Tissue Expanders/Silicone Implants following Bilateral mastecomy

After cancer robs you of many things including...

After cancer robs you of many things including your breast, reconstruction is a way of feeling whole again. I had two-stage reconstruction. At the time of my mastectomy I had tissue expanders inserted. After weekly "fills" of saline water I am now at my chosen size and I am awaiting implants in 2 weeks :)

Patiently waiting for my exchange

My exchange is Friday. I am hoping for the best, of course I have concerns that hopefully will just be my nerves and no reason for concern. I do believe that anything will be better than these tissue expanders I've had for 7 months. Even though they look good, they are hard as rocks. I am ready for some softness. In my preparation I have bought pillows, soup, and zipper hoodies. I have been waiting to be finally over with the diagnosis of cancer. Reconstruction is the final stage and while I welcome it, I am frightened by "what's next?" As I try and put the pieces back together of my life.

3 days post exchange

It's been 3 days since the exchange. I feel ok and get around good I believe. I have peeked at my boobs and all I can say is that they are small. From what I see they look real. I don't see any swelling and hopefully there isn't because , I wouldn't want to see the swelling go down and I'm even smaller. I wanted to be a full C, they look on the small B side. I don't even know what size implant was used, my PS Neva came to talk to me or my friend. Which doesn't sit well wit me I don't know my size and wasn't left with any paper work. I've heard people say All the time to give things time to settle , so I guess I will. At this time I know I would not like to go under Again to switch sizes. I have had enough things done to me because of cancer and treatment for it, I was so happy to be done with everything. I look the size I was before cancer so I guess at least I'm back there and cancer free.

1wk post exchange to implants

It has been one week since my surgery. My PS used the sientra silicone high profile smooth round, they are 505cc's. I never felt pain in the breast area just from my stomach where the fat was taken. It has been tight, bruised and swollen. It gets better as the days go by and you don't notice it until you bend or arise from being seated. I peek at the implants and even though I knew better I made judgment. They looked small, which wasn't no bad since I didn't have large breast to start with. I just figured that since I'm subject to all this , I could at least come out bigger. I can say they change daily it seems and can not wait until everything is completely settled. Saw the nurse at my visit today and she said they look great and gave me instructions to massage a hard spot where the fat was injected, I didn't notice it before then though. She took pics of me and I go back to see my PS in 2wks. I am out of the dreaded surgical bra and into a sports bra that hooks in the front They really are like the same material jus minus the annoying Velcro pieces. I am still wearing the binder given to me at the hospital over my stomach. I definitely want to do this for as long as they say (6wks) because I don't want issues with the appearance and feel of my stomach. You can also swear spanx, it's just that my best ones I can't fit do to gaining wait. But when I get tired of that I put on other support garments that aren't as tight as the spanx brand. It's a crazy feeling when I look down at my chest they don't look as big but when I see pics that I took n ones from the PS office today they look so much bigger. I am fine with them now I just miss the projection from my expanders. I have good cleavage and I am larger than before the mastecomy so I am fine with everything and think they do look good.

3 wks post exchange

Saw my PS surgeon yesterday she said everything looks good. She took a peak n took pictures , I will see her after the holidays in about 5 weeks. I forgot to mention my lump from the fat grafts hope that goes away.

Month post opp

I am still waiting to see the final changes, but I have been noticing a lot of rippling. On my left breast you can see where the implant ends and the boobs take a very shape when I lie down. I also don't like the shape at the bottom. I see my doctor in 4 weeks again so there will be a discussion about the rippling. It's hard to know what your next steps will be. I've been lucky to not have any complications and you are happy to get the tissue expanders out, so you wonder if you should focus just on that. The fat grafting to my upper pole have great results so maybe more surrounding the sides and bottom of the best would be good. Even though I would like a larger implant and the exchange was a breeze , I don't want another surgery at this time. The fat grafting had me sore and was the most uncomfortable part. But the fat grafting isn't surgery for I'm for that. I don't know what area to take the fat from. I still have a lump from my stomach and I wouldn't want to cause any more issues with my stomach. I have disliked it for a while, don't want to add lumpiness to the list with stretch marks and the momma pouch. So we will see what the doctor says next month.

All is well

Hello, all is well. Will be 2wks post opp next week. I like my results but think they can be better. Even tho I would have liked larger, I can live with the size I am now. It's weird they look small when I look down but not too small in clothes. I love the cleavage area and that's where the fat was added , I would like more to feel in dented areas and to give a softer feel. I see my PS Monday , so hopefully she will agree.

