Reconstruction but Didn't Have Cancer -

I am one of the unusual cases for a breast...

I am one of the unusual cases for a breast reconstruction, as I have not had cancer. I had a breast reduction which went horribly wrong in Sept last year. I also had a reduction 35 years ago, and that is where the problem stems from.... I am 58 and my breast were 36H. I had extreamly bad back and neck aches, and suffered from headaches which had been diagnosed as coming from my heavy breasts. My GP suggested I have another reduction.

Early last year I started my research and found a good PS here in Sydney. At the 1st visit he told me of the risks as a result of the previous reduction, and at the 2nd visit he repeated the possible complications. I decided to go ahead, and thought the worst that could happen is I could lose my nipples, but knew they could be reconstructed. After the operation I was told there was a problem with both my nipples and that I might lose them. I took the news pretty good and for 2 weeks we fought to save them.

The left side finally became pink, but the right got darker and had to be removed. Back into hospital I went, but unfortunately when the Dr came to see me after that operation, he told me that 1/2 my breast had also died, and had to be removed.... I had another another 2 operations before I eventually went home both times to debride my tiny little right breast, and also to have a skin graft on the left breast, as there had been skin seperation on the 'T' section..... I couldn't win.

I have been healing well and I have seeing my PS twice a week for about a month, then went to weekly, forthightly, then monthly visits, and now I will see him for a preop visit, in Feb and will have an expander placed in my right breast in March.

So my journey begins. I also need to have some more work done to the left breast, and there is also a 'dogear' to repair, but I am really pleased to start this transformation as I really don't want to be lopsided for longer than I have to be. I have gone from a H cup to a C cup and am wearing a prosthesis on the right side, but I have a very positive attitude. My PS is wonderful and I have full confidence in him, and know that I am in very good hands....

I thought I should add, that the reason the...

I thought I should add, that the reason the reduction went so horribly wrong was that the blood supply was compromised. After the first reduction the blood supply was coming from a totally different area, and my now PS had no idea where it was.


Not sure I know what you mean Beverly 'in terms of lifestyle'...
If you meant the 2nd reduction, I really hated my breasts, and with all the associated problems that I was having with them and I really wanted to get rid of them. There was a lot of things that are hard to do with extreamly large breasts,and was very disappointed that over the 35 years they had grown back much larger than they were before I had my first reduction. I was 23 and had was an E cup, and in all honesty wasn't really happy with the first reduction as I thought not enough was taken, and I only went down 2 cup sizes. Over the 35 years I had 3 children, and my weight had gone up and down, and through all of this my breasts just got bigger, and then menupause hit and they started to grow again.
As for now, I need to have this reconstruction to become the full me again. My husband is very supportive and of course for him I would love to have breasts that look great. I am under no illusion that my girls are going to look fabulous when finished, but they will hopefully be the same size and look good in a bra.
My PS is a bit of a perfectionist and I think he has taken the approach that he want to get them as perfect as possible for me, especially after what I have been through.


Megan... I asked to be a C/D cup. I am a small C at the moment
There are problems with the left breast as well, as there is also dead tissue in it, but my body has started to absorb it...thankfully.
After the expander has done it's job and the change over op takes place, he is going to take out the skin graft on the left breast and bring it back to a thin line scar, and also place about 100cc implant into the breast. This will also help to make the girls have the same shape. At this stage he is planning to put in 450cc into the right breast. After all is finished I will probably be a very full C to a D.
Hi Marg
So pleased I came across your story, I'm having a Bilateral Mastectomy on the 27 March and I don't have breast cancer either. My breasts are a 36H and I have seen 8 PS and 2 Breast Surgeons. I decided that a Breast Reduction wouldn't give me the results I wanted, like you I also hate my breasts. I would be interested to know how you get on with your recon. I'm thinking once Iv'e healed to get implants I have very thin skin as have been on medications for nearly 20 yr's. Hope all goes well for you today! Helen.
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Hi Helen,
I think you are very brave in having a full Mastectomy, and I do hope all goes well for you.
Although I did hate my breasts, it was only because they were so big. I have to say I have really enjoyed the last few months being a small 'C' cup, and I have felt so much more free.
Goodluck for your surgery and let us know how you get on.
I will keep updating with each procedure I have done as well..
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Thank you for writing the update for us. I'm so sorry to hear your left breast has been problematic as well. Again, I am just amazed at how well you are accepting all of this - very admirable!

