Breast reconstruction operation

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Boogl
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/15/2005 10:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I am going for a breast reconstruction using the Free Flap method and I am scared.  Please share your experience with me.  Was it worthwhile all the pain and scars?  And does one look terrible with all the new scars?

debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 9/15/2005 11:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Boogl and welcome! Hey, it is ok to be scared. That's a very normal feeling. When is your surgery? I personally opted not to have reconstruction but I have several friends that did. According to them, yes it is worth the pain. They each are very pleased w/ their new breast(s). Each of them have experienced different degrees of pain and, the first couple of days, wondered why the heck they did it. But, once the initial pain was over, they were pleased. The scars fade after awhile. I do know that they had to watch what they did very carefully for several weeks. As one gal said she let her family treat her like they queen that she always knew that she was meant to be. Hang in there. I know that there will be some of the members that will post and share their experiences w/ you.

Hugs..Deb


 


Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 9/16/2005 3:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi and welcome! I have no information for you, but I recall others recently talking about that procedure too.  Where are you having it done? I am in Michigan, and if you check the role call post at the top, you can see a little more about us and our histories.

Welcome to our group!

Lori



Boogl
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/16/2005 4:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Debs and Lori,

Thanks for the positive response.  I am going on the 20th October.   I don't know what to expect during my stay in hospital - how does one get around with all those drains and what sort of clothes to take.

Thanks a million, Boogl


gma
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 9/16/2005 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
This subject has been discussed here, but no one who had the procedure is posting currently that I can think of. It is a highly specialized surgery and not really common yet because the surgeon has to be an expert in reconnecting blood vessels. Evidently your surgeon has this qualification and the fact that the surgery is set so far ahead, I would guess he/she is a busy surgeon. Please stay with us and keep us informed. We can use a resident expert in this procedure as I am sure it will become more and more practiced. Hugs MK
 
Oops Just noticed JaimieN has a post below with info about the Diep Flap which is what you are asking about.  It is a post from August but hopefully she will see your post and help you. 



Post Edited (gma) : 9/16/2005 7:48:24 AM (GMT-6)


postal2
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 9/17/2005 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Boogl,
I almost went with the free flap. The only reason I didn't is that I have lymphedema of the arm and chest and was afraid it may have made it worse. I sure would have loved a free tummy tuck!! The Dr I saw is in Spokane, WA and from what I have heard he does really beautiful work! My reg dr saw one of his patients and was amazed at how real her breasts looked.
Anyway, I don't know if anyone on here has had the "free flap" . Some have had the tram flap and maybe the diep flap.
Good luck to you and I hope they come out beautiful!! Let us know, ok?
L&H, Gail
 
"Inside this body lies that of a skinny lady.  But I can usually shut her up with chocolate.".


vickie1mom
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/28/2005 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
postal2, I am new to this forum. I had a bilateral tram flap reconstruction surgery three years ago. I love my new breasts, the tummy tuck I got from it but hate the prombles that came with it. I am a small petite girl and never had much of a tummy. When they did the surgery they put a mesh in me to help prevent buldges and hernias. I was never told I should never lift anything over 5-7 pounds again. This year while putting a case of gatorade on my shopping cart I felt the mess pull and tear. This happened twice. The pain was horrible. I am now at home healing from a surgery I had three months ago to completely remove the mess, stiches the muscles and tissue back together and at the same time have my ovaries removed because of a high risk for cancer. My tummy will never be the same. I hate it now. I need help getting up, I can't even push a vacuum or lift my cat.
Please discuss all the pros and cons of this surgery with your dr. before doing it. I wish I could have had the inplants but I have a disease that the dr. wouldnt let me have them
Good Luck and God Bless

gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 9/29/2005 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Vickie, I am so sorry this happened to you. My daughter had one mastectomy and tram flap and she lifts stuff all over the place. She has horses and lifts bags of feed and hay......... I really worry about her. I had problems that do sound a little like yours. Several years ago a company put contaminated sutures on the market because their autoclave was broken and no one discovered it. 6.5 Million suture sets went out. There was a recall but only 1.6 Million came back Somehow I managed to be a lucky one that got the bad sutures. My surgeon fought my infection with the help of an infectious disease specialist for nearly a year with antibiotics from oral to injected into my abdominal wall to IV for months, before deciding the infection was just too much. I had all my abdominal muscles removed from hip to hip breast to thighs along with all infected tissue. I now live with a huge hernia that looks like a Buddha fertility god. Like you I can't get up, I can't stand for long nor walk for long. I wear binders 24/7 to hold in the hernia a little, well they support it. You know maybe binders would help you???? Email me a phone number where I can call you and we can discuss this even more. mkstroup@juno.com I hesitate to write about my mess on here because it was so extraordinary I don't want to frighten others. Hindsight is always better than foresight. Yes, Tram flap is very difficult surgery and like everything else the percentages of problems is very small compared to the successes. Many people died with the contaminated sutures, I feel lucky to be alive. The news of the problem was much too hushed on the news to suit me. Please email me, maybe I can help you more. Hugs, Mary K.


Cindy802
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 10/11/2005 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm one of the ladies that had the DIEP. There are two types of tram flaps...the pedicle tram, where all of the rectus abdominus muscle is dissected from the abdomen, one side or two, and tunneled up to your chest to create the breast. The second tram is the free tram, where only a portion of the tummy muscle is cut free and reconnected to the vessels in the breast. The DIEP does not use any muscle. It is the newest surgery. Basically the same as the free tram, except they do not take/use any muscle. Because it does not remove the tummy muscle, there aren't any lifting restrictions, once healed. The recovery is quicker with less pain. Here is the link to a page that you can read about it and more. Hope it helps: www.truefacesofbreastcancer.org/diep.htm

Breast cancer has become an epidemic. After all of the these years and billions of dollars donated for research...WHERE IS THE CURE???

gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 10/13/2005 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Cindy thanks for straightening up my misconception that diep and free flap were the same. What builds the breast in diep? Can it be used where the the breast is large, say D size? Hugs MK


babyseeester
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 10/13/2005 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I am seeing a plastic surgeon for a consultation on Tuesday, so I was glad to see this post.  I need to know what questions to ask and this has been helpful.  I originally didn't want reconstruction, but I hate wearing that prosthesis!  I'll let you know how my visit goes.
L & H,
Kathy


Cindy802
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 10/15/2005 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi gma. What builds the breast is the fat that is removed. If a woman has a skin-sparing mastectomy, the breast is opened, the breast tissue is removed and then the fat is taken from the tummy and put inside of the breast envelope, which leaves the breast so normal looking. Of course, the areola and nipple are removed in the majority of the cases, but it is recreated at stage 2. When a woman has had the entire breast removed and has delayed reconstruction, the docs reopen the scar and insert the fat from the abdomen plus an eliptical section of skin that they suture all around, that bridges the area that had been removed. The nipple and areola are once again created at stage two.
 
The size of a women's new breast, with DIEP, depends on the amount of fat she has available. If a woman wants tripple D breasts and has enough fat to fill the breast envelope, she can have DDD's.
 
If a woman does not have enought fat on her tummy, the docs can take it from the butt in what is called GAP. Once again, it depends on how much fat you have to give up that will determine the size you can choose for your breast.
 
Even if a woman has had implants, she can still have DIEP. They actually make beautiful breast, as the skin is all ready to be filled with fat.
 
I do have a website that caters to DIEP-GAP info. If anyone is anticipating DIEP or GAP reconstruction, feel free to visit and ask questions. It is a new site. Everyone there has either had DIEP or GAP or is on the way to surgery, or is seriously thinking about it. www.nolasociety.org Take care of you.
 
Cindy

Breast cancer has become an epidemic. After all of the these years and billions of dollars donated for research...WHERE IS THE CURE???
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