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Breast Cancer Haven
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Reconstructive surgery

Hello everyone,im 43 an had a single mastectomy last July I am hoping to have reconstructive surgery with a saline implant some time this year.I have to have an expanded and as I'm only a B cup I have been told I will only have two expanding stretches? I would love to hear off anyone who has undergone this procedure?

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I've had this done,but implant was put in when I had the mastectomy, I had four stretches as I'm quiet big busted.You don't feel anything,very straight forward,you go in,have the injection, and out.

Then in April last year the expander came out and I had the full reconstruction and a lift to match both sides up.

Sometimes the implant feels a bit strange,especially if I've been on a long bumpy journey or I've used my right arm a lot to do ironing,but it's slowly settled down. I am now considering a nipple tattoo.

Good luck and I hope all goes well.xxx

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Thankyou for your reply,i was wondering if the two would be quite balanced? Also I've seen the nipple tattoo and I think they look great,im a swimmer and have plans to have mermaids scales tattooed over my new boob ( have never had a tattoo because of the pain but I suppose it will just be a pressure sensation we will feel?)Good luck if you do go for it!

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Hi, I have experience of having a temp expander both ways: straight after mx and then after a rupture.

I had a lh mx in August 15 had a temp expander implant which was filled quite quickly because I was starting chemo in Sept and having Radiotherapy in the following Feb. All was ok, i am quite large chested (well I was before!) and needed four fills as well. It's ok, imagine as you're smaller you'll feel the stretch more, and also as you've waited the skin will need to be gently stretched. Paracetamol will help with any discomfort...

I also had a preventative rh mx last Nov and that was very similar, although they've taken longer to fill that one.

My left one slowly deflated over time and was noticeable when I went for my rh mx so was told needed to be replaced as they went sure how long it had been broken. This op will probably be similar to yours. I had it mid Feb, was quite easy and had hardly any pain was out of hospital the same day and best of all had no drains (yay!) due to no tissue being taken. Is healing really well and am hopefully having my permanent implants put in in November this year.

If you have any other questions either reply or you can private message if you prefer

Good luck hope you get on OK,

Nix x

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Thankyou so much for replying it's good to hear other people's experiences! And great you didn't have to have any drains as they do get in the way! I haven't been given a date yet but hoping it's not going to be to long!

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I had exact same surgery also going to b cup. I had 3 expansion injections. Didn't feel a thing. Then had implant put in. Very straightforward, out the same evening with no drain or drama. I'm 1 year post implant operation, still have a lot of numbness but nerves are still healing. I can't lie on my stomach as it just feels weird. I'm actually seeing plastic surgeon at end of this month to talk about nipple reconstruction . Just do your exercises and mind it. I got 2 sports bras from m& s that had separate cups & I lived in them afterwards. Straight after op you need to sleep on your back to prevent the implant moving but if you follow their advice all should be OK. I'm here if you ever want to chat. Good luck xx

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Thankyou so much for replying,its good to hear off someone who has had first hand experience! I swim daily and in a costume would you say there's much of a difference visually?

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Being honest I haven't put a swimsuit on since but was only recently wondering how I'll cope. I find swimsuits naturally flatten my chest. My implant is very pert & perky so honestly don't know what to do about it......unless maybe get a suit with some padding. .....but then padding is on both sides😕

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I guess an underwired swimsuit with padding would do the trick? As it would lift the other? At the moment my step mum came up with the idea of using a foam shoulder pad which we cut into shape and have inserted it into the top of swimsuit! It works a treat!! So maybe I will have to pop it into the other side post op! The things we do!xx

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I haven't even gone back to wearing underwired bras. Was actually thinking of using my foam prosthesis on my 'good' side lol

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Hehe! My two prosthesis (everyday one and swimming one)are quite heavy even though they are B cup size! I wore the swimming one once and once only as it really dragged my costume down😊

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I was told to never wear underwire anything again. I do where bathing suits and just try to find the most comfortable fit.

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I thought I heard somewhere to not wear underwire again. Finding it difficult to find nice bras though😕

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I guess I will be told all the do's and don't when the time comes! Have you tried H&M? They have some really pretty wireless bra's.xx

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I live in Cavan in Ireland. .....don't have one close but may investigate now 😊

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Go online as you could mail order.xx

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Hi I am also a bit cup. I've had a double mastectomy and inflatables. It was only 3 weeks ago, it feels very tight whilst my skin is stretching. I have to go for 2 more injections then my reconstructive surgery will eventually follow. But if there are no drains involved , that will be a relief!

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My consultant did say it will feel very tight,please keep in touch and let me know how you get on.xx

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I had a mastectomy 2 years ago with expander put in place at the time of mastectomy. Also a B. The expander process (I believe I had 3 fills) was on slightly uncomfortable for 24 hours. Ice helps after a fill. I would say that my new breast is slightly bigger than my old one. I wear sports bras with light pads. When wearing there's no visible difference. If I go without a bra it is only slightly more noticeable then with a bra. I was told to never wear underwire again. And frankly, any type of regular bra is very uncomfortable fro me. I have extreme nerve damage, but please don't think this will happen to you. A week before mast I had part of my lung removed. The nerve damage is from that, not from mast. That being said, I can still wear a sports bra when I have to. I also plan on going back to plastic surgeon and having some of the accumulated fat removed from under my arm. I had 6 lymph nodes removed, so theres an indentation and then fat. It doesn't really bother me all that much, but I do see it in a bath suit. I wear bathing suits with soft cups and no one would notice or know. After two years, I do notice an indentation at the top of the breast. When I have the fat removed from the underarm, they can fill the upper breast. Frankly, now that it is all over and I'm healthy, I'm really quite satisfied. One day I will tweak it all! But in no rush. I was a stomach sleeper and can't really sleep on my stomach anymore. The first 6 months...back sleeping only. But eventually I can sort of half sleep on my stomach. I wish you the best and believe me, after having a mastectomy and knowing the pain you already when through...the expander is nothing! Embrace your new breast! And get a 3D tattoo if you feel you want a nipple. I have not done that yet, but again...maybe one day. Best.

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Poor you going through all that! It's great to here your positivity! I think remaining positive and having a sense of humour about this journey has definitely helped me! The nipple tattoos are absolutely fantastic I was amazed when I saw them.Keep smiling😁

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I'm in NY. I've been told by a few people that I needed to see "Vinnie the Tatoo Guy". This includes my breast (and she saved my life more than once) who said forget about have a surgeon due plastic surgery for a nipple. See Vinnie. He's in New Orleans I believe. HE does 3D tattoos and its a long wait list. I will check him out when I'm ready for a nipple!

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Keep a sense of humor. My husband has been battling cancer as well for 10 years. We are both still here and both still happy ,albeit, at times exhausted, but we've survived. I really believe our sense of humor got us through so much. Without it, I think I would have lost my mind. We have our own private cancer jokes. Watch and do things that make you laugh...really laugh. Its healing. I wish you all the best in your recovery. One day you will begin to feel like your old self. That is when you realize you've survived it.

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I am currently being expanded on both sides. The surgery to put them in wasn't nearly as bad as having the mastectomy. As for the expanding for me it felt like a bee sting which in the overall scheme of things wasn't bad. I have had 2 sessions so far. A little sore the day of but nothing worth complaining about. I was DDD before surgery and I don't plan to go that big. Just enough so I don't look like a man with a beer gut. Good luck to you.

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