Topic: TE TROUBLE

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Talk with others facing decisions about whether or not to have breast reconstruction, and if so, what type and when.

Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 11:00AM - edited Feb 5, 2020 01:58PM by Rennasus

Posted on: Jul 16, 2011 11:00AM - edited Feb 5, 2020 01:58PM by Rennasus

Rennasus wrote:

I've been inducted into yet another "club" — the TE TROUBLE CLUB — and wanted to start a thread specifically for all of us out there dealing with tissue expander problems. There are many of us out there who develop complications with our tissue expanders, including (but not limited to) the following: necrosis; infection; cellulitis; swelling; lymphedema; redness; rash; rejection; delayed healing; pin holes; sebum leakage; expander leakage ... oh, the list goes on! There are many compassionate women on this thread who have dealt with all of this — and more. (Just look at the surgery list below!) Whatever your troubles with your tissue expander(s), we'd love to hear from you. Ladies who had TE Trouble and are on the other side of reconstruction are also encouraged to share your stories ... it helps everyone to know we will get there one day! UPDATE: As I write this (FEB 2020), it's been 9 years since I started this journey. Hard to believe! If I hadn't blogged about my experience, I would have forgotten most of the details of what I went through. So let that be hope for anyone going through this: As time goes by, you will forget. (Kinda like childbirth!) You can read my BC story here: https://thebigcandme.blogspot.com/2011/04/joining-cancer-club.html

*********** TE TROUBLE MEMBER SURGERIES IN 2011 ************

  • JULY 6, 2011: Rennasus: (right TE removed due to delayed incision healing)
  • AUG. 11, 2011: MondaysChild: (both TE's removed & replaced)
  • NOV. 4, 2011: Fluffqueen01: (exchange to squishies)
  • NOV. 10, 2011: MondaysChild: (exchange to squishies)
  • NOV. 11, 2011: MTnester (left TE removed, new one put in)
  • NOV. 14, 2011: Chickadee521 (exchange to squishies)
  • NOV. 30, 2011: Momof3infla (right TE put back in)
  • DEC. 1, 2011: Rennasus (right TE put back in after 5 months being out)
  • DEC. 20, 2011: Tatina123 (right TE put back in)
  • DEC. 22, 2011: Katarina (exchange to squishies)
  • DEC. 23, 2011: JBennett38 (exchange to squishies)

