First picture after surgery, first day home from the hospital
10 Days after surgery, drains still in place
This is after my first fill. I am not sure of the exact cc’s, I will ask on my next visit. I do know it was 3 full bottles in each breast
Second Fill. Now a total of 360cc in each breast. This fill was 100cc. For some strange reason, each fill feels better, physically speaking. The lighter the TE’s were, the more uncomfortable.
3rd fill, now at 460cc’s. The doctor said there is more skin on the left, that is why it is uneven. This is strictly to stretch skin, everything else is supposed to be fixed once the implants go in
Shown in a ‘bra’ for some perspective of how this looks in clothes. This is the most uneven they have looked, it may be time for a real bra if I go out. It continues to feel the most comfortable without any bra or binding.
The uneven-ness is still the skin issue, eventually the right breast will stretch to match, at least that is the hope. Nothing can be predicted, until the implants go in no one knows. What this means to me now is that a bra is a necessity instead of a choice.
600 cc I actually expanded to 700cc but this is the last pic I took of the TE’s
These are the implants 750cc. I may go smaller in the future because I lost so much weight but I don’t want to add another surgery now
750cc implants in bra
5 months after implant exchange. A little less swollen, so a little rippling but a little less lopsided also. People talk about a ‘drop and fluff’ after a reconstruction and I think that is what has happened. Still fairly pleased especially since the implants have moved closer together. I think with nipples and faded scaring they may actually come out ok
5 months after tissue expander implant exchange. Bra size 32DDD. Now just waiting for nipple reconstruction.
left side has necrosis, graft not taking completely. The left is the side where the mastectomy incision was reopened and reconstructed. Right side is healing well and stitches will come out in 3 days.
This shows the incision where the scar was excised as well as what is hopefully, the completed reconstruction. I will post more pictures as it heals, the next one probably 6 months out from December 4th. All of these changes since the initial implant exchange have now made me a ’34G’ in bra size.
inexpensive target bra, better than the $120 nordstrom underwire torture device
One year later. still too big, still to close to the skin. I chose not to tattoo nipples on advise of PS as my skin is so light.
the most comfortable and stylish support – cosabella ‘never say never’ . Wait for sale on Amazon and they are 3 for $59
rippling which I cannot change and why I usually do not show any cleavage
PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THIS PAGE OR PHOTOS WITHOUT PERMISSION, THANK YOU. IF THIS TURNS INTO ANY KIND OF A HASSLE OR AN INVITATION TO HARASSMENT I WILL DELETE THIS PAGE.
This page will document the reconstruction process in photos. Prior to breast cancer, I was a D – DD and as of now plan on reconstructing to the same size. I have tissue expanders that will be replaced with implants once I am done with chemo. New photos will be uploaded after tissue expander fills and any other changes. I am sharing these photos to help other women get an idea of what to expect. I am happy to answer any and all questions about this process
176 thoughts on “BILATERAL MASTECTOMY RECONSTRUCTION PHOTOS”
Thank you for sharing this! I am facing this surgery myself and want to know what to expect, in reality. I hope all has worked out for you.
Thank you, Vicki. I wish you the very best – smooth healing and a quick recovery.
Hello, thank you for sharing your journey. I will be going in for lumpectomy on 10/21. Have ductal carcinoma one lesion is the estrogen fed and the other is triple negative her2. Just found out I am not going to be a candidate for baloon radiation therapy. I have decided to do bilateral mastectomy and be done with it.
So the plan is after chemo, will line up for bi/ mast with reconstruction.
When you had your surgery, did you have the skin saving kind?
I still am finding out details, will know more after Monday. Thank you again.
Wow, that is unusual to have er+ and triple negative with her2+. I would also have chosen a bilateral mastectomy. I did not have the skin saving – my cancer was very aggressive, a 1% out of a 3% chance (according to the oncologist) and they did the surgery within 10 (I think, hard to remember off the top of my head, but it was fast) days of diagnosis. Basically what I had was the most aggressive features of two different cancers, medullary and metaplastic. I had the chemo after, no radiation. Are they trying to shrink your tumors prior to surgery? I heard in the beginning that before the full diagnosis and treatment plan is in place it is the most difficult time and, looking back now (I was diagnosed end of May 2012) I have to agree.
Feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to correspond further. I am happy to either answer any questions that I can, offer support or listen if you need to vent. This is a tough road in the best of circumstances and I am sending you good thoughts and prayers.
I hope its ok to chime in..i do hope your surgery went well! I had a bmx in may with stage 1 idc 5mm o/3 lymph modes er -. However also had in situ ‘gross at surgical margins’. So i was facing at least 40% cross or recurrence. Im so relieved i did it…one of my surgeons actually called me ‘cured’ his lips to Gods ears I wanted to say ive seen good droppage and beginning of fluffing but pecs r tight They need exercise almost daily and also good massage to prevent scar tissue build up best of luck! I have 800 cc both sides my left had had a lumpectomy the month before but not alot of diff between the two now We e all uniqueTake it as it comes and be patient jard part ahould be over very soon! Im 56 by the way.
I too hope you’re cured. Listening to those recurrence percentages can make you crazy! I try to put what they told me out of my head . I will keep you and everyone else in my thoughts and prayers that we will not have to deal with this again.
You need to update your pix. I’m anxious to see how the new “girls” turned out. I’m starting with the tissue expanders next month.
Well there’s my memory for you! I thought that I had. I will, soon. Good luck with the tissue expanders, they most likely won’t be too comfortable but at least they are temporary.
I wish you the best on tissue expanders….they seem to work out really well when finally done. I had implants same time as surgery so you are kind of stuck with any imperfections unless you want re-surgery. I was lucky, pretty good surgeon. I went with moderate plus profile-had to do 800 cc to match my size, as I did not want to lose much more skin or have scarring, so there is some loseness in spots but nothing visible under clothes. I am happy to send a clothed shot if you are interested. ? It’s been almost 9 mos for me. I wish like Lady Bananas I had lost weight, but i’ve pretty much maintained, darn. I’m working on it.
Jojo somehow I did not see your comment. It sounds like you are moderately happy how the surgery turned out? I know what you mean about living with the imperfections. If my doctor wouldn’t have decided on reconstructing the left at the time of getting the nipples mine would be. very different today. I will put another picture up this week since everything is pretty much healed
That would be awesome and encouraging to see the finished work. Very happy u are healed A major aspect to no longer worry over.:))
Id say moderately happy is accurate: my chest is broad and cup was initially a c. Doc felt no issue with fitting the 800cc’s. deffo bigger now but i also lost
the excess fat and i had skin-
spearing so 1 or 2 very tiny loose pockets. Im still not completely
dropped and fluffed as i feel some space uinderneath and have not lifted alot yet as they say will happen. But under clothes it looks fine im getting compliments on the work ;)Just tightness no pain really only when i overdo the arms or dont do them at all. For me moderation is the key.
Anyone going thru this i would only say you are unique so your decision will be… But there are many shared recovery points:) thanks to this great blog we have touchpoints! Hugs to you for giving us this. One thing ill say to the gal that is thinking anout what to do:it does appear to me that as sore as expanders can be they do serm to give cosmetically great outcomes If you have to go thru cancer you should get the best cosmetic outcome available. With expanders it seems such a more controllable outcome. They seem worth the wait from all ive heard and read but again its your gosl and ur decision as to how much u are willing to experience to achieve it.
