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Overwhelmed by process

mommez24's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2014

OMG -just had 2hour appt w/plastic surgeon for reconstruction surgery!   Anyone else experience this.  First mastectomy (dbl)  & then balloons inserted & saline added weekly until get to correct size then surgery to put in implants over 6-8 week process- and then 6mos for total recovery.  Ruining summer month & riding horses-bummer


McMarty's picture
Posts: 212
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Tracie!

I have known a few people who had that 'tissue expander' process.  I don't know how they did it.  I don't think I would have the patience to go through it.  But it doesn't REALLY last forever and coming out the other side feeling confident and healed is well worth the trouble. 

Personally, I was not offered that option.  My plastic surgeon did a DIEP Flap.  I had my mastectomy and reconstruction done during the same surgery!  They just took my belly and made a breast out of it.  It is a 'free flap' so they remove it from your belly (or buttox) wherever you have spare tissue (fat)  and move it to your breast outside of your body.  Some flaps are done my moving the tissue through your body and while that seems awful at least you are done when you wake up :)  Well, after a few months, they can do a 'reconstruction revision' if they need adjusting.

If you have a little time, google it and see if you can find a plastic surgeon that does it.  It might fit into your schedule better.  Some surgeons just don't offer it because it takes longer and maybe it is really not an option for you, but it is worth checking out!

Whatever you do, don't loose heart.  Many have made it through what you are facing and after a short 'time out' went right on with their lives.  You can do this!  You may not like it, but you CAN DO IT!!



CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I had flaps done, but two sisters had implants. They both complained about and hated their expanders. Depending on your age and condition, it can take a little while to heal. My older sis who just had a bilateral with expanders last year is 63 and in great shape  -  big hiker, but she was surprised by how hard it was. She overdid it with a mountain hike too soon after and it really set her back. My advice is to take it really slow and pay attention to your body. This is not the time to push through the pain because you can start a cascade of more inflammation, swelling and pain. Just go slow and you will be fine!!!! 

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9080
Joined: Aug 2009

Perhaps you can have a standing appointment with your PS's office - and you can work some fun in the sun - around your fills. 

TE (tissue expanders) are flat like pancake inserts - surgerically implanted after mastectomy, or in my case, my 'double mastectomy'. There may be a stretching, or tight feeling after each fill - please make sure to ask your PS if you can take an advil after - what helped me in the final stage of fills - was to place a small bag of frozen pea's on each breast for 5 min to help with any inflammation.

Listen to your body, slow down - and take time to adjust to your 'new normal'. 

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

Posts: 6563
Joined: Oct 2010

sorry you are feeling overwhelmed...I have never had reconstruction so I can not relate on a personal level.


thinking of you....



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