Bi-lat mast w/DIEP flaps.-implants&donor site revision sched 10/13/05-anyone had this?I have ?'s

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/28/2005 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Dx with DCIS left side (3mm) in Jan. 05.  (I am 43 yrs old.)  After realizing extensive family history of DCIS and other cancers, plus weighing the treatment options for my DCIS, I decided on bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (DIEP flaps from abdomen).  Sept 2, '05 will be 6 months since my surgery.  I have a second surgery scheduled for October 13, '05 for silicone gel implants behind the muscle (didn't have enough tummy fat), nipple construction, as well as a revision of the tummy tuck scar (I have dog ears on each tip).  Recently I have been experiencing 'sensations' in my breasts and "prickly" feelings in my abdomen (from the belly buttom to the sternum) when I rise from lying down.  The feelings are strong, then slow dissipate over 30 to 60 seconds.  I don't know what this is.  Had this immediately after surgery and it went away.  Additionally, I would like to know if anyone has gone through the same reconstruction process I am going through, and could they tell me what to expect after this second surgery.  I mean, how will my breasts look and feel.  Right now, one breast feels like a breast, and the other one is firmer with what I am assuming is scar tissue from the donor fat.  Will this 'scar tissue' soften up?  If not, can my plastic surgeon do something to it to soften it up?  Will this firmness/scar tissue alter the look of a "natural breast" look after I have the implants done?  As you can see, I have lots of questions.  Thanks for your help.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 8/28/2005 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jaymie-
Sorry, I have no answers for you...I had a lumpectomy X2 and then did chemo and rads. I have no experiences with your situations, but wanted to offer you a big welcome to our group. Glad you found us! Hopefully someone else will be able to ffer some insight for you. You can also check the roll call at the top to see who we are, and often people listed their procedures too.

Good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 8/28/2005 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   

I have no answers fo you on this either. Did you say (not enough belly fat) I would love to send you some!!!. Welcome to our group, you will find alot of wonderful women here who have ben through almost everything. Hopefully someone will have experienced this. Keep us posted we care :)


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/28/2005 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lori and Bernadette. I'm new to this, and I'm not sure if what I am doing is right. But I wanted to thank both of you for replying and welcoming me to the group. I sure hope this reaches you somehow. Anyway, I feel like the new kid joining the party; standing off to the side. Everyone here seems to be going through SO MUCH more than me, and here I am asking questions about how I'll look, how my breasts will feel, is this sensation normal........ I felt this way, too, when I went to the Questions and Answers session that UCLA held. All the other women in the group had far more serious BC than me; and all my questions were geared toward recovery and looks. I was sent to this site by a friend, and she told me everyone is encouraging and helpful and not to feel shy about asking. She said no one judges you, that everyone's here to help one another. So I really want to thank you for welcoming me and responding. Love, Jaymie
I'm a teenager trapped in a 40 year old body!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 8/29/2005 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Jaymie, don't feel badly because you are concerned about appearance, etc. That is the stage you are in right now, healing and wondering about your future. It is normal at this time to feel this way. Those who are having more serious problems are further into the breast cancer journey and not everyone gets to the stage of having such difficult problems, thank heavens. We have had women talk about the diep flap here but I don't think any of the regulars right now have had that surgery. It is very specialized and not as commonly done as the tram flap and implants. While I can't really answer your direct questions about the diep, I had the tram flap. Once you have surgery anywhere on your body nerves are cut that cause a numbness, so I am not thinking that the sensation would be completely normal. You have feelings on those nerve ending. My tram flap breast feels normal and looks normal in clothing, but of course does not look exactly like my other breast except in size and symmetry. Hope this helps a little. Hugs MK

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 8/29/2005 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Jaymie,

I want to welcome you to our place in cyberspace! Sorry you have to be here, but we want to help you in any way we can.  I did not have the DIEP reconstruction, but I did have bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction with expanders and saline implants and tummy tuck (part used for the nipple graft, the rest as a bonus for me!LOL!). I also had widespread DCIS and a very strong family history of bc. I was 45 at the time. I am very pleased with the reconstruction. I look great in clothes and dh thinks they look better than the original equipment! But they are not perfect and I have accepted that. The silicone implants are supposed to be softer and more natural feeling than the saline ones, so I think you will be happier with them. I have gotten used to the lack of feeling in my breasts. It has been 5 years and it did not return, as my ps had informed me at the beginning. Don't feel guilty worrying about your appearance. This is a very significant change and you will learn to accept the new you. Once you realize how fortunate you are that your cancer was found early, this change in your appearance is the price you have paid for peace of mind. If you have any specific questions, I will be happy to share.  Good luck! Frayda

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 8/29/2005 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I, too, am unfamiliar with the DIEP recon. My plastic surgeon discussed this with me, but when I could not have recon immediately after surgery, I lost interest in what he said, can't remember anything, and now I am sorry. I did visit with a friend this weekend who was diagnosed with DCIS 6 years ago and had a bilat mast with tram recon. To my amazement, she said she had feeling in both breasts and her stomach. I do not believe you can ever know for sure anything medically until you do it.

P>S> I do remember my plastic surgeon said some time after the initial surgery he could "do a little lipo" to make my breasts look much better. My response was "I am not sure I would want you to touch them again." He laughed. I do love my plastic surgeon.


New Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 9/14/2005 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I had bilat mast 12 years ago with silicone implants.  Didn't have enought belly fat, thanks to having a tummy tuck a few years earlier.  (sometimes a crystal ball would really help.)  I"m 63 and have very firm (maybe a little too firm) breasts that have little feeling -- and yet will never sag.  I've never needed to wear a bra, and look pretty good in sun dresses and bathing suits - so there are a few perks (no pun).  When I had my implants, there was none available that would give the breast a naturally "pointy" look.  I assume there still is not.  So I have great cleavage, but the contour of the breast is not quite as good as the real thing.  But then, I remember that the "real things" were trying to kill me.
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