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Tue, Mar 17 6:34pm · Bilateral mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction experiences in Breast Cancer

It's been a long time since I had these surgeries, but if I remember correctly, I had my drains in for about a week to 10 days.

Mon, Mar 2 1:50pm · Bilateral mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction experiences in Breast Cancer

Hi, sandyjr. I had a complete bilateral mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction back in 2006. I had my surgery at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans and the surgeons who performed the reconstruction were Drs. Frank DellaCroce and Dr. Frank Sullivan. A surgeon who is no longer affiliated with their group because she moved did my mastectomy. All was done during the same surgery time, which took approximately 7-8 hours. I was taken in for surgery around 1:00 in the afternoon and really don't remember much until about a day and a half later. I did wake up several times but only for brief periods of time. (I had had one lumpectomy prior to this surgery and that was about a year and a half earlier. I chose to have genetic testing because of family history and did have a BRCA mutation. I then decided to go through with the preventive surgery in New Orleans.) I spent about 5 days in the hospital and then another week and a half in a hotel. I then flew home to Texas and it was about another week and a half before I started driving. I remember the worst pain was the day I had to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. But honestly, it was not nearly as bad as I had expected. I was very happy with my surgery results and most especially, with the doctors and their staff. I highly encourage you to research their group (Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans) – they are absolutely amazing. I would probably say it was a good 2-3 months before I felt I was back to my old self. That is not to say I didn't feel much better and couldn't do anything. I'm looking at it as feeling pretty good about lifting things and going about my normal day-to-day activities. I hope this has helped you some and please don't hesitate to reply if you have more questions. It's been quite some time since I had my surgery, and I am sure things are way different now, but I will try my best to answer your questions.

Lisa B.

Mon, Feb 3 2:25pm · Mastectomy and breast reconstruction pros and cons? in Breast Cancer

I urge you to at the very least talk with them. Best of luck and keep us posted.

Dec 9, 2019 · Feeling at my wits end with Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia in Chronic Pain

Wow – you have been through so very much for a very long time. I want you to know how much I appreciate your honesty. I have back and leg pain and do, at times, feel helpless. But what I am enduring is nowhere near what you have been through. I cannot take any kind of opiod meds because they make me violently ill so perhaps that is a blessing. I've had physical therapy twice, shots in my back three different times, and some meds. I've been advised to do so many different things and have to admit, I am really afraid to have any type of surgery on my back. Several friends have told me the fusion surgeries they've had have been very helpful. But I'm still at the point where I don't want to do anything drastic.

Anyway, I just want you to know how much your advice has meant to me. And I truly am influenced by your upbeat attitude. I am very grateful for your honesty. I hope you and your family (that includes your sweet service dog) have a most beautiful Christmas holiday.

Jul 28, 2018 · Anyone else diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, a benign brain tumor? in Brain Tumor

Dear Rose4622, my tumor was found after a visit to the ER because I had fallen, broken my arm, and hit my head pretty bad. They referred me to a neurosurgeon and I was scheduled for an MRI. After the MRI, I saw the neurosurgeon and he told me about the meningioma. I've had balance problems for about two years now, but only a little nausea, no vomiting. I do have minor headaches as well, a few bad headaches, and some eyesight problems. I am not sure these symptoms are part of the tumor. I am scheduled for a second MRI on August 3rd because the neurosurgeon told me the tumor is close to where a major artery runs through my brain. They will do a two-part MRI, first to check if the tumor is growing and second to see if it is altering the blood flow. The neurosurgeon told me that if the tumor is growing, I may have to have radiation. I've read here where some folks have had gamma knife radiation with success, but I have not researched that yet. Also, I'm with you as far as surgery is concerned, but I would probably seek a second opinion if surgery is recommended. I wish I could offer you more information, but this is all I know about it so far. I want you to know that, I, too, am concerned about having to have surgery, so I can understand your hesitance. Please let us know how you are doing and the results of your meeting with a neurosurgeon. I hope this helps a little, and please know there are many of us here to support you.

Jul 25, 2018 · multiple meningioma brain tumors in Brain Tumor

I had a similar situation – went to the ER because I fell on my arm and head and that's where they spotted the meningioma. I'm also on watch and wait – MRI next month to check.

Jul 22, 2018 · multiple meningioma brain tumors in Brain Tumor

I just was diagnosed with a meningioma and told it is near an artery and may require radiation. Having another MRI next month at which time the affect on the artery will be researched. I am so grateful to find this thread and now know that if I have to have surgery, I am heading to Mayo. I was there before years ago and think very highly of the doctors there. I hope your sister comes through with flying colors, Nancy, and wish all of you the best. Thank you to everyone here for sharing their stories.

Jul 21, 2018 · Mastectomy and breast reconstruction pros and cons? in Breast Cancer

I just hate that you are having issues for so long. Back in 2004 I made the decision to have a mastectomy with reconstruction. But I just didn't feel right about the tram flap. I cannot pinpoint why, but it troubled me, so I decided to research other options. At the time I was a member of an online support community on FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered). After much discussion, research, and recommendations from the folks of the FORCE group, I chose to travel to New Orleans to meet with two different doctors who were doing a relatively new (at least I had never heard of it) reconstructive procedure named DIEP). I chose Dr. Scott Sullivan and Dr. Frank DellaCroce at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans ( I highly recommend this fine group of doctors. I have never ever regretted this decision and to this day still believe I made the best decision of my life. I truly believe you won't be disappointed. It's worth investigating and even going for an interview visit if you so choose. I don't want you to have to go through this any longer.