*********** TE TROUBLE MEMBER SURGERIES IN 2012 ************

  • JAN. 6, 2012: Survivor11 (left TE put back in)
  • JAN. 6, 2012: Sundermom (TE put back in)
  • JAN. 7, 2012: Debbiey (right TE put back in)
  • JAN. 17, 2012: DM13 (TE removed due to necrosis)
  • JAN. 2012: Moonflwr912: (left TE removed due to infection)
  • JAN. 25, 2012: Krystalrose (right TE removed due to infection)
  • JAN. 27, 2012: Beebop (both TEs removed due to infection)
  • FEB. 2, 2012: MarcyK (left TE replaced)
  • FEB. 3, 2012: MRochon (Salpingo-oophorectomy)
  • FEB. 7, 2012: Mich_M (exchange to squishies)
  • FEB. 7, 2012: MTnester (exchange to squishies)
  • FEB. 9, 2012: Olgah34 (Left TE being exchanged due to leakage)
  • FEB. 14, 2012: DLL66: (adjustable saline implant put in)
  • FEB. 24, 2012: SpecialK (exchange to squishies)
  • FEB. 27, 2012: Chickadee521 (revision to lefty & fat grafting)
  • MAR. 1, 2012: MKW1 (left TE put back in)
  • MAR. 20, 2012: Evebarry (exchange to squishies)
  • MAR. 21, 2012: Olgah34 (Left TE removed due to infection)
  • MAR. 30, 2012: fluffqueen01 (nips, lipo, fat grafting)
  • APR. 17, 2012: DM13 (right TE put back in)
  • APR. 23, 2012: Psalms91 (right TE put back in; hysterectomy)
  • APR. 23, 2012: JBennett38 (tattoos)
  • APR. 24, 2012: Greenmonkey (both TE's replaced)
  • APR. 26, 2012: Sundermom (exchange to squishies & fat grafting)
  • MAY 8, 2012: Bonseye (Left TE exchanged to squishy; right TRAM)
  • MAY 12, 2012: Survivor11 (exchange to squishies)
  • MAY 15, 2012: 1Curlyfry (new TE being put back in)
  • MAY 16, 2012: Momof3infla (exchange to squishies)
  • MAY 23, 2012: Erika8 (implant and reduction)
  • MAY 23, 2012: GreenMonkey (left TE being replaced)
  • MAY 29, 2012: Tatina123 (exchange to squishies & fat grafting)
  • JUNE 4, 2012: MTnester (revision surgery: out with the silicone, in with the saline)
  • JUNE 5, 2012: 1Curlyfry (new TE taken out due to staph infection again)
  • JULY 2, 2012: Orange73 (right TE removed)
  • JULY 3, 2012: BCAvenger (complete revision surgery, including new TEs)
  • JULY 6, 2012: Roadwarrior28 (left TE removed)
  • JULY 9, 2012: Orange73 (left TE removed)
  • JULY 12, 2012: LisaMarie68 (exchange to squishies)
  • JULY 17, 2012: Chickadee521 (nips)
  • JULY 17, 2012: Binc (right TE removed due to infection)
  • JULY 19, 2012: GreenMonkey (exchange to squishies)
  • AUG. 7, 2012: DLL66 (exchanging saline for silcone)
  • AUG. 12, 2012: Survivor11 (nips)
  • AUG. 14, 2012: Moonflwr912 (left TE replaced)
  • AUG. 22, 2012: Blessings2011 (exchange to squishies)
  • AUG. 24, 2012: CMartin (exchange to squishies)
  • AUG. 27, 2012: jill47 (bilateral incision repair)
  • AUG. 30, 2012: Layla2525 (exchange to squishies)
  • AUG. 30, 2012: Katarina (right implant removed due to delayed healing)
  • SEPT. 4, 2012: Dunesleeper (exchange to squishies)
  • SEPT. 5, 2012: Rennasus (exchange to squishies)
  • SEPT. 5, 2012: ShaeG45 (exchange to squishies)
  • SEPT. 6, 2012: Mkw1 (exchange to squishies)
  • SEPT. 7, 2012: BCavenger (exchange to squishy on right side due to leaky TE)
  • SEPT. 10, 2012: Moonflwr912 (left TE removed due to infection)
  • SEPT. 10, 2012: GreenEyes57 (exchange to squishies)
  • SEPT. 11, 2012: Rosetx (exchange to squishies)
  • SEPT. 21, 2012: FluffQueen01 (final fat grafting)
  • SEPT. 24, 2012: GreenMonkey (redoing implants with Alloderm)
  • OCT. 18, 2012: DigitalCowgirl (exchange to squishies)
  • OCT. 18, 2012: Tatina123 (tattoo consult with Vinnie)
  • OCT. 25, 2012: LynMichel (exchange to squishies)
  • NOV. 8, 2012: LynMichel (staph infection; implant removed)
  • NOV. 12, 2012: Survivor11 (tattoos)
  • NOV. 14, 2012: Redninrah (TE replaced in May, removed in Nov; delayed healing)
  • NOV. 27, 2012: akrazykat (both TEs removed due to infection)
  • DEC. 5, 2012: chrisrenee77 (exchange to squishies)
  • DEC. 6, 2012: Momof3infla (nips)
  • DEC. 6, 2012: Momof3infla (nips)
  • DEC. 7, 2012: Bonseye (tattoos)
  • DEC. 7, 2012: DLL66 (nips)
  • DEC. 7, 2012: LeeA (TE removed & replaced due to infection)
  • DEC. 12, 2012: tfee (exchange to squishies)
  • DEC. 13, 2012: GreenMonkey (fat grafting & tattoos)
  • DEC. 14, 2012: SpecialK (fat grafting)
  • DEC. 14, 2012: Chickadee52 (tattoos)

