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Topic: What to wear with tissue expanders?

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Dec 2, 2008 07:55AM

mizbabygirl4 wrote:

Hi Ladies,
I'm curious as to whether I need to keep wearing the compression bra they gave me at the time of surgery, now that I have had my drains removed. Of course, I'll ask my PS when I see her later this week, but I'm wondering if I might be able to get rid of this uncomfortable piece of "clothing" before then. What about camisoles? Or do you need firm support?
Janet

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Posts 1 - 16 (16 total)

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Dec 2, 2008 09:17AM CAZ wrote:

My PS never had me wear anything special.  I found camisoles to be the right amount of support without being too tight or abrasive.  Congrats on having your drains out.  That's a big hurdle.

Call your PS's office for their input. 

Carol(AZ)

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Dec 2, 2008 09:25AM NatsFan wrote:

I certainly didn't need support with those rock hard babies - they weren't moving no matter what I did!  It was very nice not to have to wear a bra for the first time in 40 years.  I just went to Old Navy and bought a bunch of tank-style undershirtsin a bunch of colors and wore those.  The bit of color sticking out from under shirts and V-neck stuff actually looked nice and seems to be the fashion now. 

You know how those tank undershirts are called "wife-beater" undershirts?  My dh used to tease me about wearing "husband-beater" undershirts. Laughing

Mary

Dx 12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 01/30/2008 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 03/04/2008 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxotereHormonal Therapy 07/01/2008 FemaraSurgery 10/09/2008 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
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Dec 2, 2008 02:45PM lktracey wrote:

Funny about the "husband beaters"!

I haven't worn anything since my first visit  4 days post op. The PS okay'd it. The sports bras were so restrictive, and made me feel worse.  Now I am experiencing the no bra feedom thing.  Love it. 

As NatsFan said, mine are rock hard too and ain't going no where!

Lauren

God loves me and protects me, and he will keep me safe.Lord, I am afraid. Still my fears and make me strong.

Dx 10/21/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2008 02:53PM robinri wrote:

I am having a bilateral mastectomy tomorrow with tissue expanders...

PLEASE if you would send me any last minute advice.. just found this web site and its awsome.

Scared and undure of what to expect.. at all!

Robin

robin

Dx 11/7/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2008 03:08PM rubytuesday wrote:

If you have muscle spasms, a light weight sports bra (like the FOL with the skinny straps at Wally World) will help.  Otherwise, camis are great. Best wishes

Proud member of the TaTa Sisterhood! :)

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Dec 2, 2008 03:15PM abinneb wrote:

Hi Robin

Sorry you had to join this club - but we are happy you found us!   Lots of info and help, comfort and hugs here for you. 

This is a hard time - many of us have been there and know how scary it is.  Only advice I can really give is that you should go to the Forum index and look at Surgery:before during after - there is tons of info there.  You won't have time to absorb it all by tomorrow, but we'll all be here for you after and post and let us know how you are doing. 

Do you have help at home for after surgery?  You will probably need at least a bit of help for a few days after you get home. There are many good tips and strategies for coping after surgery on that same forum.

Wish there was more I could offer you so close to surgery.  Try to stay calm and not think ahead too much about results yet.  Know that the women here are awesome and here for you 24/7 .  I will be thinking of you and sending up some prayers for a speedy and healthy recovery!

Amy

Bilat mast. Exch 9-'08 And though she be but little, she is fierce. Shakespeare

Dx 5/12/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Dec 2, 2008 03:32PM, edited Dec 2, 2008 03:33PM by apfuentes

This is my favorite bra:

http://www.barenecessities.com/Calvin-Klein-365-Cotton-Seamless-Bralette_product_CalvinKleinD1301_,search,.htm

 No underwire, no padding...for once in my life!  I like the feeling of having something on under my shirts, otherwise I feel naked.  These bralettes are super comfy.  Also love the camis with the shelf bra.  Good luck!

Age 35, Dx 9/14/2008, IDC 1cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Bilat Mast w/expanders on 10/21, TC 4x last treatment on 2/17, Exchange surgery 3/11, Tamox started 3/18

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Dec 2, 2008 05:54PM mizbabygirl4 wrote:

Thank you all. I have already switched to a cami and feel much much better, although it's still a weird sensation, having tissue expanders. Sort of like there's a construction project going on inside me--and I guess there is.

Thanks for the tips on specific bras. The Calvin Klein one looks great. I will definitely check it out.

