DIEP Flap Turned out Amazing - Los Angeles, CA

I am 27 years old, diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast...

I am 27 years old, diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer 2 months ago, had a double mastectomy and reconstuction via the DIEP flap procedure a month ago. I decided to go double for my own mental self. I was a good candidate for the DIEP Flap procedure and it was truly suggested as I am a horseback rider and dirt biker, so implants and the risk of damage to them with my extreme sports just made the best sense.

My breasts look absolutely amazing, they honestly look like my own except for the patch of new skin as the areola and no nipples for now, but they feel and look amazing.

Here is one suggestion: if you are a smoker, please talk to your surgeon and be truthful, find out what your possible complications are. I was a smoker right up until surgery (quit at that time), and I did have a "routine complication" of a splitting incision on the tummy tuck incision. It pushed recovery a few weeks, but I have done everything my doctor told me to do, and I am recovering well now, hopefully only a few weeks left until I am "normal."

Especially if you are young, and want to do both breasts, please consider this procedure, it really makes me feel like myself. FYI, don't know cost yet because I haven't been fully billed after insurance.

Just wanted to do a quick update. Little over 2...

Just wanted to do a quick update. Little over 2 months now from when I had surgery, and I am totally healed and look/feel AMAZING!! Thank you Dr Leif Rogers and Dr. Max Leifeldt for everything!
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Returned my calls asap, got in to see him when I needed to, explained everything, treated me like a friend and that he truly cared, did an amazing job!!!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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I'm five weeks out of my bilateral DIEP reconstruction. Before surgery, my plastic surgeon told me to forget about riding for four monthsa after surgery, when i seemed to be healing like a rockstar, I bargained him down to 10 weeks. I've just had a small setback with a chest abscess (had a quick incision and drainage surgery on Friday) that I have to manage little carefully. Even so, I don't think it will put me far off my 10 week return to riding. I'm in (or was, before my Ca dx) the process of shopping for a horse so am a little less enthusiastic about getting on unknown horses right off this surgery. I'll ride a friend's horse to get my "sea legs" back. I am chomping at the bit to get back to it!

Congrats on finishing your chemo, eventing vet! You eventers are built of crazy strong stuff---I expect that, barring complications, you could be back in the saddle in 10 weeks. No matter what, though, follow your doc's instructions for you. The horses will wait for you and it's not worth jeopardizing the great results. I haven't regretted by DIEP one time, even though it's seems like a long slog...