You want to hear something a little funny? I've always had the opposite problem as you, I'm very tiny up top, and when I read about how your breasts kept growing even after your reduction I thought "If they can still grow, there's hope for me yet!" ;)

Please keep us posted on how you are doing - and don't be afraid to reach out to the other ladies in this community, they are awesome!!

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I am back home after spending 2 day in hospital...

I am back home after spending 2 day in hospital after the first part of the Reconstruction process. I am very happy with the outcome so far and so is my PS.

My small right breast has had an expander put in under the muscle, and when I woke I found the Dr had already put 200mls into it. It is very painful at the moment and feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest...haha. My Dr has said it will keep getting better as the skin get used to being streached and soon the elephant will be gone. I will be having 100mls put in each fortnight until I am at the size I want to be. I am thinking this process is going to be painful each time.

The left breast had a few procedures done to it, but it is really looking good, from what I can see. The breast had dropped down the chest, so decide to do a mini lift. All the dead tissue was also debrided, He cut away some skin at the bottom of the chest and sewed the breast down to my ribs to keep it in place. The skin graft was also brought back into a nice thin single scar. The nipple had to be moved up to a higher position, and this was done as a nipple graft rather than doing it the normal way as he thought the nipple would survive a third move. I may not have as much feeling in the nipple anymore, but to be honest I didn't have much feeling there after the Breast Reduction anyway My 'dogear' has also been repaired, but as yet I cannot really see what it is like with the tape over it.

This is early days yet, but I think I am really going to be happy with what my PS has done, and I am looking forward to all of the tapes coming off so I can have a good look at my girls. It is going to be at least 3 months before I have the expander swapped over for the implant, and at this stage I will still be having a small implant placed into my left breast as well, as it is now quite small and it will help to give the girls the same shape.
Just dropping by to see how you are doing, hope all is going well and those expanders are not causing you to much grief! Helen. :)
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Hi Helen, Actually not doing too bad. I get a bit of perodic pain, but nothing too bad. It is now 2 and 1/2 weeks since the expander was put in, and it has settled pretty well. Going to see my PS on Tuesday and I think in another 2 weeks will have my first fill.....Not really looking forward to that, but I know that with each fill it gets closer to the change over to the implants and closer to the end of the reconstruction.....I will also have to have a nipple reconstruction at some stage down the track too, but not thinking about that too much yet....

How have you been. You were to have the Bilateral Mastectomy on the 27th March. How are you feeling??
I do hope it went well and you are at peace with the decision to have the operation. So far I would definitely recommend a reconstruction when you are ready, but I am still in the very early stages. I will keep posting and let you know how I am going and what is happening to me....
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Hi Peglet, It sounds like things are going smoothly for you. How long after having expanders in do you get the implants put in? Or does it depend on how each persons skin stretches, Iv'e got really thin skin and my chest feels pretty tight at the moment can't imagine anything fitting under there, haha! Helen.
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Just home from seeing my PS. I had a fill of 100cc...

Just home from seeing my PS. I had a fill of 100cc this morning. I am really surprised that it didn't hurt at all am I am feeling great.

I went to the appointment not thinking that I was going to have a fill, but he is very happy with my progress and gave me the choice of having a fill or waiting till the next time I see him in a fortnight. As I am anxious to get this reconstruction done, I jumped at the offer to do it today.

The PS gave my a little numming injection, waited for a bit then added 50cc's, asked me to look in the mirror and asked if I felt OK and if I wanted more, and I said yes so back to the treatment room for another 50cc fill.

So now I have to decide if 300ml is enough or if I stop there and have an implant of the same size exchanged. Have to remember I did have a small breast...probably about an A cup and with this 300cc I am now filling a C cup. I really feel good and am thinking that this is the size I want to be. Over the next 2 weeks I have a lot of thinking to do, as I have to decide if to have another fill or if we are going to organise a date for the change over.

