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Questions about breast recontruction

smilingdeb's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2011

Hi everyone, I had a double mastectomy two years ago and I am ready to have breast reconstruction. The plastic surgeon I met is highly recommended here where I live and heard he does an excellent job. I can not remember the name of the flap procedure but it is the one where they take the muscule from the back and use gel implants. My question is had any of you had this procedure done and if so are you happy and please with it? I heard that you might have some limit to using your arms afterwards. I would really appreciate what information and experience you had.

Thanks, Deb

Ritzy's picture
Posts: 4382
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Deb!  I had a lumpectomy, but, several have asked questions about this before, one just recently.  I will bump it up for you.  Maybe it will help you some.

It's titled Diep flap vs implants.  Good luck to you!

Sue :)

Pink Rose
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2012

I also had a lumpectomy, so, I can't give you any information.  Just wanting to wish you good luck with your reconstruction.

Hugs, Rose

teresa41's picture
Posts: 466
Joined: Jun 2009

I had this surgery jan 2012 both sides however I did not get implants they just used my muscles from my back I can say honestly this was not a easy surgery for me the surgery was 5 hours I was in the hospital 5 days and came home with 6 drains. Lifting and reaching is very limited . When I woke up in my room I could not reach for my water cup it takes time to recover. At home I put all my dishes and dry foods on the countertops and my gallon of milk I put in a small container I did all this before I left for surgery . They won't want you lifting or reaching another thing I had moraphine and pain pills in the hospital so when I got home I had bad bathroom issues make sure you have stool softener handy. I was off work 8 weeks my job involves lots of lifting pushing pulling. I also went to therapy for 6 weeks after I healed to get my range of motion back your back will feel very tight from them moving the muscles . I also got sports bras for after surgery my surgeon wanted me in one after the bandage came off and I still where them I like them better than a regular bra.im happy with the outcome  and I hope this helps you just take it easy and don't overdo it does take time to heal its a big surgery I wish you the best and good luck



Noel's picture
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

Can't offer advice or information, but, want to add my good luck to you.

Hugs, Noel

Treecy1106's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: Apr 2011

I had a skin saving bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction at the same time. My surgery was 4 hours. I opted to have the gel implants.

They look wonderful and recovery time was good. I also had drains for a week.

I had the nipple surgery about 8 weeks or so after.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Patrice ((HUGS))

smilingdeb's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2011

Thank you all for your reply. I have a lot of research to do. I'm so confuse on what to doUndecided . I ask my oncologist about the expanders and he told me that a lot of women have told him how painful it is. Guess I need to talk to the surgeon again and get more information.

Teresa, can I ask how you like the outcome of your latissimus flap surgery?

Again, thank you for your help.



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

I am sure your surgeon can help you with your questions Deb.  I know some have said the fills for the expanders can be painful and others said it wasn't that bad.  Maybe your surgeon can put you in touch with someone that has had this done and you could talk to them.

Good luck!

smilingdeb's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2011

Thank you Kristin for your reply. I am going to see my surgeon again and yes he will be able to answer some more question. However, I am reaching out to our sisters here for inputs, their experience, comfort, love and understanding.

I have completed my chemo treatments, including 4 of the very aggressive chemo infusing and shot the next day, had my double mastectomy with 5 lymph nodes removed and then completed all of my radiation treatments. Oh I was so excited and ready to get my reconstruction going but here is why I am reaching out and asking questions.

On Aug. 23, 2012 after all of my treatment and etc. I had congestive heart failure. I was on my death bed and when I fought for my life again the doctors said I was a miracle and that they did not expect me to pull through. My cardiologist doctor told me that when I was in the ER my heart was functioning at 10%. A normal healthly heart is at 70-75%, never a 100%. After most of my family came in from all over Texas and Colorado and I was in cardiac ICU that was when all the doctors (2 cardiologist, my oncologist, internal medicine doctor and another one) came in to talk to us. I was so out of it from the heavy duty drugs that I am so thankful that my family was there to get the information and ask questions. Not only was my EF was 10% I had pneumonia, blood clots in the lungs and legs and 2 in my heart next to one of the valves. The 2 in my heart 1 of them was the size of a golf ball and if it moved and covered the valve I would have died and if the blood clot was break off and get into the valve and went to the brain I could of had a stroke or be brain damage. What was the cause of all the blood clots and CHF? The CFH was from the aggressive chemo infusions and the blood clots was caused by my cancer pill Anastrozole. Blood clots is one of it side effect. Now after card. rehab, more medications and doctor appts I had a heart cath done and my cardiologist was very happy with what he saw. There was no blockage, veins look good, heart is pumping good and strong and my EF is 45-50%. Since the reconstruction surgery will be about 6 hrs I can now have the surgery and be safe being put under for that long. So, after all that I have been through can you see why I want to reach out to our sisters? I am going to sent Teresa a private email for more information cause the Latissimus flap is the surgery my surgeon wants to do knowing about my CFH and he is highly recommended here in Corpus Christi, TX. Again, thank you for your reply and lots of ciberhugs to you, Deb
Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

Deb,  you might also try the website breastcancer.org.  They have many separate sections on reconstruction.  I am sure you will find a lot of answers and help there also. 

Good luck,


Kylez's picture
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

I am no help either Deb.  Just hoping you can get some answers.  I know you are anxious to move forward with this.

Cyber hugs,


Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

I had a Lat Flap reconstruction with an implant in 2006. Recovery went well and it wasn't too bad. I'm happy with the overall results, but not at the fact that ruptures are fairly common within 6 to 10 years and you have to minor surgery to replace them. I'm going through that right now. I had swollen glands in my neck, had them biopsied and they came back negative for cancer, but silicone showed up!! Needless to say, I'm not happy about silicone floating around in my body!


The things about the surgery that I find annoying, but not awful it the soreness in back where they took the muscle. It's not terribly painful, but bothers me sometimes when I've over used it or worked out too hard. Massaging helps it. As far as the use of the arm, I've noticed a very slight difference in my strength, but nothing that keeps me from doing anything. All-in-all, it turned out well. It's a hard decision I know. And given the fact everyone's body is different and responds differently, it's hard to really say what it will be like. My experience has been pretty good...up until yesterday! LOL. I wasn't planning on having to have a surgery in my near future and just don't look forward to going through it!

Good luck with whatver you decide. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me!



Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

Deb, just checking back to see if you've got your reconstruction surgery scheduled or what you've decided to do. 

Hugs, Jan

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