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Topic: TEs. A Beginner's Primer

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

Posted on: Mar 11, 2014 06:16PM - edited Jan 23, 2016 06:08PM by Moonflwr912

Moonflwr912 wrote:

Hi. If you've found this thread, you are probably interested in information, tips and help. We'll all do our best to help. We'll post links to several other threads that may be of help as well. But many of us realized that we were scaring Newbies on the TE Trouble Board and that there should be an information Board instead! LOL. So I'll post first. As you can see I had a lot of "Scenic Detours" on my "journey" . But there are many, many others who are on the "Express Train" on their Reconstruction Journey. You'll see a lot of them pop in with their best tips!

First 3 rules!

1. Talk to your PS. They are all different from one another and have different rules about restrictions and bras.

2. If you are experiencing any fever, or redness in the breast, CALL YOUR PS OR BS! Many problems can be stopped in their tracks if intervention is in time.

3. Keep your end vision in mind. It will help you through those inevitable days of "Why, oh why, am I doing this?" We all have moments of doubt, or comments about "why you are doing this operation just for vanity?" All of us here know that this was a major decision made with information we had at the time and the knowledge that we needed this for ourselves.

I may add more rules as I think of them or as requested by my wonderful poster friends here on BC who are so willing and able to share that invaluable knowledge with everyone.

Finally, the Mantra of Exchange City and TE Boards:

"Just because you CAN, Doesn't mean you SHOULD"!!!

Remember you are still healing on the inside. And even if you feel fine, don't try to do too much. You could set back your recovery and take even longer to get to those "Squishies"!

Much Love,

Monica

Below are some helpful links:

Breast Implant 101. This is Whippetmom's helpful board that will get you pointed in the right direction on sizes and types. Please follow the instructions on the very first post in the thread.

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/44/topic/...

Bras 101 - everything about Bras. Please remember that though these women are trying to help you, your Plastic Surgeon or Breast Surgeon has the final word. They know all your circumstances and information and you should follow their recommendations. That said, this is very helpful information.

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/44/topics...

Exchange City - This is what we aim for! For those of us getting near to the "Squishy Side". For those who will have an exchange to implants soon. People on this board are very helpful and encouraging. Ask questions!

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/44/topics...

TE Trouble - Yes, sometimes the process does not go as smoothly as we would like. In fact it can go very badly and the TE Trouble board is for people who have more issues than we can handle on this information board. Please remember that as in chemo, not everybody gets all the side effects or gets bad side effects constantly. Things happen. We don't like it, but they do. (or would we even be here? LOL) So don't go looking for "Trouble" unless it finds you!

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/44/topics/771702?page=281#idx_8418


Sometimes life SUCKS! Sometimes it doesn't. I prefer when it doesn't! If you're ever bored, read my biography. Bring snacks..... LOL Monica Dx 11/11/2011, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 12/7/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/16/2012 Reconstruction (left) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/15/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/12/2012 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 8/19/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2012 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 8/13/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/3/2013 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 12/12/2013 Reconstruction (left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant
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Feb 16, 2017 04:30PM meg2016 wrote:

I purchased a Genie bra and another similar one (Coobie I think) but the problem I have is that my TE's are lower so I really need something with adjustable shoulder staps. All the ones that don't adjust are too high and don't go under my TE's. It is harder than I thought to find a non-underwire, non-sportsbra with some adjustment and ideally it looks ok under clothes. I just ordered an Amoena- lets hope it works!

Diagnosed 3/4/16 at age 39; 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ , THP+AC, DMX with expander placement, Radiation, Aromasin
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Feb 16, 2017 04:34PM SpecialK wrote:

meg - this is a decent non-underwire, comfortable bra with adjustable straps for the TE period, and afterward. I wore a Warner's bra, not this exact one, but very similar and it was very comfortable.

http://warners.com/intimates/cloud_9_wirefree_contour/

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. 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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Feb 20, 2017 09:11AM meg2016 wrote:

SpecialK- thanks! That looks perfect! Ordering today!

Diagnosed 3/4/16 at age 39; 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ , THP+AC, DMX with expander placement, Radiation, Aromasin
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Feb 20, 2017 04:47PM Alex276 wrote:

http://www.onehanesplace.com/shop/onehanesplace/br...

