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Unilateral mastectomy & reconstruction

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Comments

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    littlechick - I think we can all relate!  I could have had my surgery in August, and as much as I want this surgery done an over with, I opted to wait until summer is over.  It was an awful winter here, and I just want to enjoy the good weather as much as I can before being laid up in a recliner again.  Keep us posted on your progress.

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    I am new to this posting,mi had a uni mast in Dec2013. With Immediate TE reconstruction, I had my transfer on 5/29/2014. I am scheduled for my lift on my right breast on Thursday 7/10/2014 and I am scared to death as I am right handed and worried about pain and healing.i am loving my new 800/45 silicone implant and have not decided on a nipple or not yet also, my worries for my reduction are that all,of my nerves and tissue are still going to be there unlike the mastectomy which I had pain pump and a 3 day hospital stay, any words of advice for the reduction pain and healing process?

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    I also took a break wanting to enjoy my pool and boating for a bit before I continued, I also like the way the healthy breast looks with clothes on looks very natural with my implant, wondering if I want to continue with the symmetry or leave things be, as the PSsaid it will be like apples and oranges, so do I take the chance and loose feeling in my nipple there too??? Any advice is greatly appreciated

  • vettegirl
    vettegirl Member Posts: 136
    edited July 2014

    I had a lift on my right side-they moved the nipple up, and also put in a small TE so we can get symmetry when we do my exchange.  I have full feeling in that breast which is great.  I do have quite a bit of scarring though-for now anyways-hope to work on scarring after the excahnge.  I am happy to have one breast that is mostly mine-for feeling and looks-makes me feel better about things.  I didnt have much pain in that breast-not as much as the masectomy.

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    I already had my TEremoved and implant exchanged in May, so we are doing symmetry on natural breast to match implant, my PS did not say anything about another TE being put in. I am hoping for breast that matches my implant. I also feel like at least one is mine, for feeling, my PS has done an amazing job with my incisions in my mast breast 1 incision across the breast , and the other is a small incision under the breast for the implant exchange, I am confident they will fade almost completely . Still scared for this lift. I have also noticed that I have had a fungus skin rashes on my breast a few months ago with medication it cleared up, I have another one now in between my breasts, should I contact PS about it being surgery is Thursday? I am putting the cream on and it is fading. I am a 40D cup, I am thinking it is due to sweating maybe

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    good morning , well I SHOULD be waiting in the hospital at this time to go into surgery for my lift, BUT,, I have a rash between my breasts so I am on antibiotics and surgery postponed till next Thursday, I am very anxious with this lift and just want it over with, another week of anxiety,,,,

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    Jeanie, how frustrating!  I sympathize with you, I can't imagine being prepared, mentally and getting your ducks in a row, only to have it postponed!  

    (below is a copy and past of mine from the March Surgery Sisters board)

    Just had my final fill, I am now at 655 cc's. Dr. and I discussed my
    final surgery. He wanted to take some nipple from my good breast and
    make a new nipple for surgical side , but I don't have a large enough
    aerola so that won't be happening. He also discussed filling in some of
    the "pocket" areas that will be sunk in slightly with fat from other
    parts of my body. Like above the implant and under the arm. I.E.
    liposuction it out and insert around the implant for softness. He said
    insurance does not cover a portion of this, but said, as long as your
    under if your going to get it done get it done, and most of it will be
    covered. He told me he would provide me with my cost, and he deeply
    discounts breast cancer patients. I have not heard of this from anyone
    else - does anyone else have a story to relate to this? P.S. the date
    I picked for my surgery is his birthday - wasn't sure if that was a
    good thing or bad thing then he started cracking jokes about going and
    partying at the strip clubs the night before. He saw the deer in the
    headlights look on my face, then started cracking up laughing. I'm glad
    he's got a sense of humor!

  • mimsey
    mimsey Member Posts: 5
    edited July 2014

      I started new thread but wondering what people think "I fairly new to site . I had L mastectomy and TE placed ...found out after would need radiaton so not exchanging until next year but have to decide how much to expand now . If I do implant obviously need more fluid placed than if I just lift my unaffected R breast . I am doing Pro con list but would love any opinions from people who have had surgery . I am B cup if that maqkes difference I am triple negative and just finishing up chemo (carbo,taxol,,AC)"

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    Mimsey - I guess I'm confused - what exactly is your question?  Whether to have fills in the tissue expander?

  • aff
    aff Member Posts: 33
    edited July 2014

    frostecat - I have not had it done yet as I need to wait till after rads but fat grafting is quite common in flap reconstruction surgeries. I am on the DIEP 2014 thread and most stage 2 surgeries include fat grafting. 

    Jeanie - I  so sorry for your delay

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    I'll check out that thread.  Thanks.

