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My Reconstruction Surgery didn't go well :(

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

Hello all.  I had my tissue expanders taken out on Thursday, and the implants went in.  The whole day was odd.  Before I got to the surgery center, the surgeon's nurse called me.  Apparently the implant that I chose was not available.  I had to go in early to choose another type or delay the surgery to the end of August. 

I went in and looked at what the doctor thought would be best, and we went with that style.  When I came out of surgery, I discovered that my breasts were uneven.  My plastic surgeon didn't anticipate that my right area where I had the first mastectomy was cut deep against the chest wall.  I still don't understand how he didn't know that! The right implant set in deeper than the left implant. Now they are uneven.  My right implant is at least a cup size smaller and flatter. 

I am so disappointed.  My friend was told that in 6 months it should even itself out.  If not, they can add filler or correct it with yet another surgery. 

Has this happened to anyone.  Help please.  :(

 

Dorene

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

Bless your heart.  I have no experiece with this sice I woun't have my BMX until mid Sept.  I pray things level out in a short time.

My heart and prayers go out to you.

Sandy

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I am so sorry Dorene.  I have no experience either with implants and reconstruction.  I am sure the pink sisters here that have will reply to you.

Hugs, Leeza

JJDS
Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2013

Dorene, I have heard that you do need a few months for the implants to adjust.  I hate that you are so unhappy.  Did your ps tell you that with time, they will look better?

Hugs, JJ

Doe1504
Posts: 94
Joined: May 2013

So sorry. I have expanders in now and they will be exchanged hopefully in Dec. when I have finished chemo. Keep me posted. I have no idea what to expect. Hope things work out very well for you.

Dolores

jessiesmom1's picture
jessiesmom1
Posts: 726
Joined: Jun 2010

1st let me say that I am so sorry that you are having a difficult reconstruction experience. It is so important to have confidence in your physical appearance and you have the right to expect a decent result.

In addition, I think the fact the your chosen implant was not "available" on the morning of your surgery is just garbage. It is the responsibility of the surgeon to order the chosen implant and make sure it is there prior to the surgery. I would probably have postponed the surgery rather than be forced into making a decision under duress. I would love to have a look at the records and find out if your implant was even ordered. There are so many implant on the market that no hospital can be expected to stock all of them in all sizes.

Once my chemo was completed and I had recovered I had my tissue expander (right side only) replaced with a saline implant. At the same time my left breast was reduced and lifted. The left side looked OK but the right side was a disaster in my opinion. Looked like a mishapen blob with a ridge of hard tissue across the center. The surgeon didn't seem too concerned but I was and that is all that really counts. I consulted several other surgeons. One said he would rate the job done by surgeon #1 as a 4 on a scale of 10. Pretty horrible. I chose a new surgeon and had revision reconstruction surgery. I went with a silicone implant this time in a slightly larger size. Surgeon #2 also used a product called Strattice (you can google it) which she described as being like an internal bra. It helped support the implant. I am still fairly large breasted. The new breast is an infinite improvement over the old one. I couldn't be happier with the result.

If your insurance plan allows it, I would suggest that you seek a 2nd or even a 3rd opinion about your reconstruction. I was certainly glad that I did. I personally believe that the work done by my surgeon #1 bordered on medical malpractice but I chose not to go down that particular road since I know what is involved.

Good luck. It does and can get better.

IRENE

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

Irene,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience.  I am really disappointed in the whole experience.  I am not one to advocate for myself, but I know that this time I really must voice my concerns.  I will get a second opinion and google Strattice.

I will keep you posted.

Dorene

 

 

 

Chickadee1955's picture
Chickadee1955
Posts: 333
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Dorene,

 

I didn't have quite the same experience, but I had bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.  I had a so-so result after the implants were put in. I had lumps and large fat folds going around to my back.   I complained to my plastic surgeon who was ready to take 'after' pictures.  He hadn't even talked to me about nipple reconstruction, tattoos, etc.  I changed doctors and found another surgeon willing to do the revision surgery.  They are still 'foobs', but sooooo much better.  My oncologist tells me I have some of the best reconstruction she's seen, but I had to push for it!  I had nipple reconstruction and tattooing after the revision 'settled down'.  I am much happier.  Keep insisting on getting the result you want, it makes all the difference in how you feel about yourself afterward.  Good Luck!

 

Chickadee

'

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

I am so sorry Dorene and I hope that the 2nd opinion will offer you encouragement and help.

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

I'm very sorry Dorene and good luck with the 2nd opinion.