For 800 did you have to go saline, or are they silicone? And yes I would have to agree also. Physically it would be the worst choice to have the expanders because they are uncomfortable, but cosmetically I also think they produce the best looking outcome. I have seen some wonderful DIEP results but that can be a 13 hour surgery and you’re left with an abdominal scar. My plastic surgeon says stay out of the hospital as much as you can and have the least amount of surgery that you can and I tend to agree. That being said, that is only my opinion and I would support anyone in their decision even if it’s different from mine.
I keep meaning to create a page of all the little things that have helped me. One of the things that I do is work with five pound weights. I have a recliner so I put the recliner all the way back, and I do this while I’m watching TV. I do different arm lifts and chest presses. I had to start with only one 5 pound weight and now I’m up to 2 but I would not increase it more than that as I am just looking to increase my flexibility and keep things loose not so much tone things up. If I do get some tone out of it, it would be a bonus but it just helps to loosen up the muscles and other things that get tightened when you have these kinds of surgeries.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I still have not made a decision on which course to take, but your story has been most helpful. All the best to you and all those who visit this site for information.
First, I wish you all the best. These decisions can do the most heartbreaking and difficult and no one should make them but you, but everybody would like to make them with you or for you. Second, thank you for the kind words, it’s these kinds of comments that keep these pictures up there and keep this blog going.
You are so right … Exercise got me well past the sitting at home phase. I have a much better understanding that the ONLY way to get past atrophe and permanent lymph swells is by moving around Once you get past that initial surgical haze, healing really starts to show so long as u get back in some kind of routine that forces repetitive movement.
I did silcon so id have as your doc pointed out the least amount of procedures and hopefully surgeries.
I have a question for you if u dont mind: does the idea of passing on scare you any less? I find it does me. A friend commented that ‘the rest of us dont really believe we are mortal’. ??
I don’t mind, I think that’s a wonderful question. I’m going to have to think about it because the fluctuation in my hormone levels has gotten me a little crazy. So, if you don’t mind I’m going to think about it when my mind is a little more quiet and then I will either answer your question here I will make a post about it.
Thank you so much for posting this! I will be having surger next week. My question is did they place the expanders right after surgery? My surgeon says that she fills them 1/2 way at time of placement of expanders during the surgery. Thanks in advance for your response!!
You’re welcome! My surgeon placed the expanders at the time of the mastectomy but did not fill them at all. That is why you see so much loose skin in the first two pictures. I think the filling or not filling is very surgeon dependent. I have heard everything from surgeons putting 100ccs in there to what yours is doing. I think a lot depends on the surgeon, planned reconstruction size etc. Mine wanted to see how my body was going to react first – I am trying to remember how long between the mastectomy and the first fill. He filled them 100ccs at a time, except for the first fill, which was 300cc.
I wish you all the best for your surgery – no node involvement and speedy healing. I found the shirts with drain pockets to be kind of a waste of time – if you have a ‘hoodie’ sweatshirt with pockets, you can stick the drains in there, and clip them together with a little hair clip if/when you shower. Or, if your surgeon is like mine, you won’t be showering for a while. If you like, you can always email me questions and you can keep me posted on how you are doing: email@example.com
Thank you for all your support for all us women who share this situation. My question is I am a 34 B now and do not want anything bigger than a 32A. And I say 32 because I lost 10#, I thought perhaps with shrinking my size it would make the process much easier. Am I dreaming?
I don’t think you are dreaming – I think that it is important to feel comfortable and trust your plastic surgeon. I would say mine was my favorite doctor out of all of them, he was a perfectionist and I have never experienced a doctor that takes care of his patients the way he does. So, I think if you want an A, go for it – I am not sure how much easier it will make the process, though and I would look at a lot of pictures and think about long term. Best of luck to you.
First of all I would like to say THANK YOU! For sharing your experience. You are beautiful!
In May (2014) I underwent a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (expanders). My original breasts were a DD. So that is the size I would be most comfortable with. My surgeon filled the expanders on a weekly basis and when full expansion was reached, I was satisfied with the size and look. I was confident that after the expander/implant exchange they would look even better. So to say I was anxious to have that surgery would be a huge understatement!
Well, last Thursday (Aug.7 2014) It felt like Christmas! I was getting my implants which to me meant, I was getting the wonderful gift of having beautiful breasts once again!
UNFORTUNATELY, that is NOT how it turned out! I truly thought that going from expanders to implants could only be an improvement! 😦 They look terrible! They looked better with expanders! I by NO means was expecting perfect breasts, or anything close to that! But, I most certainly did not expect these small, rippled, mushy, no cleavage, loose skinned, old (really old) lady boobs!
I CAN say this though, if a ‘natural’ look is what my surgeon was trying to achieve, well he definitely succeeded!! They look REAL, all shriveled and flattened out! I did not know fake boobs could look or feel this BAD!
Ok, whew,…..I guess I needed to vent! Get that all out, as I have been really bummed with my results!
And, YES I do know that there are so many other things that are more important. I am very much aware of all the blessings in my life and am very thankful for each and every one of them!!
But, I also cant deny the fact that this really bothers me! I have not shown anyone nor have I even told anyone or talked to anyone about this. When My friends and family ask me how they turned out, do I like them, am I happy with them, and so on, ……….I just smile, nod my head yes, & then change the subject.
Sooo THANK YOU for letting me get this out of my system!!
Thank you so much for stopping by and all the kind words. One of the reasons I posted a timeline of pictures is so people could see the process. I was very unhappy initially as well – it sounds like yours are in worse shape, but don’t give up hope. They are supposed to revise your reconstruction until you are happy with them (within reason). You have the right to second opinions etc. So, if this surgeon cannot help you, fight with your insurance to send you to someone else. I have said it before, and I will say it again, especially since I am going through another fight at the moment, YOU MUST BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE….. AND….. DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. A lot of times, people will not care about your condition and you will have to ram it down their throats. I know that sounds terrible, but you are the one who is going to live with the reconstruction.
The ‘drop and fluff’ is a term people use for settling of the implants. They will likely look much different from a week to a month to six months. Have you spoken to your surgeon? What does he say? I wish you the best.
I will be seeing my surgeon on Tues (Aug.19) and I do have more than a few questions for him. lol ………….THANK YOU so much for your help! Oh ya,……is it better (in your opinion) to wear a bra while they are going through this drop & fluff ? & If so, do you recommend a particular kind, sports, underwire, etc. ?
I’ll pop back in with a more detailed explanation but in case it’s after the 19th, absolutely yes, wear a bra. I recommend a good quality sports bra. I’ve been meaning to post pictures of the ones that I’ve been wearing, I actually bought them at Target and they work better then the $120 dollar bra I bought at Nordstrom. You want it to feel like it’s holding you in fairly well, not too tight but tight enough so that you feel the support.
Thank you so much!! You have been a great help!
You’re welcome. Here is an example of the kind of bra I’m talking about. I like it because it covers up my cleavage also. For more formal wear I do have to go to an underwire but I try to avoid that if at all possible. On Aug 18, 2014 11:52 AM, “Planet Bananas” wrote:
Sorry its not letting me post the picture from my phone I’ll try it again later
OK, SEE ABOVE, IT IS LETTING ME POST THE BRA PICTURE. WHEN I GET TIME, I WILL TAKE ANOTHER PICTURE OF THE IMPLANTS IT HAS BEEN OVER 6 MONTHS AND THEY HAVE DEFINITELY SHIFTED OR DROPPED OR FLUFFED OR ALL OF THE ABOVE
how did your visit with the surgeon go, if you don’t mind me asking?
