Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Latissimus Dorsi Breast Reconstruction

Options
11112141617206

Comments

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Thank you FearLess_one, Brenda, and kal_1865.  I think that one side has went down some, so time will tell.  Maybe we should call them "pittoons"!  Right now, it's like I am in a horseshoe shaped innertube that is way too tight.

  • Fearless_One
    Fearless_One Member Posts: 905
    Options

    Well keep us posted - I wish you the best.     If one side is already going down, that's a good sign I would think....

  • Stanzie
    Stanzie Member Posts: 1,611
    Options

    Westiluv- I am a year out from my surgery and on one side the bulge is still uncomfortable, can't wear bras without feeling like I have a pillow on one side. So my PS said he can do lipo and fill in the dent which has recently developed. He said dents can develop as the implants are circles and breasts aren't so there is sometimes a ridge and sometimes a dent that can develop.

     The first 6 mos the bulges were much worse, they have gone down but after a year just not enough so I'll be doing the surgery but doesn't sound bad at all. He said probably an hour with the only restrictions being no lifting weights for 10 days. As in gym weights not general picking up of things. Hope that helps.

    Sorry for the infection - sounds awful but good antibotics should help a lot. 

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Got some drains out today.  Still have 2 in....but definitely feel lighter and more manageable. First fill will be in 2 weeks as long as things stay good.  The Levaquin is kicking the skin infection in the butt!  Yeah.  Swelling going down little by little each day.  Feeling pretty good and I don't have the ironbra feeling all the time.  Just occassionally like a muscle spasm kicks in.  Hopeful that it will eventually go away, but if it doesn't I'll just cope as best I can.

  • Smile_On
    Smile_On Member Posts: 66
    Options

    Do many of you have TE's under your lat. flaps, or implants?

     I had a BMX  last summer with immediate TE's placed.  I had radiation so my PS told me we need to do lat flaps b/c my skin/tissue is too damaged for a straight exchange.

    She told me that I will be having an 8 hour surgery to take out the TE's there now, "reshape" the pockets for the new TE's (the TE's I had were too wide for my frame and stuck out more to the sides than the front of my body), do the latissmus dorsi flap and put in new TE's.

    I was very bummed to hear that I would not be getting rid of these hard bouncy balls in my chest, but just exchanging for new.  She said 6 months after that surgery I'd have another surgery to exchange the TEs for implants, and then months later a next surgery to refine any imperfections and create a nipple.

    Is it this long of a process for everyone?  I'm feeling overwhelmed, and at times--even though I'm only in my 20's wish I would have opted for a straight mastectomy without reconstruction.

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308
    Options

    smileon,  I've been 2 1/2 years at this & am finally getting tattoos next week & then I am finally done.  It's a long haul & at times feels like it's never ending, but you will get there.  The exchange surgery is quick & easy, I had my nips done in 1/2 hour, wide awake, so that's not surgery, but if you need revisions that would be surgical.  You can still opt for no reconstruction & if you changed your mind you could have it later.  I was flat for a year while undergoing treatment & then had the lat flaps with TE's.  Only you can decide what is best for you, good luck! 

  • Fearless_One
    Fearless_One Member Posts: 905
    Options

    I had mine Tuesday (no lat flap) and am still in pain.   Is this normal?   I have Rx drugs, but narcs make me nauseous.

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    I'm doing better, but still very tired. I have stopped all the narcotics and am able to manage on ibuprofen and sleep aid pills.  I tried to do too much too soon and the fatigue overwhelmed me and put me down for the count for a couple of days.  Tomorrow is another chance to get up and get moving in the right direction.  1 more drain to go and then I can start PT.  I feel like a slug and getting out of the house will be a good thing.

  • Kellylee
    Kellylee Member Posts: 1
    Options

    Hi I had my LDBR in Sept/Oct 2010 at the City Hospital Nottingham.  I am trying to find out how i can show my diary of pictures and videos i did to share with others like yourself.  Before my operation i would have like to find someone like me to ask questions and see pics.videos of the before and after.  I am having my nipples tattooed next Tuesday and am on the waiting list to have some fat tranfered into my breast to fill them up.  Feel free to contact me.   You could email me at kelly-65@hotmail.co.uk

    Regards

    Kellylee

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Kelly,

    You can do a member search on this site for screen name Timtam.  She is the gatekeeper for a site that allows you to post photos and give a pictoral of your experience.  She is very protective and will ask you for information and then make a decision on whether you will be allowed access to the site.  Sounds dubious, but her evaluation and screening are a very valuable and necessary safety protocol for the women that share on that site.

    Send Timtam a private message to get yourself started in the process.

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    All my drains are now out.  I removed the last 2 on my own.  It wasn't bad.  I still tire easily, but I have my first PT appointment scheduled, so I am hoping they can help me feel better and stand up straight. 

    Things are pretty much the same.  The steri strips are starting to fall off.  I am ok with looking at the incision sites.  I wish the left side skin above the flap was looking a little better.  I just hope it doesn't slow down the fill process.

