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...

DIEP Flap Reconstruction 2017

1568101144

Comments

  • jbdayton
    jbdayton Member Posts: 163
    edited April 2017

    Welcome to KCMC. She sent the following introduction:

    'Hi:

    Can you please add me to your list. I am having the DIEP Flap surgery on May 22nd Hudson Valley Hospital, NY Dr. Koch and Dr. Ashikari. This website has been invaluable to me and I think I might have lost my mind if I didn't find all you ladies! I was diagnosed March 13th with multifocal IDC Breast Cancer. ER and PR positive and HER2 negative. Each tumor around One Centimeter. Once the weekend is over I will start to chime in.'

    I hope everyone has a grand weekend!

    I am sending positive prayers for good healing to those in recovery.

  • Falconer
    Falconer Member Posts: 801
    edited April 2017
    Cdv- how was your follow up?
  • cdv4251992
    cdv4251992 Member Posts: 110
    edited April 2017

    The doctor said the infection is gone. He cleared off some skin and then said "How about if I just stitch this up so we can speed the healing so you can start chemo?" And that's what he did, with 4 student nurses observing in the very crowded exam room. It was just like giving birth in a teaching hospital, lol. My poor husband was thinking they would schedule an outpatient thing and was a little unprepared for it all to just go down right then and there, but he did great and it interesting to watch.I felt nothing being so numb.

    I follow up in 2 weeks. Still on part time work until then. Hopefully next week the MO will have a start date for me.

  • suzzyq
    suzzyq Member Posts: 11
    edited April 2017

    Hi everyone,

    JBdayton can you please add me to your list. I am having the DIEP Flap surgery on May 17th Bon Secours St Francis Medical Center with Dr Darrin Hubert in Richmond VA. I just love this community, what a blessing to find you all. I had my Bilateral Masectomy with expanders in Jan. But have been waiting to have my diep flap surgery due to scheduling conflict. Did anyone have liposuction to fill in their new breast? If so how was it? I know its a long time away for it but I was just wondering?

    I will keep everyone in my prayers for a speedy recovery.


  • jbdayton
    jbdayton Member Posts: 163
    edited April 2017

    cdv, so glad to hear your infection is gone. I know you are anxious to continue with your treatments. I hope you get started soon. I can picture the shock on your husbands face.

    Suzzyq,It is very common to have fat grafting via liposuction to improve your symmetry and shape during a phase 2. This is scheduled for 3 or more months following your initial flap surgery. Sometimes more than 1 session is required. The donor sites are usually sore for a few weeks but it is worth it.

    To all who are healing and those stressing over an upcoming procedure I have you in my prayers.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884
    edited April 2017

    And we too are with all of you in our thoughts. suzzyq, welcome, and thanks for sharing your story and supportive words!

  • RTChris
    RTChris Member Posts: 17
    edited April 2017

    I have a question
    I noticed today that the inferior incision of my flap seems just a little 'weepy' and I think it has a little odor. I've used diluted hydrogen peroxide to clean it and went back to bandaging. Has anyone else found their incisions seems 'off' ?

  • jbdayton
    jbdayton Member Posts: 163
    edited April 2017

    I would call the after hours number for your surgeon for advise. They might have you send pictures or just walk you through some cleaning techniques and suggestions. Every surgeon is different.

  • kcmc
    kcmc Member Posts: 66
    edited April 2017

    Thank you jdbayton for hosting this sight. I will be following vigantly. I am scheduled to have a bilateral mastectomy on May 22nd with immediate DIEP Flap reconstruction. 2 Tumors in left breast 1.3 cm and 1 cm both er and pr positive her2 negative grade 2, supposedly no lymph node involvement on sonogram and mri having right breast removed prophylatically but not gene positive. Very nervous about surgery but ironically it isn't soon enough was diagnosed on March 13th and surgery is not til May 22nd. Have had mammograms at age 35, 37, 39, 40-47. Felt a lump one month before my scheduled mammogram. Never seen this on my radar but I am sure you all feel the same way. Thank you jdbayton for adding me and my formal introduction. I truly believe I would have lost my mind if I didn't find all you supportive ladies. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • IrishLuck
    IrishLuck Member Posts: 33
    edited April 2017

    RT Chris make sure to call your surgeon's nurse or NP to let them know. If you are still on antibiotics then you are probably okay but good to be cautious. You may need a longer duration of antibiotics or a different type if it is infected. Good luck.

  • IrishLuck
    IrishLuck Member Posts: 33
    edited April 2017

    Welcome KCMC. Try not to worry about the wait. Many of us have had to wait two or three months before surgery and were okay. Hang in there. It is not a club we choose to join, but at least we have each other.

  • IrishLuck
    IrishLuck Member Posts: 33
    edited April 2017

    cdv4251992 ." It was just like giving birth in a teaching hospital." Too funny but I'm glad you got that out of the way so you can start your chemo. I once had a surgeon do a core biopsy right in the exam room with a local pain shot. She said something similar. "I could just do the core biopsy right here and that way you won't have to schedule one." LOL!

