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2018 DIEP Surgery

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Comments

  • OCDAmy
    OCDAmy Member Posts: 289
    edited March 2020
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    ACchaos, try wearing a long tshirt under the binder. That helped a lot.

  • ACchaos
    ACchaos Member Posts: 42
    edited March 2020
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    Whew. I finally got 3/4 drains removed today as well as the vac dressing. The incision is amazingly fine - I was expecting it’d be thicker somehow. The wacky part is that my husband took out two of the three today! My PS doesn’t want me to come down to the hospital given all the risks, so she showed my husband how to do it. He did it there so he’d be comfortable with it. He will remove my last drain early next week during a video appt so my PS can reassure him all is well.

    As a general statement I’m happy with the results. The paddles are a little bigger than I was expecting, but I then also remembered that my nipples had been rather large, so it makes sense what measurements she was using. Even so, I may go for a reduction on the before the tattooing.

    The boobs feel...blobby? Certainly less shapely than my original. I’m guessing with a bra/shaped of some kind this will be less of an issue. The side boob/arm interaction is awkward. I’ll wait to see how it is after all the swelling goes down.

    I’m still sore - the new binder (on over a cami, finally) is more comfortable and I’m just excited it is easier to remove at night.

    As it’s elective all the surgeries my PS was scheduled to do are cancelled. Which makes me sad for the ladies whose procedures have been indefinitely postponed.

    Hope everyone else is doing well!

  • Cobra91
    Cobra91 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2020
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    ACchaos-

    We are on the same recovery schedule. I had my DIEP Flap surgery (bilateral mastectomy) on March 9, 2020 as well! I stayed in the hospital for 5 days though. No binder either. Just compression bras. 6 drains that came out after 3 weeks. I still have pain in my chest and abdomen that keeps me awake at night. My plastic surgeon says it’s all normal but of course I worry.
    Best of luck to you!

  • btrflynaia
    btrflynaia Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2020
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    Hey ladies,

    I had reconstruction in 2012 and had great help and support from this site. I'm looking to change implants for a diep and was wondering if anyone had recommendations for Northern VA surgeons.

  • LoveFlorida
    LoveFlorida Member Posts: 26
    edited June 2020
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    I have read over 50 pages of this thread. Thank you as it’s been very inspiring. My surgery is June 25th and I’m excited to get it done. There isn’t much activity regarding DIEP as this thread of over 79 pages. However, because of all your comments I feel I know much more than I did.


  • Runrcrb
    Runrcrb Member Posts: 202
    edited July 2020
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    loveflorida, glad we could help. Hope your recovery is smooth.

  • alissat
    alissat Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2020
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    I had a diep flap & a lap flap last week. My surgeon mentioned wearing Spanx or a binder today during first post op visit. I still have 4 drains in (2 hip & 2 back). Any suggestions on what to buy. Thanks

  • OCDAmy
    OCDAmy Member Posts: 289
    edited August 2020
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    Allisat, my PS have me binders to wear. Then I wore spanks. The goal is for compression on the tummy and waist.

  • clarrn
    clarrn Member Posts: 160
    edited September 2020
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    Someone somewhere in this thread (sorry I can't find it now) mentioned how after DIEP their previously radiated side was a lot harder. I am wondering if this went away and how long it took? I had my DIEP/tram Aug 24th and its still rock hard.

  • cubgirl
    cubgirl Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2020
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    I know this is an older post, but I think your surgeon may be able to use Alloderm Regenerative Tissue Matrix to perk up your sagging breast skin. It's usually used to support implants but it may help sagging skin...

    I'm prevented from posting a link here, but found this "Researchers successfully utilized deep inferior epigastric perforator flap reconstruction in combination with tissue expander/implant using an alloderm sling technique in patients lacking sufficient abdominal tissue, or in those with existing breast asymmetries."

  • julz4
    julz4 Member Posts: 1,373
    edited October 2020
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    Hello everyone! I recently had another biopsy in the breast I had cancer & thankfully it was fat necrosis. Because of my BRCA 2 variant & the fact that I had Thyroid cancer 2 years ago. I’ve decided I’m done & want a Double Mastectomy. Has any here had any abdominal surgeries & was able to go through this? I’m going to John Hopkins also. Also what about the cost? Because of Covid we have lost a lot of Money. I have insurance but its new as of Nov. 1, 2020. What kind of time line are we looking at barring no complications for having off work, lifting up to 30 pounds. I’m a CNA on light duty for my back. I will do some reading here. I’m thinking they will probably say no because of the 4 c-sections, hysterectomy, & hernia repair. I’m am pre learning all I can. In the event that all goes well with everything! 😁 all the if, ands, & buts!

  • themayor
    themayor Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2020
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    I am schedule for a bilateral DIEP in February. I have already had a left mastectomy and will have a right prophylactic mastectomy at the same time as my reconstruction. I'm trying to gauge how much time I need to take off of work. I work from home and have 3-8 conference calls in a normal day and otherwise manage emails. I was thinking to take 4 weeks off completely, then work 2 hours a day (to manage major customer conversations) for the following 4 weeks. Based on your experience, does this sound reasonable?

  • OCDAmy
    OCDAmy Member Posts: 289
    edited October 2020
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    themayor I think that sounds doable. I had single DIEP however. Maybe some of the ladies that had bilateral DIEP can chime in. I thought my BMX was a much more difficult recovery than DIEP. Best of luck.

