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Latissimus Dorsi Breast Reconstruction

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Comments

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83

    Cindy- I have slept on my sides for weeks.  It is sometimes uncomfortable but not always.  My PS insists that unless I used a sharp object on the girls, there's not much I could do to undo his surgical work.  He is pretty confident! So I just do whatever doesn't hurt!

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    Thanks Tam because I am a side sleeper and have had 2 days now sleeping in my bed. My PS says the same thing.  I am so so lucky to have the PS I have.

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    The new silicone implants are different than the old ones that they took off the market.  If you have watched a video of one where they have cut it and then squeezed, some of the silicone comes out but when you release it  then it goes back in the capsule.  I am not afraid of these new ones.  I knew I would be happy with the silicone but not so sure of the saline so that is why I chose silicone.  I have heard that the gummy bears are hard. 

    I am a side sleeper also.  I think it is good to lay on the implants.  It helps to keep the pocket open...I do feel that we have less problems because of the LD flaps.

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    Hi Everyone - Did you ever feel that there might be something wrong in the beginning?  It feels like something might be out of joint on my right side.  Sometimes I feel like liquid dripping and sometimes it feels like the muscle is actng weird.  I don't have the same feeling on the left side.

    I'm going to see if I can get into the drs tomorrow.  My appt is Tuesday but I just want to make sure everything is good.

    Cindy

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    The only thing that I went in to see my PS about (not a scheduled appt) was a pain I was having when I would take a deep breath and he assured me that it was nothing. He was right and it went away.  This was during my tissue expansion.....and my muscles always acted weird..LOL

    Always call your PS when things do not seem right.  Better to be safe than sorry.  Let us know what you find out.

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    Will do.  I see the PS CMA and another PS in the office tomorrow.  My PS isnt back until next week and her assist not sure what happened there cause she was suppose to expand me tomorrow.

    I'll get back to you.  Thanks again!

    Cindy

  • kaiote
    kaiote Member Posts: 6

    Hello again all, my surgery is is scheduled for 1st July and I'm starting to get nervous, but thanks to all you wonderful ladies I am well informed! Thank you. I'm wondering if anyone had a sentinal node scan before surgery? The hospital says it's routine here (NZ) and that my questions will be answered when I go for my pre op appointment 23rd June! Thanks

    Debbie 

    A brca1 sister

  • kaiote
    kaiote Member Posts: 6

    Also how do I pm Timtam please as I would really like to see the pictures before my surgery if possible. Sorry I can't figure it out!

  • SusanZ1961
    SusanZ1961 Member Posts: 8

    Hi Ladies,

     Well I had my LD Flap with immediate implants on Friday 6/4/10.  Everything went just as planned and I am very happy with how the girls look 4 days out.  I was supposed to have Memory Gel 400 & 450, but my PS said when they sat me up they just didn't look like "right", so she made the decision to use a Saline contoured 400 in the LD Flap side and a 450 Memory Gel in the right side and I have to say the look very good so far, thank God for experienced PS.   I have had very little pain or even discomfort since the surgery.  My back and chest feel a little tight and sore but controlled with Tylenol.  I was on a pain pump from Friday until Sunday afternoon but really didn't use it much.  I am very tired and constipated.  Lots of rest and stool softners should take care of that.  Looking forward to getting my drains out and seeing my PS on Monday!

  • Stanzie
    Stanzie Member Posts: 1,611

    Kaiote - There is a thread on SNB which may help you. It looks like there are very wide differences in the reactions woman experience. My experience was they got me horribly upset before it all happened and when the radiologist came in he calmed me down and I didn't have any problem at all. However I with I had been more informed before going in. Seems like they also have different ways of doing it.

    Susan- glad everything went well and sounds like your PS did a great job. I was very concerned about the differences in size and feel with my implants which also were immediate. I finally found the card they gave me ( actually had no idea I had gotten one) and I did get the same size on both sides but they are different , so??? 

    I apparently have small implants since reading most posts all over this site. Mine are 240. I didn't really know they were that small so hope they are OK size wise on me. 

    One thing I am wondering, does anyone else feel like it is "different" to put the new breasts into bra cups? To me it is more like they are a bit lower and heavier than my old ones so it is just odd. 

    I had my apt. with my breast surgeon who obviously sees lots and lots of reconstructuions. He said I'm so glad you went with the Lat as it gives the most natural appearence. So I was very glad to hear that. Also said that there are the least complictions or problems with this surgery so it is his top choice. 

    Cindy - hope everything is OK. I agree, go back and get checked. I think they want the best outcome as well. At least with my PS and I think a lot on this site, they are very proud of being able to do reconstruction and it means a lot to them as well for you to like what they created and they want to know they have helped. 

