failed reconstruction

hi ive recently had a double mastectomy and reconstruction using implants and stratis. this was 5 weeks ago and after 5 weeks of extreme pain and 2 seperate nights in hospital and about 7 attempts to drain seroma from both breasts i have had to have the implants removed. im still in shock but the pain has almost gone. im at a point where i have to recuperate and get my strength back. but i have to think about my choices of what to do next.

has anyone any thoughts, i am diabetic and also had radiotherapy to my right breast following 18 weeks of chemo and two lumpectomies. my surgeon is saying he can use my back muscle in my right breast. im scared to even think about it at the moment.this has been a 20 month journey so far.

20 Replies

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  • I think that the only reconstruction that won't affect you as badly as foreign silicone can is your back muscle. You need the time now to recuperate. Maybe you can meet women who have had this procedure to ask how they feel.

    Good luck!

  • Hi darling you are having a horrible time. I did not go for reconstruction after left breast mastectomy (almost 9 years ago now) and have worn a prosthesis in pocketed bras since. I have had the prosthesis replaced once about 2 years ago as the silicone develops air pockets over time. Unless you are really keen on reconstruction it might be a solution. There are plenty of options now for nice pocketed bras and you don't pay VAT on them.

  • I had an implant for a while and it was awful I had cellulitis @ 3 times having to have it drained ! Once having to travel to length of country because local hospital would not go near it !! 😈😈😈😈 I then had the implant removed and had to wait till after all my treatments to have reconstruction. I had it taken from my abdomen as i had had surgery on back so could not have it from there ! I am quite happy with it, but its a long process and is still uncomfortable. Luckily I had access to my surgeon a few weeks before as he did a seminar at cancer care and showed videos of all the different techniques available and the results. It may be worth seeing if that's available ?! Or cancer care have booklets all about this !! Good luck with your journey ! My cancer was 5 years ago and reconstruction 4 !!

  • Hi

    I had a double mastectomy 8yrs ago and had a reconstruction from my tummy fat. It has been very successful and I have also had npple reconstruction as well. I ve had no pain or problems only slight seroma in the tummy straight after the operation. I do have Lymphodema in my left arm but that was due to the fact I had 13 lymph nodes out when I had a lumpectomy before the chemo and double mastectomy.

    I do recommend reconstruction from the tummy but to wait a while so you have time to recover from what you have already gone through and to do research so you feel settled in what is the next step

  • thankyou for your advice. they are reluctant to use my tummy as i have diabetes so poor healing and increased risk of infection.

  • Hiya, I had 5 operations on one breast because my implant kept perforating the muscle, but I was determined to persevere. I now have one implant under the muscle and one on top. Doesn't look too pretty when I have nothing on but looks normal when I wear a proper support bra. Hubby doesn't both either. Family joke too is I keep my nipples in a box and bring them out for special occasions. Take time and decide what you want to do. Xx

  • I am facing a double mastectomy due to triple negative breast cancer. My personal choice has been to avoid reconstruction. I am still opting for this. I know I can purchase 'bras' that are filled should I desire. Something I may choose if I feel necessary at a later date. I hope you are able to decide soon and are pain free asap. Good luck. Xx

  • I had bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction same day. I ended up with an infection too. I had both implants removed less then 4 weeks after they were put in. That really pulled my spirit down. I think what bothers me now is I don't want to go through the pain of more surgery. I have 5 months of chemo then 6 months after I can get implants again. May you find strength to kick this crap.

  • yes my spirit was down too. i have my stitches out next week so hope my chest will look better then. its not even a flat chest at the moment. its going inwards on both sides with some loose skin. ive got those brevia bras and they help me to look normal .

  • Not familiar with brevia bras. I have genie bras that flatten out the speed bumps. If I knew for sure I would not go back to implants I would have told him just make them "normal". So now implants or not, I will probably still have another surgery to smooth it out. I also get to see how big my belly really is. Not thrilled with that lol

  • yes my belly looks different now. ive lost some weight this past month. im due to have my stitches out tomorow from when i had my implants out. not looking forward to that but its a step in the right direction i suppose

  • I had reconstruction in April this year using my tummy fat. I couldn't have implants as my body rejects foreign objects (my portacath) and I didn't want my back muscle used as I was dreading lymphodemia so after much debate I went for diep flap. I won't lie it was a big operation and afterwards I thought I'd made a mistake but now 8 months on I'm delighted with it. The natural feel and shape I love and my tummy has healed extremely well. But I would advise to wait until you're feeling up to it as the recovery is slow. Good luck. A.

  • I wanted to use my tummy. I have enough to use. The doctor did not think it was good in my situation. Mainly because I wanted to do both breasts. I also wanted to have smaller breasts.

  • I'm surprised your doctor didn't think it was a good idea. You had a double mastectomy so if you have enough tummy fat then it should be ok unless there is a health reason for not doing it?I do know once you have a DIEP flap you cannot use the tummy again. But I will advise that it is a BIG operation and the recovery is slow but the end result is a very natural breast.

  • The final decision was mine but based on info from my surgeon I decided to do implants. Seemed like less chance of complications. Who knows I might do that now that I need to go back again.

  • The sane thing happen to me. I had a build up of seroma which led to an infection and the implant had to be taken out 2 weeks later.

  • I say I picked the infection up at the hospital but I can't prove it.

  • I had a mastectomy in November. I have decided against reconstruction as the anaesthetic makes me sick. I have a friend who had reconstruction but the results weren't quite how she hoped. The reconstructed breast is slightly smaller so she still has to wear a small "chicken fillet" in her bra

  • my breasts are a mess at the moment. i cant leave them as they are.

  • That's how I feel. They look like partly deflated lopsided tires. I am going to buy a bra that shows where I want to be and just tell him fill er up 😄

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