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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 08:00AM - edited Feb 5, 2020 10:58AM 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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Posts 121 - 150 (8,788 total)

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Aug 6, 2011 09:50AM Rennasus wrote:

vhshea, I hear you on "babysitting the incision"! I was nursing (pardon the pun) my incision for 5 months until it finally was removed. Can't tell you how much I $$$ I spent on Xeroform, gauze pads, bactriban and paper tape! I felt such relief after the TE was out. I can actually go without gauze, without tape, without worry (new incision is all healed! And quickly, i might add.). I wore a surgical vest for 5 months, can't bear to wear it either. Since I have one TE at 350ccs and nothing on the other side, the two non-wire bras I own hurt. So until I can get something figured out, I just go commando under clothes and have disconnected from caring how lopsided I look. I am enjoying my freedom! Hang in there! I sympathize on the skin fold too; I have one slight fold but unfortunately don't have all that much skin to fold!

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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Aug 6, 2011 02:11PM drdolittle wrote:

I had my bmx with TE 10/10. The first fill was extremely painful but i managed, the second fill about put me off the table. The right side was red and puffy on the upper part of the incision. I was admitted for I.V. antibiotics for three days and the appearance improved a little. I was sent home on antibiotics. Unfortunately, by Thanksgiving Eve I knew it was not right - saw the nurse practioner the Tuesday after the holiday and ended up having the expander removed that Friday. Felt much better almost instantly. I had a nasty gram negative infection in the pocket with my tissue expander - I wonder who's hind end contaminated my surgical wound. After much thought , tears and time I opted to switch plastic surgeons and hospitals. 4/11 TE replaced and exchanged is scheduled for 8/26. No issues to date but i want the implants in and incisions healed.

Dx 9/2/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 6, 2011 02:16PM drdolittle wrote:

I can relate - I went all winter with one tissue expander and one flat. Cammisoles and ruffles for blouses. I work as a veterinarian and dealt with the public every day. Thank goodness scrubs are baggy:)

Dx 9/2/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 6, 2011 04:44PM SpecialK wrote:

drdolittle - sorry you had to be in the club here but glad your replaced TE worked out and now you are on the road to exchange!

I got together with some of the BCO ladies here in the Tampa area today.  We had a great lunch and it was a lot of fun.  I couldn't drive due to the surgery so DH drove me.  I realized in the car that I forgot to wear a bra!!!  I tried the top on and totally meant to take it off , put the bra on and put the top back on.  It was a patterned top, and as we know they don't bounce anyway, right?  I felt like a doofus.

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 6, 2011 06:04PM PlantLover wrote:

Okay ... I just have to ask ... those of you that had your TEs removed and replaced, did you have radiation?  Sorry if I missed this info already.

"Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is." -- Mary Anne Radmacher Dx 10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, 3/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Aug 6, 2011 06:25PM - edited Aug 6, 2011 06:26PM by Just_V

drdolittle - so glad you swapped out PSs... I called my PS on a Sunday with concerns about infection - he called back 10 minutes later, called in antibiotics to the pharmacy, and had me in his office the next day.  He opened the incision, expressed the fluid, and had me in the operating room the next day (said he wanted to operate on Monday but because I had eaten, we had to wait).  He said ANY infection in a TE and they need to come out immediatly... so even though I hate the four month setback, I trust my PS so much and that is sooo important.. so I am glad you like yours now... 

Renn - the $$ on gauze alone!!!! Holy crap!  and paper tape!

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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Aug 6, 2011 08:51PM drdolittle wrote:

SpecialK - I had to laugh about forgetting your bra. It is so easy to do now since they dont move. I tend to wing the sports bra off whereever I am if it is at all uncomfortable. Found to sports bras in my brief case while paying a delivery man and then the bra I flung off in the barn while feeding my horse and the barn help found. Its really pretty funny.

No radiation BMX10/6/10 with TE Infection removed TE 12/10 new PS new TE4/11 on arimidex since 11/11

Dx 9/2/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 6, 2011 10:20PM Rennasus wrote:

SpecialK: How fun you got to meet some BCO ladies! How many are in your area?

vhshea: I don't know why they don't package gauze in pkgs larger than 25... I would go through a box every couple of days! At least it's tax deductible!

I did not have radiation. I did not have an infection. I lost my TE due to poor circulation (my opinion; not sure what my PS's final determination is yet!)

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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Aug 7, 2011 06:23AM SpecialK wrote:

plantlover - I had a BMX and complete node dissection so no rads.  My removed TE was due to skin healing issues from my surgery.

drdolittle - I have also had a variety of prosthetics/bras in my purse that I have removed or taken off that I have forgotten about, and then run an errand or something, as I am rummaging around in the purse I see them! And so does everyone else!  You have to laugh!

There were 5 BCO ladies at the lunch, there are more here but some had to work or had other commitments.  I think there are pretty frequent get-togethers though.  Found out that I have doctors and physical therapists in common with a couple of the ladies too.  It was really nice to see them all, even though we had never met before it was like we knew each other.