*********** TE TROUBLE MEMBER SURGERIES IN 2013 ************

  • JAN. 8, 2013: Binc (Right TE put back in)
  • JAN. 9, 2013: 1Curlyfry (TE put back in)
  • JAN. 11, 2013: RoadWarrior28 (left TE put back in)
  • JAN. 16, 2013: jill47 (exchange to squishies)
  • JAN. 22, 2013: Olgah34 (Left TE put back in with Latissimus Dorsi)
  • JAN. 30, 2013: DM13 (exchange to squishies)
  • FEB. 14, 2013: Beth1951 (exchange to squishies following TE infection)
  • APR 18, 2013: olgah34 (exchange to squishies)
  • MAY 1, 2013: 1Curlyfry (exchange to squishies)
  • MAY 24, 2013: SheChirple (DIEP!)
  • MAY 30, 2013: melmcbee (exchange to squishies)
  • JUN 5, 2013: patriciahurtado (TE removed)
  • JUN 6, 2013: not-me (exchange to squishies)
  • JUN 11, 2013: Kathymc (exchange to squishies)
  • JUN 14, 2013: psalms91 (exchange to squishies)
  • JUN 18, 2013: roadwarrior28 (exchange to squishies)
  • JUN 18, 2013: LeeA (both TEs replaced)
  • JUN 27, 2013: Mondayschild (right implant ruptured; both implants replaced)
  • JULY 8, 2013: Kathymc (right implant removed due to infection)
  • JULY 10, 2013: andrea623 (exchange to squishies)
  • JULY 24, 2013: SheaJ (exchange to squishies)
  • JULY 24, 2013: Lesley0417 (both TEs replaced due to infection)
  • AUG. 8, 2013: jnprsn (right TE removed due to seroma, fluid buildup at drain site & infection)
  • Aug 14, 2013: Momof3infla: (left side revision)
  • Aug 14, 2013: Moonflwr912: (left TE being put back in after being out a year due to infection)
  • Sept 4, 2013: Moonflwr912 (surgery to replace drain)
  • Sept 4, 2013: Michele2013 (exchange to squishies; had TE placed after radiation was completed)
  • Sept 4, 2013: Lesley0417 (back in hospital due to another infection)
  • Sept 5, 2013 Lucky777 (exchange, bilateral breast lifts and extensive pocket work)
  • Sept 10, 2013: Hotpinkmess (Cipro for pseudomonas; Lat Flap w/TE)
  • Sept 25, 2013: Mamasixtaz: (exchange to squishies)
  • Oct 18, 2013: Binc: (exchange to squishies following infection, TE removal and replacement)
  • Oct 25, 2013: purple87 (surgery to close wound after TE placement)
  • Nov 5, 2013: togetherness (exchange to squishes following cellulitis infection and fluid buildup)
  • Dec 3, 2013: goldie4040 (exchange to squishes after debridement and wound reclosure)
  • Dec 6, 2013: sandra4611 (exchange to squishes after infection)
  • Dec 6, 2013: Babs6287 (left TE removed due to rash/infection)
  • Dec 16, 2013: denise4603 (right TE removed due to excess fluid/infection)
  • Dec 18, 2013: Moonflwr912 (exchange to squishes after 2 yrs, multiple TEs and infection)
  • Dec 19, 2013: tangandchris (left TE removed due to necrosis & infection)
  • Dec 20, 2013: togetherness (implant removed due to fluid buildup, debrided and replaced)
  • Dec 31, 2013: Bobogirl (left TE removed due to infection)