2 months post exchange

Today makes it exactly 2 months that I've had my silicone implants. I am fortunate to have reconstruction without any complications but I am not completely happy. I have a love like relationship with my new boobs. I feel like I could get better results but I would really like to stay away from doctors and surgeries for a while. I've had enough in the past year and a half to last me a lifetime. I do think that n the future I will get a flap reconstruction along with implants. Then hopefully I could have more projection and hopefully sum added natural movement along with overall more volume. I feel as if I am slightly larger than my natural breast but I could live with it. My goal was to be able to wear bras with out padding because I would have larger breasts , this isn't the case I believe I would have to need more padding to cover the lack of projection. On the bright side my cleavage looks wonderful though. I could make my breast look good n clothes n bras but I would also like them to look good while im naked. My doctor said she would do more fat grafting to fill in a dent, but other than that I'm done with my boobs. It's time to focus on starting back my life that has been on hold.

1yr anniversary of my bilateral mastectomy

March 1,2013 was the day I had my mastectomy. It was the hardest, scariest part of my cancer journey, but it was a essential process I know I needed to do. Well I was suppose to have an overnite hospital visit, I ended up spending 5 days in the hospital. I woke up with a breathing tube down my throat and in a ICU of a different hospital. There ended up being problems with my breathing. After several test it was determined I had a blood clot in my lung, so along with recovering from my mastecomy I had to get my breathing regulated and work on the thinning of my blood. It all became worth it when my surgeon told me I was cancer free , clean margins and the cancer didn't spread outside of the breast. So one year later I am doing fine, had my reconstruction Nov. 15, 2013. Which was 8 months after the mastecomy . I am now trying to get back to a new normal of life. This march I celebrate waking up from my mastectomy that came with an unexpected complication, being cancer free for a year and also my 27th birthday. I am a happy camper

Happy 27th/1 yr cancer free

My 27th birthday was Wednesday. So yesterday I had a party celebrating my birthday and being cancer free for a year. It was nice and fun to have something positive to celebrate. The last year and a half has been so crazy I'm positive it's eventful enough for a lifetime movie. My birthdays has always been important to me Last year didn't do much but went out even tho I had just had a bilateral mastectomy weeks before. But this year I was truly happy to celebrate my accomplishments and the fact that I made it to see another year and cancer didn't take me
Dr. Tenenbaum