Good luck with everything.
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I would love to hear about your recovery as far as riding goes. I'm an eventer and I'm considering the DIEP w/ my mastectomy next month. I'm just finishing my chemo.
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I found this thread by Googling DIEP and horse riding. If I turn out to be BrCA+, I will get bilateral mx and reconstruction. I hope I'm a candidate for DIEP mostly because, like you Erin, I am a rider and cannot bear to be out of the saddle for six or ten more months. Can you tell how long before you were riding again?
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Hi Seattler, sorry, for some reason I didn't see this until now. What did you decide? How are things going? I had surgery in march, I was back riding after chemo was over in September. They dont recommend doing anything strenuous during chemo, you don't want to hurt yourself and have to pause treatment you know?
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I AM NEW AT ALL OF THIS. I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER OCT 2012 AND JUST HAD THE DIEP SURGERY ABOUT 10 DAYS AGO. I FEEL AS IF THE RECOVERY ISN'T GOING WELL BUT DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO GO BY SINCE HAVEN'T DONE THIS BEFORE. THE ONCOLOGY SURGEON SAID THAT SHE ACCIDENTALLY PULLED BY BREAST SKIN FLAP TOO MUCH WHEN TAKING OUT MY LYMPH NODES AND THEREFORE MADE WOUNDS ON MY BREAST WHICH ARE VERY RED AND THEY LIKE OOZ. THEY SAID HOPEFULLY THAT WILL SLOUGH OFF AND THE WOUNDS WILL HEAL. PLUS, MY BREAST IS REALLY SWOLLEN LIKE TRIPLE THE SIZE OF MY OTHER BREAST. PLUS VERY BRUISED ALL OVER. DO YOU KNOW IF ALL THIS OR PRETTY NORMAL OR NOT. THANKS
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Yes the swelling is really normal...mine were Huge compared to before surgery due to swelling. Takes a few months to fully get down to size. Ugh I'm sorry that happened to you but you are only 10 days out so just let everything run its course and rest. I had a few gross complications but it happens and everything is perfect now. Where are you located?
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I am located in Bridgeport, WV. I had my surgery done at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. I probably should have gone to John Hopkins, MD or Cancer Center of America in Philadelphia, PA but didn't really feel like the trip. I am only 30-45 mins. away from Morgantown. It is where West Virginia University is located if you are familiar with football and the Mountaineers. You have been very helpful. Thank you, Crystal
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Hi Crystal, sorry no I'm not a sports person haha. You can always give a doctor from the Cancer Center for a 2nd opinion on aftercare and wound healing. It wouldn't hurt you know?
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Oh that is totally awesome! Im so glad you didnt have to have expanders put in! Well im leaving next fri so Ill definately keep in touch and let you know how it went! Thank you so much for answering my questions! I appreciate it...I really dont have anybody to ask that has gone through a DIEP flap procedure before everyone I know has gotten implants
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Yes, please let me know, and if you have any questions at all please feel free to ask! I didn't even know the DIEP flap existed until my doctor told me about it. What way to make a crappy situation (cancer) turn into a great one (tummy tuck and fuller boobs). :-) That's how I looked at it really. Just remember, take your time, don't push your body too fast. You will be sore and tired, and it's really hard to get out of bed, etc. I slept with a lot of pillows to keep myself propped. Don't feel like you need to stand up straight too quickly, just take your time. I'm trying to think of anything else you should know. haha I think that's everything!
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Will do! Thank you again!
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Ok....So my surgery is set for Sept 28 2011..2 more weeks...yikes! Is it a weird feeling to have breasts again? I know stupid question but i have kind of grown fond of my expanders! lol I have forgotten what its like to have breasts that actually move!
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I actually never went a day without having breasts. I had surgery and reconstruction done at the same time. haha believe me, you will be happy :-)
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Yvonne, it is not a weird feeling, it is a wonderful feeling to be restored to a more natural you. All surgeries are scary, but you will be delighted when you wake up from this one.

 Have you had a discussion with your surgeon about realistic expectations regarding size, shape and profile of your breasts? The expanders are often inflated to a larger size than your permanent implants. This is done to stretch the skin enough to accommodate your new implants. Attached is a link where this is addressed .http://www.realself.com/question/skin-sparing-mastectomy-500cc-implants-small

Hopefully you have been helped by other girls who have posted here. Please consider writing a review of your experience so we can gush over you and help others in the process.

Until then, keeping a good thought for you,

Beverly

 

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Hello! Yes he did discuss everything with me and they expanded me until I couldnt do anymore lol. I was a small A when this all started so Ill be exciting to be whatever size they can give me! I have had so many questions answered that I think its awesome to be able to communicate with other women that have gone through it and are still goin through it. Most definately Ill let everyone know how it goes! I dont know how to put a picture up on this sight
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Actually not painful! Just a tad right out of surgery, but you are drugged enough where its just more uncomfortable to move. Other than that, because the nerves are cut you really have no feeling!
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Im so happy to read your post! I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in May of 2010 at 33 yrs old. I underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy with expanders put in...chemo and radiation and am 3 weeks away from a DIEP flap procedure in Dallas. I am terrified but your post just made me feel better about the procedure! Thank you so much glad everything is goin great for you!
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Wow! You have been through a lot! Let me know how your procedure goes, and if you have any questions or just want to talk to someone let me know! It's a slow recovery, but so worth it. The girls look amazing, so I am a very happy camper :-)
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Thank you so much! I will....is it a painful procedure?
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Actually not painful! Just a tad right out of surgery, but you are drugged enough where its just more uncomfortable to move. Other than that, because the nerves are cut you really have no feeling!
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I've been wanting to consult this doc for revision breast aug for ages! Really happy your procedure went well. His results do look amazing. I'm sure yours is too.
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Did you end up contacting Dr. Rogers? I hope you did, he's amazing! You will be very happy with his results I am sure!
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Happiness is a healthy woman! Your positive attitude has served you well. It is so important to maintain fitness for your mind and your body. Please tell us more about designing your own happy life and staying on course. Good for you.

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