*********** TE TROUBLE MEMBER SURGERIES IN 2014 ************

  • May 23, 2014: Galsal (implant being replaced due to car accident)
  • Jan 2, 2014: Purple87 (bilateral latimus dorsi flap after delayed healing following TE placement)
  • Jan 10, 2014: denise4603 (left TE removed due to excess fluid/infection)
  • Jan 14, 2013: togetherness (both implants removed due to rejection)
  • Jan 19, 2014: sherriR6379 (left TE removed due to excess fluid leakage)
  • Jan 22, 2014: denise4603 (received wound vac due to open wound healing)
  • Jan 27, 2014: tangandchris (both TEs removed due to infection)
  • Jan 31, 2014: Babs6287 (fat grafting on left side after TE removal in Dec 2013 due to rash/infection)
  • Feb 7, 2014: Purple87 (latimus dorsi flap incision infection; surgery to repair)
  • Feb 11, 2014: SchoolCounselor (left TE removed due to infection)
  • Mar 4, 2014: Naiviv (left TE removed due to infection)
  • Mar 5, 2014: Bobogirl (right TE removed due to infection)
  • Mar 7, 2014: SpecialK (revision: replacing dermal matrix bilaterally)
  • Mar 15, 2014: Purple87 (right TE removed due to fistula and delayed healing after LAT Flap)
  • Mar 19, 2014: jnprsn (TE replaced after removal following infection)
  • Mar 19, 2014: AnnieeC (TE re-do due to capsular contracture)
  • Mar 21, 2014: Lakegirl1 (hospitalized for staph infection; TE replaced; developed hives from hibiclens)
  • Apr 4, 2014: SpecialK (implant removed due to infection and healing issues; smaller implant placed)
  • Apr 9, 2014: SpecialK (implant removed)
  • Apr 16, 2014: theBCavenger (formerly DM13) (revision surgery: fat grafting and Alloderm)
  • Apr 21, 2014: Lissab (TE removed due to infection and excessive fluid output)
  • Apr 25, 2014: NJmomof3 (left TE removed, new one placed due to staph infection)
  • Mar 19, 2014: Purple87 (right TE put back in)
  • May 22, 2014: Babs6287 (fat grafting)
  • June 24, 2014: Galsal (left TE replaced; damaged in car accident)
  • June 25, 2014: SharonS (TE replaced...3rd time's the charm!)

***********************

  • Diagnosis: 12/8/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage 2A, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- History: BMX & TE 2/3/11; ONCOTYPE SCORE: 16. Three incision revisions (2/19/11, 3/28/11, 4/26/11); right TE removed (delayed healing) 7/6/11; right TE replaced 12/1/2011; exchange 9/5/12. Took Tamoxifen Mar 2011-Sep 2013; took Letrazole (Femara) Nov 2013-Apr 2016. In Feb 2016 I took the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) test which came back that I had a LOW risk of late recurrence between years 5-10 (my score: 1.8% risk) and a LOW likelihood of benefit from extended endocrine therapy. That's why I stopped hormonal treatment at the 5-year mark (April 2016). Photos of my healing issues are on my blog (thebigcandme.blogspot.com); search for "DELAYED HEALING" and "GIVING UP THE GHOST" posts. To read my BC journey from the beginning, start with my oldest blog post "Cancer Club" thebigcandme.blogspot.com/2011... then work your way backwards. :-)
BMX & TE 2/3/11; incision revisions 2/19/11, 3/28/11, 4/26/11; right TE removed 7/6/11; put back 12/1/11; exchange 9/5/12. Tamoxifen 3/2011-9/2013; Femara 11/2013-4/2016. BCI test 2/2016. Blogging at: thebigcandme.blogspot.com/ Dx 12/8/2010, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/3/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 2/3/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 2/19/2011 Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 3/24/2011 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/28/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 4/26/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 7/6/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/1/2011 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/5/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 21, 2011 02:58PM specialk wrote:

rennasus - sanbar and I do have a very similar diagnosis but I am glad she didn't have to have the Her2+ part!  And yes, the DH is not always that good at remembering stuff the docs say.  He and the PS are best buds and spend much time talking about military stuff - PS got a carrier landing last weekend so they did a fist bump before surgery.  I am over in the bed just watching them and laughing.  That was after the car stalling fiasco.  On my last chemo the dog got out and decided to play keep away for two hours.  DH chased the dog around and I went to chemo by myself but he showed up after dog was apprehended.  This is my life in a nutshell!