This is my favorite post exchange bra. They are very comfortable. I mostly wear bralettes but sometimes I need something more supportive

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Feb 20, 2017 05:29PM SpecialK wrote:

alex - Great price too!

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. 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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Feb 22, 2017 12:39AM ajbclan wrote:

Well I'll help bump this! I'm 3 weeks post surgery, left side feels ok, right side has some swelling by the lymph node scar, saw the surgeon last week...going again this Thursday. I had requested a PT referral and called today to check on that as well (BS has to request, but PS has to say ok to actually do it). The surgeon last week said it was fluid, we can drain but there's the risk of infection. If I wait too long to drain then could make it tougher with scar tissue. She said I was border line at the time. So stop using arm and see if it resolves. I can't tell what's going on lol. Everyone was right on the TE's being so uncomfortable. Today I actually took a motrin- felt like burning/tearing at times when I moved around.

Thanks for listening...any hints I'm open!

Dx 8/9/16 with "multiple masses", chemo from 8/24/16 to 12/14/16- PCR. BMX w/TE: 1/31/2017; Exchange-9/18/17. Dealt with blood clot, cellulitis and another infection. Variance on PALB2 gene. Dx 8/9/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/24/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/31/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 12/19/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 22, 2017 07:26AM Shoregirl wrote:

Hi ajbclan, sorry you are having the issue with fluid, I bet it is uncomfortable to say the least!! You are right behind me, my surgery was 1/27/17. Did your expanders go behind or in front of the muscle? Mine are in front of, my ps hoped he could put them there as he said it is much less painful, but it would depend on the quality of my blood supply. I see in your signature you have a mastiff, that is a lot of dog to handle I do hope you have plenty of help!! The TEs ARE not pleasant, I can't wait to get them out!! Another member, Pugsmama has AIR filled TEs instead of saline. She says they are super comfy. I don't know if it is an option for your ps to drain saline and refill with air. I am just a few fills from being done so I will just grin and bear it!! Best wishes!!

Faith, Hope & Love, the greatest of these is Love 1st Cor 13:13 Dx 12/2/2016, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/25/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/4/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Feb 22, 2017 08:29AM Wildtulip wrote:

Moonflwr, I hope you have fully recovered from the flu!


Dx at 46 "It's not simple to say, that most days I don't recognize me. I still remember that girl. She is gone, but she used to be mine." Sara Bareilles Dx 3/5/2015, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 3/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/26/2015 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 4/22/2015 Radiation Therapy 10/15/2015 Surgery 6/7/2016 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Feb 23, 2017 04:17PM - edited Feb 23, 2017 04:23PM by ajbclan

thanks shoregirl (by the way- it tried to autocorrect to "show girl" lol).....they're under the muscle and the PS said that can be causing the discomfort as well (makes sense). Maybe one of the lines in our bios should be pre-surgery bra size lol. I was small - A...the PS reminded me a couple of times that I wasn't lucky in that area - duh! So I know I don't have much skin to stretch.

Met with the BS today to check on what we are now labeling as a seroma.....she and I decided to not drain and let the PS take a look. Otherwise she said I'm healing above normal at this point in the game. As long as I'm on track I'll deal with these things. Interesting about the air!

I forgot! Yes- I don't walk the Mastiff, but she doesn't need much exercise as it is (her own health issues lol)- she's a couch sitter with me :)

Dx 8/9/16 with "multiple masses", chemo from 8/24/16 to 12/14/16- PCR. BMX w/TE: 1/31/2017; Exchange-9/18/17. Dealt with blood clot, cellulitis and another infection. Variance on PALB2 gene. Dx 8/9/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/24/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/31/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 12/19/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 2, 2017 04:22PM Seedsally wrote:

Hello everyone. I am post exchange since 11/2016. And soooo glad to have those painful TEs gone. I have had some problems with my heart in December and am on restrictions diet and no stress or unnecessary exercise to let meds work and healing to take place. So my intended nipple tattoos are on hold. I also have a stitch that is sticking out a little on one side where excess tissue had to be removed at EX that bothers me. It hasn't dissolved yet but the stitches were thicker stuff on that side and are taking longer. It's better than it was a month ago though. Just have to give it a little more time I guess. My implants are under the muscle 800 ccs and are very soft and squishy. They are silicone and feel pretty natural. I don't wear a bra most of the time because of that sore stitch and I only have a couple that feel right