PS is still not happy with my left breast and wants to do another "Twig' so will probably have that done when the change over happens. I also need to have about 100cc implant put in under this breast as well, but he thinks it could be better to wait 'Twigging' has healed and the right breast has settled....that way he will have more of an idea of what size/shape implant to use to try and make the 2 look more symetrical.

Peglet, so glad to hear your fill went well! It sounds like your PS is really listening to you, and has a lot of compassion.

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I had an visit with my PS this week and we decied...

I had an visit with my PS this week and we decied not to go any bigger, although he is putting a implant that is 35cc bigger than my fills, but he is quite sure that it will be fine. I had read where a lots of other Drs like to go bigger than needed, but I have not lost all of my breast, and although I did need to be expanded, not going the full amount or bigger will be fine.... similar to a breast augmentation where the implant is put in straight under the breast. No expanding is done at all before those operations.

After a discussion with the Dr. we decided to go for a 335cc Allergan 410 Softtouch. This should give me a full C cup and if I need to look bigger for any clothes I will wear a push up bra....when I can wear underwires. (Being in an H cup for so long, it is funny to think I may look at buying type of bra...lol)

The change over is booked for the 13th June, as we have a couple of weekends away and my PS is also having some time off, and trying to line it up earlier was just too hard.
Hi Peglet, Glad it didn't drag out any longer for you with those refills what a pain they are! The 13 June will be here before you know it and you will be a New Woman! Let us know how you get on. Helen.
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Congrats on getting your surgery date set! Keep us posted how you are doing & feeling as that date approaches.

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Another update..... I spent 3 nights in hospital...

Another update..... I spent 3 nights in hospital last week and had my swap over surgery which went well. . Very happy with the size we decided to go for. A nice full C cup.
During this operation my PS also wanted to sew my left breast to my ribs. I think I mentioned earlier that I thought it was done in an earlier operation, but at the last moment he decided to try lipo instead. (I didn't realise until after I had my post op visit at the time).
My breast has this memory of being down lower and gravity keeps pulling it back down, so this time he sewed it up. The expander in my right breast had also slipped down much lower as well, a good inch lower than my scars, which is the bottom of my new breast line. So both breasts have now been sewn down to the ribs....very painful, but hopefully will be worth the pain. It is now 9 days post op and I am still in a bit of pain....maybe now it is more discomfort. At the moment the right implant is sitting very high, but it will come down as my skin streaches a little more. Left breast is looking good. Now to wait 3 weeks and I can start to massage both boobs and scars.

I had my Post Op visit today and my PS is happy with the way my boobs are looking. We need to wait approx 5-6 months before the next operation which will involve having a small implant placed in my left breast to make both the same shape and size. At the same time I will be having a nipple reconstruction on my right breast.

I am just really looking forward to all this being over and finished.....
Thanks Helen. I love this size. I originally wanted to be a D cup, but very happy with size C. I have already had to buy new clothes, as I am 11 kgs smaller than when I started this journey last Sept, so I am very happy about that. I am still a big girl now a size 16 and want to lose a few more kgs before I have my next lot of surgery, in about 5-6 months.

Hope you are doing good as well.
Have you found yourself a good PS yet??

Marg.
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Wow! a c cup you won't know yourself, hope you are not in too much pain. Just think of the new wardrobe you will soon be able to buy. This was obviously not going to be a quick fix for you so just hang in there and take care! Helen.
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Glad to hear that things were looking good at your post-op and that the pain is decreasing somewhat for you. Hopefully the discomfort continues to diminish quickly. Please let us know how you are doing over the next few days.

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Visited my PS was yesterday. The right breast...

Visited my PS was yesterday. The right breast implant is looking fabulous, and I love how it just sits there looking so perky... but we are still not happy with the left breast....my own.
Even after being sewn down to my ribs it has still slipped back to where it used to be when I was an "H" cup... not good at all. After a long talk with the PS, we came up with two options, first was to try again with sewing it down, plus he would take away a wedge of skin from the underside of the breast. This breast needs a small implant as well so that would be put in as well. Second option is to do a skin/nipple sparing mastectomy, and do a full reconstruction, starting with placing an expander under the muscle (exactly what was done to the right breast.)

