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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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TXGalBornNRaised replied to 564deb's response:
I find that a post surgery bra is really more comfortable for me. I had my double reconstruction in September of 2007. Both tissue expanders were inserted at that time. We started inflating them about six weeks later and the implants were placed on February 1, 2008.

I don't wear a bra for the support up front, but rather for the support under the arms where the "mastectomy wings" give me problems. I have actually found some post-surgery bras at a catalogue store online - "Woman Within". They have several that I really like so far.
 
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kayjoedwards replied to TXGalBornNRaised's response:
You might want to ask your PS about the "wings". My PS did a little liposuction when he put in the implants and removed about 90% of the stuff. I was very large before and the wings would have been as big as the new implants!
kayjo
 
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rachael67 replied to Gladysmeredith's response:
Sweet Gladys, why are you not able to get any help with this? I realize the first doc is no longer practicing/present, but what about another? Have you insurance? Have you sought other opinions about how this might be rectified?

Please (and I will quote YOU!!)..."be a complainer. Be persistant. Don't let them tell you everything is OK, when you know it is not." You deserve better!!! No matter what age you may be! None of us is getting younger so what we loose in youth, let's make up for in fiesty!!!

Know you will be in our thoughts, and please let us know how you are doing. A wise, mature (NOT OLD!)woman just told us we must assert ourselves...I hope she follows her own advice!!

Blessings.
Rachael
 
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rachael67 replied to Lizzymw's response:
Hurray for good docs! I'm so glad you found them!!

blessings.
Rachael
 
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montanna05 responded:
Hi, I am new to this discussion. I am getting ready for a doulble mastectomy. I so glad to hear your conversations so I can ask some of these questions to both surgeons. I am glad you can get a bra at Walmart, because I work outside and ride in a truck all day. I was told I will get the expander and a couple weeks later the expander will be removed and I will get the implants. Thank you for all your information

Linda
 
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564deb replied to TXGalBornNRaised's response:
I had my surgery yesterday to replace the expanders with the implants. ?Had a day of nausea, but today I am feeling better. ?I am a little disappointed with the way the implants look. ?Guess I was expecting something a little "perkier". ?What I have is rather round and flat. ?Guess it has something to do with how large I was before (DDD). ?They say I am a full C cup, but that is hard to believe. ?I liked the look I got with the expanders much better.....but......oh well, it is what it is! ?I am ready to move on and be done with it all. ?I did want to address what you said about the "mastectomy wings". ?I also had these and they were removed yesterday when the implants were put in. ?I am sure you are aware that these can be removed but wanted to let you know in case you were not. ?It will be so nice to not feel these under each arm anymore!!
Deb
 
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nsurvive replied to 564deb's response:
I am new to this discussion. Is everyone getting implants for reconstruction? I had the free TRAM flap procedure for reconstruction after a double mastectomy. Lost the excess belly and got replacements all at once. I waited 11 months after my mastectomy before I had my reconstruction. Got my nipples last week. Just wanted everyone to know that there are other options. My general surgeon (great doctor) suggested implants, but I didn't want anything foreign in my body. Hope you all are doing well.
 
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juliamiss replied to ktcher's response:
I'm still waiting to find out when I can have the implant. Aggh! I have to go back to the breast surgeon and have another mammogram on the other side before it can be completed.

Yes, I remember having to sleep sitting up or at least propping myself up like in a hospital bed for the first 3 weeks after my surgery. It does get better! I was a complainer to the PS and he kept saying I was lucky, had DCIS and it was found early.

I was thinking of getting implants in both breasts so they would look the same. I am only a B size and do not want to go much bigger but all the implants look larger than what my natural size is.

Also I have concerns about getting cancer in the other breast and whether it can be detected easily if I have an implant. The PS says it is not a problem, my breast surgeon says it is harder to find.

I would like to hear from anyone who has had a single mastectomy and then implants on both breasts. Does this work? This has caused me a lot of anxiety.
 
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ktcher replied to nsurvive's response:
I know a couple of ladies that have had the TRAM flap and are extremely happy with the results. I considered it, but decided against it because of the longer recovery time. I work in child care and wanted to get back to work ASAP. Of course, I didn't enroll in disability insurance when I started this job so no income for seven weeks since surgery has been hard. I also have scoliosis with a lot of lower back pain.

I wish the TRAM would have worked for me. I agree with your feelings about having something foreign in the body. It's a weird concept.

Glad you're doing well!
 
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TXGalBornNRaised replied to ktcher's response:
I thought about the tram, especially since my sister had one side done in 1994. At the time, it was an even lengthier surgery than my double lat. I am happy with everything except the "wings". Since the implants will have to be replaced at some time, I'll probably see about having something done with them later. My implants are the "new" silicone ones, and I couldn't be happier. I also was a triple D before, and now wear a D or DD, depending on the manufacturer of the bral.

At the time, my PS told me that he didn't like to do tram flaps, and wouldn't do a double tram. He said he would refer me to a PS that would, and pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. One of the best things in the world that I have ever done is to stay with him and listen to him. Since then, I have met a number of his patients in the lobby of his office who have come to him to fix the mistakes of their first doctor.

