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Latissimus Dorsi Breast Reconstruction

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Comments

  • clwetzel
    clwetzel Member Posts: 11

    Linda,

           Thank-you for sharing that video.  I am leaning toward the Lat Flap with the football shaped flap.  I have had 3 failed implant insertions but because my skin and tissue is damaged from the radiation the surgeries were unsuccessful.  I do not care about the scar or size of the flap.  All I want is some mass in that area so I do not have to wear a prosthesis or worry about stuffing all of the time.  I also like the idea of using the lat muscle because it will not hinder my activities as much as the TRAM.  The lat muscle is not used as much as the abdominal muscle so it is a better option for me.  If anyone has any other videos or pictures of the lat flap I would greatly appreciate gaining more information.  I have some healing time for now but I like to research AMAP. 

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    clwetzel - I didn't have radiation or chemo but I did have a failed 1st reconstruction just with TE's.  Now 7 months later my skin and scar areas are very thin and attached to my chest wall.  The PS I have who is EXCELLENT!! (Seattle area) immediately said Lat Flap.  My surgery is scheduled for 5/4 (bday is 5/5). I would suggest doing some research on the web for Lat Flap.  That's what I did, so between that and all of these wonderful women I very informed.  You will have success!!  Positive thinking!! :)

    Linda 54 - Question?  Do you notice outside of your scars on your back if your back concaves on the sides at all and if so is it very noticeable?  I ask because in the summer time I like to wear t-shirts and I don't typically wear baggy clothes.  Thanks!! :)

    Cindy

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Cindy

    Do the sides of my back concave where the muscle was taken?  Oh so slightly.  I would think that if you had more fat on your back and that was taken then you would probably see more of an indention.  I do not have any problems with my clothes.

    Happy early birthday!!!

    I pray that your surgery goes well on Tuesday. 

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    Thanks so much Linda for bday greeting!!  Smile!  I am a little nervous and yet excited as well.  I have a friend who works at the hospital and has been in the surgery room with this doctor on many cases.  She's also going to be in on mine so she will know everything that is happening.  I am so glad that she's there.  The part I don't really like is trying to wake up in the recovery room.  I always have such a hard time with that.  Last time I started singing and talking even if no one was there.  Today is my last day at work, so I am taking the next few days to make sure my home is totally preprared to accommodate my needs.  I have a few more questions for anyone:

    1. Did anyone not have some one at home to help them when they got home and how did that go?

    2. Were you able to lay back on your back to sleep or did you sit up sleeping on a couch or recliner for awhile?

    3. Did you have to bandage up the back incision?

    Sorry for all of the questions I just like to know everything ahead as much as possible so that I am better prepared.

    Thanks everyone!!

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    I slept in my bed from day 1 (with lots of pillows)  but I had DH to help me get in and out of bed.  I read that if you do not have help at home, you can tie a rope on the footboard of your bed and use the rope to pull yourself up.  Sounds like it might work but I also needed help getting into bed.

    I did not have any bandages on my chest or on my back incisions.

    Wonderful that you have a friend watching out for you in the OR...

    ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

  • FACECRAFTER
    FACECRAFTER Member Posts: 433

    I find it easier to get up and down from the recliner--it is in my bedroom.  There are no bandages on my back, nor are there on my flap.  There is some pain, but only if you move inot the wrong position- I find it easy to find a comfortable position.  There is no indentation or very little in my back..it is still healing and I don't expect there will be any when it is done.  JUDY

  • Shrek4
    Shrek4 Member Posts: 519

    I slept on the recliner in the first week - just because my dogs are used to sleep in bed and we didn't want them to somehow hurt me.

    I did have help at home. I needed help both to get up from bed as well as to lay in bed for almost a month after the surgery. I am 6 months after the surgery and my strength is still not fully back, and honestly I doubt it will ever be. I still hve problems getting up if I sit on a low chair, getting up from sitting on the ground/floor, when getting up from the bathtub I have to turn to my knees first then get up. Be aware that the move that you do when pushing yourself up from sitting will be totally gone, you won't be able to do it anymore. I even have problems rolling on my side when I lay down to sleep. In the kitchen I can't do some things, for example cut a cabbage in half. I still can't lift more than 10 lbs. 

     I don't want to discourage you, but personally if I'd have known that it's so disabling, I would have never chosen it. My PS before the surgery said that I would have problems only if I would want to do professional swimming and tennins playing. That was plain BS. I am half disabled now.

