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Topic: Dressing for a wedding with surgical drains?

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

Posted on: Nov 6, 2019 02:04PM

charleysmom wrote:

I have a dilemma...I am supposed to have reconstruction Dec 17 or 18 and will have drains for 2 weeks. My fiance's son is getting married Dec 28 and I need to find a 'mother of the groom' type dress to accommodate drains. Is this even possible?

I was hoping to have surgery before the end of the year as it will save me $8000 (my out of pocket max that I've already met). I had 2 lumpectomies this year - one in March and one in May followed by radiation. My PS said ideally he would wait ~6 months after radiation but would consider doing my surgery at 5 months as I'm progressing well, etc. So I got the answer I wanted but I guess I was hoping it would be 1 week earlier (Dec 9-10) so any drains would be gone.

I think I could buy one of the belts worn around the waist that holds the bulb part of the drain and get a dress that's big and flow-y. Or am I kidding myself thinking I can do all of this? Has anyone had to go to a dressy event with their breast surgery drains?

The surgery itself will be fairly straightforward. I am getting silicon implants which will be replacing 28 year old saline implants I had at the time of BC diagnosis. After 2 lumpectomies (2 different surgeons) plus radiation the implant ruptured (and for reference, I was a 36B before and now have an A- and a B).

I do go for a 2nd opinion Friday (in 2 days) so there may be a teeny glimmer of hope this could happen a bit sooner - but health-wise it's probably not advisable. I keep thinking what's best long term? It's important to be there for my fiance and his son (whom I love too). It's also important to save $$ - I'm still paying on my surgery from March.

One last thing...has anyone had drains for less than 2 weeks? Just wondering if they could come out at 9 or 10 days.

Thank you!
Cheryl

I am a trophy of God's grace! Dx 2/11/2019, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 3/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 5/22/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 7/9/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 6, 2019 03:34PM hapa wrote:

Ask the PS if you will have drains. You may not. I didn't have drains when I had an implant revision with some pocket work. Drains can come out whenever the drainage gets below a certain level, 2 weeks isn't set in stone. But if you do need drains and there is still a lot of drainage the day before the wedding, pulling the drains early will result in A LOT of swelling.

Ask the PS if there are any foods or supplements you should take/avoid to minimize swelling and bleeding, thus negating the need for drains. Maybe some kale for extra vitamin K, avoid salmon or other omega-3s which can thin the blood. This is all such crappy timing but what can you do?

I suppose if all else fails, a skirt or slacks with long jacket or flow-y top might work; you could put the drains in an apron and hide them under the jacket. I was able to hide my post mastectomy drains under a button up shirt by tying my apron at my waist and just picking a shirt with enough room; a typical brooks brother button up shirt would do the trick for me. I'd get a drain-friendly back up outfit for the wedding just in case regardless of what the PS says.

Dx 12/14/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 2/14/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Nov 7, 2019 05:02AM SpecialK wrote:

I have had drains a number of times and the tubing always extended beyond my waist. I would probably attempt to attach the drains at the hip, to an undergarment, and wear a full skirted dress that was more fitted at the waist. The drain has a loop near the top, pictured below, that can be attached with a large safety pin or you could also use a nail apron from a home improvement store underneath your clothing as has been suggested above.


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, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3
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Nov 7, 2019 05:18AM Scrafgal wrote:

I used these, which can be placed as high as necessary on the inside of a shirt or jacket

https://www.pink-pockets.com/



Dx 12/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/5/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 6/14/2017 FAC Hormonal Therapy 9/24/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 10/12/2017 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 5/9/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Surgery 10/15/2018 Reconstruction (right): Nipple tattoo Surgery 5/9/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Hormonal Therapy 7/22/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/6/2019 Reconstruction (right): Nipple tattoo
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Nov 7, 2019 11:50AM charleysmom wrote:

hapa - Thank you so much! My PS has said I will definitely have drains. I'll just start looking for a roomy dress or maybe even skirt/top combo to accommodate my 'accessories'.

SpecialK - That's good to know that the tubing is longer than I thought it would be. I will see what I can find that I could hide the drains below my waist. Those close to me will know about my surgery and it doesn't bother me...just keep thinking about the pictures that will be taken and live in perpetuity! ;-) Thank you!

Scarfgal - thanks for the link! Nice to see I have options to hide the drains. Maybe I could find a dress with a jacket!

I did get scheduled for Dec 16 with post-op Dec 31 (no possibility of post-op on Dec 27 - I asked).

Thank y'all so much :-)

I am a trophy of God's grace! Dx 2/11/2019, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 3/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 5/22/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 7/9/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 8, 2019 01:07PM knmtwins wrote:

I bought cheap camisoles at Walmart and cheap hipster size 8 underpants. I cut the bottom/backside of the underpants off at the crotch and pinned it to my camisole so that the top elastic would be about 2" above my belly button then sewed it to the camisole. I then cut a hole into the camisole, at about belly button height. I could pull my drains in through the hole and keep them in the pouch. What I found was, they didn't really show, just looked like you had a bit more tummy than normal.


Dx 6/4/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 7/15/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/15/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/16/2014 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/2/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 3/17/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 5/2/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy 10/1/2017 Nerlynx Targeted Therapy 11/4/2017 Nerlynx Chemotherapy 3/27/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery
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Nov 8, 2019 06:43PM VegGal wrote:

I once just stuffed the drains in my underwear band, right about hip level. It shouldn’t be too hard to conceal them.


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 15, 2019 11:55AM Yuuki wrote:

I am afraid I am late to this debate, but I have been in a similar pickle and thought SpecialK’s advice was excellent. To that I would add only that you will most likely be wearing a post-surgical or sports-style bra that requires a dress with wide straps that isn’t too low in front (or that has a jacket). Just looking online turned up a couple of things that would probably hide everything - without advertising that you just had surgery:




Also, an anecdote that may make you feel better: years ago I was a bridesmaid for a good friend. Another of her bridesmaids had to have knee surgery and showed up for the wedding in above-the-knee cast that couldn’t be hidden under the short dress (though she handed off her crutches before the photos). The bride didn’t mind: the pictures are simply a reminder of the love and support of dear friends and family on a wonderful day. Good luck, and enjoy!

Yuuki

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Nov 19, 2019 04:16PM charleysmom wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions! You all are very creative and I appreciate your help!!

:-)

I am a trophy of God's grace! Dx 2/11/2019, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 3/14/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 5/22/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 7/9/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)

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