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 7, 2011 08:10PM Kyta wrote:

Ren -  5 months is a long time to deal with incision issues….I'm sure you were fed up! Before my TE was finally removed, I was on IV for about 5 or 6 weeks, and the nurse would come to my home every afternoon (twice a day sometimes when she needed to do blood work in the morning), and the pharmacy would deliver meds and all kinds of other stuff once or twice a week (my house felt like a drugstore), and I was working full time (while lugging around my IV bag). I can't imagine going through that for any longer than I did. I'm sure you were so relieved when the TE came out and your incision finally healed. My remaining side was at 340 ccs so understand the lopsided issue and the pain with wearing a bra/prosthesis….when it hits the incision site, it's not at all comfortable. After about 1 month though I started to wear the bra/prosthesis because it was hard to dress for work. I couldn't wait to get in my car after work and undo my bra…what a relief.

Drdolittle - Sorry to hear about your TE troubles, and glad to hear things are going well now. Good luck on the 26th with your exchange!

Plantlover - No radiation for me.

I'm finally going for a fill onThursday on my TE replaced side. It's at 230ccs now  (my right side is 340). Because of summer holidays at the hospital clinics I haven't had a fill since July 14th. If nothing else, this experience has taught me patience. My TEs were originally put in last Nov…I expected to have implants in by spring. Never expected this process would go on for so long. I find it hard not to be reminded of BC while this is dragging on. What about you ladies? Do you think it will be easier to move on from BC once you finally get the implants and don't have as many medical appts? 

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Aug 7, 2011 08:26PM Kyta wrote:

Oh and SpecialK - great that you were able to get together with some women from this site. Nice to put a name to a face isn't it? I was lucky to get together with Sharon50 and Konakat for lunch a few times…makes the online experience a bit more personal.

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Aug 8, 2011 04:50AM SpecialK wrote:

Mich_M - I shared your expectation that implant exchange would/should have come sooner, and have learned patience as well!  It has become a marathon as opposed to a sprint.  My original TE's were placed last November as well.  Your whole journey with the IV's and all had to be such a pain, and also scary!

I really enjoyed meeting the FL ladies.  It does personalize things.  I was also fortunate that in my Feb chemo group there were two ladies that began exactly the same time as me and were on the same chemo cocktail.  We compared notes and SE's and had a very similar experience.  It helped not to feel so alone and we supported each other.  All three of us also worked in hospitals - weird, huh?

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 8, 2011 06:30AM PlantLover wrote:

Thank you for sharing if you had radiation!  I wish all of you success with your reconstruction! 

"Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is." -- Mary Anne Radmacher Dx 10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, 3/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Aug 8, 2011 07:59AM SpecialK wrote:

plantlover - thanks for the good wishes!  Sometimes the end of the road seems a long way off, but we will get there!

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 8, 2011 03:19PM Lifeafter wrote:

Just saw my plastic surgeon.  I'll be having my tissue expander reinserted around Halloween.  I have a three month reprieve!  He also gave me a prescription for Soma.  My necj and shoulders are killing me from sleeping on my back!  Looking forward to taking one tonight!

Michelle

5/5/11 lumpectomy - 5/13/11 PMX - 6/20/11 BMX w/immediate recon 7/27/11 RT TE removed - 10/28/11 RT TE replaced - 2/3/12 oopherectomy/salpingectomy - 7/3/12 major revision, LFT implant - 9/7/12 RT Implant Dx 5/12/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Aug 8, 2011 03:34PM SpecialK wrote:

mrochon - Yay for Halloween TE!  Is Soma a sleep med?

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 8, 2011 04:05PM Lifeafter wrote:

Soma is a muscle relaxer. A nice muscle relaxer! :-)

5/5/11 lumpectomy - 5/13/11 PMX - 6/20/11 BMX w/immediate recon 7/27/11 RT TE removed - 10/28/11 RT TE replaced - 2/3/12 oopherectomy/salpingectomy - 7/3/12 major revision, LFT implant - 9/7/12 RT Implant Dx 5/12/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Aug 8, 2011 04:32PM SpecialK wrote:

mrochon - might need to ask my PS for that when I start fills!  I am glad you have some and will enjoy it!

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 8, 2011 05:04PM Lifeafter wrote:

Special K - I'm reading alot on muscle spasms from fills but I never got any. Maybe I didn't feel them post op because it was hidden by the much greater pain. The only fill I had was the one before my TE was removed but that was only 30ccs. I'm thinking that was just cause it was such a little amount.

