I Had to Reconstruct the Reconstruction - Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I was diagnosed with LCIS in my right breast in...

I was diagnosed with LCIS in my right breast in 2006. I was also told that within 10 years, I would have it on the left side as well. Bilateral mastectomies were a no brainer for me. I was 44 years old. I had bilateral mastectomies with immediate placement of tissue expanders. I considered foregoing reconstruction but the first time I put real clothes on, I missed my breasts. I want to say that I had a terrible experience with my first reconstruction which is a story in and of itself. The surgeon was less than qualified but was recommended by my oncologist. In short, I lived with hard, painful, deformed breasts for six years, not being able to look at myself in the mirror.

In Feb. of 2012, I sought out another surgeon's opinion, not really believing there was any help for me. I can only imagine what went through the doctors mind when he saw me. He told me we could definitely improve things but was careful not to over promise. I am now 8 days post op of my second reconstruction for breast cancer and I am astounded at the immediate difference! I have soft, full, round breasts that fit my body instead of hard mounds of flesh sitting on my chest. I feel whole again. I want to clarify that my self esteem is not completely wrapped up in my outward appearance but it is much deeper than that. The message I want to convey is that I know how difficult not only a cancer diaganosis is for you and your family, but the daunting idea of reconstruction can be overwhelming. Even having had to go through it twice, I can now say it was worth it. Do not give up! If you are not happy with your result, do not simply decide there is nothing you can do. It took me six years to feel up to going through it again, but I am so glad I did!

I am now 10 days post op for breast reconstruction...

I am now 10 days post op for breast reconstruction. The pain is minimal and I only take Advil for any discomfort. I wish I had a before picture of my first reconstruction. If I had found this site prior to surgery, I would have taken one. It never occurred to me to even want pictures of what I had. The difference is unbelievable! Try to imagine you have no breasts, just large, hard as rocks, pectoral muscles that sit way up high on your chest that are flat on the bottom side. Horrible. And to be told it was the best it would ever be? Now I look like a regular woman (lol) with beautiful full, round breasts that actually move! Yes, I am still swollen but the sutures were removed yesterday. I have steri strips over the suture line. Occasionally I feel a twinge of pain there but most of my nervers have been severed. I have been told to wear a bra that is tight around the bottom band in order to form a defined bottom to the breast. After six years, I can look at my body again. I had cut my mind off completely from even considering my breasts anymore. It sounds ridiculous, but to me, they did not even exist. When I saw my new reconstruction, I realised how sad I had been all those years. God bless any of you who battle breast cancer! Do anything you need to do to feel restored mentally, spiritually, and yes, physically! Like me, you may not even be consciously aware of how sad you are about the loss of your breasts.

Today I am two weeks post op for breast...

Today I am two weeks post op for breast reconstruction. My breast reconstruction does not bother me at all. I am actually shocked by this. I seem to have free range of motion with my arms. I am still bruised underneath both breasts but it does not hurt at all. I am waiting for the stitches to disolve. I have no problem raising my arms. I have managed to maintain some feeling in my nipple and breast area which is amazing to me if you consider the mastectomies and two reconstructions. I was told by my PS to lift each breast throughout the day because the pectoral muscle wants to lay down flat and that is not what I need it to do. If you have any hesitation about the pain of mastectomies and reconstruction, let me assure you it is much less than I thought it would be. I am still in a tight bra for the next six weeks to define the lline under my breasts. As soon as I can, I will post some pictures for you.

I am 15 days post op now and I cannot believe how...

I am 15 days post op now and I cannot believe how quickly my breast are healing. I am still bruised and have surgical tape, but they look wonderful and I have been able to lay on my sides at night. I also have full range of motion in my arms. To give my breasts shape and to keep my pectoral muscles from wanting to lay flat, I wear a bra 24/7 for 6 weeks and only 4 left to go. That is the most annoying part. I hate keep a bra on ALL the time! As soon as I get my pics, I will post the before and afters.

Yesterday I started to notice that I have sutures...

Yesterday I started to notice that I have sutures under each breast. That is to say, that I have not noticed them at all up until now and I am now 16 days post op. Especially on my right side where there was more work done to correct things and also where my cancer was. Seems the right breast has always bothered me more. If I extend my reach too far, OUCH! I have had my husband check to make sure I have not unknowingly pulled something. Everything looks fine. I will just have to remind myself that I am not healed yet.

I am now 20 days post op. I had a few...

I am now 20 days post op. I had a few uncomfortable days but nothing unbearable. I think the underside of my breasts "woke up" and decided to let me know they exist. I can now sleep on my side! A challange in the beginning because of the sutures. I tend to put my arms way up under my pillow when I sleep on my sides. Sometimes it wakes me up and I have to move. My breasts look better every day and because of my past experience the first time, I have been worried that they would get hard and uncomfortable.. I am happy to say that they remain soft and even a bit "jiggly". I am told to massage them daily. My biggest complaint at this time is keeping this darn bra on 24/7! But I only have to do it three more weeks so I am halfway there! For those of you who don't know the purpose of the bra, it's to give my breasts shape and support as the implants settle. Similar to wearing a compression garment after a tummy tuck. I am still THRILLED that I did this and fixed something that made me feel so ugly!

If anyone is having a problem wearing a bra 24/7 ,...

If anyone is having a problem wearing a bra 24/7 , try a Genie bra. It's been almost 4 weeks for me and I was told to keep my bra on exept to shower, for six weeks. I have developed a sore spot under my right breast even though I alternate between two different types of bras. My husband is the one who suggested the Genie bra. It is tight enough but the band at the bottom is a little wider and doesn't seem to cut into my suture sight as much. The only issue some of you might have is that you have to put it on over your head or pull it up over your hips from the bottom. I'm not sure I could have done this a few weeks ago, but I am now able to raise my arms without pulling things.