    Good friends have brought me food and visited.  Isn't it nice when you know you have true friends? BC is the great divider of friendship.  It never turns out exactly how you think it would.  I have no trouble eating, so I probably need to ask them all to STOP!  Until I get back on the regular exercise routine, I will not be a happy camper.  I want to lose the xtra lbs that have crept on me during this ordeal.  I KNOW I am not alone on that as many in the TaTa sisterhood know exactly what I mean.

    Have a good weekend!

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    PT sucks!  I am trying so hard to get my shoulders back and to build some strength in my rhomboid sp? muscles.  I was much worse on the left side than the right.  Of course I am right handed, so it makes sense that I pushed myself more, earlier with the right side.

    Got a small fill today.  Being extra cautious because of the skin integrity on the left side.  Looks good for now and I'll go back next week for another fill.

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509
    Options

    great news Beth  woooohoooo on the removal of all drains

    I pray the left side skin will continue to improve. 

    I gave in to the tightness and did not use good posture early on.  I wonder if that contributes to this tight bra feeling.....we may never know the answer but it does make sense.  I just continue to stretch....Frown

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Linda,

    They gave me an exercise where I use a hard foam noodle and put it at the base of my spine where hips attach.  It is then sticking out to just past where my head attaches   I then stretch to press my shoulders back down to the floor on both sides while balancing on that round noodle.  Coordinated, I am not, so it's entertaining.  My poor little dog just watches me and wonders what in the heck I am doing.  She comes over to try to get me to play with her.  She thinks anytime I am on the floor, it's PLAYTIME!

    Getting a larger fill next week, so we'll see how it goes.

     

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509
    Options

    Beth,

    Thanks for your post.  Sounds like that would be a great stretch for the chest.  I will look for a hard noodle  ;-)  LOL.....maybe I have something around the house I could use. 

    I hope your fill goes well and without much discomfort. Check in....

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Linda,

    I also found a medical brace that you wear over your clothes that helps to pull your shoulders back and to build the rhomboid muscles.  I am thinking about ordering it and giving it a try.  Their website claims that if you wear it for 4-6 hours each day, you can retrain your back muscles to do the work the latissimus muscle did for you. It's $35 plus another $10 for shipping.  Thinking about.  Has anyone else tried something like that?

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509
    Options

    Beth....what is the website for the back brace.  I've been experiencing some back pain at the end of my work day and thinking a brace might be good for me during working hours. Being a hair stylist I pretty much stand in the same position a lot and I know my posture goes when I get tired.  I do not know if this has anything to do with my LD recon since it has been 3 yrs since my surgery. It could be that it takes several years for these side effects to show their ugly faces. 

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Linda,

    The one I am looking at is:  www.activeforever.com/p-190-shouldersback-posture-support.aspx.

    I am having a physical therapist look at the thing for me this afternoon.  I want his opinion on whether he thinks it would work and is it worth the cost.  The device is only $34.95 but the shipping seems high.  I'll let you know what my great PT tells me.

    Beth

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509
    Options

    Beth

    I took a look at the back -posture support and it looks good and all the reviews were good.  Shipping cost are high for everything you order... arggggg

    My back seems to hurt when I work for several hours straight and when I am cooking.   LOL...quit work and quit cooking...sounds good to me...hehehe...

    I will wait to hear what your PT says about the brace.

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    PT says go for it.  He says it is much like the one they order for patients and that it can't hurt.  He says that I may have soreness in the shoulders but to wear it OVER a t-shirt to minimize any skin friction.  I ordered it.  I'll let you know when it arrives and give my own review.

    I like the idea of no work!  I would imagine that after being on your feet doing your job, it would be hard on you without the surgery changes.

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509
    Options

    April 28th 2008

    3 yrs ago my breast were amputated

    I am sad today Cry

    but thankful to be aliveSmile

    I hate cancer and what it takes from usYell

  • Fearless_One
    Fearless_One Member Posts: 905
    Options

    Linda, I am sorry you are sad.   I know that no one but other cancer survivors can understand all it takes away and how strong you have to be to get through it.   But I am glad you made it and you are very beautiful!  

    I am sad that I couldn't get the kind of recon I wanted.   I hope my implant doesn't fail on the rads side.   I know a lot of women have had LD flaps, but they sound very painful, to be honest.

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Linda, I wondered how it may feel when you approach the anniversary of your BMX.  For me, my diagnosis day just happened to be my youngest brother's birthday.  What a bummer that those two things will forever be linked in my mind.  It's OK to grieve it.  I think most survivors go through years of this.  Wonder if the date will ever slip by without me having that "knot in my stomach" feeling?

    To me, it's kind of like the loss of a loved one.  I will never forget the day my Dad passed.  I feel the same way about BC.  It took something from me.  Forever changed, but not destroyed.  You are beautiful inside and out.