If you are unsure of what your doctor is telling you, if it doesn't "feel right", please go and get a second opinion. It is worth it!
 
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brcansur replied to 564deb's response:
I agree with you about the camies they are great no more bras yyeeaaaa. The only time I wore a bra with the expanders was when I was going out and my shirt was more fitted. That was because the expanders have an odd shape to them so I would wear a bra to get a nice shape to my chest and to fill out the shirt right. I now have my expanders out and my implants in and I love just putting a cami on under my tops. Much more comfortable I find that the sides of my breast still hurt some and where they took more skin under my right breast during the mastectomy hurts when anything rubs or sit there like a bra. I am only one month out from the implantes being put in and hope the pain goes away soon. I also love the camies that cover your tummy and hide some of the lumps and bumps us women get as we age they are greast and comfortable . Good luck to all you lovely ladies and try the soft camis they are great.
 
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departirconfite replied to 564deb's response:
564deb....LOL!!!!!! I loved your post, especially the last sentence. That's what I can't figure out, why wear a bra? Both my surgeon and oncologist have said '...and afterwards, you don't have to wear a bra!' If anything ease my fears about having a bilateral mastectomy, it would be having firm breasts again [hopefully>, sans the need to have to buy anymore brassieres. I'm pre-surgery, so from some of the posts I've read, I am sometimes left cornfuzzled! ~Ella
 
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564deb replied to departirconfite's response:
Thanks Ella!! ?Well let me start by saying that I am a very conservative 58 year old woman. ?I was a 36DDD before cancer and always had to wear a big old underwire bra with a wide closure in the back and wide straps that have left their permanent imprint in my shoulders. ?I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to wear a bra with expanders since they aren't going to do any moving, they are rock hard, and there is no nipple to conceal. ?My silicone implants feel the same way except softer. ?Like "brcansur" stated, the only thing I wear is a figure control cami that not only covers my breasts but also smoothes the lumps and bumps of being a few pounds overweight and not quite as toned as I once was:(?
I get these at Target for around $12.00. ?They come in nude, black, and white. ?Love em!


I had a post mastectomy camisole that I purchased before my initial lumpectomy last January. ?This has been a great investment and insurance will pay for it. ?I got it at a boutique connected to my cancer center. ?It is very soft and has pockets for soft fiber-filled breast forms if you so desire to use them. Made by Amoena. ?I wore it with the forms for a short while when the expanders were first put in at the time of my mastectomy. Only because it was a little weird looking down at what was once DDD and now barely anything. ?It also is snug fitting and that felt good to me at the time. ?

I know that all doctors have different ways of doing things, but FYI, my plastic surgeon did not send me home with instructions to wear any specific bra either after the mastectomy/expander implant or after the exchange of the expanders for the silicone implants. ?He told me that if I wanted to wear a bra I could but that it was not necessary.
He also did not wrap me after either surgery with gauze or anything. ?My incisions have healed both times very swiftly and I think part of the reason may be because they get plenty of air to them.

Honestly, the worst part of the bilateral mastectomy was the 4 drainage tubes (2 on each side) that I had for 12 days. ?They were the large Jackson Pratt variety and very cumbersome. Once they came out......life was good again:) ?I did have some pain after the mastectomy but it wasn't horrible. ?The expansion process for me was not bad AT ALL. ?They filled the expanders with 200cc on each side the day of the mastectomies. ?Then on day 12 when I got the drains out, they started filling me weekly for about 2 months. ?A little pain the night of the fills, but very tolerable. ?If I was too sore that week, they would put in less the next week. ?I just had the surgery April 12th to remove the expanders and put in the implants. ?They also removed the "wings" on each side that I had left from the mastectomies. ?I had the surgery on Monday, was back to work Wednesday morning for a few hours and went to a ball game that night. It makes me sad to hear that some of the women on this board have had such a painful time with the expanders, but this has not been the case for me. ?

Good luck with everything and with your upcoming surgery!
Deb?
 
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564deb replied to TXGalBornNRaised's response:
I am a little confused after reading your post. ?I just had my silicone implants put in a few weeks ago. ?They put in a 800cc (I think) implant which is approximately a full C cup. ?I live in Ohio and my plastic surgeon told me that this is the largest silicone implant that is made and that they can put in. ?Saline implants come a little larger. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to be any bigger than a C cup, but I was confused when you said you got silicone implants that are D or DD. ?

Another question is why will your implants have to be replaced? I know that they can get a leak and need to be replaced, but I was told that they could also last 40 years or so. ?Well past the time I will need them.....ha!!

I also opted out of the tram flap procedure because of the length of the surgery and the length of recovery. ?I was also told that to replace both breasts (I had a bilateral), the amount of stomach tissue I had would leave me with very small B cup breasts.I suppose the result would have been larger if I were only doing one breast. ?Something to think about for anyone out there doing a bilateral and considering any of the flap procedures. ?He told me we could make them bigger than a small B by adding an implant also but I figured why go to all the time and trouble to do the flap surgery if we were just going to have to add an implant anyway. ?

I hope you can get your "wings" removed. ?It is so nice to have them gone!! ?My mother never removed hers after her bilateral mastectomy 14 years or so ago and she hates them. Especially in the summer with chafing,etc. ?

Deb


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