Hi again Roz, you are obviuosly in a better place here than your other - Loads of responses from similars. There was someone else, but I can't remember her name or where. But if I do, I'll direct her onto here. By the way, I was given a really good tip by one of the girls, Ali To save you sending seperate posts to everyone and enable you to see all the previous posts, open up two tabs/pages the same so you can keep switching to refer to the different posts on one page, whilst you are typing your message on the other. Took me a while to get the hang of it and it's not much bother after a while. I'm a bit of a numpty with computers so if I can do it - anyone can !!
Jennie , I left you a post on Roz's other thread today. I'm sorry, you seemed to get overlooked because your thread was small inbetween the others. But there's a lot of successful recons elswhere also. I was too skinny to have stomach, bum or thigh (is that DIEP - ladies ??), which left me with back muscle lat flaps which my surgeon seemed to prefer for smaller breasted women. I was a 34 a-b cup. Anyway, as I said, I'd never wanted self tissue, only implant recon which are a much better shape these days with the newer anatomical shaped silicons which have a more natural drape/droop teardrop in section profile, as oppo to the 1/2 sphere shape there used to be. But you don't get the tissue warmth that you do with self tissue and the feeling it's your own. It's quicker healing and less scarring but the skin is thin if your coming from a delayed point of view. Don't know if tht's different with "immediate" implant sugery ?? cos I was 8 yrs delayed.
Julia on "Recovering from mastectomy" had very new, innovative surgery by laperoscopy - no scarring to breast or back.Don't know how that was done - never heard of it. It's a lot to weigh up. How old are you cos that comes into it too. Implants can need replacing 10-15 yrs sometimes. Makes your brain hurt doesn;t it !!
Love to all Delly xx
Hi Scarab - thank you for your reply, its a sensible idea to fit everything you can into the one op - knowing me I will still be pondering over my decision, so will be very interested to hear how everything went after your surgery! Hope all goes well xx
Hi Roz - regarding the liposuction dilemma, my PS said that he would also 'remove some excess skin', so I think he will kind of tighten it all up (meaning an additional scar - I will need to buy some more scar cream!). I am due to see him again in November to go through the process and what I want to achieve from the surgery. I am having a nipple made at the same time as the lipo and lift surgery, I am trying to fit as much as I can into the one op!
It is so difficult to make these decisions - if I have my surgery before you have decided whether or not you want any further revisions please feel free to ask me anything (my op is due in December, but no date as yet), maybe I will be able to help. Take care xx
Thank you so much for your reply and sorry that you too have had a similar dilemma to me! One of my thoughts regarding liposuction to my reconstructed breast is how will the breast skin look if some of my tissue is taken away, will it looked wrinkled and saggy as its been such a full and natural looking breast for two and a half years? Maybe that is a question I should ask my PS - its all so confusing for me at the moment, I thought I would just get used to the 'new me', I also have to decide whether to have nipple surgery or tattoo or nothng at all - originally when I was asked about symmetry and nipple surgery, I was definitely feeling 'no more surgery' ... and now I'm not so sure.. oh well, more decisions! Good luck with your surgery and well done for making your decision!xx
Thank you for your reply - I was really interested to read how you felt. I think you're exactly right, initially we are grateful that the cancer has been taken away and that we've come through all the decision making and the surgery, after that we are then left with the impact of what has happened! What I need to do now is, as you say, I must decide what is best for me - a prothesis on my good side to make me even, or surgery to make me even. At the moment I really don't know but the forum chat is helping and also giving me the confidence to investigate my options further!x
Thanks for your reply, please don't let me put you off the DIEP surgery - it is a very lengthy procedure and recovery is longer than other types of surgery, however, using my own tissue is comforting and although my reconstructed breast is bigger, it is still me and its looks very natural! I have been offered options, (which I now realise is quite common), for my concerns about being 'even', so there is a solution to how I'm feeling, I just need to sort out how much it really bothers me and if I want to go through corrective surgery - and you have helped, just by answering! Good luck with your decision, whichever it may be xx
Thank you for your encouragement - I just wished I'd joined in the forum chat sooner!
Good advice, I am going to explore all my options - surgery and non-surgery, and then decide how strongly I feel about correcting my symmetry! Thank you x
Hi Roz, you are not alone! I had single mx with immediate recon with DIEP flap in June. In my conversations with my plastic surgeon I had asked for the recon boob to be the same size or a bit smaller than my natural one, with a view to a possible reduction on my healthy side later. What I actually ended up with was a massive recon breast, which my surgeon seemed immensely proud of. I had no bra which could house this thing whilst recovering in hospital, and since the op I must have bought about 15 bras to try and fit it! So at the moment I am very uneven.
