DIEP Flap Reconstruction

May 5, 2015 - 17:15

Hi Iala, Met my PS but he was rushing back into Theatre!!! I was not impressed. Anyhow he said that he doesn't understand why I'm bleeding and if it doesn't stop then he's going to take me back in to take a look!! I'm not happy at all about that - so I'm trying to take it very easy to see if the bleeding stops but unfortunately its still going on. The breast actually looks very good (except for the bleeding)! I'm meeting him next Wednesday(13th) for the decision. My tummy is great....never gave me any problems but I am getting fluid build up in the tummy (water bed effect) so I'm getting that drained on Thursday.

Ha ha like you I can't wait to lie on my side either!!!

Thanks Lindylu for that tip...I'll hit the health shops tomorrow to try and get some wheatgrass. I'll try anything at this stage!!!

Overall I think I probable had this surgery a little too soon as my immune system is still shot from chemo and herceptin. But apparently in a years time I'll be very happy!!!!

May 7, 2015 - 09:18

Hi spudburf

I hope all goes well for you. I'm wondering how soon after the chemo you had reconstruction? I too had a mastectomy , then had a direct implant put in at the same time, it failed as the skin was too thin, so then they put in ex panders with the idea of putting the implant back in. Now I am thinking about getting the diep surgery done instead as I found the implant quite hard and not natural. Just wondering is the big operation very traumatic and worth it. I'm afraid of going under the knife for that long. I have had c sections and ovarian cyst operations so I might not even be suitable. Or do I get the implant see how it goes and decide after that. The tissue ex panders aren't comfortable and will be there for along time if I decide to go for diep. Anyway I'm visiting the plastic surgeon next week and will see what he says. I only finished chemo two weeks ago but I want to know what my plan is for the next year and move on

May 8, 2015 - 20:06

Hi Dubmum,

Sorry to hear you had a failed implant. I couldn't have that type as my body tends to reject things, ie my port, so I opted for the DIEP Flap as my PS told me that this will have the most realistic look and feel to a natural breast.

I finished my chemo on 28th March 2014, had my mastectomy in May 2014 and continued with my Herceptin treatment until November 2014. I had my surgery on 19th March this year and to be honest I still think it was a bit too soon as my immune system isn't firing on all cyclinders. But I think I'm turning a corner now even though I've a long way to go.

Knowing what I know now would I have this type of surgery again - No! But I have been told in a years time I will be delighted I did so maybe I'll rewrite this post then!! It is major surgery and don't let anyone tell you otherwise and the tummy scar is hip to hip so don't be alarmed. Now that I'm slowly recovering I do love having a cleavage again!

If you're not suitable due to your c-sections then there is a Tug flap I believe or using a flap for your back. I would encourage you to do a bit of research before you meet your PS so you have questions to ask him/her.

Oh and congratulations on finishing chemo - its great!

May 11, 2015 - 17:15

Hi Iala,

Do you or did you have any problem with a build up of fluid in your tummy after your DIEP Flap?

May 12, 2015 - 20:47

Hi Dub mum, just wanted to say, both my kids were c section births, and 10 months before my diep recon, I had a total hysterectomy. The diep surgery, is, as the other ladies have said, a major surgery, and takes time to recover from. The results though are amazing! And if you can persevere through the more uncomfortable bits, you won't look back. I am 9 months post op now and even though it was quite challenging at times, I'm glad I did it. I also had a lift and reduction to the other breast, which by comparison was a doddle. Good luck with everything!
Best,
D x

May 13, 2015 - 16:00

Hi Mayfair, I'm delighted to hear its all been worth it. I'm now 8 weeks after surgery and only just beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel so I hope I'll be as happy 9 months down the road.

May 13, 2015 - 19:37

Hiya Spudburf , I have every confidence you will be thrilled when you're another few months down the line. I had weeks of dealing with a part of the abdominal incision which didn't seem to want to close....wasn't painful, just gross and a complete nuisance. And because, this surgery was my own decision, I was beating myself up for agreeing to it, not realising what an undertaking it was. But as I said, that was then. I love being able to shop for "normal" bras again and not being so restricted in the clothes I wear. Anyone who is considering the diep though, I cannot stress enough....take time to heal, and stock up on patience!!☺ oh and make sure your PS is well practiced in this type of recon, as it involves a lot of micro surgery, so, you want someone who knows what they're doing, obviously☺. Continued good health to all.....I think we're all bloody amazing!!! x

May 18, 2015 - 21:52

Hi ladies

I had diep my2012 and yes it was a tough recovery,spent many a day wondering if i had been right to do it!! Well perky pam was 3 years old on 1st may and i have never looked back.Im delighted with pam ( a little more so than slightly droopy dora!!!).I too wasnt sure about nipple as had had enough of hospitals operations and recoverys,but bit tge bullet last september and got it done followed by tattoo just before christmas.Best pressie ever,i now feel as thiugh i have closed the door finally on that chapter of my life.
My ps asked me when having my final app with him if id do it again and yes i would ( legs fingers toes and arms crossed i NEVER have to).It is hard and a long recovery but it is very worth it,i have come to forget that its not mine.Im just me again.

Best of luck to all you lovely ladies in recovery and keep well.
Any questions shout

Xx W

May 24, 2015 - 18:19

Mayfair":2vq7jz9n wrote:
Hiya Spudburf , I have every confidence you will be thrilled when you're another few months down the line. I had weeks of dealing with a part of the abdominal incision which didn't seem to want to close....wasn't painful, just gross and a complete nuisance. And because, this surgery was my own decision, I was beating myself up for agreeing to it, not realising what an undertaking it was. But as I said, that was then. I love being able to shop for "normal" bras again and not being so restricted in the clothes I wear. Anyone who is considering the diep though, I cannot stress enough....take time to heal, and stock up on patience!!☺ oh and make sure your PS is well practiced in this type of recon, as it involves a lot of micro surgery, so, you want someone who knows what they're doing, obviously☺. Continued good health to all.....I think we're all bloody amazing!!! x

Thanks Mayfair and I agree we ARE amazing!!!

September 22, 2015 - 20:07

Hi to all again, can I please ask some advice from any DIEP Flap survivors!! I'm 6 months down the line now and while the breast has healed and looks ok my tummy is still giving me a lot of trouble!! It tends to just seize every so often and goes rock hard!! Also swimming hurts it and I was told by my PS that is was ok to exercise again?! Is also looks very uneven - is that normal? I had a lot of trouble with the original surgery but it was just the breast and that has all settled but I feel that there is something weird inside my stomach. I really need to know if anyone has ever experienced this before I go back to my PS.

I would really appreciate any advice - thanks :-)

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