Hugs, Angie

Sparky53
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2011

Dear Dorene,

I'm so sorry that you've been through so much. What an ordeal! You thought you were at the end of your journey with this whole thing, but unfortunately, it looks like you may need another doctor. I'll keep  you in my prayers!

 

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2140
Joined: Dec 2010

With the first exchange I woke in the morning andnthe boob was gone. It had slipped out of place and was in my back. 2 weeks later he went back in and replaced it. It was a whole size smaller and way to high. Then the third time he used a new one that had just been approved by fda for mast. It was much better however they will never be perfect.
It took a while but once the madt side dropped they were even. Rt is still smaller however with a bra it is not noticeable.
I went fornthe nip tat and endednup getting a beautiful hummingbird and hibiscus so now when I look in the mirror I see no imperfections, only a beautiful bird.
Is therenanynreason for the 6 month wait? I only had to wait ancouple of weeks?

Lynne P
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2013

Very sorry Dorene.  I hope that you can find a surgeon or even yours, that can give you the result that you want and deserve.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

I didn't have implants.  I had flaps done--first one mastectomy using abdominal flap, then another about 10 years later using part of my right derriere.  Anyway, I am a full size smaller on the right and nipple placement is not even.  I am done with surgeries and, most times, I don't care.  If I wear something more form fitting, I stick one of those silicone falsie deals (available at department stores) in my bra.  For me, it is what it is.

I am like you, I have not sure why this happens, but at 60, I am over it.  Good luck and I hope it evens out for you.  Give it time because, until all swelling is gone, it may be hard to tell.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

P.S. Re-reading my response makes me cringe.  I am so sorry for sharing my downer story and not encouraging you immediately to go back!  Your situation is very different and my reply was awful.  Mea culpa and I hope this was from chemo brain!

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

I did not cringe from your post!  We are all here to offer up our experiences.  No worries at all!!!!

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1059
Joined: Dec 2010

I am so terribly sorry that this happened to you. I agree that your plastic surgeon should have consulted your breast surgeon and/or the notes better and/or given you a better exam to really know what he was dealing with. And to NOT have the type of implant you wanted? Sounds like carelessness to me. They should have had them there for you. How much time did they have to order them from the time you made the appointment?

How disappointing it must be for you. If you use that particular surgeon, I would point out the fact that he SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that the first mastectomy was deeper. Perhaps you could get a break on the cost of redoing it?

I would definitely get a second opinion.

Have you been to the website breastcancer.org? If not, I highly suggest it. They have a forum completely devoted to people who have had breast reconstruction. Look for Breast Reconstruction. Unfortuneately, you will find hundreds of women that didn't get good first time results. Check it out. I am sure you will find hundreds that can understand what you just went through.

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

Thanks so much.  I will check out the sites. Luckily, my insurance covers everything. I am just feeling disfigured all over again.

Frown

aisling8's picture
aisling8
Posts: 1326
Joined: Feb 2010

I can only imagine how disappointing this must be.

Sending good thoughts.

xoxo

Victoria

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

I am sending big hugs and good thoughts to you too Dorene!

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

I'm very sorry to read this about your reconstruction.  Wish I could do more to help.

Hugs, Rose

Carlee
Posts: 100
Joined: Jul 2013

I am very sorry Dorene.  I bet with more time, you will be happier with your reconstruction, or, I hope so.

 

Bearing burden
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2013

Dorene,   Please go back and get it right.  I had mine put in a year ago last July and was not happy with the results.  It looked like a pancake under my skin.  I went back in October and got a new implant put in and it was so much better.  I think you should get it done in a reasonable length of time - not six months. This is your body and you have every right to look your best.  Going through the cancer, medications, drain tubes and expansion is hard, hard, hard and in the end you should have it look the way you want.  Don't let anyone talk you out of it.  No one knows what courage it takes us to go under the knife and have a part of our body removed, unless we are talking to others who have been there.  I know you are probabaly reluctant to face another surgery ( I had five in ten months) but down the road you will be happy you did.  It helps the healing process to be satisfied with the way you look after cancer.  don't settle for less.

Mary

Nana Sue
Posts: 55
Joined: Jul 2013

I certainly agree that you need to let your doctor know that you are very unhappy and see what he can do to make you look and feel better.  

Hugs, Nana Sue

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5520
Joined: Oct 2010

Perhaps after some time/ swelling goes down etc..it will even out a bit more. I have never experienced reconstuction but I would think "giving it time" might make a difference.

Denise

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

From some here, it does take time for the swelling to go down and for them to look better.  I believe one wrote that it was about 6 months.  I hope that with some time, you will be more pleased.

Hugs, Diane

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