  • IrishLuck
    IrishLuck Member Posts: 33
    edited April 2017

    Hi ladies, I had my first visit with my Oncologist yesterday. I was a bit frustrated because the surgeon forgot to order my Oncotype so now I have to wait for two weeks before he can make a formal treatment recommendation and I'm running up against the chemo deadline. Based on what he knows so far it will be chemo versus Tamoxifin versus both. He had to run another test to see if I can take Tamoxifin because of my blood clotting disorder. Honestly, Tamoxifin scares me to death because of my increased clotting risk and the fact that I clotted in my flap right after surgery. He says my Homocystene levels will tell us if it is safe and that I might be able to take it with a blood thinner and folate. Not feeling great about it. I tried hormone therapy with my last cancer go around and had horrible side effects. I was on Zolodex because I am pre menopausal along with Arimidex. I had to quit because of severe bone and muscle pain. I really don't want to risk that again. It took almost a year to recover after I went off of it.

    I'm also still waiting for my genetic testing to come back. There is lots of cancer in my family, so they also want to rule out a genetic risk.

    Thankfully, I am finally feeling much less pain and am down to one Norco every 8 hours. Yay!

    For those of you who are on chemo or doing chemo are you able to drive yourself to and from treatment? Are you on your own at home or is someone with you? My Oncologist is 2 hours away so if I do chemo I will need to find a clinic to receive my it closer to home but am wondering if I will still need my husband to drive me? Boy are the chemo warnings scary! Nothing like "death" being a possible side effect. Wow, LOL!

  • kcmc
    kcmc Member Posts: 66
    edited April 2017

    Thank you IrishLuck! Just so many thoughts swimming around in my head. Encouraging reading all these threads.

  • Ali84
    Ali84 Member Posts: 9
    edited April 2017

    Hi Wordlady, I hope you're recovering really nicely and that everything went perfect for you in your surgery. I too live in the Walnut Creek area but am scheduled for my Prophylactic BMX DIEP in NOLA on May 25th. Had lumpectomy end of March at John Muir. I met with and really liked Dr. Kermin, at John Muir was he your doctor? My concern was that he would be operating solo on the flap as he is the only microsurgeon there, so the operation takes 10-11 hours he told me as opposed to 6 at the center for restorative breast surgery with Dr. Wise. I was afraid to be under anesthesia that long. How did that go for you? Did you have any complications? I'd prefer to stay close to home, but am also nervous about not having a backup microsurgeon in case of some complications during surgery. When you feel up to it, would love to hear about your experience. Thank you!

  • aggiemegs
    aggiemegs Member Posts: 86
    edited April 2017

    Hi ladies! Please add me to the group. I'll be having my DIEP with Dr. Kyle Gordley in The Woodlands, TX on 5/26. Just one month away! I have so many emotions right now, I'm not sure which one is winning

  • Jiffrig
    Jiffrig Member Posts: 158
    edited April 2017

    Ali, I think you misunderstood, DIEP surgery is always 10-12 hours and I believe they are required to have 2 surgeons in operating room. I would double check on that as it would be very dangerous otherwise

  • Falconer
    Falconer Member Posts: 801
    edited April 2017
    Hi Everyone! Welcome Aggie and KCMC.
    One thing I'm looking into is dry shampoo. Perhaps this will be the least of my concerns but I was wondering if anyone tried it?
  • Beckyb2016
    Beckyb2016 Member Posts: 12
    edited April 2017

    aggiemegs welcome! I feel you with so many emotions😔 I am having my surgery May 1 here in Georgia! But... I just moved here from Houston! Just wanted to say hi and send well wishes from a fellow Texan!

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited April 2017

    please add me to the group! I'm excited to be here with all of you amazing ladies!!

    I had double mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction Feb 14 at NOLA. Dr Dellacroce and Dr Wise did my DIEP and Dr Ordoyne and Warddid the mx. So 4 surgeons total. So very pleased with initial outcome and the overall experience we had there vs other hospitals. Gearing up for phase 2 in June!

    Falconer- I bought some dry shampoo but never used it. NOLA had me in the shower the day after surgery (at least I think it was-I could've lost a day with the pain meds LOL!) Anyway, by the time you realize you need a hair wash they've got you in the shower taking care of it. When I was released we just washed it every other day in the shower. I learned how to bend my head down at various angles so I could dry it and curl it without lifting my arms above my shoulders. (I did eventually try the dry shampoo one morning when I was going to be borderline on being late for work if I washed my hair. It's really powder in an aerosol can that absorbs the oil in your hair. My hair didn't feel or look as oily anymore but it didn't look clean either so I ended up washing it anyway).

