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Topic: Failed Diep Flap

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

Posted on: May 3, 2012 08:30PM

Jewelrygirl wrote:

I just had delayed Bi lateral Diep Flap surgery last Thursday 4/26.  Unfortunately after 17 hours of surgery and making through the first night in ICU, my left breast turned blue and I needed to go back into surgery.  Another 6 hours of surgery and I lost the breast.  I feel like I've lost the same breast twice (I guess I did).  I ended up having 13 blood transfusions and I was done with the ICU and the hospital.  I came home today on Day 7 with one beautiful breast.

My doctor wants me to think about the back flap in about 3 months after I've healed.  I just am afraid of failure again.  I know its pshychological.  Did anyone else have this unfortunate misfortune?  I would love to hear the best way to deal with it.

Thanks,

Jewelrygirl

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May 3, 2012 09:04PM Snobird wrote:

I think you should get another opinion. I don't know all the issues but I don't think I'd go back under without at least a consult with a new PS. Preferably one with a lot of experience in repair work.

Dx 10/2006, Paget's, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+Surgery 12/20/2006 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 02/15/2007 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 03/07/2007 ExternalSurgery 12/06/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)Surgery 11/17/2011 Reconstruction: Nipple reconstruction (Both)
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May 4, 2012 02:59PM AnneW wrote:

Flap failures happen. Many surgeons are as devasted as the patient is, because they consider flaps their "babies". It's a very traumatic experience, and everyone approaches this loss and healing in different ways. I know folks who have gone right back in for another flap, because they believe in the process. I know others who have needed to wait a few years to heal from the emotional scars.

I'm so sorry that you've gone through this. Give yourself as much time as you need. 

2002 IDC stage 1, grade 1, rads & AI

Dx 9/18/2007, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 4, 2012 03:07PM kimber_1616 wrote:

 I am so sorry for your loss, it is tough enough to lose the breast you have naturally and then to lose a flap as well. Take this time to heal you haev been through so much phsically and mentally. Supposedly a lat flap has a less likely chance to fail. I had flap failure and did a lat flap a few months later. It turned out fine, thankfully!

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May 11, 2012 04:14AM Jewelrygirl wrote:

Thank you so much.  I'm really having a tough time with this especially when putting on clothes, the reminder smacks you in the face.  I feel that its much more noticeable now too because the other breast is a size "D"  I'm really trying to walk with my head held high.

Thanks for the support ladies.

Dx 10/10/2012, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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May 12, 2012 02:18PM glostagirl wrote:

Hi Jewelrygirl,

You are not alone.  Here's my story:  3 years ago I had a uni-lateral MX, with an immediate SGAP, which failed 5 days post-op. The surgeon tried three times to save it.  It was devastating, I felt very alone, very sad and for a long time could not even think about another attempt. I kept thinking it must have been my fault, but I know I didn't do anything risky. My surgeon, who is one of the best, did everything possible for me, it just wasn't meant to be.  

Finally, I've made it to that place where I've got the courage to try again. I've researched this up and down and all around. I saw the best reconstruction surgeon in my state and he felt, given my past experience and the condition of the mastectomy site (compromised by all the surgery and an infection) that I should, as I'd also been considering, make the trip to New Orleans, he stated "we're good, but they're the best".  I am, so grateful for his honesty.   He did make the offer of a back flap, aka LDAP or LAT flap; only because it has a high success rate because the blood vessels stay connected.  I think this is a last resort technique for those of us who don't want to sacrifice muscle and don't want an implant.  In my case, and probably yours as well, an implant is necessary with a back flap ~ because they're small, to match a contralateral size D, and unless you're in the hands of an extremely competent surgeon, it's tricky to get symmetry with this scenario.  

At the time of my first surgery I didn't have enough tissue for a DIEP which is why I went for a GAP, unfortunately my vessels were tiny and I clotted, resulting in the lost flap.  This time I'm planning for a stacked procedure, either a stacked DIEP or a DIEP with stacked hip or GAP flap.

So, my close girlfriends and several family members don't understand why I'd put myself through this again; why scar my body even more for an imperfect breast.  What you said about the smack in the face, is exactly how I feel as well.  I wear a prosthetic, it's heavy and isn't symmetrical, although I did my best to get a good match.  It's hot in the summer, cold in the winter; like an ice cube on my chest.  I'm an avid skier so I'm outside in the cold alot.  It's uncomfortable, I never, ever forget I have it on.  I'm very active and even at my age of 55 I feel too young to go the rest of my life like this.  I feel very unbalanced. Although it was an important part of my decision making early on, I don't care about the scars any longer.  My psyche is more scarred by this than my body.  

