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Diep flap reconstruction
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vajanie posted:
Hi ladies, I'm wondering if anyone would offer opinions,experiences about the Diep flap surgery. I'm scheduled July 10, still very conflicted, I have my pre-op appointment Monday the 1st. My plastic surgeon wanted me to see my neurosurgeon at University of Virginia who checks a brain aneurysm for me every two years, I did that last week, she thinks I'm fine for the surgery. My Onco DX score was very high, 93%, chemo supposedly lowered it to about 47%. I had a left mastectomy July 2012, wishing now I'd had a double mastectomy since my chances of recurrence are still pretty high. I'm having a mammogram July 5 on the right breast. Obviously if any cancer shows up I'd cancel the Diep flap surgery. I know that I'm the only one who can make the decision but just wondered if anyone has any thoughts on it. I'll mention that I'm 68 years old. My plastic surgeon said that he's had patients in their 80's.
Thanks for any input.

Janie
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rachael67 responded:
Janie, I can offer no information personally, but would suggest that you type in Diep Flap Surgery in the "Search This Community" box on the upper right side (NOT the top...down a little lower and to the right) I did and saw many, many posts discussing this issue. Hope this helps!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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cindy12345678 responded:
Janie,
only you can make the decision about reconstruction.
I am glad I did the reconstruction. I did implants and that
is very time consuming with expanders and then implants.
But they work for me. It is about how you feel about it.
Good luck with your decision.
Cindy
 
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brcansur responded:
Janie,
Hello, I like you let the nerves get to me before surgery and also start asking all kinds of questions. But that is not always a bad thing. I too am having surgery soon but mine is to get a port out not so big a deal lol. But I did have reconstructins and and asked a lot of questions just like you. I had implants put in and still ask questions of others. So you asking questions is very normal but at the same time only you can decide what is going to be best for you and what you are going to want to live with for the rest of your life. I do not know of anyone that has had this done personaly but have heard of one person in a group that was having it done and another telling her about the pain of the surgery. that is all I know about it sorry. Neither of them go to the group any more so I could not ask them how they are doing and how the surgery went for you. Maybe you could ask the Doctor if any of the people are willing to talk to you about it. Or ask in a group if any one has had it done. Like Rachael said go to the diep flap surgery community . I wish you the best of luck on everything good luck with the doctors visit and ask a lot of questions remember there is never a stypid question only the ones you don't ask. Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta
 
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JLAMB26 responded:
Janie:

I had Diep Flap reconstruction in December 2011. I had a wonderful surgeon and a good outcome. It is pretty major surgery and the recovery time can be lengthy depending on the person. I was in the hospital for 5 days and was moving slowly for another few weeks. I will mention that I was 42 at the time of surgery and in fairly good shape. I chose this option because it eliminated the foreign object in my body (an implant) and the process itself was much shorter (no expanders). Plus I had some "extra" tummy from the birth of my daughter the year before. My reconstruction looks natural and I'm happy with it. There are pro and cons to every type of reconstruction and what is best for one may not be for another. Good luck with your decision. Jennifer
 
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kiwiallright responded:
HI Janie,

I had DIEP Flap reconstruction, glad I did it, I did not want implants, I have had no problems with it. I am not as big as I use to be but the first words when I woke and was thank you as it worked and I had cleavage. My recovery was not that bad, I could not stand straight for at least ten days, I was told to walk, walk and walk of which I did. I had a jogging stroller and off I would go, no baby in it, just a rock to keep it weighted, truly believe all the walking helped me. My surgery was quite long as we did both sides...... I hope that things work out that you can have the surgery.....

Good Luck
 
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vajanie replied to kiwiallright's response:
Hello and thanks to all who shared their experiences and suggestions. I am one week from the surgery and of course am questioning my decision all the time now. My doctor thinks this is the surgery that will give me the best result. I was mortified when he had me stand in front of him while he felt my stomach. He said "Oh good, we have plenty to work with here". He estimates the surgery will take 8 hours. I had my pre-op appointment on Monday at Duke and everything went fine there. I guess the problem was that while I've had lots of surgery, I've never had one that's elective. It's always been necessary.
My mastectomy went all the way to the chest wall, with sentinel nodes removed as well, and it would be very nice to have a breast there. One thing I don't understand still is how they check that breast (the new one) for a recurrence in the surrounding areas. Can they still do a mammogram?
You can probably see just how conflicted I am.
Again, thanks to all and best wishes to every one of you. Anyone else having this heavy rain? I'm in Virginia and we're starting to have some sinkholes open up.

