have had two expansions of 60 cc in each breast each week and am currently at 620cc. The expansions are horrible. I have severe pain for about 3 days then I seem to be back to just moderate pain. I am still on pain meds and muscle relaxers. Whenever I say that I am still in pain, the nurses say..." its normal to feel like a heavy workout". I am thinking to myself......."WHAT?! A heavy workout my ass....I feel like someone took a baseball bat and beat the crap out of my chest!!!.....HEAVY WORKOUT MY ASS!!!!!" I never in my life thought that the breast reconstruction would be the worst pain in my life and I have had 3 c section, a tubal ligation and 2 LCL reconstructions on my left knee. The breast reconstruction takes the cake for sure. I cant believe how much pain I am still in after 4 weeks post op. I fear my nurses and doctor think I may be a pill popper because I ask for a pain med refill each week due to the pain of expanding and in general since my surgery. I am a nurse myself and I know that sometimes medical staff can be quick to judge. I have also heard some people say that their breast reconstruction journey was a breeze....hats off to you...I wish I can say the same. My second expansion of 60cc wasn't that bad....for my right breast...but for my left breast(underneath) it has been soooo painful. I seriously cried....for hours last night. Anyways....to anyone who reads this...if you are going through the same thing...I am so sorry, I feel your pain! I also wanted to give anyone who reads this and is going to have an upcoming mastectomy with reconstruction a heads up of the reality of this surgery. It often seems to be sugarcoated by many people....like...".oh at least you get perky boobs"..."oh...so and so had that done and she loves her new look" or " oh don't worry youll be fine" ...." When I got breast implants it wasn't painful at all"....It is very nice for people to try and relate to you BUT the pain of breast reconstruction is very real and a very different procedure than a simple augmentation and it may have been a breeze for so and so but this is YOU. I had a great friend who had breast augmentation and I remember her saying it was painful....but she was up shopping at walmart the next day! Its been 4 weeks and I have not stepped foot in any store...and I LOVE me some retail therapy!!! I just hope you plastic surgeon has told you the true reality of the surgery. IT IS PAINFUL AND A VERY LONG RECOVERY FOR SOME....like me. I wish the best to everyone and if I can be of some help...please by all means leave me a post and I will do my best to help you through this. Just remember your pain level is what YOU say it is and no one else can deny it. Be an advocate for yourself and dont suffer...if youre in pain ask for a refill on pain meds.

4 months post op

Hello....it has been about 4 months post op. A couple of months ago I finally got done with my fills. I am at 770ccs. My ps said my skin was in great condition so we could stop. I was thankful! I am not in any real pain anymore. I feel great so far. I am having some side effects of the tissue expanders though. I am starting to develop a uniboob. When I wear a bra I have a booby bubble. If I lay on my side or push my expander...they move to the middle of my chest and I can feel them touching. When I look down...I hardly see the separation and it seems like righty is getting smaller. I have called my dr and my nurse reassured me that in july, everything will be fixed and revised. My boobs are way smaller than my natural ones...and I hate that. I will be getting 800cc silicone implants. I wanted 800cc saline overfilled to 960cc but my dr didn't seem impressed and said they could overfill them but not much. I have lost 25lbs since my surgery in hopes that with me losing weight, my boobs will appear larger. So far... I haven't noticed a change...and I am still trying to lose more weight. I miss the squishy feel of my boobs. These expanders are so very rock hard and everytime I move, I can feel them scrape across my rib cage. UGH! But anyways...I cant wait until July 17!
Even though I seem a bit complainy....I am thankful for this opportunity to share my experience with anyone who reads this and I love my dr as well. She does one hell of a job.
Here are some pics from week one until now....
Good luck with your continual journey. I had double mastectomy in Sept last year, tissue expanders, then silicon implant exchange at the end of Feb this year, along with fat grafting. I had another fat graft 8 weeks ago, just to plump up my breasts a bit more, and may need a bit more down the track. I hope things settle for you. Mine are great now. Will never feel normal or 'part of you' but better than the alternative. I hope you get your sizing right. I was lucky. Tissue expanders didn't need topping up, and implants just slotted in pretty well. I bit wishy washy at first but now they have settled after 6 months. Good luck to you - youcantfindme.
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The whole journey has been tiring and such a drawn out process...I thought everything would have been done by now. I am vry unhappy with my size. I will be getting ft grafting soon but its not going to be near enough. I love the silicone feel but I really wanted to have saline overfilled to have a slightly larger breast but they didn't feel good in my hand and I was afraid of them rupturing. I know its unlikely but I seem to be a sponge for bad luck! I have 800cc uhp silicone but they look so small. I have lost weight and its not helping. I had larger breast before this so my chest has the concaved areas where the real breast tissue was and even though I have the largest implant available they just fall in those concaved pits and look even smaller. I wish they could stuff the concave areas with fat pads to fill in the voids of my chest wall behind the implants to make the appear larger, protrude more, and also be more cushioned. ugh its so annoying!
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I hope you can sort all this put with a surgeon, and you end up getting what you want. All the very best and keep us posted. Hopefully fat grafting will make some difference. :)
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