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    I am lucky that I did not have to have chemo or radiation, and just SN was removed as it has not spread further, thank goodness,Frostecat, my dr is going to remove the fat from under my armpit from the implant side after we do the lift, that is next procedure , he is having  Insurance cover it all, it depends on how they code it, mine is going to tell Ins it is very painful and hindering my success and survival of my healing properly, he is awesome, if I don't like how the lift looks after full healing he will put implant in that also and tell ins. That there were problems with the procedure,. Thank you for the support on the delay, for some reason I am more scared of this than my mastectomy

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    I also have an indent in my chest when I lay down, I wonder if my doc can fill them like Alf is talking about.? Something to check out.

  • birdlady222
    birdlady222 Member Posts: 185
    edited July 2014

    I had a mastectomy with implant and immediate reconstruction on the left, and a lift on the right all on the same day.  I am very pleased with the result.I had almost no pain at all in the lift side.  Of course, mastectomy side was more uncomfortable.  The PS did an excellent job of making them match even better than they did pre-surgery!  This surgery was done in April, and I have very little scarring on the lift side, with a bit more on the mastectomy side.  I have normal feeling in the nipple on the lift side with no numbness.  I am still considering what to do about nipple on mastectomy side, but it needs to heal more, so I have time.  I am really thinking that I will do the 3D tattoo and be happy with that.  My swimsuit fits perfectly, and you would never know that I had surgery. I think you need a PS that you have total faith in.  Mine is an amazing artist, and skillful surgeon!  Good luck with your decision!

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    thank you Birdlady222 as I have total trust and faith in my surgeon, he is gentle and caring and not bad on the eyes either if you get my drift,,,lol,, I also think I have decided on the 3D nipple, Iif I proceed with one at all, my DH is fine the way it is and so am I at this time, I mean whose gonna see it anyways besides him n I,,,lol,,,my breasts look pretty good right now in clothes, unless you knew what it have been through you could not tell, and this is before lift. I am also right handed so worried about healing and pain more than before because I babied my left side while healing,,by using my right hand, worried about getting in and out of bed, and bathroom, I was in a lot of pain with mastectomy even with pain pump and meds,,,,,

  • scubalady
    scubalady Member Posts: 49
    edited July 2014

    I'm jumping in on this thread.  I had UMX on the right with lift and reduction on the left.  I'm done with all my fills and am at 660cc.  I'm also pushing off my exchange until September so I can enjoy my summer, so right now it looks like it will be the 3rd or the 17th.

    Frostcat, is your exchange and reduction both being done on the 9th?

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    Scuba - yes.  You and I seem to be on the same track other than the fact that you had your lift/reduction prior to mine being at the end.  It seems to me that PS's have different ways of doing things.  Can't wait for this to be all behind me, definitely not looking forward to another surgery and drains.  I just read on the June board about another UMX who has regrets - I really dunno if I made the right decision, but I'm going with it, what else can I do?

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    Frostecat,,,, I don't believe I am going to be having drains for my lift. There are very few of us that have the Unimx, like I stated earlier I am more scared for my surgery this Thursday than I was before, I don't know if it's because when first diagnosed everything happened so fast and this hopefully "last" few procedures,I have time to think about. In any event I can't wait for this all to be over.

  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748
    edited July 2014

    I had UMX 26 months ago.  I seriously struggled emotionally with it and still do..........I had breast reduction a year ago and started on recon with fat transfer.  First one went fine, second one failed abysmally and I got massive but rare infection and lost all my new tissue.  I am left with lots of fibrosis, and some necrosis........plastic surgeon told me no option except fat transfer as area really just skin and bone..  Since then have had one successful fat transfer.  Talked to PS about how many future procedures etc and he would not commit himself at all except to say it would be well over a year (making around 3 to 4 years in total).  

    For the first time he was implying that he may not be able to create an entire new "breast" and that maybe i would be happy to just have fat to allow me to wear lower cut clothes (not low cut just normal cut) and to not be sunken below......it seems I am a difficult case as had such rare infection, he cannot put too much fat in at once due to fibrosis and fact that I had such a serious (life threatening) infection, that my ribs are more or less on the surface (it seems some muscle was removed during my so called modified radical mx).  I could not even post until today as I am so upset about this, I burst in to tears on him and told him I never feel normal and its been so long already.......I do trust my PS, he is good at what he does but I definitely have the sense I am a big challenge.  I was not a good candidate for DIEP due to vertical scars, lat dorsi not recommended for me and literally no room even for an expander........so its fat or nothing..............

    Anyone any comments, I dare not even talk about it as I am so upset, I have worked so hard emotionally and physically to get as far as I am and it takes a lot of emotional energy to keep going...............I feel so different everywhere I go, I never fit in, and now I don´t even make a "normal" plastic surgery patient..............