No gene mutations found. ADH left ADH in 2/2 nodes left. IDC right Sentinel node dissection no positive nodes right. Oncotype 24 also taking calcium 600 mg / D3 400 IU Dx 2/25/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/13/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 4/18/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 11/10/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 2, 2017 09:47PM Imkopy2 wrote:

Seedsally - Im having my exchange surgery Wednesday (3/8) Im excited and nervous all at the same time. Did you have any fat grafting during stage 2? My surgeon is planning on doing it and I think it is adding to my anxiety, How long do they think it will take for the stitch to fully dissolve? Keeping you and your health in my prayers {hugs

If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you Dx 3/7/2016, DCIS/IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 5/23/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/22/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 1/24/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/7/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 9/26/2017
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Mar 3, 2017 09:02AM Seedsally wrote:

IM I did not have fat grafting because I had fat around my pockets before EX. Too much for some reason. I am not too much overweight and very tall. It seems I just had a lot of fat around my natural breasts that were very large. I had a heart problem in December that has kept me from going back to my PS to check on that stitch but it is disintegrating now and no infection so I am not worried. This only happened because of larger sutures used related to removal if what looked like 2 extra breasts under my arms that were painful. Naturally thicker stitches take longer to dissolve I guess. Good luck on your EX. You will be so happy to have the squishies afterwards.

No gene mutations found. ADH left ADH in 2/2 nodes left. IDC right Sentinel node dissection no positive nodes right. Oncotype 24 also taking calcium 600 mg / D3 400 IU Dx 2/25/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/13/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 4/18/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 11/10/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 3, 2017 02:08PM TrmTab wrote:

Seedsally, when I get my exchange my PS said he would remove some of the side boob as well. Originally he had talked about one long incision...basically extending the incision to my side, bringing the incision down to the IMF and extending it out. However, the last time he said he might do it that way or might not -- that he would choose on the table! Do you have one extended incision or two?

Dx 9/2015, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/21/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/10/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 6/3/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/8/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Surgery 12/16/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 5/12/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 4, 2017 11:00PM Alex276 wrote:

I also had the extra foob bulge under my arms. I had liposuction under both arms when I had my exchange. The right side (cancer side) looks great and flat. The left side is still flabby. PS is going to lipo again during my nipple reconstuction and fat grafting for the upper pole divet and if it doesn't flatten out he said he would remove the skin in the office. He said it's a "simple procedure". I'm hoping the second lipo will work, having it removed in the office kind of freaks me out

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Mar 6, 2017 09:20PM Shoregirl wrote:

Well, I had to cancel this week's fill. Was supposed to be tomorrow, Tuesday. I am at 425 cc in a 450 TE. I had 75cc last week, thinking I would get another 75cc this week and be at 500. NOT!!! 75 was too much :( I am wondering if as you get closer to capacity it hurts more, as I have been having pain in my back with this last fill, but not previous ones. The PA told me that they can overfill the TE to DOUBLE the capacity, so my 450's can handle 900cc?? I find that incredible. I actually had a dream after my 75 fill that my TE POPPED, and leaked out all down my front. Shocked Anyway, the PA is very sweet. She emailed me back saying just listen to my body, if I need to slow down, that is fine. This will go according to my comfort level. I am a little discouraged to have to postpone, but I am not wanting to sacrifice my comfort to hurry up and get it over with.

TrmTab, you mentioned to me on another thread about being filled to 800, may I ask the size of your TEs? Also, I have "dog ears" under my arms due to a 50 lb weight loss. The PS told me those would be gone after exchange surgery. He basically said he would have to "chase the scar further back my sides". My scars are the "wise pattern" kind of like an anchor, due to a breast reduction surgery I had back in 1993. They used the same incisions for my BMX. Its weird how when I lay on my back, my boobs stay standing straight up. I used to hate how my natural boobs hung to the side when I lay on my back, now I miss it! Ah well, eventually I guess we all get used to the "new normal"!

Faith, Hope & Love, the greatest of these is Love 1st Cor 13:13 Dx 12/2/2016, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/25/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/4/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 7, 2017 10:14AM farmdream wrote:

Shoregirl - I was getting weekly fills but had t move to every other week because of pain. I also started to have pain in my upper back. I have had 5 fills, most around 40cc, when I tried 60 I thought I was going to have to have them remove some. I have become more uncomfortable as time has gone on and my muscles are all very angry.