  • photobug
    photobug Member Posts: 2

    I just want to thank everyone for sharing their experiences.  I'm scheduled for a right side mastectomy with immediate lat flap reconstruction on July 6.  I'm starting to get nervous, but hearing everyone's stories helps immensly.  I hadn't even considered how this might affect my sleeping patterns - I'm glad to hear some of you are able to sleep on your side again - I've never been able to sleep on my back, always been a side sleeper.  It's something that I didn't even think to worry about.  Thanks to everyone's posts, I now have a list of questions for my PS - prior to this I felt like I had a ton of questions, but didn't even know where to start or how to articulate them.

    Sending positive thoughts to everyone who is healing.  

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308

    photobug, 

    I too am a side sleeper & I was able to sleep on my side within a week or so & I had a bi lat-lat flap.  I had to roll over carefully, but once I got over there, I was able to sleep very well.

    Good luck, Dee

  • SusanZ1961
    SusanZ1961 Member Posts: 8

    Photobug,

    I had left LD flap with implant and implant on right side and I slept in the hospital bed on my back for 3 nights.  Once home I have been sleeping in my bed on both sides or back.  I have had very little pain and only took pain meds, including Tylenol, for four days. I am not taking any meds at this time.  I am waiting for the swelling to go down on the left side before I pass judgment on my new set of girls.  Right now I fell very lopsided because of the swelling from the LD flap. 

    Stanzie,

    I have two different type and size implants.  I have saline 300CC on Lat side and 450 Gel on right side.  my ps said it was the best fit for me.  we will see......

  • tamgam
    tamgam Member Posts: 83

    I too am a sidesleeper.  It took me a few weeks after surgery to get there.  I wish I had discovered the rolled pair of socks back then.  Everyone has their own device to help them, but I really like wedging the socks between the girls before I lay on my side.  It takes some of the pressure off the TE on top and makes for a comfy rest.  I have seen some pretty R-rated devices from websites for the same purpose but let's not go there! Hugs to all!

  • Faythnme
    Faythnme Member Posts: 92

    Hey there ladies -  I know I havent been on since my last post.  Well everything is going really well.  I haven't missed 1 expansion.  I am notat 520cc today and will be goingt to 800cc per the PS assistant.   She said today that she is so impressed that I am able to take so much and not be taking any pain pills.  Its been 4 weeks now since my last pain pill.  I have aother appt next week and the week following.  I figure there is no reason to miss an expansion unless the PS says to take a break.  Of course if there isnt enough stretch to begive they won't do it. 

    I am kind of finally in bed and sleeping on my sides, mostly my left side.  If I get restless then I am back on the sofa.

    Oh and get this, I finally went back to work this week part time (4 hours).  Well last Saturday I fractured my right pink toe.  I crunched it all back together, taped it, iced it and elevated it.  The orthopedic said if I hadn't done that because of the way the break was I probably would have had to have surgery to put a pin in.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!  lol   No more surgeries until the exchange. So now I am limping around in sandles in the rain.  2 things I can't stand....wet feet and cold feet.  ugh!!!! LOL

    Cindy @ --{--{--

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Cindy,  I am so glad things are going great with your expansions.  Some of our sisters suffer so much with theirs.  I did not have any problems either.  Isn't it great to start sleeping on your sides again.  That was the best feeling for me.  So sorry about your pinky toe...surgery for a pinky???  So glad you fixed it yourself. 

    take care

    Linda

  • pamela47
    pamela47 Member Posts: 3

    Hi everyone, It is awhile since I had my bilateral LD - 13th August 2009. Took me until November to start to feel almost normal and then I developed an infection in my left side - it swelled to twice it's proper size and caused me to feel very ill.  I was admitted to hospital and had the implant removed and washed & replaced.  I was then given 2 different IV's - one was  flushingout my left side.  I started to improve dramatically, and left hospital after 6 days - arrived home on 5th December for my hubby's birthday ( he cooked me a lovely birthday dinner)!  On leaving hospital I was told that I had a 50/50 chance of it coming back.  So as you can imagine I was very nervous for some time and was kept on antibiotics until early January.

    I have been wonderful every since then, the "iron bra" feeling is still there but decreasing all the time.  Back scars are still a little tender but not the scars in the front.  I am very happy with the result and was able to wear summer tops without a bra on the very hot days - what a blessing!!!