I know another gal who after implant failure (that's a whole other story!), went for a bi-lateral SGAP, one side failed several days out, when they couldn't save it they took her back in for a stacked DIEP, which was successful.  She and I have talked on the phone and have also met, which was extremely helpful. She feels she'd do it again, no hesitation. There are other women active on this site who've had failed flaps, the majority have gone back for another try, very few for back flaps, most go again for free flaps.  

I hope this helps.  

...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Dx 1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)Surgery 06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)
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May 15, 2012 10:13AM patz64 wrote:

Here is my story:

My first time with breast cancer was in 2007 and I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation and tamoxifen. Then last year I got breast cancer again...same side, but different type of cancer (The first one was estrogen positive and the second one was estrogen negative but Her2 positive). So, I had to have a mastectomy, followed by chemo.
I chose to have bilateral mastectomy, with DIEP flap reconstruction. The flap on the left side (the side that had cancer and had been radiated) failed about 3 or 4 days later. So I went back into surgery. Then about 1 and 1/2 days later that flap started to fail. So, for my third surgery the doctor decided to re-route a vessel from my arm (since the abdominal vessel kept clogging)....I had a total of 3 blood transfusions, and wound up in ICU on a ventilator, because my blood pressure kept dropping so low the vessel would collapse so they had to pump me up with so much fluid that it overloaded my lungs and I couldn't breathe. It was the scariest thing I've ever been through, but the flap survived (and so did I!!!!). I am going back in 2 weeks for the second stage (nipple reconstruction, fat grafting). I'm a little nervous, but I have absolute faith and trust in mt surgeon. My Mom said he was so distraught when the first flap failed. A

I really believe that if I had been somewhere else I would have lost the flap. As it turned out, I have a much larger scar on that side, and that side is smaller so i'm not sure what he will be able to do to fix it. Luckily I have been very small my whole life, so even if I wind up a little smaller in the end it wont be too traumatic.

BTW, I am from NJ but I travelled to San Antonio (PRMA) to have my surgery and I'm very glad I did. It is worth travelling for a surgery as serious as this.
Good luck!
Pat 

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May 15, 2012 10:17AM jeskachi wrote:

glostagirl--I had a failed SGAP and a DIEP to replace it, at NOLA.  They take extra EXTRA good care of people who have had failed flaps previously.  Partly because replacing it can be a little more challenging than the first time around, but also because they know how devastating it can be to lose a flap. 

Best of luck to you, you are in the best hands.  And good on your PS for recommending NOLA!!  That's a surgeon you can trust.

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May 16, 2012 01:37AM Nordy wrote:

Glostagirl... You know I love you and I am pulling for success this time around. And for anyone else who tries. Hugs! Heal up that leg, get the breast done and then let's go skiing!

Do or do not. There is no try. (Yoda!) 2 large positive nodes before neoadjuvant chemo - all nodes negative after chemo

Dx 4/21/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 21, 2012 08:35AM Jenn1176 wrote:

Wow! I am so glad I found this!

Jewelrygirl- here's my story. On May 2nd I had bilateral SGAP, all was perfect for about 13 hours then the pulse was lost in my right flap. Went back to the OR, they tried everything they could think of and even called Dr Allen (who pioneered these procedures) from the OR. They gave it another day and then back to the OR to remove the flap. I'm not upset with the doctors---someone has to be their 1% failure rate and for some reason it was me. I could tell my doctor lost sleep over trying to figure out why it happen. I know I have other options he talked with me about a stacked DIEP and lat flap. But it's a roller coaster--one day I'm like "yes I'm gonna do it" the next day "oh maybe they should just remove my good flap so I have symmetry". It's crazy--- but I totally understand what you are going through. I keep saying I need a Devine "Vegas style sign" telling me what I should do. It is all so overwhelming. I know the risk of failure is small and they told me they have not had a 2nd attempt fail under their care but again the thought is so overwhelming.

I wish you luck on your journey---and remember u r not alone!

Jenn

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May 21, 2012 10:16AM glostagirl wrote:

Jenn...take your time, let your body and psyche heal.  

Please don't remove your good flap until you've had a good long time to think about it all.  My surgery was uni-lateral so I relate to being lopsided.  Honestly, I've given serious thought over the past few years of having a prophylactic MX, and going flat but just couldn't do it.  

I felt the same way about being the unlucky 1-2% failure.  So now I figure "Vegas style" ~ what are the odds of it happening to me again?  Not that I'm a gamblin gal, but I'm ready to take the risk, no looking back.  

It took me 3 years to try again, I'm going to NOLA for surgery on June 20.  

