DIEP pre-ops and surgery

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csuzanne
csuzanne Member Posts: 17
So, in December I'm going in for a DIEP. I had a right mastectomy in June, and they're going to do the left side with a tummy-tuck to rebuild the right side. (They'll save the skin from the left for reconstructing it.)
Pre-ops are today with my surgeon, plastic surgeon and hospital, plus a diagnostic mammogram (whatever that means!). Has anyone out there had this procedure? Are there any questions that I should be asking, that haven't made it to my list...my very long list?! Any help/advise that you can pass along would be greatly appreciated!
Suzanne

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  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
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    Suzanne, I had a lumpectomy,
    Suzanne, I had a lumpectomy, but, wanted to make sure that you knew that I am sending you good luck today with your appointments. I am sure that the pinks sisters that have gone thru this will post for you.

    Post to let us know how today went for you.


    Hugs, Angie
  • mamolady
    mamolady Member Posts: 796 Member
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    Suzanne, I haven't had the
    Suzanne, I haven't had the surgery but I spoke with the plastic surgeon to go over my options. He prefers the DIEP over implants for the long term effects. He said the recovery is longer but since it is your own tissue, there are fewer long term issues.
    I was told it's 14 hour surgery, 5 days in the hospital. The total recovery is up to 4 months.
    Keep us posted on your progress. I won't decide till after the first of the year if I am even going to have recon done. Your insights may help me decide!

    Cindy
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    hi Suzanne, hope your
    hi Suzanne, hope your pre-op with your doctor went well. I don't think that many women opt for the DIEP flap reconstruction as it is a very long surgery and takes some time to recover from it. In saying that, I chose to have it. I liked the idea of recycling my fat to have a more natural looking breast.

    I had a single mastectomy on the left with immediate reconstruction. My cancer treatment (chemo/rads and herceptin) took forever and almost two years later I had the second stage of reconstruction - a nipple on the left and a lift on the right. I am super happy with the results! My reconstructed breast does look very natural.

    Let me know if there is anything you need to know. You can send me a private message as well if you like.

    take care
    Marie
  • jphilpo
    jphilpo Member Posts: 177
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    Diep Flap surgery
    Hi Suzanne,

    I had diep flap reconstruction in June 2010. I am a teacher so, I was glad to have 2 months to recover. I am very pleased with my surgery and had a great plastic surgeon and office staff. I called them all the time to ask questions. Hopefully, you will have that experience too. I did alot of research online, but I felt so comfortable with my doctor.

    I still have some numbness , but overall, it's been great!


    Jean
  • csuzanne
    csuzanne Member Posts: 17
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    jphilpo said:

    Diep Flap surgery
    Hi Suzanne,

    I had diep flap reconstruction in June 2010. I am a teacher so, I was glad to have 2 months to recover. I am very pleased with my surgery and had a great plastic surgeon and office staff. I called them all the time to ask questions. Hopefully, you will have that experience too. I did alot of research online, but I felt so comfortable with my doctor.

    I still have some numbness , but overall, it's been great!


    Jean

    Thank you all!
    My pre-ops

    Thank you all!
    My pre-ops went wonderfully, and I'm all set for surgery on 12/5! I would be telling lies if I said I wasn't scared, but I think it'll be the best for me in the end. My surgeon is a doll and my plastic surgeon is a very particular (read picky!), wonderful man, and I have complete trust in them both.
    The only downside at the moment is that I have to stop the caffeine (coke and sweet tea), chocolate and wine a week before and three weeks after surgery - eeegads!! I've started weaning myself today, but it's going to be hard!!
    Thanks for the well wishes, info and advice, they are greatly appreciated.
    Suzanne
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    csuzanne said:

    Thank you all!
    My pre-ops

    Thank you all!
    My pre-ops went wonderfully, and I'm all set for surgery on 12/5! I would be telling lies if I said I wasn't scared, but I think it'll be the best for me in the end. My surgeon is a doll and my plastic surgeon is a very particular (read picky!), wonderful man, and I have complete trust in them both.
    The only downside at the moment is that I have to stop the caffeine (coke and sweet tea), chocolate and wine a week before and three weeks after surgery - eeegads!! I've started weaning myself today, but it's going to be hard!!
    Thanks for the well wishes, info and advice, they are greatly appreciated.
    Suzanne

    Suzanne, good to hear your
    Suzanne, good to hear your pre-op went well. I too had a hard time with not been able to drink tea. I was desperate for a cup of tea. I did however get rooibos teas, it is non-caffeinated and many places sell it.

    Do you have help at home after the surgery? I found that I really needed it and had my mother to help. Also the wonderful women on this board recommended I get a lazyboy chair to sleep in as it is easy to get in and out. I did not, didn't have time, space and money but I do realise it would have been much easier. I proped myself up with a ton of pillows. I also found that wearing pants with a soft/elastic waste helped. I didn't bother with underwear until the end of the second week.

    They are likely to put a hot blanket on you after surgery and keep your room tropically warm to ensure good blood flow to the reconstructed breast. And use the mercy button (morphine) as much as you need.

