1 year ago today I had my DIEP flap surgery.

 

I can not believe that it has been a year since my initial surgery.  This year has gone by so fast.  From being scared about this surgery, and now actually wishing I had known about the PALB2 gene earlier, I am so pleased with the results.  Just knowing that my chances of breast cancer are so much lower and not having to have 4 exams a year gives me a peace of mind that I never knew could happen.

I would like to thank my Doctors, Dr. Atilli (Oncologist), Dr. Jennifer Snow (breast surgeon) and especially Dr. Nabil Habash (DIEP Flap Reconstruction Surgeon).  They all have been so wonderful during this whole process.

I am so pleased with the results.  I am posting before and after pictures below and the difference is amazing.  I don’t miss my original breasts or big tummy at all.  My new girls are my breasts now and I could not be happier.

I see that people do read my blog, but not very many ask questions.  I will gladly answer any question about this surgery, from a patients perspective only.

There are a few things and suggestions that I have learned from trial and error about healing from this surgery.

  1.  Try to strengthen your CORE before surgery.  It helps with being able to get out of bed.  You can not use your arms at first so a strong CORE helps.
  2. Stay positive always.  Your body will heal and everyone heals differently and at a different time table.
  3. Bring clothes to the hospital that can be pulled up rather than down.  Your arms do not move easily and while pulling a shirt up (elastic neck) your arms can just stay by your side and not move much.  Loose stretch pants are the best while healing.
  4. Bring a lanyard with a velcro loop for all of the drains and Doppler Machine wires.  You can wind them up and put the loop around them.  Hanging them from your neck is so much easier on you.  You will use this many times while healing with drains and other machine wires.
  5. There are many sports bras that can be bought at a cheaper price and work very well.  Front zippers were the best for me.
  6. Wear a very thin and tight T Shirt, (with short sleeves and no pockets) under your support bras.  This keeps the edges of the bra from rubbing and hurting your very tender skin.
  7. There are many long line compression briefs that are very inexpensive you can purchase at ordinary stores.  (great for 2nd stage lipo recovery)
  8. If your Dr allows, stretch your arms.  They will be very tight and raising them overhead is painful and it needs to be stretched.
  9. All wounds will heal.  Some are very lucky to not have to do wound care, but it will all heal and the scars are not that bad.
  10. Love your new breasts and body.  They are not perfect, but most of us did not start out with perfect breasts and body.

Well I am winding down this blog.  I sure hope that it helps some people in making this decision and through their healing journey.  I will post additional pictures if I am able to loose the last 20 pounds that I have.  I am curious how weight loss will affect my new breasts.

 

Before and after pictures are below.  If these kinds of pictures bother you please do not view.

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Before surgery left side.JPG
Left side before Surgery
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Left side after surgery

 

Before Surgery Right side.png
Right side before surgery
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Right side after surgery
BS front.JPG
Front View before surgery
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Front view after surgery
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The new girls.
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Tummy scar after 1 year and my belly button.