DIEP surgery

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siliak
siliak Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm scheduled for bilateral mastectomy with full breast reconstruction using the DIEP method on July 19. I've been reading posts from people that have had this surgery but I'm most concerned with how I will feel immediately after I wake up from the surgery. Are you so drugged up that you don't feel anything? Do you need to have a loved one there with you or did the nurses attend to your needs? Were you able to eat/drink right away or did you have to wait? Should I bring anything with me to the hospital? I'd also like to know how long the hospital stay was? I'm 44 years old - had a lumpectomy with full lymph node dissection on my right side in 2008 - finished chemo and radiation in December 2008 and now find that I'm BRCA-2 positive.

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  • wendybia
    wendybia Member Posts: 73
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    diep
    i had diep on my right breast 12/2009.....i woke up in ICU and started drinking juice immed. the thing they put down your throat during surgery made my throat very sore and i wanted juice...they had sent my friends home telling them my surgery would be much longer than it was...i was in ICU at like 7 pm...they brought me a phone and i actually called my friends...they were shocked to hear my voice....you will be sore use the pain pump...pump is your friend !!! next morning i was out of there...was hungry they fed me breakfast and let me go to a regular room...just bring a robe...nice to have when you're walking doing laps around the nurses station...walk as soon as you can.... i could have gone home in 4 days but asked to stay because it was actually christmas eve and i didn't want my friends to cancel their family plans so i stayed until the morning after christmas...just be sure to have large button down shirts and large bottoms for the drains when you get home...i'm 43 yrs old...i pushed myself and did very well...2 wks i was driving..just do as your doctor says nothing more nothing less..if there's anything else just ask...you're gonna do fine and you're be GREAT !!...hugs,wendy
  • TulsaMomof3
    TulsaMomof3 Member Posts: 105
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    wendybia said:

    diep
    i had diep on my right breast 12/2009.....i woke up in ICU and started drinking juice immed. the thing they put down your throat during surgery made my throat very sore and i wanted juice...they had sent my friends home telling them my surgery would be much longer than it was...i was in ICU at like 7 pm...they brought me a phone and i actually called my friends...they were shocked to hear my voice....you will be sore use the pain pump...pump is your friend !!! next morning i was out of there...was hungry they fed me breakfast and let me go to a regular room...just bring a robe...nice to have when you're walking doing laps around the nurses station...walk as soon as you can.... i could have gone home in 4 days but asked to stay because it was actually christmas eve and i didn't want my friends to cancel their family plans so i stayed until the morning after christmas...just be sure to have large button down shirts and large bottoms for the drains when you get home...i'm 43 yrs old...i pushed myself and did very well...2 wks i was driving..just do as your doctor says nothing more nothing less..if there's anything else just ask...you're gonna do fine and you're be GREAT !!...hugs,wendy

    I had a BLM with DIEP on
    I had a BLM with DIEP on 5/5/10, They wouldn't let me have any water for 24 hours -My doctor said it was becuase if you have to go back into surgery (like if the flap was having trouble) She didn't want any water in your stomache. They gave me liquids after that then probably another 12 hours till I could have food. The pain pump was great but also they gave me an on Qball - not sure of the spelling - but it kept me numb from the waist down which was awesome. For the first week I thought I would never get better and never feel normal but really after day 7 things turned around so quickly! After 2 1/2 weeks I was driving and feeling great. My breast also started to look way better after about 3 weeks. The swelling went down and the tissue softened up. Once you get the drains out you will feel amazing. I am now 6 weeks out and I feel great, I am able to sleep on my stomache, go swimming whatever. I still feel tightness espeically towards the end of the day but I feel 99% normal again!
  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
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    I had a BLM with DIEP on
    I had a BLM with DIEP on 5/5/10, They wouldn't let me have any water for 24 hours -My doctor said it was becuase if you have to go back into surgery (like if the flap was having trouble) She didn't want any water in your stomache. They gave me liquids after that then probably another 12 hours till I could have food. The pain pump was great but also they gave me an on Qball - not sure of the spelling - but it kept me numb from the waist down which was awesome. For the first week I thought I would never get better and never feel normal but really after day 7 things turned around so quickly! After 2 1/2 weeks I was driving and feeling great. My breast also started to look way better after about 3 weeks. The swelling went down and the tissue softened up. Once you get the drains out you will feel amazing. I am now 6 weeks out and I feel great, I am able to sleep on my stomache, go swimming whatever. I still feel tightness espeically towards the end of the day but I feel 99% normal again!

    I had a lumpectomy, so, I
    I had a lumpectomy, so, I can't offer you information on your surgery or recovery. It looks like you have been given some good advice already. I hope more will post for you.

    Good luck
  • 20questions
    20questions Member Posts: 24
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    Ask your surgeons patients.......you'll get the best answers!!)
    Call and ask for information on how to contact or be contacted by their past DIEP patients. They should be more than happy for you to do so. It's important to get feedback from someone who has had the same surgeon, hospital etc.. You'll gain insight into your specific post op care and routine. i.e. - Some surgeon groups don't put patients in the ICU post op but have nursing units dedicated to their patients, some hospitals provide post op garments, some don't. Best wishes on a speedy recovery.
  • jk1952
    jk1952 Member Posts: 613
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    Ask your surgeons patients.......you'll get the best answers!!)
    Call and ask for information on how to contact or be contacted by their past DIEP patients. They should be more than happy for you to do so. It's important to get feedback from someone who has had the same surgeon, hospital etc.. You'll gain insight into your specific post op care and routine. i.e. - Some surgeon groups don't put patients in the ICU post op but have nursing units dedicated to their patients, some hospitals provide post op garments, some don't. Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

    I had a bilateral mastectomy

    I had a bilateral mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction in April 2009, and I've been very happy with the result. For me, it was such a relief to have breasts when I woke up. That's the thing that I remember the most.