I am REALLY SORRY I have no pics at the moment. I...

I am REALLY SORRY I have no pics at the moment. I will post them as soon as I get them from my ps. Tomorrow I am SIX weeks p.o. for my breast reconstruction and TT and I am THRILLED! I was told to leave my tape on until it fell off and it finally came off today...with a little help from me. Six weeks post op and I am looking back on how things have progressed. No drains, no tape, no drugs, I can walk upright, I can sleep in my bed and even on my side. Tonight is the LAST night I have to sleep in this darn bra, as I was instructed to wear it 24/7 for six weeks! I am so glad I am at the end of that! Every little thing that happens from the beginning is progress! Yes there are a lot of ups and downs, good days and some really ugly days, but it gets better and better as time goes on. I still say the first week to 10 days were the hardest. I am feeling pretty darn good at six weeks. Still some soreness and aches here and there. The underside of both breasts are still a little tender but the scars look good. I still have faint bruising around my breasts and on my hips where I had lipo. My energy level is better than it was before I had surgery, actually. I was under a lot of stress leading up to surgery and it drained me physically. I am looking forward to my first trip out of town next week and starting back to the gym and Pilates when I return. Life is good. I am happy with the results I am seeing and yes, I am still swollen, but that is okay and I know I will be for some time to come. I have had NO complications. I would do everything all over again in a minute! My doctor is the best! He has given me back my femininity and made me feel whole again for the first time in 6 years!! Do what you need to in order to restore yourself. That is my advice. Life is too short to walk around feeling like half a person or hating yourself. Oh,... and make sure you get an excellent surgeon even if you have to pay more. Don't hire the lowest bidder!!!
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon

I did research the second time around, believe me! He was highly recommended and specializes in breast reconstruction. He also did a tummy tuck at the time of this reconstruction. I am thrilled with the results of both procedures!

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 tmes
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Comments (16)

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Sorry moggie . I didn't find this sight until after surgery and I never thought to take before pics. My ps has all my pics. He is three hours away. As soon as I go back , I will get a copy of the before and after pics he took and post them. There really is a remarkable difference.
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where are all your pics.????????
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Thanks for letting us know that the Genie bra is more comfortable for you. My mom had a lumpectomy last year, and she too was a fan of the Genie bra after things had healed up a bit.

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Yes I did , tigol'bitties. I am kind of waiting to get my pre and post tt pics from my surgeon when I go back. If I had found this site before surgery, I would have taken some myself. stay tuned! Thank you for reading my other story too.
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Hi snidera. I visited your profile hoping to see some pics of your TT. I just read your profile about your breast reconstruction and I'm so happy for you. Did you have the TT at the same time? Hope your healing is going well.
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I am so thankful for Dr. Snyder. I never thought I could look or feel normal again. And I do have a surprising amount of feeling considering my surgeries. Funny thing is, the other night, my husband thought he could cop a feel without my knowing as I was laying in bed with my eyes closed. They never give up, you know. I felt it right away! Smack! LOL! Poor man. I have a flat belly and new boobs and the playground remains closed for now.
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I cannot imagine feeling so horrible about my breasts for so long as you did. What a blessing to find a doctor who was able to restore your body and spirit. i am also amazed that you have regained feeling after so much reconstructive surgery!
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Yes. I am numb in some areas and it kind of feels tingly, like nocacaine, in other areas. I had my husband check last night to make sure I had not pulled anything and that things looked normal because I can't tell by the feeling, especially around the bottom where I have been cut so many times.
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I'm glad to hear you are keeping a close eye on things and that your husband is there to help watch over you as well. :) Hoping the healing continues to go well!!

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I put in an update. I feel great!
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That is fantastic to hear that things are pretty comfortable for you at this stage! So...I have to ask, do you feel like you are still numb in some places?

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Snidera62, how are you feeling today. I know you are still in the healing up phase, so would love to hear. :)

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Oh Jusi418, it brings tears to my eyes to see you are going to ask for an MRI. GOOD FOR YOU and if my experience helps one woman detect their cancer sooner, everything will have been worth it. I probably should have led my story with that message. You have nothing to lose by getting the MRI and everything to gain! If they are resistant, than insist on it. It is your body and your life that it could ultimately save! Good luck to you with your TT. I too had my TT along with my reconstruction. It looks amazing and you will be so happy with it. Let me know how everything goes. Thank you for your comments. :)
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First I want to say God Bless you! I'm so glad you're cancer free for six years!!! Thank you for sharing your story, I too had mammograms with "concern" results and they told me to go back in six months. After reading your story I'm definitely asking for an MRI. I started my mommy makeover back in February which I had lipo in my back, flanks ans abdomen. Now I'm getting my TT in October. I was going to get a BA too but changed my mind after my mammogram in july. Wish you all the best and again thanks for sharing.
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Yes I am breast cancer free now for 6 years. I am so happy that I decided to do something about the first reconstruction. The only other thing I would add to this is that after several mammograms, I was told that there was a "concern", but just come back in six months. At that point I asked for an MRI and that is how the cancer was found. I want to send the message to woman to be PROACTIVE. Had I not asked for it, the MRI would not have been done and my diagnosis and treatment would not have begun when it did. Who knows what would have happened?
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What a story of perseverance! It is so great to hear that you are pleased with your reconstruction now. it sounds like you are completely finished with the process, is that correct? 

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