Nipple reconstruction

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tking
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 6/2/2005 9:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I am scheduled to begin that on June 22nd.  He will sew the skin around to make the nipples?  The nurse told me to expect them to be too big as they will be swollen and will shrink and then I will need a tattoo.  Gosh, it's much easier just being born with them, isn't it?  How many of you have done this?  Does it hurt?  Also, is it worth the trouble?  I think my DH wants me to do this as I will finally look normal - not for him, but for MY self-esteem.  He just wants me alive but he knows that I have self-esteem issues with the way my chest has looked since my first cancer in 1996.  Not that anyone else has seen it, but I know, ya know what I mean? 
 
Also, the issue is how long do I have to worry about them looking wierd?  I will be going to the beach July 16-23 and the cruise from July 23-30.  Will I be having to worry about a bathing suit?  If so, I'm changing the date for nipple construction until after the cruise....  I know I need to talk to the doctor about this but I wanted to hear the truth about healing time from some veterans!!!  You understand, I'm sure.  My onc told me that Tamoxifen wouldn't make me gain weight and well, I DID!!!!!!  These men don't have to go thru this so they don't always know.... eyes
 
Please advise!!!!  Thanks, you guys!!!
Teresa King

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

(NIV)


Candy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1294
   Posted 6/2/2005 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Teresa:
 
I had nipple reconstruction just last March 4th.  Just to prepare you, the first look see was shocking.  My DH and I both thought we would toss the old cookies.  It is very large and swollen.  It may have a large black scab on the end that will make you think you are looking at dead tissue.  But, be patient, it does reduce in size and the scab does fall off and the end of the nipple looks textured just like a normal nipple.  I had skin graph and I will not have a tatoo.  It took about a month and a half before I could stop dressing the site.  Also, use Vit. E liquid around the site to keep the skin soft.  It didn't hurt as I was under because they had to replace the first permanent implant at the same time. 
 
The nipple always is protruding, as of course the normal breast does not. It also hasn't settled yet and both nipples are lopsided and not the same size.  I am not sure if that will change. Right now the P/S is telling me that it is as good as it will get.  He has discharged me and I will not have to see him for a year or two.  They only had so much tissue to work with, but I do fill a bra cup, sort of, and I do have cleavage again. 
 
They always say that hindsight is 20/20, so I will say that I would not have the nipple reconstruction done.   BUT, that is me.  At this point in the journey I would not choose reconstruction at all. 
 
I wanted to be able to look at myself and not see CANCER, but the reconstruction did not accomplish that for me.  I know I had CANCER and that knowledge will never go away.  I will always look different.  The old breasts are gone or changed and nothing will every bring that back.  But, it doesn't matter, it is not important, I am alive.
 
It is different for each and every one of us.  You will make the right decision for YOU.
 
Prayers and hugs,
 
Candy
 
 
 
 

 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Proverbs 27:9


tking
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 6/2/2005 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks a lot for the reply!  I'm still trying to decide.  I'm seriously considering waiting until after the cruise anyway.  Maybe by then, I'll have a better understanding of what I want to do.


Teresa King

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

(NIV)


Frayda
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 6/2/2005 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Teresa, there is no hurry to do the nipples; that can be done any time. I am very happy with mine. It really made me feel completely "put back together" like Humpty Dumpty! They do stay erect, and I didn't want a full "salute" so we kept them modest. But after time, they will flatten out anyway. This is fine with me because I go braless a lot and nobody can tell. They still resemble real breasts (not exactly) so I think that is important for the self-esteem part. I had to have the tatoo redone once because it didn't all take the first time. There was about a six month wait time for the retouching because of waiting for complete healing from the first round (something to do with risking infection). I don't remember how long I had to wait before getting them wet, but I think it was a couple of weeks. Have a great time on your cruise; you can take care of this when you get back! L&H, Frayda

tking
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 6/2/2005 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
My DH and I discussed this issue and decided to wait a while.  I want to enjoy my week at the beach and on the cruise.  Last year, I was at the beach with NO chest and that could be embarassing.  I had prothesis' but they kinda made the swimsuit hang down and show the space between.  At this point, I have a chest and cleavage.  I'd rather decide about the other after my trips.  I think I will be happier than rushing to get finished.

Teresa King

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

(NIV)


gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 6/3/2005 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I didn't have the nipple done either because I didn't want the outline showing through my clothes. I have only seen one reconstruction besides my own and she had bilateral and the nipples did not match even though they were both done at same time. I thought I could live with just feeling the normal breast feeling and not worry about how it looks. As far as tattooing goes you can not feel it on the breast. I did have some done, but it faded after time and now just looks like a circle that in no way looks like an aereola. LOL As I said it feels normal and I don't dance nekkid so who cares. Hugs MK


Chemosabe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 6/5/2005 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Teresa,
 
I hope you have a great trip, as it sounds like fun!
It's been about a year from my reconstruction and I still haven't set a date for the nipple skin graft (my ps says he just "won't do" tatoos, but that's because he's a snob).
 
I have a question for you gals who did get a nipple put on, though:  I sleep on my stomach and I'm wondering if this would cause the created nipple to be all squooshed over time? Anyone else a stomach sleeper and encounter problems?
 
I really do try not to sleep on the reconstructed one as the ps told me not to, but durned if I don't wake up that way! tongue
 
Hugs,
Erin
 


Candy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1294
   Posted 6/6/2005 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Erin:

I slept and continue to sleep on the "new" skin grated nipple and areola. Haven't noticed anything askew!! LOL.

Hope to see you in October. Any round houses there?

Love and hugs,

Candy

 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Proverbs 27:9


Frayda
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 6/6/2005 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Erin, funny you should ask! I had a bilateral and my nipple on the left side really flattened out and that is the side I sleep on. I never put 2 and 2 together! The right side got a little smaller over time (4 years) but it still looks pretty good considering. I had asked my ps why one side flattened more than the other and he just shrugged. I think we are on to something! Frayda
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