  • clarrn
    clarrn Member Posts: 160
    edited October 2020
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    themayor- I think that sounds pretty reasonable barring any complications. I had a bilateral DIEP (technically tram because they had to take a tiny bit of and muscle) and I was feeling pretty good by week 5. I am still surprised how quickly I tire though. I would have a backup plan just in case. I also found my BMX with immediate reconstruction harder (which obviously eventually failed and why I ended up with flap reconstruction). Best wishes, it was easier than I had worked myself up for :)

  • abigailj
    abigailj Member Posts: 104
    edited October 2020
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    Hi themayor - I had a skin-sparing BMX with immediate DIEP recon June 23 and the removal of the insurance’ flap July 8. Although I ran into some wound healing complications (I’m a 63 year old former smoker fine now thankfully) I do think your plan is feasible but please be very careful not to strain the abdominal incision in particular in any manner - even if your feel up to it don’t raise your arms above the shoulders or lift anything over 5 pounds before PS tells you it’s ok. I slept a lot but was able to do 30-60 mins a day of answering emails to help the people trying to cover my work starting around 3 weeks after but didn’t go back to any meetings for a good 8 weeks and wasn’t able to work full time again until the beginning of September. Wishing you all the best with good healing!

  • laurencl
    laurencl Member Posts: 203
    edited November 2020
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    This is a big board and my searches have not been fruitful ,

    Did anyone wear something like Spanx rather then the nasty compression garment? I hate that thing

  • abigailj
    abigailj Member Posts: 104
    edited November 2020
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    Hi Laurenci - yes - after the drains came out my PS said spanx or similar type compression garments were fine in place of the hideous wraparound thing. I had to compress the abdomen a total of 6 weeks but was told to stop after that so abdominal muscles could get stronger again.

  • OCDAmy
    OCDAmy Member Posts: 289
    edited November 2020
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    I had same as Abigail. After drains came out I could switch to spanx. Then after 6 weeks (I think) the compression is not needed.

  • laurencl
    laurencl Member Posts: 203
    edited November 2020
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    I am 14 days out. This has been super hard

  • abigailj
    abigailj Member Posts: 104
    edited November 2020
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    hi Laurenci - yes, the first weeks are really hard but you will get better, hope the drains come out soon - that really makes a difference. I alsohope you are having PT, that really helps too but please try to avoid any movements beyond what is allowed to avoid healing complications. Are you still having bad pain? I found that after going off prescription pain meds that taking acetaminophen (400 mg) and ibuprofen (500 mg) together was a lot more effective than just one of them individually. Hope things improve for you soon.

  • laurencl
    laurencl Member Posts: 203
    edited November 2020
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    thank you Abigail. I am not in much pain, but still have two pretty active drains which have me a bit down. I know this shall pass, it’s just been a long road

  • Accarpenter
    Accarpenter Member Posts: 6
    edited December 2020
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    I am curious as to how everyone felt about their initial results after diep. I am 5’6” and 190 lbs so I had some extra fat to make decent breasts or so I was told. I woke up with a very full b cup and my right looked like a balloon that had all the air let out... I was told that it could be fixed after the revision. My nipples also remained very very low. The entire consult process I was told we were going to do the lollipop incision and in the inframammary food to hide the scar. Instead I work up with the a large scar running horizontal under my armpits. I am 2 weeks post op from the revision and other than having fuller breasts, my lift yielded no visible results and the PS still will not provide an answer as to why we did a different approach than discissed

  • abigailj
    abigailj Member Posts: 104
    edited December 2020
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    Hi Accarpenter - My experience was very different- I’m 5’ 2”, 150 pounds, fat evenly distributed before the DIEP and I got almost back to D cup. I had the skin sparing BMX with immediate DIEP recon 6/23 - was quite swollen everywhere and left and right breasts looked pretty different but now they look a lot closer to each other (major diff is a big divot at bottom of one from where I had an infection and lost some of my transferred fat) but nipple position almost same. And I’m planning on fat grafting next year to fix the divot and a little other contouring (plenty left on my butt and thighs). It does take time to see the real results, at least 3 months for me, but the issues you described sound concerning, although it’s still early days. If you’re still unhappy in another 3 moyou may want to consider consulting another PS for revision procedures. Where are you located?

  • Accarpenter
    Accarpenter Member Posts: 6
    edited December 2020
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    I am located in NE Mississippi. I am trying to find another PS but having trouble getting anyone to return calls. I am waiting for my phone consult in New Orleans.

  • Accarpenter
    Accarpenter Member Posts: 6
    edited December 2020
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    what were your results after the initial diep? Did you see a drastic difference after the revision? My initial results were pretty appalling. There was over a cup size difference between breasts and no symmetry in shape, I was assured the revision would fix it. I am now closer to the same size but the lift failed and shape isn’t the same. I was shattered when I went through the procedure and expense of the lift and when standing and looking down- I still cannot see my nipples. The PS was very upset that I was not happy with the results and rather patronizing. I knew I would not look perfect but..... I expected more than this.

  • Mona2
    Mona2 Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2021
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    Hello, this is my first time posting. I had a double MX with tissue expanders in 2017. After radiation, I had my exchange to implants. I was too thin at that time to be considered for DIEP. Now, thanks to being thrown into menopause & Arimidex, I have gained weight. I am uncomfortable on my radiated side & have scheduled DIEP surgery at MSK. I am second guessing my decision & getting nervous.


    Has anyone used Dr. Evan Matros at MSK for DIEP? Also, any advice or recovery stories from anyone switching from implants to DIEP after radiation?

    Thank you & God bless you all!

  • lanne2389
    lanne2389 Member Posts: 220
    edited March 2021
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    Hi Mona2 - regarding the switch from implants to DIEP ... I changed course after the expander stage to DIEP and can firmly say it was my best cancer-related decision. My boobs are natural feeling, warm, and so so so much better than expanders/implants, imho.

    Lanne

  • Mona2
    Mona2 Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2021
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    Thank you so much Lanne for taking the time to share your experience with me. This makes me feel more confident that I’m making the right decision. I can’t wait to get these implants out!