    As always drink, drink, drink plenty of water. And the couch is your friend :) (Just spent 2 weeks on it after last surgery).

    Best of luck to you. Will be thinking of you.
    Mariam
  • csuzanne
    csuzanne Member Posts: 17
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    Suzanne, good to hear your
    Suzanne, good to hear your pre-op went well. I too had a hard time with not been able to drink tea. I was desperate for a cup of tea. I did however get rooibos teas, it is non-caffeinated and many places sell it.

    Do you have help at home after the surgery? I found that I really needed it and had my mother to help. Also the wonderful women on this board recommended I get a lazyboy chair to sleep in as it is easy to get in and out. I did not, didn't have time, space and money but I do realise it would have been much easier. I proped myself up with a ton of pillows. I also found that wearing pants with a soft/elastic waste helped. I didn't bother with underwear until the end of the second week.

    They are likely to put a hot blanket on you after surgery and keep your room tropically warm to ensure good blood flow to the reconstructed breast. And use the mercy button (morphine) as much as you need.

    As always drink, drink, drink plenty of water. And the couch is your friend :) (Just spent 2 weeks on it after last surgery).

    Best of luck to you. Will be thinking of you.
    Mariam

    Thanks Mariam! I do have
    Thanks Mariam! I do have the lazy-boy, and I love the warm blanket idea (I'm so cold-natured!). The mercy button sounds wonderful too, but I have a bad reaction to morphine so I hope they can come up with something just as good!! I have my in-laws the first week, my cousin and son the second week, and my husband on the weekends...will I be ok with just my 13-yo son after that? My mom will come over to help if needed, but she's 83 and not driving very much anymore....she also "grosses out" easily!
    I will find the tea, and I've started drinking more water, and I'm TRYING to cut back on the coke....that's the worst!
    Thanks for the info!
    Suzanne
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    csuzanne said:

    Thanks Mariam! I do have
    Thanks Mariam! I do have the lazy-boy, and I love the warm blanket idea (I'm so cold-natured!). The mercy button sounds wonderful too, but I have a bad reaction to morphine so I hope they can come up with something just as good!! I have my in-laws the first week, my cousin and son the second week, and my husband on the weekends...will I be ok with just my 13-yo son after that? My mom will come over to help if needed, but she's 83 and not driving very much anymore....she also "grosses out" easily!
    I will find the tea, and I've started drinking more water, and I'm TRYING to cut back on the coke....that's the worst!
    Thanks for the info!
    Suzanne

    Suzanne, good for you for
    Suzanne, good for you for having the lazy boy chair 'cause it is not easy initially getting into and out of bed. The help you have sounds really good and after a couple of weeks at home you will be more mobile but still not able to lift heavy things. That is where your 13 year old will come in handy. You might also be able to drive. I think it is that intial week that is not easy and having someone to prepare food will really help. The third week I was back working, that is, lying in bed with a laptop.

    I recently (4 weeks ago) had the final recon. on top along with a hernia repair (muscles seperated, reasons are complicated). The surgery was easier than the DIEP flap and I managed with my 12 year old daughter just fine, except she wouldn't help with the laundary so now she does her own. I just lay on the couch watching TV, eating Toblerone and crocheting. I had friends drop by with food and had easy prepare meals. Costco by us has a great roasted chicken for $5 and Trader Joes has great pre-cooked mango chicken sausages which go great on a honey wheat roll, those where my favourites.

    On another note ask your surgeon if he/she is going to give you a soap to wash with right before you show up at the hospital for surgery. For the DIEP flap I wasn't given the soap and I got an infection but this last time I was given the soap and didn't get an infection at all. I don't know if there is any connection but there might be. The week before my last surgery I also washed with an anti-bacterial soap as well. I was nervous about getting another infection because it can set back your recovery.

    Good luck with weaning yourself off the coke! I have a hard time going without my trusty cup of tea.
  • canoegirl
    canoegirl Member Posts: 169
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    csuzanne said:

    Thank you all!
    My pre-ops

    Thank you all!
    My pre-ops went wonderfully, and I'm all set for surgery on 12/5! I would be telling lies if I said I wasn't scared, but I think it'll be the best for me in the end. My surgeon is a doll and my plastic surgeon is a very particular (read picky!), wonderful man, and I have complete trust in them both.
    The only downside at the moment is that I have to stop the caffeine (coke and sweet tea), chocolate and wine a week before and three weeks after surgery - eeegads!! I've started weaning myself today, but it's going to be hard!!
    Thanks for the well wishes, info and advice, they are greatly appreciated.
    Suzanne

    Glad to hear your pre-ops
    Glad to hear your pre-ops went well! I had DIEP reconstruction last Feb. with no complications and I am happy with the results. Like always, the drains are a pain (I always seem to have mine longer than most people). I'm getting my nipple reconstruction the end of November and I'm looking forward to being done.

    Sounds like you are well prepared for your arrival back home. Good luck!

    Marcy