28-09-2017 12:24 PM
I had DIEP surgery on 19th Sep'17 and I bought a couple of Drain Dollies bags to carry the drain bottles around with me. Be careful when walking around with them - take care that the tubes don't get caught on door handles or other such objects! A couple of days after surgery I was expected to get out of bed and shower (under supervision of a nurse), so I had soap, a flannel and a dressing gown too.
21-09-2017 10:28 PM
16-09-2017 11:06 AM
Hi sciathos (love the name - Greek island!)
Only just seen your question so sorry for late reply. My op was way back in December and all absolutely fine, rads over and done with months ago and just on a tablet once a day for 5 years. Where are you in your treatment plan? x
05-08-2017 12:14 PM
overnight was semi-optional. I went down to theatre very late in the afternoon, so by the time I'd come round it was into evening and apparently my blood pressure was a bit low. I told them it's always low, which is true. Anyway, as I live alone I had the choice to staying put overnight or finding someone to cart me off home quite late in the evening and then stay with me. I opted for the comfortable and lazy choice. You are slightly right about the cuppa. I requested a cuppa almost as soon as my eyes were open (well, it's a long day with no food or drink before your late afternoon op....) but they said "oh no, not yet, you can't sit up just yet". Half hour later I persuaded them to let me sit up, and they only let me have water first. More time passed and they finally let me have a cuppa, seeing as i was right as rain and only suffering from tea deficiency.
05-08-2017 11:41 AM
Optimissy, Oh you did make me laugh!
Why did you need to stay overnight? (Weighing up probabilities here)
I've seen other posts saying said cuppa didn't appear, so to take water.
My op is on Wednesday. I would be on the line to my NBC (Oh dear, I am forgetting all the acronyms now) to ask all these questions, but I'm starting to hate weekends. I do have my Kindle, and I have ordered a Killer Sudoku book, just in case I can rearrange some brain cells.
05-08-2017 11:28 AM
Pecan, I took an overnight bag, posh jamies that I had never worn as I sleep nude at home, wash bag, Kindle, slippers etc etc and only needed the slippers, flannel and the toothbrush! By the time you wake up you are in a hospital gown, and even if you are in overnight (I was) you can't really be arsed to change into jammies as you are snuggled down with said Kindle and a cuppa, and they keep coming in to check blood pressure etc, so I stayed in the gown and could really have got what I needed in my, admittedly large, handbag.I didn't have a drain - don't think you usually have one for WLE and node removal but maybe some people have. When is your op? xx
05-08-2017 10:34 AM
I have been ploughing through this thread, and when the list of items I needed to take with me became necessary to invest in a trunk, I thought I'd start again and ask for advice. I am only going in for a day op, not for overnight (I hope) and was wondering how much is actually necessary.
I have not found pyjamas that open in the front, but I have found some super stretchy ones that will slip on easily. I am a rather large, so buying clothes is not very easy. And up until now I have avoided button up tops as they have never accommodated my breasts!
Am I going to need all the other things - wetwipes, etc? I will pack an extra bag for if I have to stay in overnight, but I feel embarrassed packing for a week if all I need is to dress and go home.
I am assuming that I will have drains, as they are doing the NBS too. NBS? Node Biopsy something-or-other.
Oh - I already know my operation will be the first one on the afternoon shift.
07-05-2017 01:47 PM
Hi Ann, all front fastening is much the best, including going in for your op. Big shirt and pull on pants for ease afterwards. The staff need to get to you, so the front fastening is helpful. Asda have some nice cotton pj's, and to be honest I've more or less replaced my nightwear as the silky stuff is hopeless, and the thick cotton is hot and now feels itchy. Same with sweaters, so I've had to buy a couple of cottony ones while my skin is so sensitive . I'm 10 weeks post op, and into chemo, so that could be a factor. Bras are a hot discussion topic , and there is a whole thread on it. Wishing You all the best for your op. X
07-05-2017 08:50 AM
Yes to front fastening bras- there is a new one developed called RecoBra if you are having reconstruction that looks worth googling. I found lovely front button pyjamas from Asda that made me feel quite glam! I've seen they have a new version for summer. However I'm not sure any clothes would have kept me cool, it was so warm on the ward. I found over head tops impossible for about two weeks post op. Good luck!
07-05-2017 05:51 AM
I have been recently diagnosed with BC and have had sentinel node biopsies before my appointment next week when a decision will be reached about surgery options. I am finding the information on this forum so useful in terms of options and what questions to be asking. Have been feeling mostly positive except for a couple of really low tearful days when I have not wanted to burden family - this forum has been wonderful in the middle of the night when all seems so difficult. Emotionally draining and so difficult to sleep at night when my mind is workIng overtime. Brings me to the question I had - where have you found nightwear that will be comfortable, accessible and cool for post surgery. Is it easier to go for front fastening bras and nightwear or can you manage to put on tops over head ?
25-04-2017 09:44 PM
Hi, i was told to take in Bridget Jones knickers and I was really scared about putting them on after such a surgery - especially with drains still in. As it turned out they were wonderful! They hold bits in nicely and I was able to walk upright after only 2 days. They were such a bonus for silly things like sneezing and coughing too. I needed to get a size larger as I underestimated the amount my tummy would be swollen. I also found it difficult to pull them on unaided but the nurses were great helping me and my husband helped when I went home.