sanbar - I am definitely two different sizes - did your PS leave more saline out of your replaced TE to not stress the skin?  I am not worried about it because he mentioned at one of my last appointments that he could adjust fills to even them out.

vhshea - I will keep all of you fully apprised of the goings-on with the new TE.  I have a post-op appt next Thurs.  Right now I can say that I am most comfortable laying down.  Sitting up and walking around hurts a little.  My DH had to go to a meeting so I am home alone for a few hours.  A friend (who has had mucho surgery) just texted me to go potty, take a half a pain pill, gather everything I need on the bed and then take a nap!  I am seriously considering that exact plan.  Also - I totally love meatloaf sandwiches!!!

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+, IHC
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Jul 21, 2011 05:48PM sanbar8771 wrote:

Renn, I think my PS wanted to wait a while before my first fill because I have had so many infections. He didn't want anything stressing out the TE/skin before the fill.  I didn't mention that my rt TE had been filled once previously back in 2010 right after BMX so this new TE on the left is about the same size. My PS fills them up the same so he can watch for swelling.

SpecialK, my PS filled me up on the left the same as the rt. He wants to check and make sure I didn't have any additional swelling. I have had pretty much everything under the sun go wrong so we are taking extra extra caution. We are going to go very very slow in expanding. I might wait until next year before I do the exchange. At this point I just want 2 boobs. I dont care what they look like or feel. I am a newly wed so I just want to get back on with my life and have some clevage. I dont care if the clevage is from the TE's or implants.

I would ask why they are 2 different sizes. My left side was larger for about a week after surgery. But now everything is mellowing out. My rt side has already dropped and the skin is perfect for the next fill. I am not sure about the left. I hope everything heals well with you.

Take Care Ladies.

Julie

Dx 5/7/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 21, 2011 08:05PM specialk wrote:

sanbar - thanks - I will be asking questons next week at the post-op.  They look like completely different shapes right now, but I think there are a lot of reasons for that.

I am sorry that you are having this experience as a newlywed, it has to be so hard.  Having been married for almost 30 years has been such a blessing during this time.   My husband and I know each other very well - he has been nothing but supportive.  I know you want to look beautiful for your new husband, but I am sure he thinks you are.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+, IHC
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Jul 21, 2011 09:31PM Rennasus wrote:

Sanbar, I've only been married 3 years so I know whatcha mean. 

SpecialK...oops, didn't see the all-important HER2+ ... my bad. (I am still cracking up at the pre-surgery military fist bump!)

Am so excited for you guys with your new TE's. As vhshea says, you are blazing the trail for us!

BMX & TE 2/3/11; incision revisions 2/19/11, 3/28/11, 4/26/11; right TE removed 7/6/11; put back 12/1/11; exchange 9/5/12. Tamoxifen 3/2011-9/2013; Femara 11/2013-4/2016. BCI test 2/2016. Blogging at: thebigcandme.blogspot.com/ Dx 12/8/2010, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/3/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 2/3/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 2/19/2011 Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 3/24/2011 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/28/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 4/26/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 7/6/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/1/2011 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/5/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 22, 2011 09:00AM specialk wrote:

rennasus - I know, boys are ridiculous.  All, some pain today - not gonna lie, but I am looking forward to a warm shower when DH gets home from a meeting.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+, IHC
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Jul 22, 2011 02:14PM Rennasus wrote:

SpecialK: What's the pain from... pressure on skin? against ribs? the incision? Just gen'l pain from the TE being placed in a pocket that was all healed up? (Trying to prepare myself for my future!)