...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Dx 1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)Surgery 06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)
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May 22, 2012 10:36AM Jenn1176 wrote:

Glostagirl-

Good luck next month in NOLA!!, please let us know how it goes!

I like your Vegas style thinking what are the odds :) and I'm not a gambling girl either. Honestly I think I will hop back on the horse in 6 months, I'm gonna finish my herceptin & complete grad school first. At times it seems like an up hill battle but that makes the prize so much sweeter. And if I was going to fall on the "bad side" of the stats I'd take flap failure over recurrence any day, :-)

Will say a prayer for you on June 20th!!!
Jenn

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May 28, 2012 04:53PM glostagirl wrote:

Thanks Jenn,

I'll be sure to post in this thread how it goes.  I'm not sure yet if I'm going to bring my laptop to NOLA, so I may not be heard from until my return on the 28th.  

...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Dx 1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)Surgery 06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)
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Jun 4, 2012 10:17PM Specialk3190 wrote:

Hey...I feel your pain! I was diagnosed in September(my 47th Birthday gift) Opted for Bilateral Mastectomies with a DIEP Flap. on Nov 15th I had surgery. About 15 hours in the surgeon noted that the skin to the Rt flap appeared mottled. There was no veinous return...many thinngs were tried in order to save the flap, but ultimately the flap was removed and an implant was placed. My body wouldn't accept the implant and it was removed in January. I was completely devastated...emotionally and physically broken. I'm doing better now. I feel unbalanced and from the moment I saw the flap versus the implant I wanted to try another flap. My dilemma is that I have no confidence in the procedure anymore. I know I either want two reconstructed breasts, or no breasts, but the uniboob is not working for me! OH the big question...What to do? Right now I am taking it slow. This will be a careful and thoughtful process. I have consulted with a PS in NYC and he proposed a TDAP Flap. I realized after I saw him how hard it is going to be to sign up for this surgery again. I also realized that I need to believe with all my heart that this can be done and done successfully, but at the same time I need to emotionally prepare for potential disappointment. I just scheduled another consultation with another PS in NY. I feel like I need to speak to a few people who do this in order to get a belief and a vision. I'm not there yet. It is going to take a lot of mental preparation to do this!

Kim B.

Kim B.

Surgery 11/15/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Both); Reconstruction: TRAM flap (Left)
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Jun 4, 2012 11:46PM, edited Jun 5, 2012 12:58AM by SallyO

kim Sent you a private message.  What was your original diagnosis may I ask.?  Did you get RT?  AS suggested don't remove the good flap.  You need time for emotional healing, and as you state mental prep, before going ahead w/ any major decision!!

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Jun 5, 2012 06:16PM bdavis wrote:

I had a failed flap (not due to blood vessels, but due to skin issues) and a month after the first surgery went back in for  a do-over. I had hip flaps the first time and had DIEP flap the second time.. I am glad I dealt with it right away... and all scars are practically invisable.. and my surgery was last summer. I also went to NOLA and 100% believe in their ability to fix anything. I too live in NJ, and consulted in NYC, but chose to hop on a plane.

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA

Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 5, 2012 07:13PM Jenn1176 wrote:

If you are going to NYC, Dr Allen is there-He pioneered these procedures.

Bdavis- thanks for posting its good to hear that you were successful after a flap failure :)

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Jun 5, 2012 08:05PM, edited Jun 6, 2012 12:26AM by SallyO

This Post was deleted by SallyO.
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Jun 5, 2012 08:47PM bdavis wrote:

I had a consult with Dr Allen... I chose not to use him... PM me if you have any questions.

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA

Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 9, 2012 08:51PM NancyNJ wrote:

Welcome to my Nightmare Ladies......18 Months ago I had a failed DIEP. I woke up in recovery with two breast only to have the doctors tell me I was going to lose the left because there was no blood supply. What I didn't know then was that I had been in surgery over 17 hours while they were trying to save the flap. Two days later they took it off. Had more fun with the infection in the abdomen that had to be debreeded three times. I finally came home with a right breast and my abdomin open hip to hip seven inches wide and five inches deep. It took almost five months to heal. Another surgery a couple of months later to remove negrosis in the abdomen to relieve the pain. Finally we agreed to a year off to give my body a break from the anestesia. So now its time to start some repair work and I can't even think of starting the process again.....Local, NOLA, Charleston....who knows?? I can't even bring myself to make an appointment.

Dx 12/1/2008, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Jun 9, 2012 09:11PM bdavis wrote:

Nancy.. where in NJ are you? I went to NOLA and live down by Princeton. I can understand your fear in going to the next step... but I would be happy to meet with you or talk on the phone about NOLA.

