Diep Flap Breast Reconstruction and My Amazing New...
Diep Flap Breast Reconstruction and My Amazing New Belly-Boob!
54 years old
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Mastectomy, right breast 4/2/2015
DIEP-flap Surgery 2/4/216
My wonderful Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Mannish Champaneria went over all of my options for reconstruction, and I decided to have the DIEP-flap. I had a nice, ample, lower belly roll that would make a great boob and it would be all me, would be warm, and would age with my body Dr. Champaneria had not glossed over the fact that it was a long and complicated surgery, and it would take a while to totally recover.I would need another surgery to lift the left breast to match the new one, and they would also do liposuction on my stomach. After that, there would be a small surgery to build the areola and nipple. Still, this seemed to be an incredible way to replace my breast. And I had all the confidence in the world in Dr. Champaneria.
It was 10 months after my mastectomy when I had the DIEP-flap surgery. I checked in PeaceHealth Hospital on Feb. 3, 2016. Dr. Champaneria came in the pre-op and went over everything again. He is so professional, and seems to want to get his patients the best results he can. He also wants to make sure they know what to expect. I totally trusted him. I also met Grace, his serene and capable assistant. I knew I was in good hands.
I was in surgery for 10 hours. I woke up in what would be my room for the next three days. I looked down and had two breasts again! It was me again! I think I cried a little.
I had not mourned the loss of my breast to mastectomy - it wanted to kill me and it had to go. But I will admit, that looking in the mirror for those 10 months was hard. The scar looked so harsh and ugly next to the one breast I had left. I tried to not think about it. But when I woke up after surgery, looked down and saw I had two breasts again it kinda hit me. I guess I hadn’t realized just how much looking at that slash in my chest had demoralized me.
The pain pump kept me very comfortable, and the nurses on the Eighth floor were fabulous. I had a monitor on the belly boob, to make sure the blood was flowing. It would make that noise for three days. I began to actually like the sound - it meant my new boob was happy and healthy!
I’m now seven weeks from the surgery, and have lost 10 pounds and had to buy a 4” shorter belt. I’ll be having my revision surgery on May 4. Dr. Champaneria will lift my left breast to match the new, perker one, and also do liposuction on my mid-section.
Dr. Chamaneria and his staff have been stellar. I could not have found a more caring, talented, and charming plastic surgeon. I could not be happier.
I can’t wait to see what I will look like after this next one. Dr. Champaneria did such an amazing job with the first surgery, I know he is going to make me look fabulous!
I’ll keep you posted!
Photos from right after surgery
It may look bad, but I was loving having two breasts again, and the pain pump kept me very comfortable.
Photos from 11 days after Diep Flap surgery.
At this point, I was getting around pretty well and I was beginning to be able to stand up much straighter.
7 1/2 weeks from surgery
Almost all of my incisions have healed up, and I'm starting to see my stomach shape change as all of the swelling goes down. I still have a softball sized tightness and swelling in the area around my belly button, but every day it seems to get a bit better.
Liposuction, Fat-Grafting, and Right Breast Lift
On May 4, I had surgery to refine the left belly boob. The procedure just took a couple of hours, and after a little recovery time, I was able to go home to my own bed. Before the surgery, Dr. Champaneria and his assistant, Grace, came in to explain what would happen. They were going to liposuction my belly fat, and use some of it to refine the left belly boob. They would also lift the right breast so that it was up where the new breast was and use a little fat to fill it in some. Then Dr. Champaneria drew on me where he wanted to lipo, cut, lift, etc; this gave him a roadmap for the surgery and also ensured that everything would be centered on my body.
The recovery was not bad at all, but I did have bruising and soreness and took it easy for a good week. The compression wrap was my best friend, it helps to hold in the tender belly, so you don't feel the tenderness as much. I still wear it most days - especially towards the evening.
I also have had 5 massages on the areas that received liposuction or fat grafting and that has really helped the healing. The massuse explained that those areas tend to get bands of hard tissue, and the massages help to break that up and keep it soft. He said it is best to start the massages 7-10 days after the surgery - I was right at 10 days for my first one. Dr, Champaneria recommended the massuse and treatment, and it was very much worth the cost. I also have tried to do my own massages at home as much as possible.
I'll be goiing back in on July 18 for my left nipple construction and the Doctor will do some more lipo and fat-grafting just to refine everything a bit more. I love that Dr. Chapaneria strives for perfection, and I love that he has given me this great new body! I have never had much of a waist, so this new figure is just amazing. He said he was going to give me an hour-glass figure and he did. I love this wonderful, brilliant, Doctor!
I have lost almost 20 pounds since the breast cancer, and inches off of my waist - most all of it due to this last surgery. I am in a smaller size pant, which is amazing. Some of the pictures I am uploading are from a couple of weeks ago, and I will take more and upload them right before the July 18 surgery.
I am so thrilled that I have me back almost to what I was before the breast cancer - and in many ways, even better. I am so thankful to Dr. Champaneria and his wonderful staff for the new bnody and life they have given me!
29 Jul 2016
5 months post
Sorry I did not get any pictures posted before my 7/18 surgery. It went just fine, and I just had my post-op with Dr. Champaneria. I will be able to have the areola tattooed in 3 months, and then I can close this chapter of my life. This surgery I got a nipple for the right belly-boob, and he did a bit more liposuction and filling in the right breast. We talked about reopening the incision line below my belly button - the spot that kept getting rubbed by clothing and would not heal. He said he could reopen it and close it again to try to get a thinner scar, but I was worried it would just be rubbed raw again, so opted to leave it as is. I hope that with time and lots of BioOil, it will lighten up. The right side of my stomach is sore (he did the most lipo on that side) and swollen, but that is really the worst of it. I am wearing my stomach binder, which really helps, and just started doing massage on the belly. In a couple of weeks, I plan on switching to a real corset to further train my new waistline. Used it a bit after the first lipo surgery, but now will really put it to good use. It is also great for making sure you don't overeat - there's no room for that! I've posted some pics, so you can see what Dr. Champaneria did in this last surgery.
Before and After pics from last surgery
29 Jul 2016
5 months post
I'm only 11 out from the surgery, but things are already stated to heal nicely. I can't wait to see how my breast will look after the tatooing in three or four months, and how much flatter and curvy my stomach is!