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Topic: Swollen after breast reconstruction?

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Mar 26, 2009 01:51PM

digger wrote:


Okay, here's my question of the day, kind of related to my other ones about swelling.  But anyway, I've got a gummy bear in my reconstructed breast and a regular silicone implant in my lifted/augmented "healthy" breast.  The gummy one is noticeably bigger.  Is that because of swelling?  Will it go down, or will they always be two sizes? 

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Mar 27, 2009 01:47PM mizbabygirl4 wrote:

How long have you had the gummy bear?


Dx 8/4/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 27, 2009 02:18PM digger wrote:

I've had the gummy bear for about 9 days now.  I called the PS' office yesterday because I was curious if this size disparity was permanent or not, and the nurse said that the gummy bear side could definitely be more swollen than the lift/regular implant side because the PS might have had to do more "pocket work"  on that side.  Kinda makes sense.  She said wait a couple of months and then see what's what.  I don't think I'd do any revisions anyway, because I have no desire whatsoever to go through any more surgery, but I guess I just wanted to know what I'd be dealing with permanently.

These implants do feel so squishy, like wearing water balloons on one's chest, and it does take some getting used to.  They still feel really, really strange.

On an odd note, I did ask what size implants were in both "breasts," and the nurse said she didn't have the OR report back yet, and the sizes would be in there.  I guess it just feels a little disconcerting not to even know what size implants I have in my own body?  Are they different sizes? 

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Mar 27, 2009 11:42PM Abbey11 wrote:

I was really swollen for a couple of weeks after my exchange.  In fact, I freaked out because I thought my PS had made them much bigger than I wanted.  Now, 5 weeks past the exchange, they look much better.  I'm a 34C now, I was a D for at least two weeks post exchange. My implants are 350ccs each side, Mentor, silicone.

I don't think that surgeons prepare us well for what we will see after surgery.  My advice would be to try not to worry about it for a few more weeks; things might look different then.

Diagnosed age 44 with BL BC Sept. 08; right side 5mm, left side 1cm. BL mast. Oct. 08, expanders, exchange to silicone implants Feb 09. Taking tamoxifen. Dx 10/2/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 28, 2009 07:29AM mizbabygirl4 wrote:

I just had my exchange on Wednesday (Mar 25th), and I can't tell WHAT my new boobs look like, what with the bandages and the drains. But they look VERY different than the expanders. I have the gummy bear implants, teardrop shaped, so I no longer have shelf boobs, but it seems almost too subtle at the top and very full at the bottom. From above, they seem not that impressive. But I'll know better once I get rid of the drains and bandages.


Dx 8/4/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 28, 2009 12:24PM jo-w wrote:

I had the exchage on the 26th and although i went from 600 cc to 650 cc, they look smaller-or more smooshed bc there is not much at the top-cleavage looks worse (flatter) than what i had with expanders, but maybe it will look different in a couple days. hopefully, they are just swollen, i can't tell-they don't look perky anymore- I took the bandages off last night and cried myself to sleep it looked so bad. It seems he glued the gauze to my incision also and i had to leave a large piece stuck to it. Every time i pulled it, it started bleeding, so it's just stuck there. also- i am a surfer and when i tried my bathing suits on, you can see the scars a little. this sucks!!! I thought i would look better, not worse...I feel like frankenstien...and i am still feeling lousy from the surgery too. haven't been able to go to the bathroom yet-so i'm backed up! UGH!

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Mar 28, 2009 05:38PM digger wrote:


I've got that "flat at the top" and more "full on the bottom" look with the implants as well (much more so with the gummy bear).   It still really bugs me that I don't even know what size implants I have.  I'll call the PS office again on Monday.


Thanks for the info about the swelling in the beginning.  I really hope that's what is happening.  I'm going to need to go out tomorrow to buy yet another sports bra, because even the big one I have on now just feels too constricted.  I know I'm supposed to keep these new breasts supported, but I think I should be able to breathe as well!


I'm sorry you feel like yours are "smooshed."  I would say that each day definitely gets better, so hang in there.  I know I read on here somewhere about "fluffing."  Not sure what that is, but I imagine that's the implant settling more into the breast shape, maybe? Also, the scarring really does fade after a while.  After 4 months, my mx scar had really faded, but of course, now it's right back where it started as the exchange went through the same scar.

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Apr 21, 2009 04:52PM judig wrote:

Digger, how are you doing now? 

I have an expander in at the moment and that breast is very square and high compared to the 'healthy' breast.  Like you, I will get a boost on the 'healthy' breast during the exchange and I'm wondering how even they will be afterwards.  

Dx 8/18/2008, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+
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Apr 21, 2009 07:35PM mhm123151 wrote:

I have the opposite problem.....the exchange side is doing great except that it still looks like a hamburget bun without much projection and the "good" side is sooo sore and swollen.  I am 2 weeks out and am hoping that they will eventually even up, but I am doubting that it will happen.  I'm with you digger....I don't want to do any more surgeries.

Dx 10/19/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/19 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 4, 2011 11:04PM mahometmom62 wrote:

Mhm ditto I kept pointing this out to PS he says swelling on my good side allow 6 mths. I am 3 months out I go see him Tuesday. And guess what my good side is a d and mast side a C. I wanted to be done with surgery urgh!!

Dx 7/14/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 10, 2013 07:43PM jzog71 wrote:

On Feb. 28th I had my expander transferred to a silicone implant, in my mastectomy side.  Plus, I had a breast lift and small silicone implant put in my right breast so that it looks like my left.  My right breast is more like a D or larger and the left is about a c.  My PS said swelling is normal and since my right breast still has the breast tissue, it's likely to have more swelling.  It's quite frustrating not only because its more sore but also because once again I'm lopsided.  Seems to have been the "theme" through all of this.  Not to seem ungrateful, as I am thrilled the cancer is gone, but feelings of frustration are weighing heavily.  My PS said if the breast is still large once the swelling goes done, he can take out some of the breast tissue, but I really don't want to go through yet another surgery.  I've had 2 already in almost 2 months and still have to have the nipple & aerola completed. 

Dx 1/18/2013, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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