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA

Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 9, 2012 09:11PM ColoradoGal wrote:

Jewel Girl,

I had a double mast with TRAM flaps on January  25, 2012.  The flaps were alive and well when I left the hospital about a week later and I don't know if it is related to me going into A-fib for 12 hours the day after surgery or my dumb luck, but over the next two months and even though my abdomen healed fine, my breasts kept splitting open and slowly dying.  I had 3 additional surgeries that eventually ended up with all my flaps gone and even to this day, I still have a small opening on my right side.

Of course, all of this has delayed my chemo until just now, which means it is less effective than if I had started chemo earlier but there is nothing I can do about that now.

My PS has done hundreds of flaps before and until me, had only lost one flap and never had two flaps fail.  My surgeon, who did the mastectomy told me that the PS had a funny feeling about my flaps from the beginning.

He said he would do either pedicle flaps or implants once I'm through chemo and I understand your feelings about going through all of this again.  In my case, something has to be done because I don't have nice chest scars.  It is really ugly, lumpy and looks like hell so I will have to face reconstruction sometime, whether I like it or not.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you have slightly different circumstances but you are definitely not alone.

Let me know what you decide and how everything comes out.

ColoradoGal

Surgery 01/25/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: TRAM flap (Both)Surgery 01/30/2012 Reconstruction: TRAM flap (Both)Surgery 03/01/2012 Reconstruction: TRAM flap (Both)Hormonal Therapy 03/01/2012 FemaraChemotherapy 06/03/2012 Cytoxan, TaxotereRadiation Therapy 10/08/2012 3-D conformal external beam radiation
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Jun 11, 2012 10:34AM glostagirl wrote:

It's me again....

NancyNJ.... it took me almost 3 years to make that appointment, I knew I wanted to go to New Oreans to the Center for Reconstructive Breast Surgery but my family pressured me to say local.  I live near Boston and saw a top plastic surgeon at Beth Israel who does a lot of DIEPS, because my mastectomy site is such a mess from repeated surgeries to save the first flap and infection, he thought I should go to NOLA.  I'm so grateful for his honesty and have recommended him to other women who are just starting this process.

The physical and emotional healing from this takes a long time.  In a year you'll start to know if you can continue to live uni-laterally.  Because of my issues, it was almost a year before I could tolerate wearing a prosthetic.  It still causes me pain and I'm aware of it every second.  I suspect it feels much like an expander pressing against my chest wall.  Even though I'm in my 50's I feel too young to spend the rest of my life like this. I've always been athletic and taken care of my body, so this has had a huge impact on my body image.  I know I'll never go back to who I was before BC, but am compelled to try to improve what I've been left with.  I want clevage instead of an ugly hole, I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror.  I need to allow my husband to see me and touch me without feeling so broken.  Cry

A few more scars, a little more pain, I can handle it. Hell, in March I broke my femur skiing, got hauled off the mountain in a toboggan, had to have my clothes cut off me in the ski clinic, then jostled about getting into an ambulance for the ride through the canyon and off to the hopital emergency and then surgery.  All that pain has given me a fresh perspective on what it's going to take to go through reconstruction again!!!  I'm going to NOLA because another failure isn't in the cards for me, I'm not going home without a new boob!  

I will stay in touch when I'm in NOLA.  I bought a Nook Tablet and loaded a few books on it, a little music, and pictures of my family. I can check email, facebook and of course BC.org ;-).  There are several ladies down there now from the NOLA in September thread, they're in pain, but doing well.

Colorado, my chemo was delayed, seems to still have worked, I've been living with NED for several years now.   

To all who've had failure, don't rush the healing process, let time take it's course.  It is truly devastating to loose a flap, but we didn't loose our lives, we press on, we'll have lots of tomorrows!

Peace. 

...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Dx 1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)Surgery 06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)
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Jun 17, 2012 04:23AM jenlee wrote:

I consulted with the most well-respected surgeons in southern Califonia and for several reasons, didn't go with them. In the end, I decided the inconvenience and expense of travel was worth the trip to Nola. I have since found out that many women go there to have surgeries done elsewhere "fixed." Which is not to say there aren't potential complications with all surgery, but it might be encouraging to know that there are several amazing surgeons capable of doing or fixing what other surgeons couldn't. At first I was sure I could never make the trip and my family wouldn't survive without me around for ten days, but with the help of friends, my daughter was well-taken care of and did not fall apart while I was gone and we managed to make it work. I didn't think it was possible, but it was. Now that I'm home, I have some lifting limitations, but this too will pass.