My surgeon said that I should wait at least 3 weeks and see how they look at that point. I was just really hoping to have better looking breasts than these. I realize I need to be patient, but I honestly don’t see how they could change that dramatically. Would you mind if I sent you some pictures, and you can tell me what you think?
I don’t mind at all. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whoah! That doesnt sound right Is the process complete? Do they need to settle a bit? I know mine with immediate recon and silcon implants had to both drop and fluff( took a year) Yours would mot go thru the dropping but they may need to …fluff? did you discuss with the surgYou may meed a correction or two. Thats usually an option if im mistaken. Best of luck.
Yes, I agree with all that you said….thx Msjackiefan ❤
Since I have only had the implants for a week, I am pretty sure they still have some settling to do.
As for the ‘drop & fluff’ ….?? I have never heard of that, until now that is. (in reading these blogs).
I will be seeing my plastic surgeon next Tuesday (Aug.19th) & will arrive with a lot of questions in tote.
……….& Thank you Msjackiefan for taking the time to read and reply to my post. 🙂
You are welcome! Forgive mu confusion of two names I mix them up frequently (msjackiefan and jojcap-both me.)
Id love to hear outcome. That fluffing biz is interesting Its almost as if the silicon once it works down into the surgical cavity under your muscle – it has to then sort fill out the implant. You can see subtle changes in mine even last month-13 mos after bmx.
Hi I believe that is same or similiar brand i bought Very comfortable and flattering under clothes I find real bras are restrictive. The reason being in my case is the silicon implants dont have much give. Id totally recommend this style to anyone. These were also very comfortable shortly after surgery.
I love them, I have them in every single color. One of the things I like the best about them is they eliminate cleavage which I rarely show now…… . Not for any specific reason I think I’m just not comfortable in general. I’m shocked that I like the least expensive option. That never happens!
Hi. I myself is undergoing a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy early next year. But I still haven’t decided if I am going for implants or not. I’m towards implants tho. Can u enlighten me a bit on how u decided on implants? How long is the whole process… From the mastectomy to the settling of the implants? I will have my 1st surgery next month on removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes. Thank u…
I’ve mentioned this a lot before, but because my cancer was so aggressive, I was not given a lot of choices other than a double mastectomy, chemo and ovary removal. A bad reaction to the chemo due to a steroid allergy as well as an infection that ended with me hospitalized delayed my process.
I had my mastectomy June 2012, Implant exchange April of 2013 – but that would have been done late 2012 if I didn’t have complications. I had my ovaries removed September 2013. Are you having chemo? Are you HER2 positive? I think you can count on at least nine months to a year to fully complete everything if you do not have any complications. Anyone else, feel free to chime in…..
Im interested that u dont show cleavage Lady Bananas That is one of the nicer things about recon! 🙂 But of course mine are now further apart than they were and i dont have as much obvious fold. I know there are said to be 2 camps on cleavage ;)) yes and no i never knew what a topic it was until i went thru the surgery.
you know, I really don’t have a good explanation of why I don’t like to show cleavage anymore. The truth is, I never did it too much before – I am one of those people that is fairly modest in public, but get me behind closed doors…. lol! I think in a lot of ways they do not feel like breasts to me, when I think about my body, I consider it the same as I did after the mastectomy….I’m going to have to do some thinking on this one…. I don’t mind tight fitting shirts, though.
Thanks i was just curious! 🙂
Hi, there……I had a double bmx due to some other in situ and very tiny invasive item found in my pathology for the lumpectomy. My recovery at the hospital was 24 hours, I elected due to sheer tiredenss to stay off work 4 weeks, and other than 1-2 days when I was sore from the darned lymph node incision, I’ve done pretty well. I felt a little nervous to turn over in bed for a few weeks, but that went away. I am not a tummy sleeper, but I have been on my tummy for massages and it’s mostly just an odd feeling, not painful or anything. 🙂
Due to finding LCIS and the fact that I had had a large but benign tumor on other side many years before, I was considered higher risk for recurrence or cross-occurrence, something like 30%. My left side was pronounced ‘hyper-active’ by one of the team of consultants I went to prior to the surgery. (IN AZ, they have a private board that meets for free to review your case with the intent of preventing unneeded mastectomies, if you want them to….)Given that I am way past child-bearing and also old enough to be worried about anaesthesia I did the removal at the same time with the reconstruction. So total of two surgeries. It took under 2 hours. Other than some wrinkling off and on, -due to my chest being broad and the implants very large, the cavity is slightly tight-, a less round effect than i’d like; initial tiredness and normal surgical discomfort, the only thing I’ve noticed has been some spot pain as the implants position themselves now and then and the nerves come alive again. Very minor and it doesn’t bother me. I have gotten to the point where I do forget I’ve got them in, I just have some numb spots here and there.
I’ve elected not to get any touch-ups as of now, due to having to go under for it. I just don’t want to risk where I don’t have to. And that is a very personal choice…Mine work fine and they look good under clothes so thus far, I’ve not had an issue that’s forced me to go get fixes. So, so far so good.
I have not had rads or chemo, because I was early stage and opted for the full removal. There was no lymph spread, or that would’ve been rads. I also scored very low on my Onco DX so the risk of distant recurrence went down in their estimates, so no chemo needed at this time. I am heading for a baseline bone and CT now that’s its been a year-I do have some joint pain due to boniva, taken to offset effects of anastrazole. I’ve also elected to not do nip recon, but will be going for the tattoos once I feel they’ve stopped “fluffing”. Right now, my bras DO NOT HOOK in the back-lol-so I’m wearing similair sports bras . They are great and comfy. I have a very wide cleavage naturally, so the implants are side-riders. 🙂 That makes your circumference a bit bigger and bra hooks will be needed. I also avoided under-wire for a long time, so as not to contrain the natural dropping. In addition, to avoid encapsulation, they have you do this odd push-back massages. It works very well and prevents the cone effect you see in comic books…
All in all, it was a much less painful process than I anticipated, and in my case, I seem to be doing ok.
Best wishe on your decision. 🙂
Just finished my fills. 700 cc. Waiting for switch out. I had BC 18 yrs ago and chemo and single mastectomy. Cancer came back, after 18 yrs, in other breast. Had mastectomy on that one last April. Finally made decision to do expanders with implants. My right one is about 2 inches higher than left. My left dropped and moved toward underarm. My shirts do not fit. Nothing does. Difficult to cover there bowling balls. Any suggestions?
Hi, thanks for stopping by!
I am so sorry you are going through this AGAIN. Before I offer a suggestion, I want to make sure I understand – which one dropped and is under the arm? Are you reconstructing both now? 700cc is a lot, bowling ball is an apt description. The implants are not as bad as the expander. You have saline in the expander and most likely, unless you have chosen otherwise the implant will be silicone which does make a difference. For what it’s worth, I have not found a band bra that fits my 750’s and sports bras have proven to be the best. I do wear underwire from time to time but I didn’t until well after my final reconstruction, which for me was nipples.