    I have continually read all your postings during this time and have been following everyone.  I am in Australia (Melbourne), but feel so close to you all. Continued success with your healing, I never thought I would start to feel this good when I was going through everything, so believe me there is a "silver lining" to all this.  God Bless!   Pam

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Hello Pam

    Wonderful news you have to share with us.  It has been 2 yrs since my surgery and everything has gone well.  I just finished by adding tattooing for color on my grafted areolas.  I too have the tightness from my underarms across my chest.  I pray that one day it will decide just to go away along with the menopause hot flashes...LOL...I will have the biggest party ever when that happens.  I have enjoyed going without a bra on these very hot days.

    so glad you came to share your happiness

  • Diane509
    Diane509 Member Posts: 42

    6 Weeks RANGE OF MOTION DISTRESS CALL.......S.O.S. 

    Hi ladies.... Ok today is the 6 week anniversary of my surgery.  I am so frustrated with my range of motion.  I was never assigned any specific range of motion exercises except doing itsy-bitsy-spider in the shower. But I can't even do that very high.  My PS says it's my fault for not doing a little every day, but I have experienced a lot of pain every day without doing anything.  I'm still on pain meds and wonder when I am ever going to feel human again.  I found some post breast surgery exercises on the internet and will try to start them tomorrow no matter how hard it is...

    Where is everyone at as far as range of motion and pain at the 6 week mark?  8 weeks?  12?

    I still haven't had my first post op fill.  Cry 

  • Shrek4
    Shrek4 Member Posts: 519

    Diane,

    I was told no exercises either, just stretching. It took me about 2 1/2 months to be totally pain-free and the "iron bra" feeling went away about 3 1/2 months after that. It might be different with you though, I had direct implants put in at the time of the LD flap surgery. Had to wear a "stretch band" above the implants from the 2nd to the 4th month to make them "drop" properly. Right now the only tightness I feel is from the scars of the LD, on my back towards the waist - and it gets worse when there's bad weather. It's not too bad though, and when it comes, if I do a few stretches it goes away.

    I am 8 months after the surgery and I can tell you I never got my full strength back. I had full range of motion the day after the surgery (maybe me beign an ex-gymnast was helpful) but the strength in my arms and hands is about 50% of what it once was. I still have problems turning on the side in bed (I'm a side sleeper) and only in the last 2-3 weeks I was able to do it more smoothly, not struggle to do it. It is possible that your LD was too short-cut (if you go on the photo forum, there is a lady who had this problem). Right now, just wait to heal. The swelling I think didn't completely go away for me for 2 months and maybe more. And keep trying to do those little exercises.I did them all the time, maybe 10 times a day. And yes, it did hurt, but in the long run, it helped with motion and not hurting anymore. Make sure you have a muscle relaxer like Flexeril, that helps the most, and it helps also in letting the muscle distend to make room for the implant (TE in your case).

  • pamela47
    pamela47 Member Posts: 3

    Diane, like you I still have trouble turning from side to side in bed, it always wakes me and quite often I disturb my husband as times it is very awkward and painful.  It is 10 months since my surgery.  My range of movement in my left arm is not very good, I cannot wash my back with that arm in the shower, sometimes driving hurts my arm/shoulder as well.  I have done my exercisers regulary, but this left side is a "pain"!  Cheers, Pam

  • pamela47
    pamela47 Member Posts: 3

    Linda, not sure where my reply to you went, must have hit the wrong button.   I was just asking you if you still get sharp pains and twangs in your "new girls".I do from time to time and quite often they are sharp enough to take my breath away.  You are 14months ahead of me and I was wondering if this has stopped for you.     Cheers, Pam

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Pamela

    I am doing fine.  No pains or twangs.  I only experienced the sharp pains when I would take a deep breath during my expansion but those just came and went.

    Diane, you should have received a phamplet showing the range of motion stretches.  I did all of them everyday and I had no problems with my range.  I also had the problem with turning from side to side but I had not thought about it until I read your post.  It just got better and I did not realize it LOL....

    Your strength does come back but you have to work at it.  I do strength training and now 2 years since my surgery I am lifting more weight than I was 2 yrs ago. 

    The only complaint I have is the tight bra feeling that is still with me.  Maybe I will just get use to it or one day it will just go away.

    take care sisters

  • Shrek4
    Shrek4 Member Posts: 519

    I don't have a tight bra feeling. Just a bra feeling. Like I am wearing a bra I can't ever take off. It' snot tight though. I guess I'm just feeling the implants.

    My PS told me no PT or anything. He said to reserve that after the revision.

  • Diane509
    Diane509 Member Posts: 42

    My physical therapist's office just called me with a cancellation for this Friday... yeah.  Yesterday I was still really hurting, thought I would try the Celebrex... woke up with my legs aching... so I will stop that and I am going to try today to cold turkey off the hydrocodone again and take 500 mg of Acetaminophen instead every 6 hrs.  I'm so sick of the drugs. My heart goes out to all of you needing chemo, I can't handle popping a pill.  