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509
    Options

    Thanks Beth...your words mean a lot to me today

    I actually did not think about it yesterday nor did I this morning because of being fixated on all the storms around us on Wed and then spending time this morning trying to get info on the destruction.  Then I looked at the calendar and my heart sank while reliving the events this day 3 yrs ago.  Forever changed, but not destroyed...sweetie, you are so right. Thanks

  • justagirl
    justagirl Member Posts: 633
    Options

    I had a DM done March 5th with a LD flap on the right side for the breast that had the radiation.  The ps said she had to use the LD muscle as the tissue in that breast was too fragile (fried) due to the radiation.  Had a 220cc (silicone)  implant put in on the left and a 190cc implant on the right with the LD muscle.  6 drains, 10 days in hospital.  No complications, no infections.  Just before surgery the PS and the BS deemed keeping my nipples would open me to a big possibility of infection due lack of blood flow to the nipples as I have had two surgeries on each breast before this involving reattaching the nipples so I agreed as I didn't want any infection.

    What I am trying to say is, if your PS says a LD flap is good, then do it.  You want all the insurance you can give yourself going into the surgery that the outcome is successful.  If I had gotten an infection, the PS said the first thing she would do is remove the implant and try again in 6 months.  Also, I was a full  36B before all the cutting started and opted for immediate permanent implants much smaller  to put less stress on area, so now I am an A size, but I actually have cleavage!

    I think all the women here would agree there is pain and aches involved with using the LD muscle, but I am trying to cope with it 7 weeks post surgery. It aches and it hurts.  Sleeping is challenging enough with the Femara but can't stay on my back or sides for long - very restless.  Can't take the Valium as a muscle relaxer - makes me spacey and now my general doctor (who I have had for 5 years) is giving me grief for taking so much Tramadol for pain.  My LD incision hurts so bad in the morning I don't want to get out of bed and taking 100mg of Tramadol works.  By about 5pm it's aching again, so I like to take another 100mg so I can cook dinner and not bite my DH or son's heads off and then can  maybe sleep better.

    I am going to the physio, I am doing yoga again (with moderation), I am not lifting anything heavy.  

    How much longer is the LD muscle going to continue to ache and hurt? Whatever, I am still glad my PS used it, as anything is better than getting an infection or having the tissue not being able to support the implant.

    I'll take aches and pains any day to complications like infections!

    Question:  Is my LD muscle incision pain adnormal 7 weeks post-op?

    Thank you!

  • joiedevivre
    joiedevivre Member Posts: 47
    Options

    Had my exchange surgery on Tuesday April 26th, Had the same implant size put in as I have on the other side which is a style #20 natrelle  which is a high profile. However, I had a latismus muscle done on that side only. Even though the implant is the same size and style, it appears to be flatter  and wider than the other side.Before the infection with the same implant, both sides looked the same. Why is it now, that it is flatter and wider under my arm.? I know part of it has to be swelling but it seems a LOT wider and quite a bit flatter. Does the muscle that was put on the lower third of the breast tend to flatten and widen it?Has anyone experienced this with the lat done on one side only?Not feeling good about that at all...

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    Justagirl - I think that it is normal to still have pain at 7 weeks post op.  Alot of things are involved in that latissmus relocation and you may or may not have had some nerves damaged, cut or relocated that are putting up a revolt for the short term.  I would take it easy.  If you really can't function without the drugs, then take them but make a schedule over the next couple of weeks and try to reduce the amount you are taking each day.  For me, once your body gets over the hump of no medication, it seemed that the pain calmed down on it's own.  It's kind of a rebound pain syndrome.

    joiedevivre- I had lat flap bilaterally, so I do notice that both of my breasts are flatter because of the lat muscle placement.  When the muscle spasms and flexes, it flattens out.  My PS says that the muscle starts to relax more with time and you get less of a flattening effect with the muscle atrophy.  This is why I will not be doing any exercises that engage that lat muscle.  I want it to soften so that when I get my exchange, I will be more rounded and less flat.  Hope this make some sense, but it's anatomical feature of the muscle.  Only time will help after it's relocation.    

  • joiedevivre
    joiedevivre Member Posts: 47
    Options

    Thanks westieluv for your reply. But, i also heard that they can cut the muscle under the arm to also release that muscle. The problem is it is not only flatter but also way bigger diameter..Would cutting that lat muscle under the armpit make a difference, or will it  now need more pocket work? It feels like a pillow under my arm..it just extends too far to the side..while other side is great...Does someone have any input on this? Thanks again.

  • westieluv
    westieluv Member Posts: 245
    Options

    I think this may be a question for whippetmom or maybe Linda54.  Not something that I am sure of.  I know that some PS, disect and only use a portion of the lat muscle.  I had advanced lat flap which used the entire lat muscle.  If they only use a portion, then the situation is not something I know about.  Google : Emedicine: Latissumis Dorsi Flap Reconstruction.  There is detailed information there that tells you about variations to this surgery.

  • justagirl
    justagirl Member Posts: 633
    Options

    Westieluv,

    Thank you for your advice. I will give it a try.