I am so happy with the right breast I was very tempted to go with the second option straight away, but my husband is not so sure, so we are going with option number one. My right breast is also having a nipple reconstruction, so it will be another reasonably big operation for me.
I am having this done on 17th October.

My PS has said if things do not turn out well, and I am not happy, then perhaps next year we can do the mastectomy option, so I know I have that up my sleeve if needed.
I have to say if I knew all this when my breast reduction went wrong, I don't think I would have worried so much about saving the left breast, and should have had a mastectomy straight away, then both breasts would be at the same stage......What a wonderful thing retrospect is...

Just want to say though I am still happy I had the reduction done, and would still do it again, even knowing what has happened to me. I really, really hated my big boobs, the backaches, neckaches and headaches, and love being a "C"cup now. In a bra my boobs look good, and I get a lot of compliments..... they just cannot see what they are like without a bra on....lol

I am starting to wander if this is ever going to be over.......

I'm glad to hear you took time to discuss this with your husband and that you both weighed the pros and cons of the different options. Please continue to keep us update on how you are feeling as your Oct. 17th Surgery date gets closer.

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Had my latest surgery 12 days ago and I can say at...

Had my latest surgery 12 days ago and I can say at last I have 2 breasts that are the same size. It has taken nerly 14months and 7 surgeries to get there. :)

On the 17th October I had a nipple reconstruction on my right breast, and on the left breast I had a small implant placed under my muscle (190 ccs),a wedge of skin was removed from the underside of the breast, and once again the breast was sewn down to the ribs, As the implant lifts the actual breast up a little higher my PS is hopeful that this time the breast will not fall/slip under the Inframammary fold... fingers crossed, as I really do not want to have to go through any more surgeries, especially as next time it will be a mastectomy and expander put in and going through all that process again and then the change over to an implant....

My left breast is still very sore, and I am wearing a soft cup bra to help to keep the breast in the correct position. At the moment the 2 breasts do look different. The right is very rounded, and the left more pointy, but they are the same size and my PS is hoping the left one will round out a little as it heals. But you know what,.... I really do not care, as they look the same with a bra on and you cannot tell any difference at all. Plus there will only ever be my husband and myself who will see them.....At my age don't think I will ever go skinny dipping....or topless lol.

Owww.... forgot to say Iam really happy with the nipple reconstruction...it looks so good. Have decided (for the moment anyway) not to have any tattooing done as I have lost all the pigmentation in my left nipple, and they would both have to be done anyway. Once again no one is going to see them, so I am thinking why bother....

At the moment I am really quite happy, but I do need to wait a few months to see how they settle down.....
Will be back later to let you know how I get on...

I feel as if this has become novel that I am...

I feel as if this has become novel that I am writing, and here I go again....

I have been back to my PS and guess what I am hospital bound ....AGAIN!!!
The implant in my left breast has moved and is heading down and towards my underarm.
It needs to be taken out and replaced with another. This time he is going to use a different implant...a brazillian furry, which he says should stay in place. He is also going to move my left nipple again, do a bit of lipo and is cutting out a wedge of skin from my inframammary fold..
We are going away in April, for 6 weeks and my PS is away the end of May into June, so I am booked for my next procedure on the 26th June.
I can push the implant back into place, well sort of, and in a bra, it doesn't look too bad, so I would prefer to wait to get it fixed rather than rush to get it done before we go and not be able to carry suitcases and do the normal tourist type of things....
Guess I will report back after the next operation..
Name not provided

I am so pleased that I did my research when I first wanted a breast reduction, and found my wonderful PS. I have full confidence in him and his team. I love how he explaines all the procedures that has been performed on me in every day terms, and includes me in many of the decisions that have to be made. At least I can understand exactly what is happening to me, and what I have to expect in the terms of pain and healing. So far I have been in hospital over 20 days and he has come to see me every day.... even the anesthetist he uses has been to see me the day after each of my surgeries. I have never heard of that before. My PS is not charging me any out of pocket expences for this reconstruction, but he certainly has taken his time at each appointment and he treats me with great respect. This is certainly a journey we are taking together.....

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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