If you are reconstructing both, what likely will have to happen is the PS will have to do some ‘pocket repair’, meaning he will have to go in and make sure the implant has a secure place to sit in – they usually don’t do a lot of this when they put the expanders in, but becomes much more important for the expander/implant swap. From my experience and talking to friends who have gone through this, it seems every PS has their own theories about how to reconstruct. My PS was excellent in fixing the lopsided issue and a perfectionist all the way around but he does not use fat or mesh to cover the rippling. I have a friend whose surgeon has used both, so I would ask your PS how he is going to handle the swap. I didn’t know at the beginning that because of the size of the implants the pocket becomes much more important since the implant is sitting right behind the skin and not behind breast tissue like in a cosmetic breast augmentation.
Please feel free to ask more questions or send me a private email. Best wishes to you.
Unfortunately it will be hard to breathe until you get those suckers out, they are just damn uncomfortable. When are you getting the implants?
So hard to breath. Wish my sundresses would fit. Cannot even wear a band bra. They only cover half of the expander.
Thanks so much for your reply. My right expander is very high, but, hard and round. My left is dropped about 2 inches and slid left almost under my armpit. I see my doc in 4 weeks to talk and set up date for the exchange. I am 70 yrs old and did this just to hold up my strapless sundresses. I live in FLORIDA and do not wear anything but dresses. Nothing fits. I cannot get these balls into the top of the dresses.
I’m scheduled for bilateral mastectomy on November 24th. I have Cancer in both breasts. I was offered lumpectomy with chemo but chose total removal. I am 65 yrs old but have only been married for 5 months. Reconstruction is very important to me. The photos that you posted were very helpful. I’m apprehensive about my appearance post op and during recovery. My husband is having total knee replacement on December 11th, so I will be caring for him very soon after my surgery. Do you have any suggestions? Did you have much post op pain? Thank you for providing such good information.
Brenda, I had a bilateral as well. You will have some pain post op, however, you will have loss of arm movement for some time. You will be limited as to lifting, pulling and anything related. I do not think caring for your husband so soon will be totally possible. Ask your doc and listen to what he says. I have expanders in place now, totally filled and waiting for exchange surgery date. Think good thoughts and the rest is easy. I am 70 yrs old and I can do most of everything. Most importantly, take care of yourself in your healing and heed docs instructions
I had bi mx with reconstruction. Ive got 800cc mentor memory gel moderate plus silicon implants. It all depends on what u do. Id advise staying ahead of any pain with the meds mine was really not bad as i was also pretty numb. But 2 weeks is not enough healing time. A double mx is considered major surgery even though they may only keep u a day. You will be told not to lift more than 10 lbs for about 6 weeks I would not attempt to do more than bring hubby a plate of food or a washcloth U wont be able to pull or raise arms above head Depending on what they do. If they put implants under the chest muscle as i had youl feel tightening and some pain if u overextend. Also youll have drains in for at least a week and if u overdo it theyll be in longer. Im a few years younger than u and live single right now. I was driving within a week even with the annoying drains and it was a challenge getting in and out of car but i got better faster doing it. But lifting and pulling is a problem Dont risk it And slow down going over idiot bumps 3 best things i did: got out of the house every day to reduce swelling; took the pain meds for a solid week before weaning off; put glasses and plates at counter level. Oh and i do sleep better at night knowing i reduced my risk to below average by removing both And they are not as symmetrical as my natural breasts but under clothes they look totally normal They just take months to drop down into the new nest they build for u:) honestly i healed quicker than i thought i would but was off work a month and was glad i could be! Best wishes
Thanks so much for your reply. My 2 daughters and 2 oldest granddaughters live next door. I’m sure that they will help out. I’m anxious to get the surgery done. I joked to the surgeon that the breast cancer was my punishment for saying how much I hate football players wearing pink. I’m trying to keep a positive outlook on it all. I think that if my husband and I can stay positive that I will heal quicker and better. I guess that the best aspect is that I will get rid of old saggy boobs and get a new pair of “perky” boobs …… And insurance will pay for it. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks
Thanks everyone else for chiming in!
First, your comment about the football players cracked me up – I feel the same way!
For me, the double mx was the LEAST painful of all the surgeries. The suggestions I have are more questions for you to ask your surgeon:
are you getting a fill at time of surgery? I did not, only expanders were put in place. Some surgeons like to give a little fill at time of surgery, some don’t. I think the fact that mine weren’t filled made a difference in pain control. Absolutely though, stay ahead of the pain like the other ladies mentioned, don’t wait for it to come, the first few days take the pain pills even if you think you may not need them.
Ask your surgeon about all the steps you will go through, so you will know a little of what to expect and try not to get discouraged with the in between results. I never thought mine would turn out looking decent because the lopsidedness of the expanders was so great. I did have more pain when they did the implant exchange because the surgeon took that time to do more reconstruction to even them out, and even more reconstruction when he did the nipples.
I did get an infection, and looking back, I can’t quite tell if that could have been avoided, but I will say, be VERY attentive and careful regarding drains/touching the area. Your immune system will be down and less able to handle what it might when it is normal.
Walking helped me a great deal – I would walk as much as I could as far as I could on any given day. Some days that meant half a block and that was ok, just getting out of the house was good. I don’t know what part of the country you live in, if you are in a very cold climate, maybe you can get a low impact dvd or look on youtube for some *very* minor ways to move your body.
A total knee replacement is (as I’m sure you already know) is a tough recovery, so I will be sending both of you good thoughts. Men in general deal with pain differently but part of keeping him comfortable will be encouraging him to take his pain meds – if you have access, get a referral to a pain management clinic from your primary for both of you if either of your doctors have any qualms about prescribing appropriate meds. Now that Vicodin is a Schedule II med, things are only going to get worse in terms of the average person getting pain relief (sorry, soapbox issue for me).
There are better meds out there for pain, and both Percocet and Vicodin contain Tylenol which after a while can really damage the liver. Oxycodone is Percocet without the Tylenol but you will likely need a pain management Dr for the prescription. The good thing about a reputable Pain Management Dr (I’m not talking about the pill mills in shopping centers but the REAL Doctors) is that they will prescribe the meds when you need them, and they will taper you off when you are done.
I think you will feel a sense of relief that you decided to have both breasts removed, and barring any complications you should be ok to help your husband by 12/11 as long as, like Jojo says you don’t overdo it it terms of carrying anything.
A lot of what will come up will be emotional, and that is where the challenges are – we women are strong, we can take the physical pain and we do what we have to do, don’t be ashamed of the feelings that come up – you are in a new marriage and with your husband facing his own major surgery you will, hopefully, become closer as you take care of each other. That is my hope, anyway. You are welcome to email me anytime and I will give you my cell# – and that goes for anyone here – email@example.com
Well, I tend to go off on tangents, I deeply appreciate the other women commenting here and I will think of you on the 24th and the 11th. If you feel up to it, check back in and let us know how you are doing 🙂
Thank you for the email. You have given me some really good advice. I am a retired RN so I am aware of the need for care when working with the drains. I’m already feeling some of the emotions. I am so afraid of hat my scars will turn him off. I don’t think it will not bough. We have been a couple for the past 14 years and have been through some difficult times. I appreciate all of your good wishes. I will let you know how things are going. Thanks, Brenda
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Sounds like you will have the medical issues under control. I need to upload another picture as it has now been a year since the nipple reconstruction. I do have scars but I think they are going to fade more over time. One of the reasons I think they haven’t faded as much as my other ones from other surgeries is because the implants are so heavy and close to the skin because I don’t really have any scars from the nipples. I chose not to tattoo my nipples because I am so pale and so far I am happy with that decision.