Following an appointment with my surgeon back in September he has agreed to perform liposuction on the recon side plus a lift on my natural side to even things up. I am happy at the thought of the liposuction but the lift surgery scares me a little but I will do it because I can't accept the 'monster boob' as it is!
Perhaps you can have lipo on your recon breast, which my surgeon assures me will be a fairly small procedure, and see how you feel afterwards? It might be that this is all you need to achieve symmetry and peace of mind. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not feel repulsed by my own chest, so for me the surgery will be worth it, but we are all different and have been through so much already so only do what you are happy to do for yourself x
hi Roz54 i think your feelings are normal - initially we are grateful that we are still around after a primary diagnosis but then we realise the impact the treatment has had on us both mentally and physically. My experience was slightly different in that initially I didn't even want a reconstruction I just wanted the bad breast off and couldn't face a long complicated operation. But after a few months when I started to feel better I realised that actually I did want a new breast and I got an appt with the plastic team and I had a delayed DIEP which like yours a very long operation around 10 hours I think but I was so pleased with the result and having a lovely breast after havingt a flat side for me was fantastic. Then a dilemma which is similar to your situation - what do I do about the other side. My good breast was slightly bigger and droopier than my new one - so again after discussions with the plastic team I agreed to have an uplift and reduction on this side. The Maxoplaxy (I think that is what its called) is nowwhere near as instrusive as the DIEP and in fact I did it as a day patient and didn't have to stay in overnight. Again looking at my breast they still were slightly out and my plasltics team said they would do some tidying up ie some lypo work and tidy up of dog ears and scaring for me - again only a day case and this final work has given me a lovely pair of breasts that I am more than happy with and I won't be having more surgery. It is a very personal decision to make and the trauma of surgery is not good. You need to decide what is the best for you - a prothesis on your good side to make you even, or surgery to make you even. I wore a prothesis prior to my DIEP and whilst it looked ok to others and did its job for me it was not a long term solution.
I am due to have a single mastectomy and am trying to decde whether to have reconstruction with my own tissue an implant or a nothing at all. I was warned that symmetry wouldn't be good with any of these options and they could offer further surgery to the other to match them up. Which isn't tempting. I am sure I would have to wear something with the other side as the surgeon said that she couldnt make a boob as small as my natural ones!
What you say puts me off using my own tissue, as you say you have been through a lot, with two sites to heal up to be unhappy with the result. Sorry I can't help with real experience though and good luck with your decisions.
Roz, first of all, you don't need 'courage' to use this forum - it is made up of feisty supportive ladies (and a few blokes) who really can empathise with you, and this is the place to get information, hints and tips, and somewhere for you to have a rant when you need it. Believe me, we've all been there one way or another!
I was lop-sided after surgery and had to make one hell of a fuss to get corrective surgery, there seemed to be the attitude of 'she will come to terms with it in time' and an inability to understand that symmetry is more important to some of us than to others.
So I think you are doing very well to have a surgeon who is suggesting how to put things right. Of course more surgery is grim, however my reduction op was relatively easy to cope with, one overnight stay, and excellent aftercare from my GP. For me it was worth it, to be even-sided again, and the scars have faded a treat.
Give yourself more time to explore all possibilities - you don't actually need to make the final decision until you sign that form just before surgery.
Hi, I have been trying to come to terms with the symmetry of my reconstruction, but just want to know if I'm normal to have these feelings and if anybody has had the same experience, so I have plucked up the courage to post this message!
I feel I should be grateful and happy, (which I am!), that I am now cancer free, but am trying to mentally come to terms with what has happened over the last two years. One of the things I am struggling with is my cosmetic results but I am hoping in time that I will get used to the new me! I had smx with immediate DIEP reconstruction just over two years ago and have mixed feelings over the results, the reconstruction is very natural and everything has healed very well, but the symmetry is not good, I feel so lopsided, the reconstructed breast is at least two cup sizes bigger than my good breast and so I have to wear a prosthetic on my good side just to feel 'even', my PS has offered either a reduction on my reconstructed breast or an enlargement with implant on my good breast - although I'm feeling unhappy with the difference in size I don't feel I want to go through anymore surgery. I went through 12 hours of surgery so that I could feel as natural as possible and if I wanted an implant as is suggested for the healthy breast then I wouldn't have gone through the lengthy surgery for my DIEP - has anyone else experienced this dilemma and does anyone else have to wear a prosthetic on their healthy side? If I knew there were ladies out there like me, I wouldn't feel so abnormal - it just seems ironic that I have to wear a prosthetic on my healthy side - look forward to hearing from anyone who may have experienced similar x