    Ali- You're right on the 1 vs 2 microsurgeons. I saw similar information when I was researching where to go to have my DIEP done. There are centers that just have 1 microsurgeon working on you. It's not dangerous from a number of surgeons point of view; its the how long you're under anesthesia that can be dangerous. When 2 work at once the time is greatly reduced. I later asked my husband how long it was from when I left pre-op til I hit post-op and he said about 7 hours.



  • jbdayton
    jbdayton Member Posts: 163
    edited April 2017

    Falconer the hospital I was in washed my hair with a premade bag for showerless shampooing. They put it on my head and squeezed and it broke an inner bag of water and shampoo mix that they worked through my hair from the outside of the bag . They removed the bag and dried my hair with a towel and then used a blow dryer to finish it off. This was done with me sitting in a recliner and a towel around my neck. I don't remember being wet from this. I will admit I only had hair that was about an inch long at the time.i was not allowed to shower until all my drains were out.

  • aquilegia
    aquilegia Member Posts: 54
    edited April 2017

    Jiffrig - my plastic surgeon at Kaiser Santa Clara, CA said their average was about 5 hours under anesthesia for a unilateral mastectomy/DIEP. They use 3 surgeons: one general surgeon for the mastectomy, one microsurgeon for the DIEP, and an assistant. They do a lot of these, several per week, so have the routine down.

  • MariH
    MariH Member Posts: 4
    edited April 2017

    I'm having a skin-sparing umx with diep free-flap, on May 2. I was told that the entire procedure would take 5-6 hours. They would get concerned if you had to be under anesthesia for much longer, at my age. (Although I am very healthy and fit for that age.)

  • Okiemomof4
    Okiemomof4 Member Posts: 10
    edited April 2017

    Hi all,

    I had my unilateral DIEP flap procedure on April 17th! I have had great healing. All drains out a week after surgery. Wearing my "super suit" 24/7. My biggest complaint is tightness/pressure in abdomen and reconstructed breast as the day goes on. By evening, it is very uncomfortable. Any tips would be appreciated.

    Dana

  • Okiemomof4
    Okiemomof4 Member Posts: 10
    edited April 2017

    Hi Songbird,

    Just wanted to give you a shout out and let you know that Dr. Bajaj did my DIEP two weeks ago. I will be glad to answer any questions you have. Dr. Bajaj is a rock star

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited April 2017

    okiemomof4- I had that feeling for a couple months in my breast and now just get it occasionally. I still have it with my abdomen after a long day or if I've worn pants/capris/etc with a waistband with no give (i.e. Zipper and button/clasp). The breast issue was resolved with time and wireless bra trial and error. Genie bra style bras were my go to early on and now I've graduated to Victoria's Secret wireless. they have some with a band that is longer then usual (similar to the genie bra band) and it helps keep the area under the breasts from becoming irritated.

    The abdomen issue gets better with time but also by wearing pull on pants/capris/etc. luckily that style is all the rage right now! make sure you're not lifting much-4 weeks of not being able to lift anything over 5 lbs. I'm 11 weeks out and still have difficulty lifting things over about 15 lbs without getting a twinge in my tummy. Eating too much or having to go to the bathroom can also make it feel tight. I find I can't eat as much (my hips are thankful for the fewer calories LOL!) and I have to go to the bathroom more often. There's just not as much room in there anymore since they take away your tummy pouch.

    You'll get there, you just have to give it some time, comfy bras,smaller meals, extra bathroom trips and flexible waistbands!

  • Okiemomof4
    Okiemomof4 Member Posts: 10
    edited April 2017

    Thanks Lula,

    I am definitely trying to take it easy. Just hard for me as I think I am feeling great which makes me invariably overdo it. I, too, have noticed that I can't eat as much. Not a bad problem to have. I have a follow up with my ps on Monday. I am sure that she will tell me the same thing-"Take it easy, girl!

  • suzzyq
    suzzyq Member Posts: 11
    edited April 2017

    Hi everyone,

    Was anyone asked what size breast they wanted form their PS? I'm not sure what size to ask for or how much I can actually have. I never had really big boobs but wouldn't have mind having them larger (not talking about size D). Did your PS decided how large?

  • Tpralph
    Tpralph Member Posts: 281
    edited April 2017

    suzzyq my ps going to get as much as he can and and tells me I will be a bit smaller. Currently a c full. I don't have a choice unless I want to go even smaller

  • BigSister-2015
    BigSister-2015 Member Posts: 298
    edited April 2017

    suzzyq, do discusssize with your PS. I did. I used to be a small B and I was hoping for aC, and pretty much got that.

    I have heard other women complain that their docs gave them more than they wanted.

    Do know that when you first saw up, they will be swollen and bigger than they will be overall. I woke up with Ds, which was kind of fun!

    The final result is not the same as the real thing, but I am sure happy with the result. It is so much better than flat--I really hated that. And the DIEP is so much better than implants.