Yes, please let me know.
I guess I’m in a waiting game now. I have pre testing on Wednesday. Until then I will try to do as much at home as I can. I want to be sure that the house is clean. My husband works about 100 miles from here. He left this afternoon and will be back on Friday or Saturday. Until then I will be alone with nothing to do except think about the surgery and get the house ready. I’m hoping that the sentinel nodes won’t show any Cancer. I’m getting more nervous as it gets closer.
I did the same thing as I was on a waiting list before mine. Getting things ready and clean will help you mentally, especially if you are alone for a few days. I don’t know anyone who has gone through this that wasn’t wild with fear on the inside before the first surgery. There is something about not knowing that is completely different than when there is final pathology with a treatment plan – you will see. Be kind to yourself and do not feel obligated to make things better for others. What I mean by this is there may be well meaning people who want to see you, or do something for you and if you don’t feel like it, don’t. There will be people that will be your angels and there will be people whose feelings you will end up wondering who the patient is – as in they will show more emotion and upset than you. If you want to nap, nap. If you want to clean, clean. If you want to pour a glass of wine and watch the Housewives, do it…..this time is for you.
The mastectomy was done 2 weeks ago today. I’ve been doing pretty good. I still have pain. Two of the drains were removed last week and I hope that you he last 2 will be removed tomorrow. The lymph nodes on both side were positive for Cancer. I am scheduled to see the oncologist on Thursday (the samed day as my husbands knee replacement). Luckily the oncologist is located in the same hospital where my husbands surgery will be done. I’m not sure about the treatment that the oncologist will recommend. I don’t want to do chemotherapy unless there are no other options. Until then, I’ll have to wait.
You are in my prayers as well. Wow, Thursday sounds overwhelming. If you have a smart phone, ask (or not, I don’t always ask) record the conversation with the oncologist. You have a lot going on and you may find you will have more questions later. So sorry to hear it’s in the nodes, I also think chemo will be recommended. Do you know the pathology yet? Is it er+ etc? You already made a wise decision by removing both breasts, if you hadn’t, they may not have found it in the nodes on the other side. Will be thinking of you and your husband on Thursday, glad your family is close by.
The pain is likely because of the lymph node removal. I lost 14 on one side and that hurt more than the other side. Since you have both, I am not surprised you still have pain. Do you have compression sleeves? I used them a lot in the beginning and still do if I fly.
I had my first visit with the oncologist today. He said that nosed on both sides had cancer. The node on the left washer2 positive as was the one on the right, however the one on the right was 3+ positive. He said that chemo is needed. He is trying to get me into a new study. I have to go for an echocardiogram on Tuesday and back to see him on December 29th. Guess I’ll have to get ready for chemo now.
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Glad you r thru the surgery. Remember to still rest enough so your wounds heal internally. That should help decrease swelling as will massage when they tell you. Did they have u do the motion of combing your hair ever hour to keep lympefema away?
Darn that the nodes got hit but that’s something they just never know. Sounds like u may be headed for some chemo or some rads. All cases are unique as we know.
You were smart to do the double now and not wait. Lymph invasion or not.
I’ll be thinking about you. “gentle hugs”
Rest rest! You will need chemo I did. Not a problem. Glad you made the decision. Early is good. Prayers for you and in my thoughts. I am 18 yrs out. Came back in remaining breast last yr. had chemo no rads. Going through recon now with expanders
My thoughts are with you as you go forward and conquer! Chemo can do the trick very well. Let it do it’s thing.:). I kerp hearing how tired it makes people. Make sure u rest 🙂
Brenda did he tell you what type of chemo?
I had FEC100,then Taxotere. I’m assuming you’re her2 negative?
Thinking of you, and hope your pain is getting better. Also good thoughts to your husband and his knee.
The oncologist is trying to get me in a study for Her2 positive. He’s not sure if I can be in it as the right side is Her2+3 and the left is another tope. I don’t remember what? I will see him again on Friday.
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I so wish I had seen this blog before my exchange surgery to implants on New Year’s Eve Day. I woke up and there had been a huge game plan and I thought I had a mastectomy again no the right side. I was filled to almost 600 cc in expanders; the PS had all along said 650 to 700. Was told he could only get 550 cc………..the right side (the one that did not have cancer) had so much scar tissue he had a lot of cutting away of scar tissue and scraping to even fit a 550 cc. I don’t complete understand this drop and fluff. Please tell me it will make them look more natural and with some cleavage and maybe a little bigger. I liked the size of my expanders. I have spoken with PS – I had an infection the week after (on the right side as well); that is now cleared up. However, he says give it time. How much time? I just feel like I look nothing like anyone else coming out with this surgery; everyone else seems to have nice perky new foobs and I have one that I could deal with even thought it is not the 36C I used to be and wanted to be again, but the other….I don’t even want to look at it. I also asked about massage but I guess because of the infection they did not want me massaging. I see him again next Monday and ask about that. I don’t want further issues. Any help would be appreciated.
First, I am so sorry that you had complications that lead to all of this….. yes, the ‘drop and fluff’ is a (I think kind of weird and silly) way of describing how the implants move and change in your body. I’ve said it a million times now, but I WILL at some point put the last pictures of mine up there as it has been over a year since my final reconstruction.
It really is hard to tell in the beginning what it will all look like when things have healed. The questions I would have for the surgeon (if you haven’t already asked) are:
If the expander fit around the scar tissue and you removed the tissue why wouldn’t a bigger implant have fit?
What, if anything can be done if, after 6 months you are unsatisfied with the results? (It is my understanding that they have to do what is in their power to reconstruct to the patient’s satisfaction).
It is probably too soon for massage (I’m not totally sure about that, just guessing because of the closeness of surgery) but, is there anything you can do to help the healing process along?
When he said he ‘could only get a 550cc’, was that because of your situation or was that what was available? My implants are bigger than the expanders were, by 50 or so cc’s.
Are you getting nipples? Everyone is different but I really think it makes a difference.
What is the scar tissue from? Part of the mastectomy?
I apologize in advance if any of these questions have been asked and answered or they sound dumb. Have you considered a second opinion, once the swelling goes down? Also, did you have a double mastectomy or a single and they tried to get the other to match? Again, I’m so sorry that you are dealing with this, I absolutely HATED the reconstruction process, it was difficult on top of having to deal with having cancer and chemo.
I will keep you in my thoughts, please feel free to ask any more questions or send me an email if you are more comfortable.
I am so glad you answered the questions you have. I am told by my BC and other people that my PS is very conservatitive but a perfectionist so he has already told me that there may be a few things we will have to tweak….I need to give him a chance. I had a bmx, and the right side was actually the side without the cancer which is the frustrating part. Part of the issue, I think with the size is that he said there was so much scar tissue (probably caused from the bmx surgery). He did try to go bigger; he took in 600, 650 and 700. He did tell me after he wished he had never mentioned 600+. I guess part of the issue is that I also have a very small chest wall. The expander process was extremely painful for me done every week only 60ccs; we got up to almost 600 and he thought we would be good. But when he got in there, he did not want to take a chance of the implant busting thru the incision and skin if he went to big when it was obvious it would not fit. I mean, the only way I can really go bigger is to take these out, wait 3 – 6 months and then start the expansion and implant process all over again.