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
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Happy birthday to you Trinalll but most of all congratulations on your successful journey. You have conquered it with courage and grace and are an inspiration to all of us who are going through similar situations! I wish you peace and good health in your future. Thanks for sharing your story.
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Thank you for reading Clarey. It is my goal to help ladies going through this so they can kno they aren't alone and that they will get through it.
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Congrats! I am so happy to have read your journey....thank you
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Thank you Mindyydnim
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Hope you had a great birthday yesterday! Did you find a pink dress for your party this weekend?
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Congrats on your 1 year anniversary. I am a Black woman who is 59 years old and will be doing my final exchange on April 9th. This is my second time with breast cancer, but the good thing is it was not a recurrence, but a new primary in the other breast. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, and my MO said my prognosis was excellent. Cannot wait until these TEs come out. They are a pain. I want to start feeling normal again and will be celebrating with a cruise at the end of the year. Will be getting 3D tats in October and should be ready to celebrate my new normal. Best wishes to you always :)
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Shorfi - Glad to hear it's not a recurrence and that you'll be celebrating with a cruise at the end of the year. Sounds like you've been through a lot. Feel free to start your own review so we can easily follow and support you. Wishing you the best on April 9th!
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Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! I am happy you are celebrating not only your birthday but waking up from surgery and being cancer. ;) Wow, I did not realize the story about the blood clot. Gosh, just an additional worry at the time. Do you have to take any type of blood thinner or precautions now?
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Congratulations on your one yr anniversary!'I want to encourage you by telling you on Jan 31st of this year was my 9 Year cancer free anniversary! All the Glory to God! I lost a dear friend last month to breast cancer. :-( From the time of her diagnosis to death was only 6 weeks.. No time to prepare anyone... I know she is at peace.. Any way God Bless you!
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Thank god not any more. I took blood thinners from the time of my mastectomy up until 2 weeks before my reconstruction. I really thought that I get the ok to stop the blood thinners before my surgery but start it up again afterwards. When the doctor told me I could stop talking the blood thinners It was amazing feeling. I was so thankful I offered to by him lunch. The whole process was very draining I went almost weekly to get my blood levels checked because it wouldn't stay the same from week to week. And the doses changed so frequent too. A major headache I went to a clinic separate from where I received my cancer treatments to get my blood drawn. I just took orders about the dosage of my medicine and when to come in to get checked. Took months before I even met the doc who's name was on my prescription. And when I did she was talking about long term blood thinner use Vs the 6 months that a lot of people were assuming. So when I made a follow up I really expected that I would be cleared to stop the meds for surgery and resume after, to my surprise it was a different doctor who said that 8 months was long enough and the clot was a result of the cancer that was gone. :)
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Thank you and congrats to your anniversary as well. Do u celebrate your anniversaries ? I want to acknowledge it but don't want to dwell. I am having a party in conjunction with my birthday this month and probably won't again til the 5 year mark. And sorry about ur friend that is a terribly short time frame. I lost a cousin this summer to BC and that was hard, made me realize I am blessed because everyone doesn't make it.
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I dont really celebrate it. I acknowledge it.. I have a hard time understanding why some live and some die.. I feel very blessed to he here. I know God has a purpose for my life!After one month of mastectomy I started volunteering at the local nursing home.. I love it and all my adopted grands.. Stay Beautiful ~~~
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Yes I understand that I have had a really hard past year n a half , cancer was just a portion of it. So I'm grateful I made. Good to hear of ur work volunteering.
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Yea, you're right. Thank goodness the blood thinner medication was not a life long regime. My dad was on them for a few months. Like you said, they're hard to monitor and maintain, etc. I forgot to ask you, how did your cancer free celebration and birthday party go? 
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March 1st was my mastecomy date , got clear margins days later that the cancer was gone. My birthday is March 26th. So that following Friday I will be having a happy 27th/kicked cancers a**:One year cancer free Lol long title but I'm excited I am in search of a nice pink dress. I have exactly 2 weeks.
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Happy Birthday and Congratulations! This afternoon I see the Oncologist for my 6 month check.
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Thank you Judy I will have my 6 month check up at the end of this month. Hope your appt goes well ( I'm sure it will )
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How traumatic to have the complications of a blood clot! Being cancer free is a blessing and your pictures look great. I wish you many anniversaries of good health.
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Thank you judypink n yes the blood clot was VERY stressful. Daily medicine n almost weekly visits to get my body checked to make sure it was thin enough.
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Your pictures look great! I have completed the process and had implants placed on 12/31/13. I have 700cc implants and I don't think I would fill a B cup. My expanders were filled to 400cc and I was really flat. My PS said that I have a concave chest and that is the reason for such a small bust. I will be seeing him again next week to discuss the options. He has said that he wants to do fat injections and possibly switch the implants out to 800cc. I am beginning to be able to deal with the disappointment.
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Thank you, I am not completely happy with my results. I will get more fat grafts to one side to fill in a hollow area and thats it. My implants are 505cc wish I had around 600ccs. Do you know if u would need to be expanded more to increase your size? Fat grafting definitely helps the hide the edges of the implant and add volume. My PS is being really conservative with adding fat. If I had more to increase my volume I believe I would be happier. My fat was added to the upper pole and that's the part I like the most, feels natural and gave me good cleavage. Enough of me lol Do you have high profile implants ?? N what brand ?? N I've heard of concave chest , but don't really know what it is, did you have those issues prior to the mastecomy? N another thing I wonder if I should have gotten extra high profile, to help with projection.
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Judypink I am sorry you couldnt stretch more... I too was concaved and 8 years delayed but I made oy to a C/D .. I am not sure what can be done.. My PS made me stop filling when the skin was getting to thin.. Let me know what you find out.. Will be praying and hoping fora solution for you.... Best to you! Cindy588
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I have 20-700 Natrelles. I didn't have a clue about being concave and I still don't know what is going on. I am going to take a list of questions to the PS and try to get some answers. My implants are high profile. The 20-800s don't have any more projection than these, they are just wider. The ultra high line (45-800s) are a little narrower and only about 2/10 inch higher profile. There is a tear-drop shaped implant that has better projection (1 cm). I don't know if there is a solution to this. I will find out. I know that the ones I have will do some more settling and look better. The projection is an unknown to me.
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I haven't been told my skin wouldn't stretch more. The PS talked to me about going to 800s. He is planning to do fat transfers too. I don't know if any of this will give me more projection. I am glad to hear that you ended up with C/D - I would be happy with a C.
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Yes that projection is my biggest concern, maybe u do need a lil more time for the implants to settle, and yes take a notebook with you of questions. I surely did, I do research on my own and also ask my PS.
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