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Surgery December 29th - exchange with fat transfer

lstagg Member Posts: 10
edited January 2022 in Breast Reconstruction

Hi everyone, I have received a date for my exchange surgery with a fat transfer over implants on December 29th, 2021. I didn't see a thread for December surgeries. I am wondering what to expect as far as recovery (I had no radiation)? I am SO excited to get these horrible TE's out and have seen people say that they get a lot of relief. To be honest I am a little more nervous about the fat transfer recovery (he plans on using abdomen as donor site). I am hoping to go back to work about 10 days after surgery, is this reasonable? Hoping for others that have had the same surgery to share their experiences, although I know they can all be different. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


  • monarchandthemilkweed

    my exchange surgery is dec 15. I’m not having fat transfer. I’m wondering to how i will feel in 10 days as that will be Christmas and I’m a mom of 3

  • veggal
    veggal Member Posts: 261

    Fat grafting is not horrible. You will probably feel as though you did a zillion sit ups and will look quite colorful for a couple of weeks, but those things pass. The grafted fat really makes a difference in the reconstruction.

    Good luck! Happy New Year

  • DaughterOfBarb
    DaughterOfBarb Member Posts: 29

    I just had my exchange surgery on Nov. 16. My PS waits 3 months for things to settle before doing fat transfer, so I can’t comment on that factor. But as for the exchange itself, it was much easier than my first two surgeries (surgery 1 was nipple sparing double MX, followed by above muscle TE placement surgery about 2 weeks later). For pain, I didn’t need anything more than Ibuprofen 800 except for night 1. I am still quite fatigued at two weeks out. But I’m not sleeping well due to the back sleeping requirement, frozen shoulder I developed after surgery 1, etc., so those issues are likely contributing to my fatigue. But from a pain and mobility perspective, recovery from the exchange surgery has been much more manageable. I was able to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner 9 days out and am slowly working on regaining range of motion. Again. Frustrating. But I’m thankful recovery from this surgery has been so much easier. If your expanders are below the muscle, recovery might be a bit more involved.

  • lalbo
    lalbo Member Posts: 68

    I had my TE to implant exchange on 9/22/21. I felt immediate relief from the TE's. UGH, they were horribly painful. I did have radiation on right side only.

    I was driving and back to work in 2 weeks after the September exchange surgery.

    Big difference from first surgery (bilateral mx with TE's put in) 5/12/21, I was driving and back to work in 5 weeks. I should have stayed out the full 6 weeks...hindsight and all.

  • debal
    debal Member Posts: 600

    Hi! I was more sore from the fat grafting than from the exchange. I wore my compression garment except for showering for 2 weeks. I think it depends on your job- I worked in surgery with constant lifting of patients so I think I went back at 10 days. Pineapple contains bromelain which helps with bruising snd inflammation so I ate it daily. It helped some but my abdomen was pretty colorful for awhile. Good luck!!

  • lstagg
    lstagg Member Posts: 10

    Thank you all for your input! It helps to know a little about what to expect. I am so glad to hear of some relief from the tissue expanders coming with this surgery. And I will be buying some pineapple!

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769

    I had my exchange with fat grafting in July and was sore from the lipo, but was up and doing things around the house the next day. I was sore for several months, but it was nothing bad. I didn't need any pain meds and I'd take Tylenol, occasionally, if at all, to help with the soreness. My PS had me in a compression garment for 8 weeks. I hope everything goes well for you!

  • Astrid1986
    Astrid1986 Member Posts: 5

    Hi people!

    I want to do reconstruction surgery after bilateral prophylactic mastectomy that I did 9 years ago. Honestlyو I am struggling with lots of hesitation. As I dont want big boobs( well, I get habit to flat chest somehow and just look for a normal chest appearance) , my surgeon suggest to do only fat grafting that is also my perference as it will be from my own body, less invasive without necessisity of further procedure. But the problem is that I cant find result from other patients who merely do fat grafting. It seems like completely unpredictable. I dont even know how my new breasts would look like. I wonder if anyone here have done reconstruction merely by fat grafting without implant or any other method? If you come accross any data, please kindly share .

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,130

    I am two months and two weeks post op from having one implant with fat graphing (tissue expander exchange surgery). My abdomen is still so sore. I feel bloated and nauseous and not sure why. I understood feeling that way for a while post surgery, but then as things seemed to be getting better, and I was starting to feel somewhat normal again, it came back with a vengeance. I didn't overdue, I honestly don't know why this is happening.

    Wondering how others felt. I don't want to go back to wearing that horrible abdominal binder, but I am wondering if I should?

    Suggestions, anyone?