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TE TROUBLE

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  • Rennasus
    Rennasus Member Posts: 642
    edited August 2011
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    vhshea, I hear you on "babysitting the incision"! I was nursing (pardon the pun) my incision for 5 months until it finally was removed. Can't tell you how much I $$$ I spent on Xeroform, gauze pads, bactriban and paper tape! I felt such relief after the TE was out. I can actually go without gauze, without tape, without worry (new incision is all healed! And quickly, i might add.). I wore a surgical vest for 5 months, can't bear to wear it either. Since I have one TE at 350ccs and nothing on the other side, the two non-wire bras I own hurt. So until I can get something figured out, I just go commando under clothes and have disconnected from caring how lopsided I look. I am enjoying my freedom! Hang in there! I sympathize on the skin fold too; I have one slight fold but unfortunately don't have all that much skin to fold!

  • drdolittle
    drdolittle Member Posts: 761
    edited August 2011
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    I had my bmx with TE 10/10. The first fill was extremely painful but i managed, the second fill about put me off the table. The right side was red and puffy on the upper part of the incision. I was admitted for I.V. antibiotics for three days and the appearance improved a little. I was sent home on antibiotics. Unfortunately, by Thanksgiving Eve I knew it was not right - saw the nurse practioner the Tuesday after the holiday and ended up having the expander removed that Friday. Felt much better almost instantly. I had a nasty gram negative infection in the pocket with my tissue expander - I wonder who's hind end contaminated my surgical wound. After much thought , tears and time I opted to switch plastic surgeons and hospitals. 4/11 TE replaced and exchanged is scheduled for 8/26. No issues to date but i want the implants in and incisions healed.

  • drdolittle
    drdolittle Member Posts: 761
    edited August 2011
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    I can relate - I went all winter with one tissue expander and one flat. Cammisoles and ruffles for blouses. I work as a veterinarian and dealt with the public every day. Thank goodness scrubs are baggy:)

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    drdolittle - sorry you had to be in the club here but glad your replaced TE worked out and now you are on the road to exchange!

    I got together with some of the BCO ladies here in the Tampa area today.  We had a great lunch and it was a lot of fun.  I couldn't drive due to the surgery so DH drove me.  I realized in the car that I forgot to wear a bra!!!  I tried the top on and totally meant to take it off , put the bra on and put the top back on.  It was a patterned top, and as we know they don't bounce anyway, right?  I felt like a doofus.

  • PlantLover
    PlantLover Member Posts: 132
    edited August 2011
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    Okay ... I just have to ask ... those of you that had your TEs removed and replaced, did you have radiation?  Sorry if I missed this info already.

  • Just_V
    Just_V Member Posts: 436
    edited August 2011
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    drdolittle - so glad you swapped out PSs... I called my PS on a Sunday with concerns about infection - he called back 10 minutes later, called in antibiotics to the pharmacy, and had me in his office the next day.  He opened the incision, expressed the fluid, and had me in the operating room the next day (said he wanted to operate on Monday but because I had eaten, we had to wait).  He said ANY infection in a TE and they need to come out immediatly... so even though I hate the four month setback, I trust my PS so much and that is sooo important.. so I am glad you like yours now... 

    Renn - the $$ on gauze alone!!!! Holy crap!  and paper tape!

  • drdolittle
    drdolittle Member Posts: 761
    edited August 2011
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    SpecialK - I had to laugh about forgetting your bra. It is so easy to do now since they dont move. I tend to wing the sports bra off whereever I am if it is at all uncomfortable. Found to sports bras in my brief case while paying a delivery man and then the bra I flung off in the barn while feeding my horse and the barn help found. Its really pretty funny.

    No radiation BMX10/6/10 with TE Infection removed TE 12/10 new PS new TE4/11 on arimidex since 11/11

  • Rennasus
    Rennasus Member Posts: 642
    edited August 2011
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    SpecialK: How fun you got to meet some BCO ladies! How many are in your area?

    vhshea: I don't know why they don't package gauze in pkgs larger than 25... I would go through a box every couple of days! At least it's tax deductible!

    I did not have radiation. I did not have an infection. I lost my TE due to poor circulation (my opinion; not sure what my PS's final determination is yet!)

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    plantlover - I had a BMX and complete node dissection so no rads.  My removed TE was due to skin healing issues from my surgery.

    drdolittle - I have also had a variety of prosthetics/bras in my purse that I have removed or taken off that I have forgotten about, and then run an errand or something, as I am rummaging around in the purse I see them! And so does everyone else!  You have to laugh!