BMX & TE 2/3/11; incision revisions 2/19/11, 3/28/11, 4/26/11; right TE removed 7/6/11; put back 12/1/11; exchange 9/5/12. Tamoxifen 3/2011-9/2013; Femara 11/2013-4/2016. BCI test 2/2016. Blogging at: thebigcandme.blogspot.com/ Dx 12/8/2010, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/3/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 2/3/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 2/19/2011 Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 3/24/2011 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/28/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 4/26/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 7/6/2011 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/1/2011 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/5/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 23, 2011 12:55AM Kyta wrote:

Thanks for starting this thread Rennasus. Here's my story.

Dec 2009, left mx no recon. Nov 2010, right prophy mx, and TEs placed on both sides. Had both sides filled to 340 ccs as of Jan 20th. Then started oral antibiotics in Jan 2011 for apparent infection on left side, then was on IV vanco for 3 or 4 weeks no change but had allergic reaction to vanco. March 8 2011 had left expander removed. June 20th had new expander put in left side and 5 days post surgery had allergic reaction to keflex antibiotics. I"m now at 230 ccs on left side and so far so good (knock on wood) except initially had terrible nerve related pain. I'm feeling good but a little paranoid…worried that something bad will happen, or that I'll need antibiotics and have another allergic reaction.

Thanks for sharing your stories….wishing you all well on your reconstruction journey. 

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Jul 23, 2011 02:18AM GabiT wrote:

My situation seems to be pretty common- bilateral mastectomy followed by immediate installation of tissue expanders. I began chemo a month and a half later. Two and a half months later my energy dropped, my eyes started twitching and losing focus and I had a vague, constant nausea. My temp was 100.03 so I called the on-call doctor who told me to go to the ER.  I was put on IV antibiotics. The cause was the right TE.  I had it removed.  Three months after that I had one put back in. I'm hoping this one succeeds.

My first reaction is to question the process.  I can't help but wonder if it would not have been better to have one surgery at a time.  I began reconstruction immediately thinking it would save a surgery.  If I were to advise someone I would suggest completely heal from the mastectomies first, then begin reconstruction. Chemo should figure into the equation. It might be better to post-pone reconstruction until chemo is finished.  Your immune system is compromised with chemo and your body can't be expected to fight off extra infection. I would tell anyone entering the odyssey to consider these points.

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Jul 23, 2011 01:00PM specialk wrote:

gabit - for me I had to have the recon first because I had skin sparing, nipple sparing BMX.  The nipples would not have survived otheriwse, but you raise a good point.  I did not have issues because of infection, my problem was skin death, which happens in about 20% of those procedures.

rennasus - I think the pain is coming from swelling that is pressing on the expander and I think it will subside on its own.  It goes away when I lay down (so I just keep laying down!) so gravity and the weight of the expander is pinching something.  It is way back at the end of the incision closest to my back, it is a burning kind of pain.  It is not constant but it is pretty intense.  My PS had me massage all over my skin after he removed the TE last Jan. and he had no problem putting this new one in.  The surgery went faster than I thought it would.  If you are not massaging I would ask about it and definitely start - it seemed to make a real difference.  He was concerned about having to dig through scar tissue and I didn't have much.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+, IHC
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Jul 23, 2011 04:08PM - edited Jul 23, 2011 05:39PM by Just_V

SpecialK - about the massaging... So when my TE was removed... my breast, with the nipple, kind of folded in and over itself - like a towel that  you dropped on the floor in a pile... so I have a fold in the breast where the two sides come together.. .are you saying that when your TE was removed and the breast was all collapsed like mine, you massaged it?  When I try, the muscle underneath seems immovable... ?

V - Stage 1B - UMX w/ TE on 6/8/11 – 1.4 cm calc, invasion total 3cm. Second 1.2 cm mass (post op); TE removed 7/12; Onc score 12 no chemo; Tami began 7/21/11;UMX on left with double DIEP on 11/9/2011 Dx 4/14/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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