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Reconstruction without sling?

dulcea Member Posts: 141
edited August 2022 in Breast Reconstruction

I had a mastectomy 5/2021 and had implants placed.

I had the implants replaced 2/2022 due to size. At the time, I had some mild capsular contracture in one breast that the doctor released and all was well.... until recently.

I'm not sure if I am having severe capsular contracture or if I am reacting to the vicyrl sling that the implants are set in, or both. It just feels like there is sharp and tight stuff inside my breasts that are not comfortable at all. They feel hot and tight all the time and I don't want to spend all day thinking about my breasts. I seem to be spending too much trying to find a good posture where they won't hurt and can't seem to find it, if that makes sense.

I really feel like ripping them out (!!) but I don't want to go flat. I did consider DIEP reconstruction previously but for reasons, decided against it. And I decided again the muscle relocation one. I see there are really a lot of other reconstruction options but my main question is, are there any reconstruction options that don't need the sling?

I will speak to the PS but figured I'd do some research first . HOpefully there is some option that doesn't leave foreign objects in my body. Any input would be appreciated. Even on how to make these things feel better today!


  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363

    Oh sounds painful, I did left side DIEP 10 years ago still looks good. Still have strange tingling sensations like nerves coming back to life. No pain or anything I am happy gaining and losing weight it seems to adjust well and look the same as the real side. There are probably more options than 10 years ago good luck to you.

    Not sure about the sling you mention I don't have any feeling like that, I don't know the details of tissue transfer feels good to me no issues.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,205

    I too had a DIEP after left mastectomy and I am very happy with it. I have feeling in the skin, since day one, some feeling, mild pain, at times, but very much like my real breast.

    Unfortunately I was just diagnose with breast cancer for a third time and my only choice is to have an implant. Now I am nervous about having that done! I haven’t read much about people who are satisfied with their implants. I don’t know if mine will be under or over the pectoral muscles. It’s either implant or go flat. DIEP is one and done. I have both shoulders replaced so no messing with back muscle.

    I hope you get some answers. I never heard of the sling you mention. I only meet with my PS for pre surgery meeting the third week in Sept, surgery not until mid October.

    The real kicker is I was refused a bilateral mastectomy in 2019 because I am negative for BRCA gene defects. I didn’t go for second opinion, and now three years later, cancer in the opposite, once healthy breast!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,968


    My implants have been in for almost 11 years and I have no complaints. I do have skin sensation but nothing else as there is no breast tissue. I had youthful breasts and my implants look remarkably the same as the originals. I also never had TEs as my surgery was skin sparing and I went straight to my permanent implants (this not common). The sling, is an acellular dermal matrix which acts as a support under the implant. Alloderm is a common brand name but there are others.

    BTW, BRCA genes or any other genetic mutations that might pre-dispose one to breast cancer are not common. Only about 15-20% of those tested are positive so not having one of these genes is more likely than having them. Take care

  • dulcea
    dulcea Member Posts: 141

    Thanks everyone.

    I decided against the DIEP for a few reasons, mostly recovery time etc. but for other reasons too.

    I guess I need to find a new PS. My breasts have never even looked close to what I originally had. These are thick pancakes, not cute little tear drop shaped breasts. He went by weight, not appearance, he said. They are not normal looking. I don't get it. One is lower than the other (after the second surgery!!). I have had vicryl sutures on my allergy list for years but someone removed that allergy from my medical records and they implanted vicryl slings to hold the implants. Ugh! That is a whole other story... but that could be my problem too.

    My implants are under my pecs and I see that can actually be a problem with this "iron bra" feeling too. I would imagine tissue transfer would be the best way to go for me but with nothing else left in there. I guess I just need to do more research.

    I also have skin sensation, but my boobs are numb. So the pain must be coming from the muscles?

    mavericksmom, how can they deny you a mastectomy, especially after two breast cancers? I wish you the best.

    exbrnxgrl I also had implants placed at the same time as a mastectomy. I just wanted the same size so I didn't need TEs. I still had them replaced though. And looks like I'm going to do something again.

    I hate these things.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,205

    dulcea, I have NO idea why I was refused. I went to a very well-known cancer hospital in Philadelphia. After almost 16 years of no cancer, I was in shock due to being Dx with ILC. It was a new cancer, (the first time I had IDC), not recurrence in the same breast. His exact words were "the policy at this hospital is not to remove a healthy breast!" He didn't add the BRCA + part but I get their seasonal hospital magazines and there were many women who were featured who had breasts removed for prophylactic reasons, but all were BRCA posititive, so I made the assumption. Sadly this doctor, who was a dean at the medical school, passed away suddenly in 2021. He was very caring, but for whatever reason, he denied my request of a bilateral mastectomy and now, three years later, the breast is no longer "healthy!" I wish I had gone for a second opinion, especially since my new breast surgeon at my local hospital, told me he agreed, I should have had both removed in 2019.

    I feel bad for your situation, but I am glad you posted here!

    exbrnxgrl. THANK YOU for posting! Soooo good to hear a positive outcome from implants! I have excellent surgeons, so I am hoping that my surgery has a good outcome too! You have no idea how much I needed to read what you wrote!

  • dulcea
    dulcea Member Posts: 141

    Mavericksmom - we trust the doctors and their experience. That's why you listened to him about the mastectomy.

    I have read that a lot of people are very happy with their implants and have no complaints. You probably will see more complaints about implants than positive outcomes here. We do come here looking for answers when things go wrong.

    I have a long history of being sensitive and allergic to a lot of medications. I also can't have surgical glue or iodone used on my body. I think my issues relate to foreign objects in my body and the materials used. It is something I discussed with the doctors concerning the implants but both my BS and PS poo-pooed me. I listened to my doctors. Sometimes I think it is what is more convenient for them.

    I think we have both learned to go with our gut!!

    Good luck with your surgery. It will all work out. And so will mine...eventually