    There were 5 BCO ladies at the lunch, there are more here but some had to work or had other commitments.  I think there are pretty frequent get-togethers though.  Found out that I have doctors and physical therapists in common with a couple of the ladies too.  It was really nice to see them all, even though we had never met before it was like we knew each other.

  • Kyta
    Kyta Member Posts: 273
    edited August 2011
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    Ren -  5 months is a long time to deal with incision issues….I'm sure you were fed up! Before my TE was finally removed, I was on IV for about 5 or 6 weeks, and the nurse would come to my home every afternoon (twice a day sometimes when she needed to do blood work in the morning), and the pharmacy would deliver meds and all kinds of other stuff once or twice a week (my house felt like a drugstore), and I was working full time (while lugging around my IV bag). I can't imagine going through that for any longer than I did. I'm sure you were so relieved when the TE came out and your incision finally healed. My remaining side was at 340 ccs so understand the lopsided issue and the pain with wearing a bra/prosthesis….when it hits the incision site, it's not at all comfortable. After about 1 month though I started to wear the bra/prosthesis because it was hard to dress for work. I couldn't wait to get in my car after work and undo my bra…what a relief.

    Drdolittle - Sorry to hear about your TE troubles, and glad to hear things are going well now. Good luck on the 26th with your exchange!

    Plantlover - No radiation for me.

    I'm finally going for a fill onThursday on my TE replaced side. It's at 230ccs now  (my right side is 340). Because of summer holidays at the hospital clinics I haven't had a fill since July 14th. If nothing else, this experience has taught me patience. My TEs were originally put in last Nov…I expected to have implants in by spring. Never expected this process would go on for so long. I find it hard not to be reminded of BC while this is dragging on. What about you ladies? Do you think it will be easier to move on from BC once you finally get the implants and don't have as many medical appts? 

  • Kyta
    Kyta Member Posts: 273
    edited August 2011
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    Oh and SpecialK - great that you were able to get together with some women from this site. Nice to put a name to a face isn't it? I was lucky to get together with Sharon50 and Konakat for lunch a few times…makes the online experience a bit more personal.

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    Mich_M - I shared your expectation that implant exchange would/should have come sooner, and have learned patience as well!  It has become a marathon as opposed to a sprint.  My original TE's were placed last November as well.  Your whole journey with the IV's and all had to be such a pain, and also scary!

    I really enjoyed meeting the FL ladies.  It does personalize things.  I was also fortunate that in my Feb chemo group there were two ladies that began exactly the same time as me and were on the same chemo cocktail.  We compared notes and SE's and had a very similar experience.  It helped not to feel so alone and we supported each other.  All three of us also worked in hospitals - weird, huh?

  • PlantLover
    PlantLover Member Posts: 132
    edited August 2011
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    Thank you for sharing if you had radiation!  I wish all of you success with your reconstruction! 

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    plantlover - thanks for the good wishes!  Sometimes the end of the road seems a long way off, but we will get there!

  • Lifeafter
    Lifeafter Member Posts: 298
    edited August 2011
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    Just saw my plastic surgeon.  I'll be having my tissue expander reinserted around Halloween.  I have a three month reprieve!  He also gave me a prescription for Soma.  My necj and shoulders are killing me from sleeping on my back!  Looking forward to taking one tonight!

    Michelle

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    mrochon - Yay for Halloween TE!  Is Soma a sleep med?

  • Lifeafter
    Lifeafter Member Posts: 298
    edited August 2011
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    Soma is a muscle relaxer. A nice muscle relaxer! :-)

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    mrochon - might need to ask my PS for that when I start fills!  I am glad you have some and will enjoy it!

  • Lifeafter
    Lifeafter Member Posts: 298
    edited August 2011
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    Special K - I'm reading alot on muscle spasms from fills but I never got any. Maybe I didn't feel them post op because it was hidden by the much greater pain. The only fill I had was the one before my TE was removed but that was only 30ccs. I'm thinking that was just cause it was such a little amount.