Jenifer, completed TAC x 8 on 4/24/2012. Lumpectomy on 5/23/2012. BMX & immediate DIEH stage 1 on 6/5/2012 NOLA; stage 2 surgery 10/4/12 NOLA. Tamoxifen since 6/2012. Switched to Arimidex 9/2013.

Dx 10/20/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 26, 2012 08:52PM glostagirl wrote:


Glostagirl checking in from the Big Easy, where I'm 6 days post-op from a successfull DIEP for my failed SGAP, woo-hooo.  Yeah Dr.s Massey and Sullivan and the wonderful care at Saint Charles Surgical Hospital!

...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Dx 1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)Surgery 06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)
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Jun 26, 2012 11:55PM Rainenz wrote:

I had bilateral tram flaps 2 1/2 years ago and over a 2 month period I lost both flaps in the 1st month after several attempts to save then, then another month later had my abdominal scar fail, that took aover eight months to heal.

I am on the recon trail once more and am 1 week out from a lat dorsi flap reconstruction, which so far is looking good. My surgeon would only do one at time this time round, so am back to being lop-sided. Am really pleased with the results to date and have 3 month wait before he will do the next one

glostagirl pleased to hear you have had success too.

Dx 1/1997 3.5cm Medullary, Grade 3, 6/14 nodes er-/pr-, her2 -

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 29/34 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 29, 2012 05:01PM Jenn1176 wrote:

YAY glostagirl! Glad to hear the good news! How r u feeling?

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Jun 29, 2012 05:40PM glostagirl wrote:

I'm home!  Took my pain meds and flying was not bad.  Having a non-stop flight is a good way to go! 

I'm feeling quite good.  My surgeon is a little dissappointed with the size.  I had a large concavity of my chest wall which took up a good portion fo the flap, the breast is probably a large B to small C  (I was a 34 DD).  There's no rush to decide if I want to stay this size or go for a baby flap for a bit more projection.  Stage 2 will probably be in Sept or Oct

My abdoman is very sore, bloated and itchy.  The breast incision is sore as well but not nearly as much.  I think I have what they call a bikini (triangular) shaped skin flap vs. a football shaped flap.  

"She" looks good and I'm taking very good care of her .   

...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Dx 1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)Surgery 06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)
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Jul 8, 2012 12:42PM Ukygirl wrote:

I had a DIEP flap failure on May 11,2012. I went back to the OR on May 13. I was told by my PS that it is fixed but will be bruised and swollen for several months. It is now July 8 and I still have bruising and swelling. Has anyone had similar experience?

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Jul 8, 2012 01:19PM bdavis wrote:

no... but is it warm?? that is what matters.

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA

Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 23, 2012 09:42AM Jewelrygirl wrote:

Thanks ladies, I feel so much better.  I was feeling like the only one back in April.  My surgeon Dr. Samson at Cleveland Clinic Weston FL has been terrific.  I think I felt worse for him than myself.  I was down for the first two weeks dealing with all the drains and recovering but at the end of the day I changed my attitude, I'm alive.  I got rid of the cancer and all this extra stuff will happen in time.  My doctor was very anxios to fix this because every time I went there he looked so disappointed. 

I decided to go with with lat flap.  So just 2 months after the failed diep, I tried again.  It worked, I the flap looks great.  I did think this one was more painful than the diep, not sure why.  I have an expander in and I'm afraid of what I read with the pain involved.  He only has 150cc's in there now and is taking it real slow.  I need to get up to 800cc's, so this can take awhile.....lol.  He want to take this real slow and won't expand me till my incisions are really healed.  No infections this time but the scar across my back is pretty large.  I guess over time it to will fade.  I just feel mutilated from my chest down.  Overall things are getting better and better.  They just removed three of my drains last Friday and I still have one left in the back and it's draining over 100 each day so I don't think it will be going anywhere anytime soon.  I'd rather leave it in and deal with it, a lot easier with one than three. 

I will tell you it's great to see my PS smile now instead of looking so disappointed.  I now have a "D" on the right and a "mound" on the left.  He says I will need more surgery to decrease the size "D" which is fine with me because he won't be able to get me that large.  I also need the breast moved over as it is falling under my armpit a bit and some nip and tuck in certain areas but overall I think I'm on the right path.  I'm just nervous about these expanders and the pain involved with that.  My doctor is amazed with how well I'm doing even with the failures.  He said my attitude is so amazing and you heal so much better with a good attitude.  It really helps to read your stories and know that I'm not alone, thank you for sharing and I wish all of you the best of luck in your journies too.  I'm here if you need me.

Smile and know we are all connected as special friends!

Dx 10/10/2012, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes

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