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Expander pain

iris48's picture
iris48
Posts: 92
Joined: May 2002

Hi Chas,
I have had a double mastectomy ( invasive lobular and ductual cancers) and also opted for immediate expanders since 8/21/02. It is ten months later and I've learned that more time between the fills helped in allowing the area to heal and minimizes the pain. Pillows to prop my arms at night when I slept balanced the weight of my arms and prevented my arms from falling asleep (pins and needles would wake me).
I am planning a combination reconstruction of a partial silicone implant with a latisimus dorsi back flap but need to wait another three months for the area to soften. The typical scar tissue encapsulation has occurred and my hopes are time will heal and allow this tissue to relax and soften appropriately. I had no idea the expanders would be this uncomfortable and painful. In the beginning, I actually slept almost upright on my sofa with pillows because lying flat was way to painful. As time progressed, I slowly was able to eliminate some of the pillows and return to my bed. This has been quite a journey. Good luck to you.
Iris

kathie9
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2002

Iris......I thought I was the only one who slept on the sofa to ease the pain. The couch was my bed for at least 3 months after surgery. I too slowly eliminated the pillows and returned to my bed. I had right mastectomy last August and had a combination expander/implant inserted the day of surgery. This all in one eliminates the need for second surgery to put permanent implant in. I'm part of a study with this newer implant/expander. Now 11 months later, the Dr. is finally going to remove the expander port on July 24. Going to have nipple reconstruction at the same time. I'm looking forward to having the port removed since it feels like a marble under my skin. I still have some pain, and my plastic boob is quite firm, (one saggy and one round & firm) but at least I have symmetry when I get dressed. Good luck with your future surgeries. Hopefully when your expanders are replaced you'll find some relief. God bless. Kathie

karbear
Posts: 166
Joined: Aug 2001

Iris, I'm sorry to hear that you have to deal with any pain. I also have an expander in with a saline implant right now, I will have permanant implant placed in October. I thought the surgery to put the expander in was the worse,,worse than the mastectomy!! I only had to have two fills and that was enough for me,,the pain was awful ,the muscle pulling ,,YIKES!! The expander is uncomfortable for sure,i miss sleeping on my tummy,,hopefully with the permanant one I can..Best of Luck to you, God Bless, Karin

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