  • 2Xsenough
    2Xsenough Member Posts: 48

    Faithnme--I had help at home but really didn't need it after say the first week. If you have a recliner perhaps you won't need help at all. I didn't have one and getting in and out of bed was the hard part. that and drying myself off after a shower. Also, stripping the drains were hard for a while. If you want to do some reading, Check out Adnerbs thread on MX and immediate TE placements. Ther are tons of good ideas there.

    Best of luck,

    Bobbi

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Yesterday was my 2nd anniversary of my Bi-lat MX and LD flaps recon.  I can do anything I want to do.  I do understand what Day was talking about when she mentioned pushing yourself up with your arms because it does feel different.  Kinda like using your boobs to lift yourself...

    Day, you are only 6 months out and when I was at that point I felt that I would not be able to do some things like raising a window and etc.  Hang in there sister...it will get better.  I lift weights, bike and run. 

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83

    I am just 5 weeks out from lat dirsi and feel pretty good.  I def do not have all strenght back (still healing) but I can do so much already.  I think we are all so different in how we heal and all PS are different to.  I am still tired a lot but my arm strength seems better every day.

    Wishing everyone joy and strength.

    HUGS♥

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    tamgam

    great to hear from you.  I too felt stronger everyday but it took a long time to feel like I was 100% again.....I am glad you are doing wellSmile

  • janincanada
    janincanada Member Posts: 10

    Faythnme:

    I just saw this thread and thought that I would share my story as it is more positive than Day's.  I had my surgery Dec 09 and had TE's placed.  My PS had me not lift anything for the first two weeks and I couldn't lift my arms over shoulder. At the beginning of January I started back to playing racketsports and doing Yoga.  I did physio to help with the range of motion as my pec muscles were really tightening.  I have 98% range of motion now and can do pretty much anything that I was doing before. I do Yoga about 4 times a week and play racketsports 4-5 times a week.  I can lift anything I need to.  I don't have any weird indentations on my back except for a small pucker at the end of one scar closest to my armpit.  It isn't noticable in any tight clothes, only when naked and looking for it. I am currently doing a Core Program at my gym that involves an hour of exercises for the core but also a lot of pushups and planks.  I am holding my own against women and men that are younger than me and who have not had to regain their fitness after chemo.  I don't feel that there is any difference now in my strength.  Mind you, when I went to try swimming a couple of months ago, I had no power in my arms at all. 

    I needed......no......wanted help at home to get out of bed for the first day or two.  I napped in a recliner, but never slept in one.  I slept in bed, with my man and my cat. I do tricep dips and have no difficulty getting out of chairs with or without my arms.

    I did all of the exerciese that were recommended to me and believe that getting some physio helped me to recover quickly.  The Yoga was also a great help.  However, I still can't wait to get these expanders exchanged.

  • waldo
    waldo Member Posts: 145

    Janincanada, I did a lot of exercise pre-op so I am curious to find out how long did you  wait before  doing push-ups and tricep  work after surgery?  I want to get back to yoga, pilates, running, spinning and  My doctor told me I could do them but it's only 4+ weeks.  I walked today for the first time in ages and wore 2 bras.  The feeling  of the TE's was strange but ok. It does take some getting used to.

    Faythnme, after week 31/2, it got a lot easier for me. I've been sleeping in my bed since day 1. I bought a wedge pillow at bed bath and beyond and it was a life saver.  Bras were uncomfortable and my PS wants me in a bra 24/7 but other people are told no bra.  I have full range of motion and my doctor gave me the green light to resume my normal activity yesterday. I think individual results will vary but you may want to ask your PS office if there are any patients of his that you can speak with. 

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83

    Janincanada- OMG! You rock, girl!  I did not do that much exercise when I was healthy!  I really think keeping yourself in shape is good for the mind, body and spirit.  More power to you.

    Waldo-  Good for you on your walk today.  I got out there too with my 4 yr. old daughter.  Not a power walk but it got my body going and I felt good after.  Wish I wasn't so tired still.  I am finding it hard to get motivated. So keep the posts coming about any exercise you get in and maybe more of us will be inspired to get out there and get our grooves back!

  • waldo
    waldo Member Posts: 145

    tamgam, I got inspired when I saw the physical effects of no exercise for 4+ weeks and I always feel better and mentally refreshed afterwards.

