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Complication from Bilateral Mastectomy

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi,

I have been reading through the past posts and have not seen this question before. I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction on Dec 5. When I went to the plastic surgeon for my first visit a week later I was told that I would need to go back to the hospital to have some skin that died and turned black removed and resutured.. I am ashamed to say that I didn't ask a whole a lot of questions, I guess I was in shock and my mind kept thinking... more surgery??? No, please no more cutting and so soon after the mastectomy.... the only thing I was told is that this happens to one in six patients and it is considered a complication of the surgery.

Can anyone tell me if they have gone through this and what to expect afterward? Does it delay healing time? Is there more pain? Should I be more worried than I already am?

The procedure is scheduled for Dec 23...

Thanks...
Dot

New Flower
Posts: 3914
Joined: Aug 2009

i feel you pain and frustration.More surgery sounds awful.
I had three surgeries instead of one- radical mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction.
Additional two were open a flap to rule out thrombosis on the same day (3% complication) and skin re-excision (never happened with my surgeon before) a week after first two and it was ok. General anesthesia,20 min outpatient, and Vacodine after the surgery at home.
Do not worry and good luck with your procedure..

ms_independent's picture
ms_independent
Posts: 216
Joined: Nov 2009

I had my bilateral mastectomy 12/15. I saw the plastic surgeon early 12/19 because I was concerned about the tremendous swelling. Anyway, he voiced concern about how I was healing and explained all about having to have dead tissue removed. He said it was too early to tell how much of the tissue had died but, would be able to tell more this coming wednesday. He said it was a realitively common complication---blood flow to the skin is interrupted when the breast tissue is removed--sometimes there isn't enough blood supply left to support the remaining skin tissue. He did warn me about it pre-op. He said the damage is done during the actual mastectomy and there is nothing you can do about it--the damage cannot be reversed. Per the MD the amount of skin involved determines what kind of "clean-up" follows. It could be just a little t******** in the office, a little procedure in the OR or a latissimus flap reconstruction. The last one is pretty scary---I hope and pray it is not in the cards for either of us.

It's bad enough to get diagnosed with cancer, then have a double mastectomy and THEN have to worry about MORE surgery. I wish you the best of luck for speedy healing and NO MORE complications!!!!

Hugs, El

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

Neither doc mentioned this complication to me beforehand... I thought it was odd when the plastic surgeon blamed the cancer surgeon for the problem...

Oh God, I hope and pray for both of us that this is just a minor setback.... thanks for explaining it all to me... I learn more from talking you girls on this site than I do from the docs...

Best wishes to you as well...

Dot

crselby's picture
crselby
Posts: 379
Joined: Oct 2009

"I learn more from talking you girls on this site than I do from the docs..."

That's not how it's supposed to be, is it?

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Just want to wish you good luck Dot!

Diane

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Diane..

Love your avatar... Merry Christmas to you too!

Dot

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8219
Joined: Aug 2009

printing out this string of emails and taking them with me to my plastic surgeon tomorrow. Hope all is well ..

VickiSam

marilyndbk's picture
marilyndbk
Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Dot. Sorry you have to go thru more surgery. I had bilateral mastectomy with Latissimus flap reconstruction on 9-3-09. The plastic surgeon did discuss the possibility of having problems with it before surgery as my left breast was damaged from previous radiation. On my follow up visit to breast surgeon 1 wk postop, she expressed concern about it. 3 days later I had follow up appt with plastic surgeon and he told me I had to have further surgery to remove dead tissue. Very disappointing. It was scary to see breast turn black. I felt like I had done something wrong and was a failure. I did have the surgery 3 days later and he successfully removed tissue, but he said the blood supply and muscle seemed to be doing ok. It set my physical recovery back a bit and my emotional recovery suffered. I have had 6 fillings--50cc's at a time. I am talking to my "girls" thanking them for 57 yrs and telling them we will get thru this and it will be ok no matter what. I hope to have the exchange before spring. Hang in there and take care of yourself. Marilyn

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks for responding... I am so sorry you have had to go through all of that.. this disease is a beast... I just had an disagreement with my hubby b/c I feel like I should have done the lumpectomy with radiation instead of this... he disagrees. I just think they should tell you everything that can happen to us so that we can make an educated decision before cutting off the twins... I have tried so hard to keep a sense of humor about it; I even renamed myself "Barbie" cause I will have the perfect boobs without nipples....haha.
I hope that you have a wonderful xmas if you celebrate....

Dot

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

Hoping that everything works out for you Dot and Marilyn. Happy Holidays!

Debby

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Debby.. Happy Holidays to you too!

taleena's picture
taleena
Posts: 1612
Joined: May 2009

Dot.. I don't have any experince with any of this.. just wanted you to know you will be in my thoughts and prayers... sending you special speedy healing thoughts..

Hugs,

~T

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Taleena.. I really appreciate the kindness of everyone here on this site...

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Just adding my positive thoughts and prayers for you Dot.

Angie

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Dot! I am sorry for the problems you are having. I pray that everything will get better for you.

Sue :)

Dot53
Posts: 236
Joined: Nov 2009

I had my revision done earlier today.. it is called necrosis of the breast tissue. I admittedly was very surprised to learn they don't give you anything to calm you down or for pain. It is done with local injections.. not pleasant but it is over and the last of my drains came out. Now, I just have to pray that there will be no more complications. I see the oncologist on Jan 4th so don't know what is yet to come as far as my treatment goes...

Thank you all for your good wishes.. you are all my angels in pink..

Dot

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