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Topic: DBL DIEP flap with recon and axillary clearance

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: May 15, 2021 03:02AM

Annake wrote:

  1. hi there. I had 13 lymphnodes taken out on my left and 11 taken out on my right side.

When will I be able to drive and sleep on my side?

How long does it take to get back to normal with arm motions?

I am getting a port next week hopefully. I have no idea how that gets done. 4 red chemo at first and then 12 other chemo sessions. Radiation there after.

Dx 4/12/2021, IDC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 15, 2021 07:53AM abigailj wrote:

Hi Annake

I only had a few/sentinel lymph nodes removed during my skin sparing BMX with immediate DIEP recon last year. I was told to walk hunched over for 2 weeks, only starting to gradually straighten up after that point so as not to stretch the huge abdominal incision I had to use a walker during that time to avoid really bad back pain. I had complications, some infection, abdominal incision had to be cleaned and tightened during my follow up procedure 2 weeks after the initial surgery - that’s when it felt extremely tight but I healed, later when ok to do so I did PT for core flexibility, massage therapy too, and am very pleased with results even with all the complications I had. I did not drive for 4 weeks and then only local not highway for probably another 4 weeks. Maybe I could have but was easier and safer to let my husband out be chauffeur. I did have a lot of nerve pain at that time too so would have been distracted by that while driving , butagain, all resolved

please note - I was 62, had only recently quit smoking and was not very fit when I had my surgery so my experience is probably as complicated as it gets aside from those who experience flap failure. I would expect and certainly hope that you have much better, quicker healing than I did but even with all the crap I had I still healed up fine

Although I haven’t had experience with lymphedema, my understanding is that the risk is elevated if a little t of nodes are removed but I think there are some measures that can be taken to reduce the risk so suggest checking out threads that speak to this

Wishing you the best


Dx 1/2020, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 2cm, Stage IB, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/23/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, SIEA flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, SIEA flap

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