Does it take a long time to “drop and fluff”. When it “fluffs” do they look bigger again, that is what I heard. Also, I think they are still quite far under my arm pits, because after a day of work (I have my own home office so sit at a desk and I am on the phone and computer), it is very painful right at the side of each foob where the implant seems to sit near the armpit. I presume that will “drop”.
I just hear how some women just go flying through this, no problems,no pain. I am in constant pain. Not sure why. Very frustrated.
I have thought about the nipple reconstruction and I am torn. Does it look better? Some women think it does and others don’t. I think it would make me feel like at least it looked like I had “real breasts”.
Any advice is welcome. How many months do you have to wait for them to drop? Is that where they settle down in the pocket abit? Is the fluff when they become rounder? I can’t seem to find answers anywhere on the net and I have been searching for 3 wks when I came across your blog! Thanks so much for responding.
I also had a perfectionist for a surgeon and I am grateful. You may be too, after all is said and done. Oh, the comments…..one of the ones that sticks in my head the most is when I had to go into my spine surgeon’s office to cancel my second fusion due to finding the lump and the office manager pulled me aside and in a confidential, hushed tone told me how so very ‘happy’ I was going to be because I was going to have amazing breasts. You just can’t make up that kind of stupid!
You are still early out from surgery on New Year’s. If the expander process was painful I am not surprised to hear you still have pain, especially since it sounds like he had to do quite a bit of work in there to insert the implants. On the side that I had the most reconstruction, it took about a month and a half to not have pain there. Mine are way too big but I was so much heavier when this process started (although I have been gaining weight lately) but they are right under the skin. So much so that I had to have the scar excised and because of my problems with anesthesia and the surgeon not wanting to risk an implant puncture with a local anesthetic, I had 15 stitches 2x without ANY numbing agent. My point here is that if yours are the same, make SURE you wear a good support bra, like a sports bra. I now wear lighter support lace ones but had I not gone without bras in the beginning I could have avoided that process.
I wonder if your surgeon is worried about capsular contracture (not sure if I spelled that right) since you had scar tissue that had to be removed with the expander/implant exchange. Mine did move from what felt like under my arm downwards. I will try to take another picture by this weekend so you can see what it looks like a year out. You are in really early days, I know me saying that is probably irritating, but go easy on yourself and rest as much as you can, if you can and remember you CAN redo things, even if you use a 550 again once your body gets used to it. If you look at my picures, you will see a lot of asymmetry. My surgeon had told me I had to ‘live with it’, yet when I got on the operating table to get nipples he was the one who wanted to fix it, because he is such a perfectionist. In fact, my recovery from the nipples was painful and longer because I had a full reconstruction on the left side and that is why my ‘nipples’ are one over a scar and one under.
Nipples: I am the only one out of the 4 women that I know that have gone through this that has chosen nipples. One woman had a DIEP reconstruction, one wants the 3d tattoos and the others do not want any. I think it is definitely personal and may be age related. I am 45 now, but was 42 at diagnosis. I always just felt weird when I looked in the mirror and knew that it was the right choice for me.
I hate to say this to you but I think it was at least 6 months after the final reconstruction when I felt like they started to ‘move’. It has taken a long time for me to feel like I don’t have weird heavy things sitting on my chest and I still cover them as much as possible. I know you’re frustrated….what no one ever says is that this IS FRUSTRATING. It hurts, it’s uncomfortable, it’s emotionally devastating and we haven’t even gotten to the menopause issue yet. I don’t know why there isn’t more discussion about how and what this really is and what it means, but it is one of the reasons I leave my pictures up. This process is difficult. It is NOT a free boob job (as if!) like the general public would LIKE to think. It sucks quite frankly. I was frustrated a lot too, I thought it would be a lot simpler than it was. When do you go back to your surgeon?
Hi there If i may weigh in…
The dropping for silicon implants is where the material over time and using gravity gathers at lower part of implant thus filling in at bottom and pushing it out. Its a very gradual process like 6-12os or so. But alas all are different. So its gravity that does the work. Also if one had implants placed beneath muscle theyll behave differently than if on top of chest muscle. Im no expert on fills but always heard when done they look better than immediate reconstruction. 🙂
I had a bilateral mx with immediate recon. I wanted to limit surgeries and was not too tied up in getting a new look. I asked for what i had maybe a little higher 🙂
What i did was take pics every 3 mos or so with a tight shirt on and the progress was clear. 🙂 But the factor of nipple and aereola removal naturally flattens things out a bit. Thats cancer for ya. But the fluffing its so gradual its not easy to see in the mirror daily. Cancer surgery is not an optional thing the way breast enhancement is. You can only redesign around the necessary tissue removal so its always more challenging for the surgeon. I still have on the smaller right side a little loose skin at the bottom that i could go back and have filled in but to me its another surgery im not interested in. I will be tatooing rather than replacing the nips just a personal preference. Im in my late 50s so dont feel the need to get replacements at this point.Im happy that they look natural in general size and shape and are now higher on my chest wall than before. My shirts button and look better minus the fat that went with the breasts so im basically happy 🙂 but they are simply not perfect and i did not expect them to be. Mine was life saving surgery not enhancement where they can use alot of your own tissue. I think surgeons can only do alot more when someone is younger than me. As we age its harder to fight gravity. My only advice is go back for corrections if you feel strongly about it as I think almost half do 🙂
I appreciate you jumping in. The more information that people can give me, the better. I am early 50’s and just have been on a roller coaster ride since the beginning. I absolutely had to have the left removed and went for both as I felt it would be more symetrical. I knew going in I would not look like I had in the past (going under the chest wall makes a difference). However, there is such a huge differene betweent the left side and the right that I cannot even look in the mirror and don’t want my husband seeing me. I know I am only just shy of 4 weeks post surgery but I really thought there would have been at least some improvement.
Also, I just don;t understand the pain by the end of my work day (I ony use the computer and talk on the phone), but where the implants sit right hear the arm pit becomes extremely painful. My expanders were more comfortable than these.
I guess I am frustrated because no one told me it would be like this. I am also tired of women saying, well, you got a boob job out of this. It is not the same at all; what don’t they get, that is so far from the truth. What frustrates me is seeing these women have pretty natural looking one’s they have posted; I could not post mine, they are horrid. I don’t expect perfect, I was not perfect before, but I would like to feel I can wear a top without seeing lumps bumps and lopsidedness. Oh, and a little cleavage would have been nice.
Thanks for your thoughts. All are welcome.
Hi Tanis So sorry about the asymmetry That is a bona fide correction and they do say a good % of clients want to go back in for corrections. You are not at all alone here.
As to pain: i had pain here and there in the 1st 6 weekd then one day i just felt better. I hope u experience that Yoga may help but deffo tell your docs the specifics If u cannot massage yet that is probably part of it Massage helps reduce internal scarring along with moving fluid.
I am so sorry but it WILL get better Keep moving and stretching youll get thru.