    Michelle

  • Just_V
    Just_V Member Posts: 436
    edited August 2011
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    michelle - i am so jealous - but my PS appt is tomorrow - maybe i will get a TE re-insertion date too!  i never even got a fill (sad thing is that even without a fill, my TE almost matched the size of my good boob... lol)

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    mrochon - I am still 100% aware of both the old TE and the new TE and the overwhelming feeling I had after BMX was pressure, not pain from the surgery.  I only have 120cc in the right, less in the left, and I feel the pressure all the time.  I am nervous about fills but my PS said we can go as slow as I want.  I was already thinking I would need a muscle relaxer.  I have Flexiril from the BMX but it didn't work very well for me.

    vhshea - never had a fill either - my 120cc puts me almost to the same size I was too.  With the new TE I am still lopsided because he didn't put very much saline in, and it is a weird shape so I can't wear anything thin or fitted unless I wear a bra, which is still uncomfortable.  That would be how I went to the lunch without one!

  • Rennasus
    Rennasus Member Posts: 642
    edited August 2011
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    It's weird, I feel my left TE as much today as I did when I first got it. Even with the right TEremoved, I still feel weird on that side. A muscle relaxer during the fill process sounds very wise!

  • BilateralMasectomyat39
    BilateralMasectomyat39 Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2011
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    Hi all.  I've been away for a while.  Evidently, the leak I got in my left breast was concerning to my PS when I went back yesterday for my first fill.  He determined there may be infection and needed to go in and clean it out.  I had surgery again today to remove the expander. I was hoping he could put back in.  But no such luck.  Have a drain in again.   I'll have to wait a while now to have it put back in and start over. :(  It seems that a lot of women with the expanders have issues with infections.  I wonder why it's so difficult to keep that at bay.

  • Just_V
    Just_V Member Posts: 436
    edited August 2011
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    Back from my PS appt, and he does not think I have sufficient skin to support the TE and eventual implant, so in six weeks I return to discuss flap surgery - which involves four days in the hospital

  • Rennasus
    Rennasus Member Posts: 642
    edited August 2011
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    BilateralMastectomyat39: I remember you from last month. So Sorry you ended up having the TE removed. Did he remove just the left TE? I had a drain again too. Hopefully yours will not be in very long. Please keep us posted! What antibiotics does he have you on>

    Vhshea: Shoot!! I'm so sorry to hear this. So your one TE is fine, you will need flap surgery on the other side? This is a such an incredible pain in the $## ERGH!!! (My PS mentioned that a flap was a possibility for me as well.) Do you think your PS knew all along (as in since your TE was removed) that you likely didn't have enough skin, or did something in your healing change his mind?

  • Rennasus
    Rennasus Member Posts: 642
    edited August 2011
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    vhshea, sorry, forgot you are a UMX! Disregard my one question! ;-)

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    bilat - sorry to hear about your TE - we all know how you are feeling.  It is disappointing, I know.  Pretty much it looks like if you develop an infection the TE comes out until it abates.  I was fortunate that I didn't have one either the first time, or this time, I just didn't heal.  This time I have a crazy rash - don't know what it means, but see the PS tomorrow.  It is always something, isn't it?

    vhshea - I am so sorry that your options have narrowed.  Hopefully what you are being offered will work for you and not be too much of an inconvenience.  I know facing a more invasive procedure and more hospital time is daunting.  Please know I am thinking of you.

  • Kyta
    Kyta Member Posts: 273
    edited August 2011
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    bilat - sorry for your news…it absolutely sucks to have it removed. I hope you recover well from surgery and get the drain out sooner than later.

    vhshea - I've wondered why some women with TEs/implants also have flap surgery. I thought the whole point of doing the TEs was to expand the skin enough to accommodate an implant? 

    SpecialK - what's up with the rash? Is it only on your breast?  

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,237
    edited August 2011
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    Mich_M - The rash is predominantly on the newly TE'd side with spreading in the cleavage and a little onto the right side.  I had itching from the same evening of the TE put-back surgery.  It is pretty red right now but the PS will see it tomorrow.  It may be an antibiotic reaction either from the Clindamycin they gave during surgery or the sulfa drug afterward - very common for me, but I was also itching under the compression bra, also common.  I was allergic to the camisole thing with the drain pockets when I had my BMX, as well as the hospital sheets.  I am hoping he will prescribe some Prednisone - that usually works and I am far enough out from the surgery.  I went today for physical therapy and the therapist refused to massage me because she was concerned that she would aggravate it!  I was bummed because I love that massage!

  • Kyta
    Kyta Member Posts: 273
    edited August 2011
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    HI SpecialK - I hope it's nothing to worry about, that it's just some skin sensitivities….let us know what the PS said.

    I went for a fill today on my re-inserted TE side and I'm happy to say it was a breeze…no pain or muscle spasms. Two more fills on that side and I'll be back to where I was Jan 20th and will match the ride side again:) Seems like forever ago.

    Mich