Michelle

5/5/11 lumpectomy - 5/13/11 PMX - 6/20/11 BMX w/immediate recon 7/27/11 RT TE removed - 10/28/11 RT TE replaced - 2/3/12 oopherectomy/salpingectomy - 7/3/12 major revision, LFT implant - 9/7/12 RT Implant Dx 5/12/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Aug 9, 2011 05:38AM Just_V wrote:

michelle - i am so jealous - but my PS appt is tomorrow - maybe i will get a TE re-insertion date too!  i never even got a fill (sad thing is that even without a fill, my TE almost matched the size of my good boob... lol)

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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Aug 9, 2011 06:32AM SpecialK wrote:

mrochon - I am still 100% aware of both the old TE and the new TE and the overwhelming feeling I had after BMX was pressure, not pain from the surgery.  I only have 120cc in the right, less in the left, and I feel the pressure all the time.  I am nervous about fills but my PS said we can go as slow as I want.  I was already thinking I would need a muscle relaxer.  I have Flexiril from the BMX but it didn't work very well for me.

vhshea - never had a fill either - my 120cc puts me almost to the same size I was too.  With the new TE I am still lopsided because he didn't put very much saline in, and it is a weird shape so I can't wear anything thin or fitted unless I wear a bra, which is still uncomfortable.  That would be how I went to the lunch without one!

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 9, 2011 08:54PM Rennasus wrote:

It's weird, I feel my left TE as much today as I did when I first got it. Even with the right TEremoved, I still feel weird on that side. A muscle relaxer during the fill process sounds very wise!

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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Aug 10, 2011 02:25AM BilateralMasectomyat39 wrote:

Hi all.  I've been away for a while.  Evidently, the leak I got in my left breast was concerning to my PS when I went back yesterday for my first fill.  He determined there may be infection and needed to go in and clean it out.  I had surgery again today to remove the expander. I was hoping he could put back in.  But no such luck.  Have a drain in again.   I'll have to wait a while now to have it put back in and start over. :(  It seems that a lot of women with the expanders have issues with infections.  I wonder why it's so difficult to keep that at bay.

Dx 6/6/2010, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes
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Aug 10, 2011 07:36AM Just_V wrote:

Back from my PS appt, and he does not think I have sufficient skin to support the TE and eventual implant, so in six weeks I return to discuss flap surgery - which involves four days in the hospital

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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Aug 10, 2011 07:54AM Rennasus wrote:

BilateralMastectomyat39: I remember you from last month. So Sorry you ended up having the TE removed. Did he remove just the left TE? I had a drain again too. Hopefully yours will not be in very long. Please keep us posted! What antibiotics does he have you on>

Vhshea: Shoot!! I'm so sorry to hear this. So your one TE is fine, you will need flap surgery on the other side? This is a such an incredible pain in the $## ERGH!!! (My PS mentioned that a flap was a possibility for me as well.) Do you think your PS knew all along (as in since your TE was removed) that you likely didn't have enough skin, or did something in your healing change his mind?

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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Aug 10, 2011 07:55AM Rennasus wrote:

vhshea, sorry, forgot you are a UMX! Disregard my one question! ;-)

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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Aug 10, 2011 08:05AM SpecialK wrote:

bilat - sorry to hear about your TE - we all know how you are feeling.  It is disappointing, I know.  Pretty much it looks like if you develop an infection the TE comes out until it abates.  I was fortunate that I didn't have one either the first time, or this time, I just didn't heal.  This time I have a crazy rash - don't know what it means, but see the PS tomorrow.  It is always something, isn't it?

vhshea - I am so sorry that your options have narrowed.  Hopefully what you are being offered will work for you and not be too much of an inconvenience.  I know facing a more invasive procedure and more hospital time is daunting.  Please know I am thinking of you.

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 10, 2011 05:54PM Kyta wrote:

bilat - sorry for your news…it absolutely sucks to have it removed. I hope you recover well from surgery and get the drain out sooner than later.

vhshea - I've wondered why some women with TEs/implants also have flap surgery. I thought the whole point of doing the TEs was to expand the skin enough to accommodate an implant? 

SpecialK - what's up with the rash? Is it only on your breast?  

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Aug 10, 2011 06:25PM SpecialK wrote:

Mich_M - The rash is predominantly on the newly TE'd side with spreading in the cleavage and a little onto the right side.  I had itching from the same evening of the TE put-back surgery.  It is pretty red right now but the PS will see it tomorrow.  It may be an antibiotic reaction either from the Clindamycin they gave during surgery or the sulfa drug afterward - very common for me, but I was also itching under the compression bra, also common.  I was allergic to the camisole thing with the drain pockets when I had my BMX, as well as the hospital sheets.  I am hoping he will prescribe some Prednisone - that usually works and I am far enough out from the surgery.  I went today for physical therapy and the therapist refused to massage me because she was concerned that she would aggravate it!  I was bummed because I love that massage!

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, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 11, 2011 07:56PM Kyta wrote:

HI SpecialK - I hope it's nothing to worry about, that it's just some skin sensitivities….let us know what the PS said.

I went for a fill today on my re-inserted TE side and I'm happy to say it was a breeze…no pain or muscle spasms. Two more fills on that side and I'll be back to where I was Jan 20th and will match the ride side again:) Seems like forever ago.

Mich 

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