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Expanders uneven

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ndtracy14
ndtracy14 Member Posts: 6

I had a bilateral mastecomy on May 15, 2017. I just got the last of the 4 drainage tubes out last week. When I finally was able to get a real shower, I actually stopped and looked in the mirror- and the expanders are not even. Left is higher and right is lower. They still hurt, and I feel numb. I cannot lean forward to sit, I cannot lay flat on my back. Is the pain due to the uneven placement and should it be corrected? When does the pain simmer down? I feel like I didn't ask enough questions.

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,918
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    You raise excellent questions. Have you discussed this with your surgeon tough? They will certainly have feedback!

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,080
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    ndtracy - it sometimes takes 6 months for the swelling to go down. You have no idea how they will look at this point. The hardest advise is to step away from the mirror & don't look. As for the pain, if it continues I would call the surgeon &/or the plastic surgeon.

  • ndtracy14
    ndtracy14 Member Posts: 6
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    I will when I see them again at the end of the week. But sometimes I feel they clean up their answers to not freak me out.

  • ndtracy14
    ndtracy14 Member Posts: 6
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    the swelling has gone down but you can definitely see that one is lower than the other.

  • Artista928
    Artista928 Member Posts: 1,458
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    Don't worry about it. Most of us had uneven expanders. Expanders are there to keep the skin stretched while you go through txs. Bring it up to your ps when it comes time for the exchange to perm implants sx.

  • ndtracy14
    ndtracy14 Member Posts: 6
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    wondered if it was normal since every time I googled it- nothing came up. Thanks.

  • Artista928
    Artista928 Member Posts: 1,458
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    Google doesn't know near as much as the folks on this forum, which is why it's such a Godsend to find this place and learn things you don't anywhere else. This place helped me enormously each step of the way. Ask away. Those of us who are done with active txs want to try and help, giving back as we received much help in our time. :)

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
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    ndtracy - it has been less than 3 weeks since your surgery, correct? If so, still experiencing pain - to a degree - is normal. I would say that 5-6 weeks is a better turning point for decrease in some level of discomfort. If you are in intense pain, that would signal a potential issue though. As far as being uneven, tissue expanders are essentially place holders creating a space for the implant - your PS will do some pocket adjustments at the time of exchange to achieve symmetry.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,080
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    ndtracey - it would be a good idea NOT to google. If you feel you need to research, this site has answers you can trust, as does NCI or Mayo Clinic.
    But as Special says - it's only 3 weeks. There is still lot of swelling. And yes, TEs are only "place holders" so it doesn't matter much if they are uneven.

  • ndtracy14
    ndtracy14 Member Posts: 6
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    Google has been zero help on all levels with this. Mostly I just think I didn't ask enough questions beforehand to know what is considered normal and not normal and sometimes I feel that the doctors downplay it.