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QUESTION ABOUT BRAS AND TISSUE EXPANSION
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MattieMorgan2 posted:
Hi, all. I had my first follow-up appointment with my plastic surgeon this past Friday. He said I'm doing extremely well, and he injected 50 cc's of silicone into my tissue expander. Believe it or not, that made it a little more comfortable. I was beginning to think I had made a mistake by going with the tissue expander! This coming Tuesday, I have my 1st follow-up with the general surgeon at which time I'll get the final pathology report. She told me in the hospital the day after my surgery that the cancer had not gotten into the lymph nodes and had not metastasized, so I'm really hoping the final path report doesn't say something else. I'm a little bit nervous about it but I'm trying not to worry too much.

At any rate, I have a question about bras, and I hope this isn't going to sound stupid. Can I wear a bra while I'm undergoing the tissue expansion? I have a camisole that I received in the hospital following my surgery, and I've been wearing it, but I'm wondering about support for my right breast. I didn't think to ask my plastic surgeon about this when I was in his office. Can anyone offer any insight or suggestions? I would be most appreciative. Thanks!
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kayjoedwards responded:
You can certainly wear a bra during this period. In fact, my surgeon recommended that I wear one all the time for support and to protect the incisions.
I wore a post-mastectomy sports bra from Amoena (model - Patricia). It had hooks in the front and then zipped up the front too. They had a B/C size so it worked all the way thru the expansion period.
kayjo
 
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juliamiss responded:
Hi, I just joined this as it will be so nice to talk to someone who is going through the same medical problems I have. I am waiting to have reconstructive surgery and had the tissue expander placed at the time of my mastectomy in January. It has been quite uncomfortable so I'm hoping to have the plastic surgery in April. Does anyone else have pain and trouble sleeping due to a tissue expander?

As far as a bra, I found some on line at Carole Martin. Very inexpensive, front closure and comfortable. Get the all cotton. Good luck to you.
 
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564deb responded:
Our local Wal-Mart also carries a front closure bra (I think made by Fruit of the Loom) that has hook and eye closures up the front. ?This bra is VERY similar to a bra that I purchased at a breast cancer boutique and paid a lot more for. ?The one at Wal-Mart is all cotton and has approx. 10 hooks up the front so it is nice and wide all around. ?I have suggested it to several friends to use post surgery and they have all liked it. ?Personally, I loved the post surgery camisole, but I had a double mastectomy so was not dealing with one natural breast.

Best of luck with the remainder of your "fill-ups". ?I found the process to be very tolerable and I am awaiting surgery on April 12th to have the expanders exchanged for the implants.

God Bless.
Deb
 
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bc090109 replied to 564deb's response:
Deb,

How long did you have to wait from the time you had your tissue expanders inserted to the April 12th surgery? My final surgery won't take place until the end of this year which will be a year and 3 months from my original surgery.
 
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564deb replied to bc090109's response:
Hi there! ?I had my bilateral in June 25, 2009. ?At the same time the PS put in the expanders and filled them 200cc on each side. I went weekly for "fill-ups" of anywhere from 50 to 80cc on each side. ?I was done with the fill procedures by the end of August. My PS likes to let the expanders sit for 3 to 4 months to allow the skin plenty of time to stretch before exchanging them for the permanent implants. I could have had the exchange done in January but because of several vacations planned in January, February and March:), we decided to wait until early April to do this due to the risk of infection, etc.

I am not sure why you will have to wait a year and three months. ?I know that all plastic surgeons do things differently. My friend only had a fill up once a month, for six months. She then had her exchange shortly after that. ?My PS liked to fill up faster (weekly) to avoid incapsulation and then let things sit longer.

I have not minded the entire process at all. The fills were quite tolerable and I only experienced discomfort (if any) the first day of each fill. ?I always took a couple of Aleve as soon as I left the PS office. ?Normally I would do a little "retail therapy" aka: shopping afterwards. ?I have grown accustomed to the feel of the expanders and honestly enjoy not wearing a bra....ever!! ?This is the first time in about 40 years that I can go without a bra since I was a DDD before and I am loving it! If I wear anything, it is a shape control cami.

You are going to do just fine...my thoughts and prayers are with you as you visit your doctor tomorrow for all the path reports, etc. ?Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Deb
 
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kajunblues replied to 564deb's response:
Hey ya'll,
I too have had a double mastectomy..I had mine on 2/17/10. I have expanders and according to the PS I am ahead of schedule. I was going every week since m,y surgery until this last visit a week ago. He has me coming back in 3 weeks this time. He says I should be able to have my implants in 4 months and then let them settle, then he will do the nipple and then the tatooing.... I do wear a sports bra most of the time or taks with the shelf built into them. I like the bras from Walmart, made by Fruit of the Loom. I have found in the afternoon upon returning from work when I take the bra off, I want to go ahhhhhhhhhh!. I am so glad to find others to talk to and you can go yea I am doing that too....Good Luck to all and God Bless Us!
 