Janie
 
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brcansur replied to vajanie's response:
Janie,
hello, I am so glad that you got some answer from others that have had the surgery that you are getting and had good outcomes that is great. I am sending all good vibes and wishes your way you will be fine just stay positive and think ahead when it is all done and you have those nice young perky boobies !!!
Now about that rain yes it is still raining here also and flash floods every place and even raods washing out and away bridges doing the same all around me. I am staying in any way can't drive for about a week due to the port removal surgery oh it went well feeling some pain today since all the drugs wore off awww !!! lol.lol. I am so happy it is gone finally and I had no issues with the surgery they took me in at 8:45 was out sleeping by 8 and back in room and signing paper to go home by 9:15 a.m so not bad at all. Now just taking it easy for the rest of the week. A little sore today can feel it when pressing the keys but not to bad. So wont be on here for to long or sending to many post out. have a great day and hopefully not any more rain angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta
 
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JLAMB26 replied to vajanie's response:
Janie:

I have follow-up MRI's on my DIEP flap reconstructed breast and surrounding areas. That is how my recent reoccurance was caught so early. I still have mamograms for the other breast also along with self exams. I recommend discussing an after care plan with surgeon and oncologist. They may have other options for you.

Jennifer
 
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vajanie replied to JLAMB26's response:
Roberta,

I am so glad your surgery is over and that you're feeling better. Glad you're taking it easy and hope the soreness lessens. I'll be thinking of you.

Janie
 
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vajanie replied to vajanie's response:
Jennifer,
Thank you for your input, it was reassuring to actually hear from someone who has actually had a mammogram on the reconstructed breast. I'm sorry to hear about your recurrence. Do you have a treatment plan already? I'll be thinking of you and wishing the best for you.

Janie
 
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JLAMB26 replied to vajanie's response:
Thanks Janie. I had chemo earlier this year and completed radiation treatments a few weeks ago. I'm on the upswing! Sending good thoughts your way also:)
Jennifer
 
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vajanie replied to JLAMB26's response:
I'm so glad you've finished your treatment and doing well. And I appreciate your input.
I now have another worry about the surgery and little time to talk with my surgeon. I'll add that it's difficult to reach his office. My sister had the appointment with the breast surgeon yesterday, and he outlined two treatment options depending on the results of genetic testing which he wants her to have right away. If the test is positive his advice is to have a double mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy. If it is negative, then it's a lumpectomy, radiation and possible chemo. She was diagnosed Stage IA, triple negative with an Onco DX score of 35, so her chances of recurrence are pretty high.
My question now is whether I should have the surgery at this time. I had my mammogram yesterday on my remaining breast so don't know results yet. I am wondering if I should wait and find out the results of my sister's test and if it is positive then have a right side mastectomy and look at reconstruction later. My Onco DX score was 93%, which I know is sky high.My thinking is that it doesn't make sense to have the reconstruction and then possibly have a mastectomy. I'd either end up with one breast, just opposite to what I have now, or undergo two long surgeries. I have a brain aneurysm and am not sure my neurosurgeon would be ok with two Diep flap procedures.
Anyway, I'll stop for now, as you can see I'm agonizing over this and very sad for my sister. She's a triplet so her diagnosis has dire repercussions for the other two. They are identical and so are considered genetically identical.
Thanks to all of you who listen to me, that's what it feels like.
Best wishes and good thoughts to all,
Janie
 
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JLAMB26 replied to vajanie's response:
So sorry you are going through this. My only input is to only do only what you are comfortable with. Your reconstruction can be done at any time if you are not 100% confident in your decision. Only you know what you feel in your heart is right. Sending good thoughts and hugs:)
Jennifer
 
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vajanie replied to JLAMB26's response:
Jennifer, thanks for your reply, you were right, I had to pay attention to what in my heart was the right thing to do. I ended up emailing my surgeon directly, and he answered in nine minutes. I was astounded. He sent a very kind message, in essence saying that he thought I should wait for surgery until my sister's condition is known and things have settled down. I feel very relieved so I guess that's what I wanted to hear.
Again, thanks for your input and good wishes.
Janie


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