    Day: Thanks for your input.  It's comforting to know I am not just a late healer.  There seem to be as many who experience lack of range of motion and muscle strength as those who have said they have regained it all.  I hope this isn''t just a case of the glass half empty instead of half full!

    As far as my TE's go...I kind of wish I hadn't asked for slightly bigger frankenboobs than before.  The ones I got right out of surgery are big enough and it seems like I could have been a candidate for going straight into implants without the TE's and no subsequent surgery... who knows.  All I know is the TE's burn and tingle and feel scratchy and awkward.  Like something square was fit into a round hole.  I hope the exchange down the road is as easy as the doctor says and more comfortable.

    Linda: Thanks for your input too. I used to be a tosser and a turner.  No more.  I did fall asleep this morning after getting up once on my side.  Not on purpose, I just got into position and found myself on my side, thought to myself, I'll just lay here for a minute to see how it feels and 2 hrs later I woke up.  (it stung pretty good when I woke up)  Did you have SNB on the left?

    Day: Ditto, thanks for the input... I did get told to move as much as possible as soon as possible.  But that's it.  I never got a brochure about what types of exercises.  Maybe I got a handout with some bad cartoon sketches on my preop 10 page ...sign here... this could happen to you release form!  Anyway, I found one now on the internet.  For some reason I cannot seem to make myself do them.  What's wrong with me?  All this fear and crying jags have made me crazy.  Today I am going to try and rid myself of part of the cause... the narcotics.

    It's a nice day here in Spokane ...finally.  We are having JUNE-UARY here.  Going to take my Beagle Buddy...for a short walk.  

    Happy days to all.

    Diane 

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Diane

    I did have SNB on the left side 25 years ago when I had a lumpectomy with rads.

  • Shrek4
    Shrek4 Member Posts: 519

    Diane... it will go away. In the first months, I was feeling the implants like some cold, slimy animal who was plastered on my chest. Or, if you want, like some towels someone had soaked in water, folded and put them on my chest. The feeling goes away, it's just our bodies telling us that there's something there that doesn't belong.

    Just be careful later - you need to protect your "foobs" from cold. They don't have the same "padding" as natural boobs have, and they can get COLD really fast. 

  • Annabella58
    Annabella58 Member Posts: 916

    Hi LD ladies, Linda, I like your new "mysterious" photo :)

    Day, how pretty you are!  You look like Amanda Seyfreid, that little actress in Mama Mia!

    Linda, I just got a thought....My PS had told me that the tight bra would be exacerbated by lifting heavy items and to avoid it if possible.  I do lift stuff, but he said weights were never a good idea, ever again as they would cause the muscles to spasm.

    Do you think it might be worthwhile to lay off the lifting, just do stretches and see what happens for the tight bra?

    I have to say, I followed this advice, and while I now sport "bat wing" upper arms, I no longer have the iron bra and mine was pretty bad.  When I do life, I stretch religiously afterwards.  No more iron bra.

    ....just a (hopefully) helpful thought....

    Also, I am 2 1/2 years out, and the funniest thing....I got all the sensation back everywhere.  I noticed that this is preceeded by stabbing pains in the foob and intense itching.  Sure enough, next day after, feeling.  All of it, hot cold, everything.  I was watching TV and i got a stabber pain in the foob and said to my husband "wow, my boob hurt!"...then we realized, I had no feeling in it, so how could it hurt? 

    It think the sharp pains and itching are the nerves regenerating....PS agrees.

    Take care all

    xoxo

    annie

  • Diane509
    Diane509 Member Posts: 42

    Thanks Day...   

    Aren't all the descriptions we come up with to explain the sensations to others funny?

    How long does it take to recover from the exchange?  I don't know why I am dreading that.  I'm still dreading my first fill on June 30 (maybe).

  • Linda54
    Linda54 Member Posts: 509

    Hello Annie

    I think I have tried everything for this tightness.  I had it before I got back into strength training and at that time I did leave off working my Lats and pecs but as time went on without any relief I started working those muscles also and it has not gotten any worse so in my opinion strength training is not affecting my tightness either way.  I have recently increased the amount of weight I am lifting.  I don't do pushups anymore or anything that distorts my implants.  I got so tired of doing those stretches so now I only do the stretches that keeps my range of motion in check.  I think I am getting use to the tightness because it does not bother me as much as it use to but it is still there. 

    WOW you got feeling back...that is great news. 

    The mysterious photo...lol...I am just showing off my new eyebrows that Earleen tattooed for me.

    Thanks for posting with your advice.  Since the tightness is tolerable I think I will continue to lift and maybe one day it will just go away along with these hot flashes then we will party hardy...hehehe

    take care sister