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kayjoedwards responded:
By the way, something I didn't know before all this. If you have insurance, usually they will pay for your bras! The woman in the bra store that I went to submits the purchase to my insurance company and once I've met my overall deductible, they get paid for - forever!

kayjo
 
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564deb replied to kajunblues's response:
Hi There! ?I for the life of me can't imagine why any of you ladies who have had a bilateral and have tissue expanders in would want to bother with a bra!! ?Try a soft cami, or if you are like me and have some rolls around the middle, a shape control cami. Target sells one for around $12 and it is great!! ?It comes down long enough to also cover the tummy. ?Come on girls....take advantage of this time in your life when you have rock hard "breasts" and no nipples.....burn the bras!!
Deb

P.S. ?And this is coming from a 57 year old!!


?
 
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Nicky2424 replied to 564deb's response:
My PS said to wear a bra so the scar tissue that will form around the implant will not mis-aline the position of the implant and it will not be crooked. So after a year or a year and a half I could start going more bra less but still wear one once in a while to continue the assurance or a good looking breast for a longer time.
 
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564deb replied to Nicky2424's response:
Nicky, Thank you for the information! ?I don't have the implants yet, just the expanders, but they have done quite well without the use of a bra. ?I did express my delight in not having to wear a bra these past months to the PS and he assured me that I probably wouldn't have to afterwards. But what you have told me makes sense and he may tell me to do the same things after my exchange tomorrow. ?Once I get the nipples it will probably be necessary anyway to wear a bra. ?But it sure has been nice these last 6 months to be un-encumbered after all these years:)
Deb
 
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Gladysmeredith responded:
Mattie, even though I am quite a bit older than you, I went through what you are going through in 2006 and since. As my doctor suggested that I have a breast reconstruction on the right breast because it was large, I did this. (Before surgery I was a 42 double D, and after surgery was a 40 B.) This procedure was not performed right away and I had to wait for the first incision to heal to have the second surgery done. This took over a year, but because I had the expander put in I wore a bra that my doctor supplied for me when the surgery was performed, it was a great help, and I continued to wear it even after the reconstruction was done I was told that the government would pay for a bra, but I never fount out where to apply. I am not a good example of what should have been done and what was done, as I have not been happy with my surgery from day one. Neither the first surgery nor the reconstruction, but your insurance company will not help you if you have a complaint. My original doctor retired almost as soon as the reconstruction was done, and I was left with what I have. If I could do it all over again, I'd learn to be a complainer. Be persistant. Don't let them tell you everything is OK, when you know it is not. As I am an 'old lady' it won't do me any good to complain, but I can alert others of what happens. My insert makes a lot of noise, moves and I can not sleep on my left side because it hurts, but they tell me to quit complaining. I 'm left with what I have, and there is NOTHING I can do. Speak up while you have a voice. Don't wait too long. I pray you have better luck than I did. Love, Gladys
 
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ktcher replied to juliamiss's response:
Hi...I just joined today. I had my bilacteral mastectomy 6 weeks ago and had the expanders put in at that time. I, too, find it to be quite uncomfortable. I'm still sleeping on the recliner in the living room to keep somewhat elevated. I hope the implants will be more comfortable than this. The PS says I will get used to it, but I hope I don't. I can't imagine feeling like this forever.

I developed a mild staph infection so I haven't had any fills in the last four weeks. It seems to be doing well so I hope to start the fills again in three weeks. The plan is to fill every two weeks. Then wait at least six weeks before the exchange.

Thanks for the info on the bras. I will check them out.

Anxious to hear how your exchange goes!
 
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ktcher replied to ktcher's response:
Sorry for the typos!
 
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Lizzymw replied to juliamiss's response:
I had my exchange over the new year. My expansion was very painful....I had 13 but in the end I don't remember the pain. I found by having another pillow to support my breasts and body helped. I am hoping to get a nipple in June. I am so happy I did the reconstruction. It is nice to feel somewhat normal again. I have an amazing Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon but this has been a journey.

Good luck to everyone. I am a 43 year old woman recovering from Breast Cancer. I belong to a group I never throught I would belong to but I am so honored to be a part of a group with so many courageous women.


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