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    awwww Lily55, thank you for sharing, and as I am replying I have tears running down my cheeks, I have had 2 setbacks through out my procedures and this whole BC journey we are all thrown in is so emotional like I was pushed in a washing machine and stuck on rinse cycle!  On the outside we seem so brave, my friends say ,,, your the strongest woman I know, your so brave! On the inside I am waiting for a private minute to breakdown and cry,  when STRONG is all we have , that's what we do!   I recently went to the Relay for Life in my town and Knew a bunch of people and women I used to hang out with, needless to say I was NOT embraced by my so called "friends" and within hundreds of people there for the same thing, I never felt so alone in my whole life!!!!! Keep the faith in your PS , but have you gotten 2, maybe 3rd opinion?,  i hope you find some comfort and peace and I will be thinking of you, please keep me posted!  Hugz. j

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    (((hugs))) Lily.  I'm so sorry for all that you are going through.  Your story is not a good one indeed.  It sounds like you have been put through the gambit and are continuing to do so.  I hope ultimately that you are happy with the results, it is such a long time for you already but what else is can you do but keep on keeping on.  Prayers for you that the rest of your procedures go well and without incident.  It is amazing what PS's can do, so I guess you gotta keep the faith.  

    I think we all have emotional break downs.  I consider myself a pretty tough person emotionally, I'm not a big crier for sure, even through this whole ordeal.  But I gotta say, last night I was changing into my pajamas and looked at myself naked in the mirror and tears came to my eyes and I said to my DH "I look like a circus freak".  I am so so ungodly lopsided right now, after my very last fill Wednesday, that one is so round and hard and up to my chin, and the other is hanging what seems to be to my waist - it's not a pretty sight.  I remind myself every minute of every day to be patient - SOME DAY it will get better.

  • Unknown
    edited July 2014

    i am definately a strong person and dont break down easily but this is larger than me and i have kept a positive outlook  but I still have my days like you said. my implant is 45/800 naturelle  silicone and I have worn my genie bras and also started wearing my surgical bra to bed as it seems my implant has,, dropped some and has some rippling if I bend over and indents when I lie down. I have my lift coming up on thursday and then another procedure on the MX side under my armpit where it has gathered some folds of skin so I am going to address this with my PS and see if he can give me a little nip and tuck to hold that implant up... Hang in there Frostecat.... we arent finished yet with our procedures and with confidence in our PS we should have the best outcomes.. if not satisfied then we keep on until we are,,,,there are alot of positive stories here also, my heart goes out to the ones that are having a rough go of their surgeries..... J

  • mimsey
    mimsey Member Posts: 5
    edited July 2014

      Question is to have implant on on natural side to be match Mastectomy side after exchange  or just have lift of R breast

  • scubalady
    scubalady Member Posts: 49
    edited July 2014

    Frostcat, just wanted to let you know that I did have one drain on my lift/reduction side, but I don't know if that might have been because the UMX was done then or because he needed to take a lot off my reduced side.  He had to take my IMF incision all the way to my side so that he could remove some skin and prevent the "dog ear" on my reduced side.  If he'd done lipo to remove the "side boob" stuff I had going on, I would have had a large flap of skin.

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    Mimsey - depending on your size, I feel that is a call you should make with your PS.  I personally didn't need an implant, I have plenty of boobage, I need the lift/reduction.  I would think if you are of a smaller persuasion, and want to go larger, you may need to consider an implant, but that is definitely a call between you and your PS.  Only HE (or she) will be able to tell you what (s)he can and can not do.

    I have already been told that I will have a drain for my next surgery UGH!  And I am having lipo under the armpit area too.

  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748
    edited July 2014

    Can´t you do fat transfer without the Brava?

  • debiann
    debiann Member Posts: 447
    edited July 2014

    I don't think they can transfer as much fat without the Brava, at least that's what my PS said. He is willing to try Brava, but has never used it before. The cost and inconvience are steering me away from this option, but haven't decided for sure yet.

  • Frostecat
    Frostecat Member Posts: 223
    edited July 2014

    Curious - how many of you at this point in time would have went with a BMX?

  • aff
    aff Member Posts: 33
    edited July 2014

    I have no regrets. I am pretty happy with the symmetry and am only 5.5 weeks out from DIEP. If I choose to have a stage 2 surgery it will only make it better. I am happy to still have a natural breast with natural feeling. I am happy that I have been able to do almost everything with my right side which has made recovery much easier. I honestly would not go back and change a thing. I am very much at peace with my decision to go with UMX and I am thrilled with my decision to go with DIEP reconstruction. 

  • RebeccaA
    RebeccaA Member Posts: 11
    edited July 2014

    I think about that quite often.  At diagnosis in Sept. 2013, I just wanted to get the bad breast off and really didn't give much thought to the other one.  I did have my doctor check the good one with an ultrasound before surgery, since all the wonderful mammograms I had over the years utterly failed to detect the large tumor growing in my right breast. Anyway, my doctor did not encourage a BMX and I did not want to deal with any additional unnecessary surgery.  I know that having a mastectomy is no guarantee against the cancer returning, so that was another factor that was in favor of the uni. 

    Right now I am scheduled for removal of the TE on Sept. 26, and I'm meeting with the surgeon this afternoon about it.  Struggling to decide on silicone versus saline  and whether to get a small implant on the good side for the sake of symmetry.