Dear Jojo, thank you for your comments. Today was a bad day. Just can’t stand looking at myself and I can’t wear clothes and feel pretty anymore. I knew it would not be the same, but feeling like I have frankenfoobs is just so sad when I see everyone else I have met having awesome results. I seem to have a black cloud over my head and if things can go wrong, they appear to be.
I just wish I had a little cleavage or could wear something that would at least make me look like I have some. I don’t know what type of bras would even fit, if any. All I can wear are tank tops that don’t look nice under anything.
Just so sad and frustrated!!! Isn’t it enough we have to deal with Cancer???
I promise it will get better U r very early in the process My docs warned me it would take awhile before they settled. Mine are big too 800ccs but i have a wide chest wall They feel mostly a little tight now and then But pain was gone except for sparks here andvthere within a couple of months I kmow ur worried Make sure ur doctors are hearing you as they sre required to do any fixes u need . Try to give it more time too Patience is key It is a gradual process as ur body has undergone great trauma and needs time to heal and adapt. And it will! god bless
I love that you chime in, Jojo, thank you xo
Im glad youre ok with my commenting….I feel great empathy for anyone who got told anything other than these are major surguries that take time to heal from!
Tanis it took me a while to find someone to explain the non-medical term “drop and fluff”. That term was started by someone not in the medical community. My implants for example if u see a picture after a few weeks still sat high on my chest like raised pancakes. As my chest muscles healed and relaxed -because they do cut them to get the implant down in there-they repositioned downward and over time the silicon also moved downward inside the implant itself The effect is a push out near the bottom or “fluff” giving your boob the more natursl rounded effect. Each time i went back to the doc i was inches lower. Its hard to see in the mirror Photos are better! Anyway off to work for me. I’m sure your doctor will be able to ease ur mind.:)
yours was the only explanation of ‘drop and fluff’ that has made any sense to me!
Thanks so much Jojo (if that is your name). I appreciate hearing you say to give it time. Some women seem to come out and say wow, mine look amazing and I just sit there not knowing why mine aren’t. Even my BS surgeon who works a lot with my PS was surprised at how mine were. He told my husband he had to do a lot of scraping and cutting of scar tissue on my right side (the side I don’t like) which was the cancer free side to even get the 550cc in. I just feel so small.
I also hear about women having them drop then fluff in weeks. I definitely have not seen any of that (well, may dropping on the left side but not on the right).
I am trying to practice patience. So hard. Thanks for your thoughts!!
I’m replying here just to say there is no way a ‘drop and fluff’ happened in ‘weeks’. Either the implants moved or something else happened. I think the term has been a little overused and misunderstood, or understood to mean different things. I actually don’t know anyone who said theirs looked amazing after the first time…..is this online or people you know? I (knowing what I know now) wouldn’t even believe it if someone were ‘happy’ with ‘amazing’ results….but then again I’m a cynical type 😉
Thank you both so much for responding. I have felt lost and have been web searching and came across your blog and it, out of everything, seemed to be “truthful”, which I posted, since it is not something I do not do normally. The women that are saying they have dropped and fluffed (which I still don’t understand wha tthat means exactly), and are happy are all on line. I actually only know two people “personally” that had BC…one passed away and the other is my daughter’s best friends’s mother, but she is a very private person and does not talk much about it at all. She is a 9 yr survivor. I do know from her daughter that she was not happy to start with and has had them done; plus nipple reconstruction did not work for her because of radiated skin. I do not have to worry about that. But am not close enough to ask her questions. So, are you saying that most have to have “more surgery” to get to where they are at least “comfortable”. My PS surgeon’s asst (not nurse) was like oh, they will be perky and cute. Nope….not mine. My husband was on the phone so fast New Year’s eve night after the surgery; no one told me I would come out smaller and definitely not looking deformed (at least on one side).. I would actually be okay if they both looked like the “decent side”; not the size I wanted (no cleavage)….will that come later when I “fluff”??? My PS is highly thought of here in Denver, so I have to believe that he will fix what I don’t like, but when we talked before exchange there was never any mention of anything but nipple reconstruction down the road, nothing about further surgery on my foobs.
Thanks for the kind words, I felt completely lost in the beginning because while I think some other women have done what I did, I could only find before and after. Both my aunts had doubles without reconstruction so I knew what that looked like, but I had NO IDEA what I was in for, and to be honest, when the PS was explaining my mind was on the fact that I had cancer and chemo, not what breast surgery I needed.
I don’t believe anyone online who acts like this wasn’t a big deal or that they have ‘amazing’ boobs. It’s just not possible unless you are really small breasted. I have seen some DIEP reconstructions that are done extremely well, but that is the exception to the rule and personally I would not have gone through that type of surgery after knowing someone who did it…. My friend who did it had a successful outcome, HER friend, who had the SAME surgeon is completely unsatisfied and angry. So, I think it’s something that is hard to predict. Without seeing your side you aren’t happy with, it’s hard to say what can happen, and, I also am not a surgeon and don’t know all the possibilities. I would plan on having a long discussion Monday. I used to write all my questions down. I took my updated pics today, now I just have to post them.
2nd Part to Previous response: I saw your comment about wearing support bras. My PS actually has just said camisoles, they don;’t want anything rubbing under the foob area I guess. My next appointment is on Monday; maybe I will ask about that and if I should be wearing support ones. I saw you recommended the target one? was that at the beginning or after? When did you start “massaging”? I have heard about that but when I asked 2 wks ago I was told not yet. I just don’t want to run into more scar tissue issue so the right side does not drop.
I would listen to your surgeon and ask all questions on Monday. I know I wasn’t supposed to wear an underwire bra for almost 6 months but by the time I was allowed it felt awful. I personally was told not to massage but I think every surgeon is different – I have a friend that has had fat grafts and mesh placed and when I asked my surgeon about that he reacted like I asked him to well, I don’t know what, but he doesn’t do it, told me that it never lasts and at a certain point I have to accept the rippling, which I do have, to this day. It has gotten worse as they have settled in.
I definitely wil be talking to the PS on Monday about everything we have dicussed herel. Between you and JoJo I feel more prepared and at least that I am not acting weird or expecting miracles; just wanting to look ‘okay” so that I can wear t-shirts or tank tops or a bathing suit when summer comes around.
Thank you so much again, for listening and responding.
Anytime, I just uploaded the latest pics.
I forgot to mention in my previous reply that I really have not known anyone going through this; well, two people but one passed away and the other I am not close enough with to feel she is approachable about asking how she felt with her reconstruction, etc. I know some people are private and it is the mother of my daughter’s best friend and if she had wanted to speak with me, I let her daughter know I would love to speak with her. She and I spoke once before my bmx, but not really since then and I don’t feel “close” enough to pick up the phone. On a happy note, I was just wearing a pullover long sleeve knit black shirt today with my yoga pants and my daughter looked and me and said “Mama….I really think that your foobs are looking better”. I kind of rolled my eyes (if you know what I mean) and she said “No, seriously mama, they are looking better”. I guess I will take some comfort in that!!
JoJo, I love that you have chimed in and are trying to help. Hearing from anyone about this is helpful. My family tries to understand but they are just glad I am here, as am I, but I still would like to feel pretty again one day, and that definitely does not appear to be happening any time soon. My fear is that one side has dropped but the right side, which had so much scar tissue they had to cut and scrape is not dropping so now looking lopsided even in shirts is worse than at the beginning. I am supposed to meet with the PS on Monday again. I am just not good with this “grey area”. Give me black and white. I don’t do wishy washy. I just wish if they could have been bigger, maybe that would have helped as well! I don’t know. All very frustrating.
