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...

Expander pain 3wks post-surgery

Options
js44
js44 Member Posts: 11

Hi all, wondering if there are others who have been through this-- I had a mastectomy (left side) and expander placed under the pec three weeks ago. The ps said there were two tears to the pec during surgery, one of which he repaired. I'm still in a lot of pain and am not looking forward to the first expansion, which should be in a few weeks. Anyone go through this? I am seriously doubting my choice for reconstruction at this point.

Comments

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,913
    Options

    Hi js44,

    We are so sorry to hear of the complications that you are facing. Thank you for visiting our the BCO community and reaching out to others to seek support. We hope that the website and some of our members may be able to provide you with some helpful insight. Please feel free to reach out if you are unable to gather the information you are looking for. We would be happy to help. In addition to this, we would also like to inform you of our virtual "In Treatment" groups that meet on Tuesdays and Thursday. Links with more information and registration opportunities can be found below.

    Warmly,

    The Mods

    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvc-uur...

    https://breastcancer-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/...

  • msphil
    msphil Member Posts: 185
    Options

    hello sweetie I had L mast with expander was sore in that area then I got the first filling in expander tight but bearable. Then watching t v with them Fiance now husband my chest tightened up felt like elephant sitting on it and burning up with fever. He rushed me to E R they took me in right away removed them expander.. My body rejected the expander as foreign object. Since then wear Prosthesis in my bras and swimsuits no problem. Am now this yr a 28 yr Survivor hope this gives others here Inspiration that's why I come back. msphil idc stage2 0/3 nodes 3 mo chemo before and after L mast with reconstruction then got married and then 7wks rads and 5yrs on tamoxifen

  • js44
    js44 Member Posts: 11
    Options

    Thank you msphil, that does help me a lot. What you went through was more acute than what I am going through, but I just hope its enough to justify having it removed. I can’t take much more with it like it is, never mind having it expanded. I meet with the plastic surgeon next week and will post back here how that goes.

    One day this will be 28 years behind me as well— thank you for sharing your story

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221
    Options

    js44 - I have abnormally thin pectoral muscles and have places where the muscle is absent - but do have sub-pectoral implants. You will see an abundance of surgery in my sig line - that was mostly skin repairs and fat grafting to help my skin, but I have never had issues with the sub-pec placement even though mine are not ideal. Has your surgeon explained why and how the pectoral muscle tore? This is not a common occurrence, and why I don't think you have heard from members here with similar stories. Was any fluid added or did the PS leave it empty in light of the tears? Also, no rush on fills - I would advise waiting until you have no pain, and then going very slowly. I never had more than 25ccs added at a time, and went every two weeks, but didn't have any fills until a couple months after surgery. You might consider finding a PS who can remove the expander from beneath the muscle and place it pre-pec, if you are a candidate, and wish to have implant recon. It may be that you don't want to hassle with this and find that going flat is what you want.

  • js44
    js44 Member Posts: 11
    Options

    Thank you specialk, that is helpful. There was no fill at the time of placement, and the surgeon didn’t explain why the muscle tore in two places— I didn’t realize it was uncommon. I think at this point I just need to have it removed—I’ve had time to consider foregoing reconstruction and I’m fine with it. I need to focus on cancer recovery as I likely still have chemo ahead of me. I’m also fairly high risk for cancer in the other breast at some point and cannot imagine going through this again on the other side, especially as I get older. Thanks again for responding, it was super helpful. All the best to you 🙏