  • Stanzie
    Stanzie Member Posts: 1,611

    I went back to my trainer yesterday for the first time since January! I did take it easy and she started me off slow but several times I asked for heavier and heavier weights so I was pretty excited about that. My back is stil very sore so that is still hard, I didn't have any pain yesterday afternoon but this afternoon I can feel some soreness but the good kind just in my arms - not in my chest or back . I think so far so good. Even though I don't like exercising and have to be pushed into it, I do feel better and have more energy. I had my surgery on March 5th.

  • clwetzel
    clwetzel Member Posts: 11

    Faythnme,

          I have been searching the web and have even borrowed a text book from one of the surgeons that I know.  I am looking forward to hearing from you after your surgery to get your perspective and to find out how you are doing.  You must be very excited since the surgery is just a few days away.  I am sure all will go well!   Good Luck!Smile

  • clwetzel
    clwetzel Member Posts: 11

    Faythnme,

           I have had a difficult time with anaesthesia as well and thankfully each time I have surgery I have the same person who allows me to have some say in the drugs used because she is someone who I am familiar with.  I used a propofol drip the last time I had surgery and it was much better.  I didn't feel so sick (nausea, dizzy, drugged, etc).  I came out of it quickly after surgery.  The drip requires more work on the CRNAs part but it works very well for me.  You have a very Happy Birthday!  You will not forget this BD because your present is very unique and special this year!

  • janincanada
    janincanada Member Posts: 10

    Waldo: I waited 4 weeks before I started playing racketsports and taking yoga classes. However at the 2 week mark I did some yoga on my own, mainly Warriers but did do some that involved my arms like downdog. If it hurt, I stopped. I was walking a week post surgery.

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83

    I guess my body feels pretty good, but where do you get the energy? Do you take vitamins and supplements?  I am attempting a spinning class tomorrow if I can drag my tired self there. Wish me luck.

    Hugs to all!

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    SUCCESS!Smile  I'm home from the hospital.  Per the doctor the surgery went really well and  should heal quickly.I don't really have much pain, I think it's more discomfort pain. Apparently when she got into my chest it appeared the last PS put the TE under the muscle on one side and on top on the other side.  Sounds strange uh?  I have 6 drains, 3 on each side.  Only 2 (1 on each side) is draining a lot.  The others are less then 10cc. I truly believe I have found the perfect PS.  If anyone knows of anyone in the Seattle area and are considering PS I would suggest this Dr. to them.  I don't know if I can give her name out on here so maybe a PM is the best way.

     I do not however have any saline in the TE's yet.  She wanted to wait and make sure that the healing went well.

     Anyways going to relax.  I'm so glad this part is over.

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Faythnme

    Good to hear from you.  I am so glad that everything went well for you and that you like your PS.  That is kinda strange that you had one under and one over.  I do not think there was a purpose for that.  Sounds like an error to me...Was your friend in the OR?  did she say anything about that?   ....6 drains...ouch...well, at least 4 of them can be pulled when you go for your next appt...unless you can get someone to pull them for you...LOL....I would be tempted...

    Are you managing OK?....do you have any help?...did you sing and talk this time? LOL

    take care sister

    Linda

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    Hi Linda - I sure did sing and talk alot.  Told stories about some recent dreams.  They were pretty good and they all laughed.  It seems to me that the first PS didn't do something right.  She's probably real good at breast augmentation and needs some learning on breast reconstruction.  Who knows. The pain is pretty tolerable right now.  I don't have any saline in my TE's yet.  She wanted to make sure that the skin reattachments worked.  So far so good!  My back where they made the incisions itch lke crazy sometimes.  My friend was in and out of the OR and she said it went very well.  Haven't really talked to her much yet.  I'm sure I'll find out more.  My only concern right now is that I have not yet had a BM.  I've been taking senakot and smooth move tea.  Maybe I should double up on my tea.  That should work.  There really seems to be only 2 drains that are draining well.  The other 4 seems to expel only 2.6 - 7cc.  So may be I'll bave 4 tubes removed at my appt on Thursday.

    Well I'm going to go rest for now.  A question for everyone.  How did you wash your hair when got home?  I don't think I should lean forward.  Does anyone have suggestions?

     Thanks!