I started PT so hopefully I get some relief.

Hope your pain goes away soon.

Dx 10/17/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/3/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 1/25/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 7, 2017 11:29AM TrmTab wrote:

Shoregirl

My TEs are 600-720cc capacity filled to 800. The plan is a swap to an 800. At one point the PS talked about filling to 850, but once I got to 800 he didn't push for more...and I am grateful. I am a UMx so my left is actually smaller than my right by maybe a cup size...I have lost about 20 lbs since diagnosis and don't want to pursue the reduction until I am at a more stable weight -- don't want to take too much and then the PS says...oh we can add an implant on that side (I have heard this done!).

Dx 9/2015, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/21/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/10/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 6/3/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/8/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Surgery 12/16/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 5/12/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 7, 2017 02:24PM Shoregirl wrote:

Farmdream, I notices a lot of ladies on here actually going every other week. I think that is a wise move. A friend of mine went through the BC journey 5 yrs ago and told me she "powered through" 100cc every week!! I can't imagine. She just wanted to be done with it. I'm sorry you are in pain too. I hope your PT helps!! I want to start PT, but honestly have just been too tired and since I have to travel an hour to get to my PS each week do not have the energy to go to PT 2-3 days a week too. Then I was thinking if I start PT now once I have my I will have to put it on hold so might as well wait til after exchange. I may end up changing my mind on that though. Just want this all done by summer!!

TrmTab, you DEFINITELY need to be at a weight you are comfy maintining. I had my breast reduction along w/tummy tuck "mommy makeover" back 1n 1993. I was not proactive in asking the right questions, and my PS wasn't volunteering any info. I had dieted down to a weight that was unrealistic for me to maintain. I am 5'71/2" with a medium, athletic frame, and 140 - 147 is my comfort zone. Prior to my mommy makeover, I dieted down to 128 lb. I was reduced from a double D to a B cup. I LOVED IT!! I could finally wear button tops that didn't gap, and cute tops etc. But as my weight creeped back up, my boobs grew too. Then, I was put on Lyrica for a couple years and gained 50 lb!!! My boobs grew back to double D. I have since lost the weight, coming off Lyrica and am now steady at 145, but my boobs remained a D to DD. Kissed that money goodbye!!

Faith, Hope & Love, the greatest of these is Love 1st Cor 13:13 Dx 12/2/2016, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/25/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/4/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 7, 2017 03:43PM TrmTab wrote:

Agree, my PS wants to do exchange and reduction at same time....I prefer one at a time, plus want to get back to a more normal weight for me. Currently DD on natural side and C/D on TE side...while my 55 y.o. body no doubt could use a "lift" pretty sure another 20 lbs will put my natural side at a D and pretty close to the implant.

Dx 9/2015, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/21/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/10/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 6/3/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/8/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Surgery 12/16/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 5/12/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 9, 2017 03:12AM LisbethS wrote:

Hi, I just found this group, looks like a great place for information. I'm getting my MX & TEs tomorrow (Friday 3-10-17).

My PS says he starts fills starting about 3 weeks post surgery. He fills me at surgery with something like 100-200cc. Then 60-100cc every week. I'm going to 800cc. The TEs will be under the muscle.

I know people recommend going slower but I really want to find a way to power through it as I really want to be able to swim as much as possible this summer. I have a heart condition called POTS and one of the only exercises I can do is swim so it really is a life saver for me, haha no pun intended.

Other than pain, is there any other reason or anything I should look out for with doing fills aggressively? Do you get stretch marks going too fast or is it really more about how big you go or the type of skin you have?

Thanks!


DX'd at 51, OncotypeDX 40, BRCA2+. Couldn't do this without the love of my DD 13, DS 11 & DH who keeps me sane through this insane journey. Dx 6/24/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/5/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 3 Surgery 7/13/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 9/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/8/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 3/9/2017 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 9, 2017 10:01AM Shoregirl wrote:

Hi LisbethS,

Welcome!! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!! I have a friend who powered through, she did 100 a week and was done in less than 2 months. I don't know how many CCS she ended up but she is a D to DBL DD.

As for stretchmarks, I recommend using oil of choice ( I use a mixture of essential oils and she's butter, coconut, and avocado) but NOT on the incisions!!

