Different surgery options for reconstruction after double mastectomy

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/18/2008 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi my name is Darla and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in march 06. I had a lumpectomy and radiation/chem and finished treatment in march 07. I decided to have genetic testing done in sept 07 and I tested positive for BRCA1. I had my ovaries out in nov and my oncologist recommends double masectomy in the near future. I have an appointment on Jan 25th to see breast surgeon. I definetly want immediate reconstruction but need more info. I have been reading about a procedure called DIEP flap. Apparently there is not a whole lot of surgeons that perform this delicate procedure. Do you have any info or experiences you can share with me reguarding this? darla

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2044
   Posted 1/18/2008 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's a great site with information on breast reconstruction. Imaginis is a great, reliable resource. Good luck in your decision.  Lauri (dxed 4/11/96)
"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined" Thoreau
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 1/18/2008 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Darla

I had a TRAM flap done in March of this year and I love the results, I would recomend that you look into it too. There are several other ladies on this forum that have had it too. Make sure that whatever procedure you have is performed by a plastic surgeon that has done alot of these procedures. I had done alot of research before mine and had heard from MANY ladies who had it done and were not satisfied, only to find out that their surgeon was not as qualified as he/she should have been. The TRAM is like the Diep and neither are for the weak....it has a long recovery process. I went back to work at 5 weeks and that is really too soon. Take as much time as you possibly can.

I wish you lots of luck, and would answer any questions that you have. Babyseester AKA Kathy had a tram just months before me and is also happy with her results. Im sure she will chime in here too.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 1/21/2008 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Here I am chiming in!  I had a single TRAM in January of 06 (I can't believe it's been 2 years).  It is a very difficult surgery (for most) to recover from, but as long as you do your research and are aware of the consequences, it is SO worth it.  I waited over a year after my mastectomy to do this, because I originally didn't think I wanted reconstruction.  But, after a year of wearing a prosthesis, I thought there was no way I could do that the rest of my life.  I was diagnosed at 44 and figured I had a lot of life left to live.  I was out of work for 6 1/2 weeks.  It probably takes 6 months to a year to be totally healed.  I didn't have any surprises with my recovery.  My PS said I was the most educated patient he'd ever had.  LOL  Desertdreaming (she doesn't post much) had a double TRAM many years ago and might have some insight for you.  She was a great source of info for me.  She happens to be my sister-in-law's sister.  
I will very gladly answer any questions you might have.  Good luck. 
L & H,

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/29/2008 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
In 2001 I had reconstruction done to one breast. I didn't have enough "extra" tissue or skin to harvest it from my abdomen, so they did the SGAP on me where they use your buttock skin and tissue. They also added an implant because I didn't have enough butt tissue or fat. haha I was a bit on the thin side.

I hate to say, but my experience doing this was a nightmare! It was supposed to rejuvinate to the normal size as my other butt cheek. It didn't! There was scar tissure built up that the scar adhered itself to the butt muscle. It left me with a huge indention across my buttock. Even after seperating and removing the scar tissue, it still didn't rejuvinate. I had one huge cheek and one flat one! I went into surgery again and they lyposuctioned fat from my normal cheek and from all over my abdomen and thighs to insert that into the altered cheek. They tried to make the cheeks as even as possible, but after 7 years, it is in the same shape as after the surgery. Still never rejuvinated.

I would NEVER recommend this procedure to be done! I can't say it would happen to you, but I wouldn't take the chance. I ended up having 4 surgeries in a year because of all the problems I had. Parts of the insicion even died and had to be removed making the skin on my butt even tighter!

I am still very embarrassed to walk away from people looking at me, so I wear long shirts to try to hide my behind. My pants don't fit right. One side is tight on one cheek and baggie on the other, making the difference show. I hate it!

Even though, they did a great job on the breast reconstruction itself. The only thing I haven't done was to have the tatoo added to the remade nipple.

Another downfall to adding an implant is that it can turn hard over time. Mine has. But, I can live with that. I still look great in a bra. HaHa

You can email me if you have any other questions.
I wish you all the best.
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