    I'm not sure if I was able to eat and drink right after I woke up, but I know that within a day I ate a normal diet. In fact they brought lasagna for me to eat the evening of the day after surgery. I was in ICU for two days, so they could check the blood flow regularly, and the nurses did whatever I needed. I had a bad reaction to the morphine, so I refused it the day after surgery and had only tylenol and motrin. The pain was bearable with just these, but I've been told that I have a high tolerance for pain.

    I was a little slower to get up than some of the others. I did not get out of bed the day after surgery because I was feeling terrible from the morphine, and the second day after surgery, I sat in a chair for hours but didn't walk. That day I moved to the regular floor, walked the following day and was released the day after. (My surgery was Wednesday, and I was released early Sunday morning). I started driving 2-1/2 weeks after the surgery.

    I found that the important thing was to do as much as you can, trying to do at least one thing that you couldn't do the day before, but listen to your body and when you hit a wall, go and rest.

    Joyce
  • Chrispea
    Chrispea Member Posts: 123 Member
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    I'm so glad you posted this,
    I'm so glad you posted this, because I might need DIEP surgery for recon, since I'll be zapped w/rads and end up with leather skin.

    I'm 42, still young enough to want boobies!

    Wendy, it sounds like you did very well. Up and walking is great!

    I think I need to talk to a plastic surgeon, because my mind is so confused. I know that for me none of this will happen until next year.

    I love that for Joyce her first memory is waking up with boobs!

    This gives me something to look forward to after all the hell I've gone thru.
  • KMLNP
    KMLNP Member Posts: 5
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    Post op day 8
    You are getting great info on this website. I found it about a week pre-op and it helped alot. I was in SICU for 48 hours not sure why (actually by the time I got a room it was close to 60). I slept alot. I had a morphine epidural which really controlled my pain well. My biggest problem was itching. This was due to a combination of the morphine and the plastic everything that then sweat. They kept my room very warm to help with the flap. Don't want anything constricting. I went home day 4. I was lucky all my drains came out before I went home so I am showering normally. I am actually amazed how good I feel. I was in surgery for 12 hours. My plastic surgeon is a perfectionist. But I am very pleased with my new breast. You will be well cared for by the nursing staff. They will check you every hour or more while in ICU. This is standard to watch the blood supply to the flap. Wishing you very well. Any other questions I can answer just let me know.

    Kathy
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    jk1952 said:

    I had a bilateral mastectomy

    I had a bilateral mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction in April 2009, and I've been very happy with the result. For me, it was such a relief to have breasts when I woke up. That's the thing that I remember the most.

    I'm not sure if I was able to eat and drink right after I woke up, but I know that within a day I ate a normal diet. In fact they brought lasagna for me to eat the evening of the day after surgery. I was in ICU for two days, so they could check the blood flow regularly, and the nurses did whatever I needed. I had a bad reaction to the morphine, so I refused it the day after surgery and had only tylenol and motrin. The pain was bearable with just these, but I've been told that I have a high tolerance for pain.

    I was a little slower to get up than some of the others. I did not get out of bed the day after surgery because I was feeling terrible from the morphine, and the second day after surgery, I sat in a chair for hours but didn't walk. That day I moved to the regular floor, walked the following day and was released the day after. (My surgery was Wednesday, and I was released early Sunday morning). I started driving 2-1/2 weeks after the surgery.

    I found that the important thing was to do as much as you can, trying to do at least one thing that you couldn't do the day before, but listen to your body and when you hit a wall, go and rest.

    Joyce

    Wishing you good luck with
    Wishing you good luck with your future surgery!


    Hugs, Leeza
  • sea60
    sea60 Member Posts: 2,613
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    I had exactly what you had
    I was in the hospital for about 4 days. Yes, the day of surgery and the following day you are pretty out of it. They had to keep the room warm since it was considered a transplant so I was uncomfortable and expect them to come in every hour to check your boobs for circulation. You will get poked and prodded and you will need someone there the whole time of your hospital stay. I didn't eat the day of surgery and most of the day after. Then liquid diet, then solid. I don't really think you need to take anything special. Pillows will be your friend. They'll get you up any walking as soon as they can.

    I was able to bathe the day I was released (which felt sooo good). My sister stayed with me for 2 weeks afterwards as it does take time to build your strength. Every day gets better. I had 4 drains (2 at the boob sites and 2 in the abs) which were a pain in the you know what for about 10 days. What joy it was to take them off.

    All in all, I took 8 weeks off work. So take time to relax and heal.

    My boobs look wonderful, perky and bouncy. I'm a full C (yeah, I had that much belly fat)and now I have a flat tummy. I'm glad I made the decision to elect this surgery. My number one goal was to get this cancer out of me and focus on getting better. Afterwards, I wanted to look and feel as close to normal as possible and this surgery achieved that.

    I was 47 at the time.

    If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can call me anytime...(210)383-3901.

    I will keep you in prayer. Everything will be fine.

    Blessings,
    sea