I believe it has to do with how fast you go as well as your skin' moisture level and elasticity.. I got major stretchmarks with my pregnancies so I made sure to keep my breast skin well moisturized through the expansion process. I did 50cc, 100cc once, back to 50, then 75cc. After the 100, I saw stretchmarks starting to appear on lower poles just above IMF. That's when I started oiling everyday and thankfully I caught it in time. My TEs are ABOVE the muscle and I couldn't handle the discomfort of anything more than 50cc. In fact, after my last fill of 75, I had to skip a week because the stretching was so intense I had ridges from my collarbone to the TE from the pulling. Then later that week I felt intense pulling from the skin below my TEs. I am currently filled to 425, planning to go to 500, but I can go more if I want. Trying to get back to my pre bmx size of 36D -DD. I am filling my D cup bra almost completely at 425 so we shall see!

Everyone is different, just listen to your body.

TrmTab, you said you are at 800 right? And a C/D? I wonder how I am a D and only 425 cc?

Faith, Hope & Love, the greatest of these is Love 1st Cor 13:13 Dx 12/2/2016, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/25/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/4/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 9, 2017 04:48PM TrmTab wrote:

Shoregirl

I believe I am naturally bigger than you, 5' 8" typically weigh about 180, currently at 200, so on a bigger frame a larger implant is a smaller cup size. My "normal" size has be a 40D, after gaining weight with the stress of dying parents I got up to a 42DD, but am on my weigh (!) back down. Since I have to wear a bra to accommodate the larger natural size (42DD) not really sure if the implant size is a C or D but it is smaller...more smaller in overall fullness than projection...in a shirt there is less fullness of my body on the L side than the R...if that makes any sense.

Dx 9/2015, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/21/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/10/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 6/3/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/8/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Surgery 12/16/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 5/12/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 10, 2017 02:13AM LisbethS wrote:

I thought I had to wait until after all the fills and exchange surgery to swim but good news, saw the PS today (Thursday) and he said I can swim during the fills, I just have to wait 8 weeks after my MX/TE surgery tomorrow! Yay. So now I'm going to take it easy and go slow. I feel like swimming is the only way I'm going to beat this cancer from coming back, so this is huge for me. And They finally released BritBox just in time for my surgery, yay yay! It's a good day!

Thanks Shoregirl, I'm going to get out my coconut oil and have it ready.

The PS said I'm getting something called super high profile TEs by Mentor. I hope that is a good thing.

DX'd at 51, OncotypeDX 40, BRCA2+. Couldn't do this without the love of my DD 13, DS 11 & DH who keeps me sane through this insane journey. Dx 6/24/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/5/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 3 Surgery 7/13/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 9/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/8/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 3/9/2017 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 10, 2017 02:30PM Shoregirl wrote:

Lisbeth, congrats on getting the green light to swim, that's awesome!! TrmTab, I saw PA yesterday and she confirmed what you explained to me about different frames/implant sizes. I can be a bit of a ditz sometimes lol. I did get 50 more cc yesterday, so now am at 475. The PA thinks I may be able to take just a bit more, but wants me to see the PS Monday. He will make the call if my skin can handle any more. I do believe he was right all along. Expand to 500cc and then do the exchange. I look to be my pre surgery size now, maybe a bit bigger. ALMOST THERE!!!!

Faith, Hope & Love, the greatest of these is Love 1st Cor 13:13 Dx 12/2/2016, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/25/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 11/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/4/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 11, 2017 02:29PM Seedsally wrote:

TrmTab. Sorry to be so late getting back to you. My DH and I have had several business things going on and doctor visits. Haven't been on here but trying to catch up. On my EX I had a different PS from the one who placed my TEs because the first one move across the country. The MX incisions were straight across and very thin and neat. With the EX those were widened and thicker I think due to thicker sutures. Where the side boobs were removed the incisions go from the IMF to back under my arms at a slight angle. Liposuction was done under both arms and I still have a lot of fat it seems on the left side. The incisions are longer and thicker than I expected but it may have been necessary. I'm giving it plenty of healing time as I don't want any more done if I don't have to

No gene mutations found. ADH left ADH in 2/2 nodes left. IDC right Sentinel node dissection no positive nodes right. Oncotype 24 also taking calcium 600 mg / D3 400 IU Dx 2/25/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/13/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 4/18/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 11/10/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 11, 2017 07:37PM Molly50 wrote:

I powered through fills due to needing to start radiation. My second TE was filled slower. With both fills helped the discomfort instead of making it worse.