    Cindy

  • Stanzie
    Stanzie Member Posts: 1,611

    The first time I washed my hair I sat in the bath tub that had a hand held sprayer and let my sister run the water over my head as I too was scared of leaning forward. After that first time however since I could raise my arms I then went in the shower and lowered it so it wouldn't hit any sore places just my head. I also did what a lot of women mentioned which was using a ribbon and safety pinning the drains to the ribbon so they didn't hang.

    I'm so glad everything seems to have gone well and you are home recooperating. It shoulds like she is cautious which is good considering what you have already been though. The part of one side being over the muscle and the other side under sounds odd. Could you feel a difference in the two sides? I'm also asking because there is a big difference in they way my right side feels compared to my left. My first thought was the left didn't get tacked down properly now what you said makes me wonder.... Also whether he put in different size implants. Anyway, just wondering if you could tell any thing.

     I tried everything with constipation the Colase, the teas, dried fruit and lots of water and by the 6th day I was in terrible pain. I ended up getting a suppository from the drug store and within 15 minutes I was great! I wish I had had those on hand as I spent a horrible night in extreme pain. 

     Hope you start feeling better soon.

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    I have a home based salon.  The day after I got home from the hospital 2 friends came over and we went into the salon and they washed and blow my hair.  They had me laughing so hard.  They talked about opening a salon called Dumb and Dumber Hair Salon....laughter is the best medicine.  When I was cleared to shower I would just use the hand held shower and lower my head down because I could not raise my arms yet.  This worked great for me.

    It is not unusual to experience constipation after surgery.  I do not remember my back incisions itching.  I don't think I would wait until Thurs to get those drains pulled, call and see if you can drop in and have the PS assistant to pull them.  If they are not draining then I would want them out ASAP...they are a pain in the butt...

    Do  you still have help?

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    I think the kind of help I am going to get is when they have the time to spare.  It's all good.  Ive been very independant. The drains are not what's itching.  It's actually the back incsions. 

     As far as the drains go I'm going to keep an eye on them, maybe by Thursday they all can come out. :)

    I didnt have any TE's in when I went for LAT Flap.  I'm not sure exactly what the PS meant but I know that TE's are under both of the muscles.  I'll get more details Thursday and let you know.

    Back to resting. :)

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83

    Hi girls!  I am 7 weeks post -op and still have crazy itching.  Anyone else feel very itchy in one spot and scratching does nothing because of numbness yet if you scratch in another area it seems to relieve the itching? I just find this so funny and wierd.  What a crazy ride this is !

  • clwetzel
    clwetzel Member Posts: 11

    Faythnme,

           I am so glad to hear from you.  I have been thinking about you alot.  I was wondering how everything was going.  I am glad to hear that your discomfort isn't too bad.  The pain pills are giving you constpation.  I believe the best thing for constipation is to take the Senokot, drink plenty of fluids and try to walk around as much as you can.  Make sure you tell your surgeon when you go back for a follow up about your constipation because it can get very uncomfortable if you let it go too long.  Did you have much skin taken from your back?  I have seen small circle areas of skin and also the longer eye shaped skin.  I am so glad that you are doing well!!

  • Stanzie
    Stanzie Member Posts: 1,611

    Tamgam - I never have experienced any itching anywhere? My first thought it sometimes things itch when they are healing? My little steri strip bandages were on for almost 3 weeks perhaps that prevented any itching. But if you are still itching, Hmm?

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    CLwetzel -

    I have finally had a BM yesterday and today.  I've been drinking smooth move tea and it worked great.  The only probably (to put it bluntly) is that I can't reach behind enough to wipe myself/ LOL.  So I have to do it from the front.  I hope that changes real soon.  I'm thinking I may be able to stop the pain pills because more tightness than pain that I am feeling.  I'll try it tonight and see.  Mind you I don't have any fluids in my TE's yet.  I think they will start me next week for that.  The PS says that I will need 600 cc's in order to become a full D. Heck if I can take 100 cc's each visit then I can get my exchange by August maybe.  I shall see.  The itching I am getting is near the drain site and on my back so I know everything is healing.  I don't know how big the scar is on the back yet as I am still in bandages.  They will be coming off on Thursday.  I do know that the design she described was the eye shape or football shape. I know that I no longer have that fat that forms just below the bra line it's all gone.

    Going to relax now (that's all I've done all day).

    Chat again soon!