Reconstruction expansion appointments

Posted by KK57 @kk57, Aug 15, 2021

For those who had double (or single, I guess) mastectomy with implant reconstruction: How often were your expansion appointments (where they add saline to your expander implants)? I expected them to be weekly. What was your experience?

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I did not have reconstruction but one of my dear friends did this. Her appointments were monthly. She was actually quite happy that they were not closer since it was fairly uncomfortable for her. She also had to travel for those appointments. I noticed you had previously posted about Goldilocks reconstruction. Did you have that procedure? Did this help you prepare for this? What time schedule did they give you for these appointments? Have you had any discomfort?

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I had double 2 yrs ago. I thought nothing of it. They had the saline and particular kind of needle thing it goes in where the metal piece is at the top of the temporaries. You do know there is a metal piece right? You can hang paper on a magnet. Lol. Anyway it goes right in w no pain and fill as much or little as you want. I didn’t want large, so I think they did it 2-3 times. They need to be where u want them or stop as soon as you get measured for radiation and they plot it all out for the laser. Or whatever the radiation is.
Remember something: This is your body, you make the rules for what they do for you. Make appts as you want, only do what you are comfortable with. Make the size your choice. They will come out after about a year. Dr will decide but my dr waited nearly a year to date for permanents.

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@happy2bhear

I had double 2 yrs ago. I thought nothing of it. They had the saline and particular kind of needle thing it goes in where the metal piece is at the top of the temporaries. You do know there is a metal piece right? You can hang paper on a magnet. Lol. Anyway it goes right in w no pain and fill as much or little as you want. I didn’t want large, so I think they did it 2-3 times. They need to be where u want them or stop as soon as you get measured for radiation and they plot it all out for the laser. Or whatever the radiation is.
Remember something: This is your body, you make the rules for what they do for you. Make appts as you want, only do what you are comfortable with. Make the size your choice. They will come out after about a year. Dr will decide but my dr waited nearly a year to date for permanents.

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@happy2bhere Your expanders didn’t hurt? Mine have only been in four weeks. My first real expansion appointment is today. The first one just replaced air with the same amount of saline. Mine mostly hurt on the edge of the expanders under my arm. Really stings!

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@kk57

@happy2bhere Your expanders didn’t hurt? Mine have only been in four weeks. My first real expansion appointment is today. The first one just replaced air with the same amount of saline. Mine mostly hurt on the edge of the expanders under my arm. Really stings!

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Yes mine do. I didn’t want to bring it up bc you were asking about expanding etc. My temp ones felt a bit like I was in a barbed wire clamp. All around ‘stung’
Some was because I had nodes removed. I had to go to physical therapy to pop the cording that developed down my arm, under my arm and down my side a bit. Some of it is still numb and will be forever.
The pain I felt was from the dr. I thot maybe she put in really tough stitches. One even worked its way through my skin.
Until last week I thought I was the unusual case. I learned it is maybe 40% or so have to get the permanent ones fixed. Example is I’m still in pain daily. We moved 2 mths after the permanent ones went in. Then moved again 6 mths later. Then 11 mths. We are now staying and I have time to discuss this w Mayo on 25th-oncology. Finally. I didn’t get pity from my plastic surgeon when I told them I was in pain. They thot it was all the process. So they knew, but I waited u til permanent went in to know I had to do something.
Keep track in writing when and where it hurts. Ask them what they think. Since it’s first appt maybe you’re not all healed yet. My oncologist who did my chemo prescribed lanacaine? To numb areas before I got my port. I used that on the side where I felt pain-stinging.
Remember to be careful w size. They said radiation would shrink one. It didn’t for me. And my sunburn wasn’t too much. I used udder? Cream water based love it.
Hope this helps. Did you take a pic w a magnet hanging a piece of paper yet? I wrote- look my boobs are magnetic-haha will attract all the wrong people!

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Thanks @happytobehere. This is all really helpful. Take care.

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@happy2bhear

Yes mine do. I didn’t want to bring it up bc you were asking about expanding etc. My temp ones felt a bit like I was in a barbed wire clamp. All around ‘stung’
Some was because I had nodes removed. I had to go to physical therapy to pop the cording that developed down my arm, under my arm and down my side a bit. Some of it is still numb and will be forever.
The pain I felt was from the dr. I thot maybe she put in really tough stitches. One even worked its way through my skin.
Until last week I thought I was the unusual case. I learned it is maybe 40% or so have to get the permanent ones fixed. Example is I’m still in pain daily. We moved 2 mths after the permanent ones went in. Then moved again 6 mths later. Then 11 mths. We are now staying and I have time to discuss this w Mayo on 25th-oncology. Finally. I didn’t get pity from my plastic surgeon when I told them I was in pain. They thot it was all the process. So they knew, but I waited u til permanent went in to know I had to do something.
Keep track in writing when and where it hurts. Ask them what they think. Since it’s first appt maybe you’re not all healed yet. My oncologist who did my chemo prescribed lanacaine? To numb areas before I got my port. I used that on the side where I felt pain-stinging.
Remember to be careful w size. They said radiation would shrink one. It didn’t for me. And my sunburn wasn’t too much. I used udder? Cream water based love it.
Hope this helps. Did you take a pic w a magnet hanging a piece of paper yet? I wrote- look my boobs are magnetic-haha will attract all the wrong people!

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You are hysterical, but with the things we all go through, you have to have a sense of humor about these things. How are you doing now?

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@auntieoakley

You are hysterical, but with the things we all go through, you have to have a sense of humor about these things. How are you doing now?

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Thanks – you’re right about humor. It’s a great survival tool. Silly pet videos will do the trick too. I had some excruciating nights and days. And in pain now but I see it as getting close to the end of some.
25th I will see first time Mayo oncologist. She has my records from Cedars-Sinai already, so I’m bucking up and preparing mentally for anything. Thanks for asking. 8 more days!

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@happy2bhear

Thanks – you’re right about humor. It’s a great survival tool. Silly pet videos will do the trick too. I had some excruciating nights and days. And in pain now but I see it as getting close to the end of some.
25th I will see first time Mayo oncologist. She has my records from Cedars-Sinai already, so I’m bucking up and preparing mentally for anything. Thanks for asking. 8 more days!

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I am going to be thinking of you. I feel that you will be in good hands. My husband was treated there for bone cancer, and our oncologist at home is a doctor from Mayo. We see him on the family plan. Lol

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How did he do w treatment? I have a tendency to rate each cancer- and I’m always shown that one can be better or worse than my thinking.

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@happy2bhear

How did he do w treatment? I have a tendency to rate each cancer- and I’m always shown that one can be better or worse than my thinking.

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He has done amazing, he is at year 11 and counting. With a cancer that killed my best friend in a year and he has a pretty good quality of life, even though he has had to remain pretty isolated the last year and a half. We sit around and cut up a lot. Are you traveling far to go to Mayo?

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@auntieoakley

He has done amazing, he is at year 11 and counting. With a cancer that killed my best friend in a year and he has a pretty good quality of life, even though he has had to remain pretty isolated the last year and a half. We sit around and cut up a lot. Are you traveling far to go to Mayo?

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So good to hear. No a little more than an hour away. I went to Red Wing first but Rochester for cancer things

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@happy2bhear

So good to hear. No a little more than an hour away. I went to Red Wing first but Rochester for cancer things

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I believe in Mayo and how they approach medicine, I know no place is perfect and COVID complicates everything, but I believe Mayo attract people that care about you as a person, and although they are still people and therefore make the same mistakes as every other people. I think you are in really good hands. Are you comfortable telling me more about your journey so far with cancer?

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