Thanks for chiming in. I appreciate it!
Jut talking about it with others that understand helps.
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The updated pics look good. I wish that I had been able to go bigger; I feel like I have peanuts compared to you……………They could only fit 550ccs. Oh well. How did you find the new bra? It looks very pretty. Does it give support. I am looking for something that will make me look like at least I have something upstairs because I feel so small (when I am allowed to wear a bra again). Thank you so much for sharing.
Thanks so much for sharing latest pics Love the bra Ill be ordering i think
I like my sports bras but some real ones would be nice The key for me is soft and not too constraining. I have some rippling too Tends to occur with larger sizes from what ive read When i signed my agreement my surgeon had all the potential issues right in there so i did lots of research before. A little rippling and some slightly visible veins which i had previously because my skin is so light were the only problem
effects. Scars are still fading.., Fewer veins to see now 🙂 i envy the rounded effect you were able to retain !
Mine just are too far apart and were never naturally that round. If i had done the expanders im guessing mine wouldve been more round.
Take heart Tanis Your long term effect will be much more pleasing!
You’re welcome. I love the Cosabella ‘never say never’ lace bras. They are expensive but always go on sale on amazon. For me, they have the right amount of support but without constraint. I have tried several underwires and forget it, they feel like a vice. My real breasts were actually in pretty good shape for 42, if I may say so myself, but they certainly were not round, I don’t think that kind of roundness exists in nature. I think they look so round because they are so close to the skin it is all implant. Also, my expanders were in for quite some time at 700 because of my chemo complications, which may have helped the reconstruction process, I do not know.
yes, Tanis, hang in there!
I will not get to be that size, unless I wanted to start all over again and even then, the surgeon did not think he could go bigger because of the size of my rib cage and the measurements, etc. It is what it is. Hopefully they will be round, because I like that look!! Today I took a huge leap and after being a hermit for so long, went out and walked to the park with my hubby and daughter (both of them my rocks and strength). She is a sr at high school and has given up so much to help out and be there for me……my son as well when he is home, but he is away at college (12 hr drive) so does not get home enough for any of us.
I would love to find a bra that will be comfortable and give me a little umph if I can’t have it with clothes off!!
Hugs and here is hoping that over time they will look better!!!
Wishing you good luck with your appointment today.
I looked at my pics when my expanders were 560 and I think I too would have been upset had that been what the results were, even though what I have are too big. I think it is so difficult to really ‘reconstruct’ and no one tells you that in the beginning. Walking will help you physically and mentally. Even with my back issues it has turned out to be the best thing I have done for myself.
I think in the beginning sports bras will help and I do think that over time you will get better results. The surgeon did not know what was going on in there, now that he does he may have a better plan.
Okay, so he said basically what I thought he would. It is dropping some, more on the left side; where I am seeing it be a little pointed on that side he explained is how the scar/incision heals and is flattening out in areas and so causes the other parts to look a little pointy until they all flatten. The right side has dropped a little; he did say on the side where there is folds, some of the fold has filled in but we probably will have to do some revision (fat injection there). Talked about massage; he says it is neither proven nor disproven about massage helping or not; definitely does in augmented patients but no proof on reconstruction. Says it would be similar to doing a breast exam if I want to try it but also gave me a name of a PT person that works specifically on this type of massage to try. Not sure about that (should I feel uncomfortable someone massaging my foobs????) He said i could wear exercise bras, support ones, just no under wire. Or I can continue to wear my camisoles; whatever I am most comfortable in. Most of his patients never to back to underwire because they are not comfortable. I would like to try and find one eventually so that I have some cleavage. He says there is still a lot of swelling and I just need to give it time. Oh joy!!
I have to say, I am 51 and loved my breasts. They were still perky, 36 C, even after breast feeding two kids. They were really the one thing I loved about myself. Maybe that is why I am having such an issue. Who know! Patience is a virture!
I can tell you my surgeon insisted on massage. It was for about 10 sec every waking hour, to prevent internal scar tissue and push the fluid out. Once I got past the 6 weeks and they were further down, she told me to stop. As a result, mine are now pretty soft and no real hard spots. I spoke to a co-worker that had recon about 10 years ago and she told me she was not told to massage and hers are hard as a rock. The kind of massage, where you push the fluid from under the boob back firmly but not roughly towards your side so the lymph node there sends it thru to be expelled,is what I was told to do. And it worked. My swelling went down, eventually and there is not hardness anymore. I would definitely at least do some reading. I think the rubbing concept works on anything, so not sure why it would not work on your chest.
But keep in mind, you have a lot going on there right now, and he may want to wait for it to settle some more. I had no expanders, one surgery, etc. So you may be too early in the process. But glad you’ve started dropping!
He said I could do it, not problem at this point in time. If you could give me a better explanation of how you did it, I might actually give it a try!!!
I hesitate to give u specific instructions cuz im not a doc 🙂 I cant be sure i would not tell u something that could injure you. I will tell u with my implants i was told to start at the bottom center of ypur breast and push carefully but firmly around toward your sides. U may want to contact one of the nurses youve worked with if the docs office isnt giving you specifics. 🙂
My PS said to do it kind of like I was doing a breast exam; did refer me to a PT who specializes in this so maybe going to have that done at least once they could show me what to do? Worth a try. Just would like them to soften and don’t want them capsulating although he says that happens more in augmented patients than reconstruction. ‘Thanks for the advice..;..especially since you are going thru such a tough time. Just know you are in my prayers!!! If you ever just want to reach out, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
just wanted to make a comment to check in and see how everyone is doing. How is everyone recovering? You guys are in my thoughts more than you might know. I am working on a new post and I will try and update the blog soon.
Things are good here. I had expander implant exchange. I am 7 weeks out and was told I had to wear a tight sports bra 24/7. Very uncomfortable. I have mast wings and some rippling in left breast. He told me to come back in May and we’ll see then what needs to be done, however, he said I should be happy with how they look now
Funny you should post today. Just had my latest post surgery appointment with PS. Right side never did drop nicely; it is higher than the left. Today even though I questioned him 2 or 3 times about it he was not “concerned”. Talked about how none of us have the same eyes, same feet size, etc. What the hell does that have to do with symmetry of my foobs? Anyways, I am supposed to be having another reconstruction mid April. He is going to flatten the right side of the right breast; says it is extra skin and in doing that hopes the big divet on that side will also disappear. Originally he talked about doing lipo and putting in fat, but today he was against doing that. Kind of feel I am getting mixed messages and not sure what to think. Then he said something about suctioning some out of the left side and that would make them look more symetrical. I don’t know what to do. Getting HMO to approve a 2nd opinion is almost impossible!!!
Thanks ladies, I will respond when I can get to my laptop, try and get stuff for my phone is going to result in having to buy a new one after I’ve thrown this one against the wall a few times
Ha, see… Should have said trying to post from this phone dammit
yes, getting a 2nd thru HMO is a massive pain. I know with my PS, he had a lot of guesses until he got me on the table, I am hoping that is what is going on in your case, although I know it doesn’t sound like you really are a big fan….it is so hard when they aren’t clear because you can’t always know what questions to ask. Hugs!