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Topic: TE exchange in 2 days. Any tips?

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

Posted on: Oct 28, 2019 08:23PM

nzkom14 wrote:

Hi,

I am posting very late in the game but I figured I will try to get some lastt minute tips. I had the mastectomy in April with TE, left side untouched, I am done with chemo and won't need radiation. I am going for the exchange surgery and reduction of the left breast in 2 days. I used to be a 36F. I am hoping to have D cup . I am looking forward to it, but I am also anxious about the results, pain, restrictions...

Any tips will be appreciated.


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Oct 29, 2019 07:27AM SimoneRC wrote:

Hi nzkom14!

You must be ready to have those expanders replaced! I had pre pectoral tissue expanders. I had exchange surgery with fat grafting July 2018. I had virtually no pain. Took a pain pill before leaving hospital just in case and one before bed just in case. Then it was Tylenol only! No lifting, pushing or pulling anything over 10 pound for 4 weeks. Post surgery bra for 4 weeks. I still wear a bra or sports bra 24/7, except shower. I cooked extra meals and froze them. I left the tops of Rx bottles just sitting on top of the bottles in case it would hurt to open. I waxed everything on my body that would have otherwise been shaved. Since I had fat grafting, needed to wear compression garment for 4 weeks. Having a second compression garment was super helpful as you need to be wash them often! Spanx were fine, did not need to be surgical grade. I did not have drains anywhere after my exchange surgery which was awesome!

In April, I swapped my implants. Again, no pain.

In August, I had more fat grafting and pocket work on my right side. That one was uncomfortable and it took 6 weeks before I could really use my right arm as any movement of my pectoral muscle was unpleasant. It was annoying. I did not take narcotic pain meds beyond day 3, but it was super uncomfortable.

Remember, you will not see your final results for months. Things will move and change. This is normal.

Good luck! I hope things go great for you and you have a nice aesthetic outcome!



ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Oct 29, 2019 08:26AM nzkom14 wrote:

Thank you SimoneRC,

My PS told me it would be an easier surgery than the mastectomy but am still anxious about pain, arm restrictions, not being able to sleep on the the side.....your message was very helpful.

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Nov 6, 2019 02:54PM hodgepodge wrote:

I also had my TE placed right after my mastectomy April 29. I am having my exchange surgery Nov. 13. I can't decide if I'm excited or terrified.. :) It seems the general consensus is that the exchange is relatively easy. I hope so! Good luck to you!

Dx 12/7/2005, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, ER+/PR+ Dx 4/1/2019, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Nov 6, 2019 05:35PM nzkom14 wrote:

I had the exchange last Wednesday with left breast reduction. It was an outpatient surgery, no drain. I was able to shower 48 hours post surgery. It is definitely easier. PS gave me Norco and ibuprofen for pain and it did the trick.

Follow up appointment is next week.

Good luck to you.

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Nov 7, 2019 05:16AM SimoneRC wrote:

Great news, nzkom14! Continued smooth healing wishes to you!


ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Nov 7, 2019 08:09AM - edited Nov 7, 2019 08:50AM by OnTarget

I had my exchange yesterday. He did extensive pocket work. My boobs had been about 4 fingers apart which looked weird and he was able to bring them together. He warned that I'd be sore, and I am!! It hurts much more than expected, but only when I'm moving.

I am a bit upset though. I was supposed to get cohesive, high profile, and I woke up with soft touch, moderate profile. He'd previously told me that I'd have bad ripples with the soft touch, and he knew I wanted projection. I now have to wait for him to get back to me with an explanation.

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/13/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/5/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/5/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Nov 7, 2019 01:02PM SimoneRC wrote:

Hi OnTarget!

I hope your healing is trouble free! My last surgery had pocket work and I was super sore as well if my pectoral muscle moved.

Hoping that you are happy with their new locations! Hopefully the implants wind up looking good! I went from High Profile Mentor to Moderate Plus. I am thin and the moderate plus look much better and I have plenty of projection. They look way better! Hopefully your PS made the decision to go moderate to give you a better aesthetic outcome.

Happy month of letting that pocket work heal! Keep us posted!


ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Nov 7, 2019 03:51PM OnTarget wrote:

We'll see! I'm pretty unhappy right now. I just wanted the same projection as my TEs, but the moderate are much less. They look so wide and flat. Not very appealing to me.

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/13/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/5/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/5/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Nov 7, 2019 06:06PM MinusTwo wrote:

OnTarget - don't forget that new implants take from 6 weeks up to 6 months to settle in. Conventional wisdom is "stay away from the mirror". I know that's hard to do, but since you have a long wait to see the final result, give it a try.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 7, 2019 06:10PM VegGal wrote:

OnTarget, so sorry you are feeling deflated. I understand the emotions that go with “wide and flat” implants. I hope you get a really good explanation and better yet, I hope they somehow look great after the healing commences.

Dx 1/12/2016, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/11/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 6/10/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 9/8/2017 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Nov 8, 2019 06:46AM SimoneRC wrote:

I am with MinusTwo! They do take time to get to the final look. Crossing fingers that they settle in and wind up looking more like you want!


ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Nov 9, 2019 06:22AM Rvreg wrote:

The TE swap out surgery is a breeze compared to the mastectomy and the permanent implant feels so much better! As far as the look, it took almost a full 6 months for mine to settle into its actual form. It definitely was much more flat and spread outwith little projection at first but gradually changed. I think it takes time for it to relax and fluid and swelling to go down.

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Nov 9, 2019 07:35AM nzkom14 wrote:

That's reassuring Rvreg,

My implant seems wide and flatter than the reduced breast. Lol.

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