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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 5/2/2008 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,
It's been awhile since I have been here to visit and I hope you are all doing well. I am considering reconstruction and was hoping that anyone who has had the skin expander could contact me. I am trying decide if I am going to do this and just need to talk with others that have had it done.
thanks so much.

The true joy of life is in the journey

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 5/3/2008 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I had expanders and then saline implants 8 years ago.  I don't know if things have changed since then, but I have been very happy with my results.  The expansion took place over about 6 weeks; every week the ps would add saline to the expanders depending how much stretching you could tolerate.  The plan is to "over expand" so that the skin stretches to more then is actually needed which allows for the ps to create a natural fold when the final implant is placed.  I did not think it was painful, just felt a lot of pressure for a few days after each expansion. Once the final expansion is done, things are left alone for about three months so that the new skin can "set".  If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to help. FK

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/11/2008 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a bilateral mascectomy and 8 months later decided to have reconstruction.  I had not received any radiation treatments.  When I had the expanders placed it was the worst pain I could imagine.  The surgeon had already expanded them by 200 cc each.   I thought the previous surgery was a breeze compared to this.  I suffered through this and then went to my first "fill", another 100 cc each side.  By the time I left the surgeon's office I could hardly breathe much less move.  It took a week to feel marginally better.  Two weeks later another expansion.  Same thing.  I got so I dreaded each expansion.  My chest felt like a rock.  After 3 expansions and constant pain the surgeon finally let me move to 3 weeks and only 50 cc.   By the time he finished the expansion 800 cc I could not find an easy way to lay down, sit or do anything.  I could feel the expanders (which were hard) push against my chest wall.  Finally just before Xmas I had the expanders removed and the implants placed.   This was a little easier but still in a lot of pain.  One week after surgery the Dr checked me out and saw that the right side was sitting rather high and hard.  He decided to wait 3 weeks and see if it dropped.  Now this is the side where I had developed an infection 3 weeks after my mascetomy and had to have more surgery to cut out the infection and leave open to heal from the inside out.
Anyway, the right side kept getting sorer and harder and seemed to be really high. I could feel some pointed areas just under the skin.   Saw my Dr after the 3 weeks and  it was determined that the right side had encapsulated.  I was given 3 options, 1. open it up again and cut out the scar tissue and replace the implant, 2.  Remove skin and muscle from my back to replace the right side, or 3.  Remove the implant entirely.  I opted with number 1.  I am now 8 days post surgery.  The Dr told me that there had been a build up of considerable scar tissue which he removed.  I am taking Singular, yeah I know it's an unusual drug to combat scar tissue, and feeling a little better.  This surgery was much easier than the last few.  The implant seems to be flattened out and sitting much lower.   Also wanted to say the left side is fine.  I also wanted to note I never wanted to look like I had large boobs but just something to fill the cavity left from the masectomy.
My life has been on hold now for over 18 months and I am getting tired of all the fall backs. I have decided that if these implants fail for any reason, I am just going to have them removed and go back to the sunken chest.
If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't have done it.  Now I know not everyone has or have had the same pain and problems I had, but make sure you know what you are getting into.  Thanks for the listen.  And good luck!

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