Janet

Dx 8/4/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2008 06:43PM, edited Dec 2, 2008 06:45PM by destinysmom

I have been scheduled for a bilateral mastecomy on Dec 15th and I am scared but also anxious! I am having the expanders put in and hopefully I get to keep my lymph nodes!  Does any one have any suggestions for hot flashes?? I have them so bad they make me nauseated and very woozy feeling!! I have been told I cant  take evening primrose or vitamin  E until after the surgery because of the cancer!  I have dcis stage3  with a mass removed on the right 12x11x5 cm and a mass of 13cm on left! Surgeon is concerned because of the size of the masses and liver enzymes are off! Can anybody please give me some advice?

Dx 11/4/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, PR-, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2008 07:25PM Firni wrote:

Hi Destinysmom,  I'm so sorry that your hot flashes are that bad.  I've had to strip off my clothes and sponge off with cold water, but I never got nauseated or woozy.  My family Dr. and my gyn would not give me anything even before I was dx with cancer.  However, my family Dr. did put me on Welbutrin for the hot flashes.  Some anti-depressants can help decrease the intensity of the hot flashes.  Prosac works well too.  You'll still have the hot flashes, but there won't be as many or as intense.  The problem is it takes a while for the meds to kick in.  I also found that one of those little gel freezer things (wrapped in a washcloth) tucked into your waist band will help keep your core cool and help keep those flashes at bay.  You may be done with the surgery and know enough about your cancer that the dr. will allow some other things.  Anyway, it never hurts to take an anti depressant while dealing with BC.  I do wish you the best with your hot flashes, surgery and beating that blasted cancer!  Let us know how things go.

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next. ~Mignon McLaughlin TX bi-lat mast 10/29/08 6 rounds TC (Done 3/25/09)

Dx 9/9/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2008 07:46AM mizbabygirl4 wrote:

I agree that antidepressants are a good way to relieve hot flashes, at least partially, and they help with the intense emotions and whopping stress levels that arise with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Also, I don't know if this is helpful to anyone but me, but I have found that certain lifestyle factors affect how often--and intensely--I experience hot flashes. High-fat foods make them worse--and we should be avoiding fat anyway. Caffeine often makes them worse. Whereas fruits and veggies and herbal tea seem to relieve them somewhat.

It helps to dress in lots of layers so that you can peel them off when the flashes hit, and add them back on as they fade away. Also, natural fibers are best. I am absolutely miserable when I try to wear anything polyester.

Janet 

Dx 8/4/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2008 11:34AM destinysmom wrote:

Thank you for your great suggestions! I have been taking wellbutrin and zanax for 3 months now ,I have tried the ice pack and even stuck my head in the freezer but I was hoping it would get better! I love and pray for all of you and we be so glad when it is all over!  May god bless you because you are already my angels!

Dx 11/4/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, PR-, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2008 11:35AM destinysmom wrote:

Thank you for your great suggestions! I have been taking wellbutrin and zanax for 3 months now ,I have tried the ice pack and even stuck my head in the freezer but I was hoping it would get better! I love and pray for all of you and we be so glad when it is all over!  May god bless you because you are already my angels!

Dx 11/4/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, PR-, HER2-
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Dec 8, 2008 05:48PM Annabella58 wrote:

Hi destinysmom:

I have not had any really bad hot flashes, but I did get one doozy of one that also made my head spin like you describe, and the nausea.  My onc said not related, but we all know of course it is.

The oncology nurse had said to keep a water bottle in the freezer and carry it with you at all times..that the cold in the palm of your hand can ward off a hot flash.  I swear by this.  It does work!

I know evening primrose and/or any herbal anything was a no no for me any time bec. of Estrogen +++ .  I'd ask my onc. before I took a thing.

Good luck w/ your surgery, try to think in terms of getting it out and passing that hurdle first!  Then, everything you will be doing will be preventative, right? :)

You can do it.  I will put you in my prayers as well for a good outcome, a successful surgery and an easy recovery.  Try not to worry about the liver enzymes, they can flucuate so much if you even have a beer, take an aspirin, etc. 

Good luck!!

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Dec 8, 2008 05:58PM lovnaz wrote:

My PS suggested just a sports bra or the tank type camis. I did the same as Natsfan and went to old navy and shopped thru the discounted clothes and found a ton of camis for real cheap......They also came in handy after the expander came out and the implant went in.

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Dec 8, 2008 06:15PM destinysmom wrote:

LaughingDear Anniealso.,

                   Thanks for the support and the kind words but I have to admit it is scary as can be! I am a believer and I know I will be healed but anxiety has set in trying to get everything ready to go!! I love this website because I  have no  one to talk to about my worries see I lost my mother with bc 2 yrs ago,my Aunt 2years ago with bc and her daughter in the last 6 months with bc so yeah i am scared!! Surgery is in 7 days I just wish they would hurry up!!!

Dx 11/4/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, PR-, HER2-