DIEP flap vs implants

Options
mamolady
mamolady Member Posts: 796 Member
I spoke with a PS today regarding reconstruction. He seems to like the flap recon but said I am only a fair candidate because I don't have much tissue for reconstruction. I am also only a fair candidate for the implants because I had radiation only on the right so it may be hard to get them to match. The skin may not do well with the expander.
I was set on just implants because I didn't want to obscure the chest wall in case of recurrence. The doc said that even the implants will obscure the chest wall in the area where the one tumor was closest to the chest wall.
There is a big difference with the recovery time and complications.
I am looking for more info. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Cindy

Comments

  • missingtexas
    missingtexas Member Posts: 146
    Options
    I had radiation to the left
    I had radiation to the left side. They couldn't do a DIEP because I didn't have enough tissue. My expanders went in on 9/13 (one year after my mastectomy). At this point they do not look the same and the radiated side is not stretching as well. Originally my doc said that since I was young and the tissue looked good, we may be ok but he also said that if things didn't go well, we would do a lattisimus flap on the radiated side. I'm comfortable with that. It's wait and see now. I've had 4 fills. I was doing 60cc every week. We are going every other week because I was having a lot of pain (only on radiated side). Good luck. I'm not sure this was much help but this is where I am right now.
    Dana
  • jphilpo
    jphilpo Member Posts: 177
    Options
    diep flap
    Hi,

    I had radiation & my surgeon told me I would not be a good candiate for implants. I had the diep flap in June,1010. I am very happy with the results. I know the recovery is longer, but it was not bad. Let me know if I can give you any other info.

    Jean
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
    Options
    I had DIEP flap on the left.

    I had DIEP flap on the left. I had a single mastectomy and only had enough tissue for one breast. I have just had the last recon surgery and am super happy with the results. Both my breasts are matched well and look really natural, in fact the recon. breasts looks more natural than my other.

    DIEP flap is a long surgery and about 4 days in the hospital. I found I needed help at home for a couple of week afterwards. It is major abdominal surgery as well and there is a fair amount of discomfort and recovery is does take a while. However I am really not sorry I had it. As I said I am SUPER happy with the end result.

    I heard that implants obscure the chest wall more than fatty tissue.

    Good luck.
  • mamolady
    mamolady Member Posts: 796 Member
    Options
    thank you
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I am beginning to wonder if I even want recon still. I wish I could see into the future...... I like the idea of less recovery but not having to maybe replace implants. I like the idea of using my own tissue but not having to provide the blood supply and the major abdominal surgery.

    Another question, is it possible or practical to have the flap if you have had a c-section?
    I heard today that that should eliminate the flap surgery.

    Cindy
  • missingtexas
    missingtexas Member Posts: 146
    Options
    mamolady said:

    thank you
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I am beginning to wonder if I even want recon still. I wish I could see into the future...... I like the idea of less recovery but not having to maybe replace implants. I like the idea of using my own tissue but not having to provide the blood supply and the major abdominal surgery.

    Another question, is it possible or practical to have the flap if you have had a c-section?
    I heard today that that should eliminate the flap surgery.

    Cindy

    I don't think so (but don't
    I don't think so (but don't know for sure). I had a c-section and that was never brought up as an issue when we discussed it. Again, I am no expert and only know what I've researched...has anybody discusses and lattisimus flap. I (again "think"...a lot of it runs together anymore haha) think that they can leave it attached and just swing it around which means there is no need for a blood supply since in remains connected to it's original supply. Don't quote me on that but you may want to ask.
  • tko683
    tko683 Member Posts: 264 Member
    Options
    I had the DIEP
    I had radiation to the left side so i was told that DIEP was my best option. I waited until almost 3 years after my mastectomy because of all the treatment i had. I was kind of torn and could not decide if it was going to be worth all that surgery and recovery but I decided to do it and unfortunately it did not work out for me. I developed a blood clot in the flap and they had to remove it. So after 11 hours and 4 more hours of attempting to save the flap, I ended up with nothing. The recovery was not as bad as I thought, but it took my awhile to feel normal again and my stomach still feels wierd now 7 years later. They told me they could try the latisimus flap but I have decided that I am not willing to put myself through anymore unnecessary surgery. Good luck with your decision. Hugs, Teri