My DIEP was 4 years ago and I did a 'sort of' blog at the time which I still have somewhere if you wanted to take a look. The worst thing for me was not knowing what to expect.
25-04-2017 09:36 PM
18-04-2017 05:51 PM
I had a left skin sparing mx with full DIEP flap reconstruction on 24 March. 11 hours in surgery, which thankfuly I knew nothing about but my poor family .... I have made an amazing recovery considering how big an op it was. I'm 58 and was in good health before - didn't feel ill at all - isn't that the hardest thing to get your head round?
I used my PCA for about 18 hours immediately after surgery but after that I was fine on paracetamol and codeine and then just paracetamol. I was uncomfortable rather than in pain. I succombed to oromorph one night to help me sleep but it made me feel pretty woozy so I stayed away from it after that. Make sure they give you senna or another gentle laxative as you do not want to be straining those stitches!
I had to have a blood transfusion about 24 hours after surgery as my haemoglobin levels were low but did feel much perkier afterwards. Said little prayers of thanks to the donor who shared their A+ blood with me. I can't donate unfortunately due to an infection I had as a child
The most unpleasant thing for me post op was the hot room for the first 5 days after surgery - and it really was hot - someone said about 35 degrees C!!!! Not allowed to have the window or door open so I just lay there in a fug waiting for the days to go past. Best things to have were a small electric fan and a "Stay Cool Ice Towel". I found it on Amazon - it's a cloth designed for sports men and women which comes in a small clear flask. You wet it, shake it for 5-10 seconds and it gets very cold and stays that way for up to two hours - a lifesaver! Link here https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UXED5NC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It's very true that having clothing that does up at the front is helpful as every clinician who comes into your room wants to look at your boob - nearly got mine out for the cleaner one day!
Make sure you drink lots too. The hospital food was OK but I had little appetite and lost 8lbs in that week - though obviously some of that is on a petrie dish in pathology.
I found that once I started moving around the binder provided good support and I was so much comfortable once I was able to get into a bra. Recommend you do that as soon as you can. I'm quite large breasted, so having some support made things much more comfortable - I have a couple of Anita Extreme Support sports bras. I needed extensions to begin with but these are no longer necessary during the day as the swelling has gone down a lot. I still treat myself to a few extra centimetres extension at night for comfort.
Amazingly after seven days all the drains were out, I could stand upright and even walk up and down stairs, albeit sideways to begin with! So they let me home - yeah! I went back a week after discharge for the main dressings to be removed and came out of that appointment with just a bit of micropore tape across my amazingly flat tummy and no dressings on the breast at all. I'm on minimal pain relief - just 2 x paracetamol morning and night.
I'm due for a further follow up at 4 weeks later this week. The breast is still a bit 'firm' and tender but the scarring will be much less obvious than I feared - I can look in the mirror now without wincing! I never thought I would recover this quickly. Roll on the new nipple next year!
I do hate the binder though - the most uncomfortable thing ever invented! They should make all plastic surgeons wear them 24/7 for a month and I bet within a few months someone would have designed something more comfortable! I am planning a ritual incineration for mine when they tell me I can stop wearing it!
The bummer is that having thought I had DCIS and surgery would be a 'cure', it turns out I had two tiny invasive triple negative tumours and a positive SNLB, so I now have to go through 21 weeks of chemo during the long recovery period after reconstructive surgery, followed by radiotherapy and possibly more lymph node removal. 2017 is going to be a long year!
Hope this has helped anyone facing the same or similar surgery any time soon. I wouldn't say it was easy but it could have been a whole lot worse and I am hopeful that in the end it will prove to be well worth it. Keep positive!
11-02-2017 06:57 PM
Im realising almost 5 years on from diagnosis and awaiting more surgery that its a new normal we have to move to not our old one. I have been hit pretty hard by all the chemo I had and need to find a way of being and liking the me that I am now.
BTW, big knickers are the MOST important thing! I found a dry hair shampoo kept me feeling a bit more normal. Post surgery, if opiates make you queasy its worth thinking of things like lemony and gingery drinks and biscuits.
09-01-2017 02:19 PM
Hi Duffer56, I would be very interested to read your DIEP blog if you wouldn't mind sending it or re-posting a link here. I am due to go in for my contralateral mastectomy and reconstruction on 4th February, made all sorts of mistakes with the mastectomy bras before the first one which cost me a fortune! It would be good to learn from someone else's experience. Some good tips on here, but apart from a long op and long recovery, multiple drains and perhaps two weeks not being able to stand up straight, I don't really know what to expect.
I hope you're doing well now and coming out the other side. I just want my life back to normal again but I'm not sure if that is a realistic expectation once you've been through BC and double reconstruction. I'm sure everyone is different.
Hi, I did a 'sort of' blog when I had my DIEP surgery back in 2013 - a lot of it covering the Bridget Jones knickers I had to wear.
You are more than welcome to a copy if you want to pm me your email address