I'm only 9 days from exchange!!

54 years old. Chek2 mutation. Family history of BC. Oncotype Dx 13 Extensive LVI Dx 6/8/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 7/29/2015, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 7/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery 9/4/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 10/13/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/20/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2016 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 7/22/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/21/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 14, 2017 09:39AM - edited Mar 14, 2017 09:39AM by Pamela_2016

I am a month past my surgery and mostly doing well. But I went to the wrong location for my PS appointment two weeks ago and havent seen him since 2/15. I am eager for reassurance that what I feel and see is normal.

I often get (relatively mild) stabbing pains or ripping feelings from movement or even a deep inhale/exhale, and a day in a coobie bra leaves me feeling quite tender. Will look for compression free braoptions. I also have some surprisingly "empty" feeling space in places where I would expect to feel smooth muscle over the TE. I probably did more reaching and lifting than I should have in the early days and sometimes worry that I damaged some muscle.

Dx 12/29/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/15/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 3/15/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 14, 2017 04:53PM WenchLori wrote:

Hi everyone! I've had my TEs for 9 months so far with no EX date in sight. My rads will be finished on 4/6 and if I add 6 months for skin to heal it'll be sometime in October!

I have 800cc TEs filled to 840cc, I love this look and I'm afraid I won't like the squishy implants due to lack of size. I've been lucky and didn't have to much pain during expansion, most pain was 3 or 4 days after the 50ccs were added. I had fills every week and I've had no problems with my TEs since. They are hard as a rock and my RO is able to apply my treatment dose under my TEs, so no visits to my PS to have saline removed. Yippee!

I am sooooo jealious! I wasn't able to swim at all last summer after my DBMX/TEs. The scar on my left side took forevery to heal, I was given permission after it was time to close our pool. I may not be able to swim this year due to healing after radiation but we will see.

Bras? I can't find one that fits both sides at the same time. I can wear a D cup on the left side (cancer side) but it's partially empty on the right side. My right side disappears off into the west somewhere! My PS says he'll fix it when the time comes. I hope so.

Molly, your EX is coming up fast, I'm so excited for you and I'll be in your pocket!


If I stop laughing, I'll start crying! Lori Dx 3/18/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/6/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 8/5/2016 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 8/5/2016 AC Radiation Therapy 2/20/2017 External: Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/23/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 14, 2017 05:32PM Molly50 wrote:

Thank you, Lori! Hopefully you will be able to swim this summer. I have been swimming the last 3 or 4 weeks. It is so lovely.

54 years old. Chek2 mutation. Family history of BC. Oncotype Dx 13 Extensive LVI Dx 6/8/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 7/29/2015, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 7/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery 9/4/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 10/13/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/20/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2016 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 7/22/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/21/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 14, 2017 06:56PM Imkopy2 wrote:

Molly good luck with your exchange! I am a week post op and so far very happy. Things need to relax and settle, my implants are bigger than I was expanded and he did fat grafting in my abdomen which is still tender. I went for my post op check up and he said things look really good and he is happy with my results. I had 28 rounds of rads and my implants are symmetrical, it is possible but listen to your doctors.

Lori- I know it seem like the end will never get here but trust me it does, I had my turtle shells for 11 months, I was so happy when we ended that relationship lol! While my 11 months seems like an eternity there are women who have them much longer. You may be able to swim provided your skin isn't open, you may have to slap on extra sunscreen or wear a UV shirt that's the advice of my RO and all I can say is so be it. I really missed the water last year.

As for those of you going thru the fill process Ive been there, I get it you just want to be done but this isnt a race...its more of a marathon. Getting TEs filled can be painful but there's no rush, if you want optimal results then slow up give your body time to heal and respond in the end you'll be happy you did. After your final fill the skin and the muscles relax a bit and things aren't as tight. The results you end up with is your daily visual reminder of this disease...one thing Ive learned going thru this breast cancer journey is how to have patience. Wishing you all lots of strength and luck!

If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you Dx 3/7/2016, DCIS/IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 5/23/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/22/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 1/24/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/7/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 9/26/2017

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