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Topic: Infection, Explant, DIEP Oh my (Lions, Tigers and Bears)

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: Sep 7, 2021 05:24AM

RMC19 wrote:

DMX in 2019, nothing but trouble out of the right side since then. Two sets of implants, wound vacs, acid infusions, etc. Now new infection has lymph issues so ...my right side "Bertha" (as I call her) has to come out (parting is such such sweet sorrow) and PS will not do another implant. Been to the vascular guy, wasn't thrilled, meeting w/ him again this week.

In all seriousness, I am freaking out at being flat on one side for at least 3 months (time needed to heal before I can try anything else).

Anyone else been here and have any suggestions on how to deal with the aesthetics (already have an appointment with a local company and script for special bras w/ inserts), but how does this all work? What do you do while yo are healing? Thank goodness it is gtg a bit cooler out so easier to hide/deal w/ it as I figure it out.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

TIA!

Dx 7/10/2019, LCIS/DCIS/ILC/IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Sep 7, 2021 09:30AM SpecialK wrote:

RMC - I had skin closure issues rather than infection, but the end result was the same. I had skin healing problems with my left expander and several surgeries, but then successfully exchanged and had bi-lateral implants for a couple of years. I had a repair of the dermal matrix which impacted my fragile skin on the left side. After several tries to close that skin I lost the left implant, and it was out for 18 months - during which I had several fat grafts to try to provide some integrity to that skin. The good news is that it worked and I have had bi-lateral implants again for the last six years, but I did have to deal with clothing choices and mastectomy bras with a prosthesis. The challenge I had was matching that to an existing reconstructed breast, rather than someone with a unilateral mastectomy and a natural breast. The forms are made to mimic a natural breast, not so much a reconstructed one, but I made it work with the help of an experienced mastectomy fitter and some experimentation with different bras and inserts. It took about three or four weeks for me to be able to be fitted as the surgical site was healing. I was not working so there was nowhere I needed to go regularly, but I did avail myself of tops with ruffles, looped scarves - lightweight gauzy ones since I live in a warm climate. I found that tops with folds or pleats, ruched parts, and patterns or prints were easier to use as camouflage, and initially a form like a Knitted Knocker (linked below) that was super lightweight was helpful in a stretchy bra that was comfortable. I am hopeful that you will have a successful recon after this waiting period, but I totally understand the disappointment and concern. I have had a ton of surgical complications, but things are good now, and hope they will be for you too!

https://www.knittedknockers.org/

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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Sep 7, 2021 12:44PM RMC19 wrote:

Thank you so much! I needed some good news! I know there are folks who have much bigger problems right now, but the sheer length of all of these surgeries, etc. I was able to make an appointment for a week after (they said I could move it if Dr. did not allow the fitting at that time). I really appreciate the detail - it makes me think there are options and perhaps I may be able to hide it

Dx 7/10/2019, LCIS/DCIS/ILC/IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)

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