Any tips on preparation for surgery, expanders to implants?
Double mastectomy was October 5th, with expanders placed. I now have my "final" surgery scheduled for June where Dr. Fahradyan will replace the expanders with implants and possible fat grafting. Just wondering if those with experience with this have any suggestions, tips or insights for me. Appreciate your time and wisdom!
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All I can say is congratulations. My wife Cathy's body has apparently rejected the expander placement on 12/1, and after 4 surgeries she decided to just go flat. The doctor has been inconsistent and contradicted himself multiple times, saying there were infections causing the problems. 7 clean cultures say otherwise, a fact that he even admitted to me whenIe brought it up. Yet his surgical notes from the last three surgeries say there was an infection. We were planning on going elsewhere, but Cathy said she just can't do it anymore. What a horrible experience.
This is at UF Health which is supposed to be one of the top medical organizations in the south.
I am so sorry to hear about her bad experience. I went to Mayo in MN, which is a 7 hour drive just because of how they made me feel there. I did have an issue with healing but it was my own fault for trying to stretch too soon. The expanders are driving me crazy and I don’t really care for how my chest looks now and considered flat but at this point I’m going through with the surgery and pray it is my last. I hope she will learn to love her new body.
I have gone flat; have her make sure she and her surgeon agree on the same definition of flat – even it it means she shows him pictures of what she is expecting. I'm "slightly" disappointed with my results as I'm not as flat as I thought I'd be. I realize part of it is my body type and weight, I think I'd have been flatter if I was thinner. But I do not regret going flat – it was the best decision for me based on my dx (TNBC & BRCA2+) – I'm 70 and my breasts served their purpose; and I didn't want any more surgeries – I wanted to start those items on my bucket list without down time for surgery and recoup time.
My expanders drove me crazy too. They seemed to move and push on tissue that became very painful. I went to a physical therapist and Lymphedema specialist who eliminated many of the problems, but not all. My exchange and lift on my opposite breast are scheduled for April 17th. Needless to say, I'm very happy to have this journey end.
Yes, I have that pushing on tissue issue too! So tender if I try to sleep on my sides. Wishing you the best with your surgery!
Thank you very much @janisbrede. For us "flat" meant no expnders or nything else. I think she feels relieved more than worrying about how she looks. She has prosthetics that make her look very normal. She knows I'm there no matter what, so she may feel she has nothing to prove. The expanders hurt for her also, and drains in and out, in and out were awful. Let us know how the last surgery goes.
I am scheduled for my exchange surgery (expanders to implants) in a couple of weeks. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice or suggestions about what to ask surgeon when we meet pre-op a week before surgery. I feel the expanders look "odd", placed too far apart and maybe even a little low. They are probably where my "originals" were but those girls had been through fifty years of hanging around and feeding two babies. If I'm getting new, they should be lifted-right? This is my silver lining of cancer, my new breasts should be better than before!
@janisbrede, you may be interested in the helpful tips offered in this related discussion:
– Mastectomy and breast reconstruction pros and cons? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mastectomy-1/
Have you asked your surgeon the very question you pose here. "Can my new breasts be reconstructed better than they were before?"
My exchange surgery on April 17 went well. Two days after the surgery, I noticed that the annoying pain caused by the expander was gone! I can deal with the surgery discomfort but what a blessing. I also had augmentation on my non cancerous breast and that is doing well too. I did reach for things too soon and have a spot that is slowly healing.
Remember "T-Rex arms" Don't reach higher than eye level for several weeks.
My counters in my kitchen and bathroom looked a mess. My PT suggested lifting only 4 pounds. That helped too. Set yourself up ahead of time.
My daughter changes my sheets until I realized that I could "make my bed" by putting the sheets on the pillow top only. 6 weeks of NOT vaccuuming was a challenge, but I did it! Good luck and enoy the new look
Thank you! This is very helpful! I need my family to realize I will need more help this time even though it APPEARS I can do things, I SHOULDNT. It’s tough because I’m a bit of a clean freak and clutter makes me very uncomfortable. My family can’t relate to this! 😂If you think of any other tips please let me know! Thanks again!