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Questions -2nd mastectomy, reconstruction & expanders

Posts: 150
Joined: Jul 2002

They are putting expanders under both muscles. The 2nd mastectomy will be done leaving my nipple and skin entact (scooping out). I was wondering how painful this is? I heard it's quite painful. After 3 weeks, every week I go in to have more saline injected into the expanders.

iris48's picture
Posts: 92
Joined: May 2002

I had a double mastectomy and expanders placed at the time of that surgery. Each time they fill the expanders you are trying to stretch the skin and sometimes three weeks is not enough time between fills. If it is done too soon, it can traumatize the area and yes feel very hard, tight and painful. You are in the pilot seat to tell your doctor what you can tolerate. The expanders can be there for a year plus a couple of months. That is what I am presently going through. Slow is better because you want to avoid the scar tissue or encapsulation which makes the pseudo breasts very hard and uncomfortable. This procedure however gives you choices as to how you want to do a final reconstruction. I now know I would not like the saline implants because of the way the fluid in the expanders feel. I am opting for the latisimus dorsi flap with a small medical grade silicon implant to rebuild both breasts. This way I do not have to replace the implant every 8 to 10 years. Wishing you the best

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