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reconstruction - permanent chest expander

auntbean
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2001

I am undergoing reconstruction - 5 years after mastectomy. My plastic surgeon has suggested using a permanent chest expander and then saline implants. the good news is the expanders stay in place. Has anyone had this type done? I want to know about what I'll expereince afterwards. How long can I expect to be out of work? I was back at work 3 weeks after my frist one and want to know how the reconstruction will affect this.
I am also having a prophylatic mastectomy done at the same time because I am such a high risk for recurrence. Implants are the only choice for my reconstruction. I recieved radiation to my chest area 15 years ago for Hodgkin's and that's what caused my breast cancer. I can't do the TRAM or any other flap because of that.
I would love to hear from anone that has had permanent expanders.

jfjf
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2001

I currently have a tisue expander that was placed in November immediately after a Mastectomy. My expansion is finished and I am deciding whether to leave the expander and just have the port removed or have it replaced with a different implant. I am leaning toward the replacement as the expander feels large for my body. It may just be that it is overfilled but I do not find it comfortable. I do not know that a different implant will feel any more comfortable, but I am thinking Silicone for a more pliable feel. Do you have specific questions about the expander that maybe I can help with?

auntbean
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2001

Is it a permanent tissue expander? My surgeon says that's the kind he'll use. I'm wondering about the pain after surgery

kmedeiros
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2001

I had a modified radical mastectomy in September and had an expander put in at the same time. It has been no problem--the plastic surgeon expanded it about 3 weeks after surgery and it is now at the "full" stage. It's pretty hard, and was a little sore after each expansion, but no big deal. I'll have my second surgery after I finish radiation to take out the expander and put in the saline implants--I'll also have my other breast lifted to match. It doesn't hurt when he expands it with saline, since I'm numb there anyway--he just finds the little port in the expander and fills it. Let me know if you want more info.

auntbean
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2001

Do you work? Were you able to go back to work the next day after an expansion? I'll have the permanent kind that won't be taken out. I"ll just get pumped up every few weeks.

cheri2's picture
cheri2
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

I had a double radical mastectomy (profolactic)just two weeks ago and am waiting to meet with a plastic surgeon to go through the steps to getting reconstruction. I'm looking at getting an expander put in as well. How soon after getting your expander were you able to get up and move around?

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