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Has anyone had DIEP (using belly fat) breast reconstruction that can share their story of the surgery and recovery?

Kristine Fonseca Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Stage 2A Patient almost 6 years
 
  • dorothy harder Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I havent had my reconstruction yet but I was thinking about this procedure. Because its all your own tissue. I just am hesitant cuz it seems you are getting so chopped up. But in the long run you'll have less infections or complications--so I'm told.
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Hi Dorothy. Based on the literature i received on this procedure, it is a 15 hour surgery, with 5 days in the hospital and approx. 2 months recovery. I'm just not sure i want to put myself and my body through all of that. I will need to have a...

      more

      Hi Dorothy. Based on the literature i received on this procedure, it is a 15 hour surgery, with 5 days in the hospital and approx. 2 months recovery. I'm just not sure i want to put myself and my body through all of that. I will need to have a double mastectomy and my ovaries removed. So, not sure if this type of surgery will affect the ovary surgery. Still researching. I will share more info as i get it. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Teresa Sewell Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I just had a TRAM two weeks ago. It was 5 hrs with a 3 day hospital stay. The decision should take into account your age, mental stability, accessibility to good care, and family support. My husband told me to do what I wanted to do. This is still...

      more

      I just had a TRAM two weeks ago. It was 5 hrs with a 3 day hospital stay. The decision should take into account your age, mental stability, accessibility to good care, and family support. My husband told me to do what I wanted to do. This is still tough mentally. But physically, I feel I am becoming whole again. Honestly, and maybe a bit comical, I actually like my new breast better than my original one! It looks like a barbie doll. I have to wait a few months before I get the follow up surgery. Ultimately, you must do what feels right. Perhaps you will feel more comfortable in another few months. This is your decision and regardless of you choice, you are still a beautiful survivor!

      almost 6 years Flag
    • dorothy harder Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Is a tram the same as fat grafting?

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Christin Waleski-Kirby Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had my DIEP last year on 1/26 and I love the end results. My surgery was 13 hours but that did not matter to me since I was asleep the whole time (lol). I was in ICU for 2 or 3 days and then to progressive care (step down) for about 2 days and...

      more

      I had my DIEP last year on 1/26 and I love the end results. My surgery was 13 hours but that did not matter to me since I was asleep the whole time (lol). I was in ICU for 2 or 3 days and then to progressive care (step down) for about 2 days and general for 2 to 3 days... My days might be wrong I know like at 7pm one night i was trans to progressive care from ICU. I am not sure if I was well medicated for my pain control. I know they do that for all patients not just me because I work as a RN at the Hospital where I had the surgery done. When I had mine done it was only being done at teaching hospitals which means you have to use a univeristery to have this done. I love the end results because my breast feel real, and yes there is some scaring but my mastectomy scares were used and then my c section scar was going to be used but for some reason my belly is higher than most and so I have a second scar but no worries because I do not wear a binki plus I do not care. I love it and have learned with sunlight my scars lose that red purplish now I just need to find a topless beach!!!! LOL! please let me know if you have more questions..... the tram and diep are different the tram is just fat and the diep is fat and blood vessles... both you get a tummy tuck

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Check out this link. Within the post there is also a link to the booklet she mentions that describes her DIEP surgery from pre-op through recovery, http://breastreconstructionnetwork.com/breast-cancer-survivor-shares-reconstruction-success-story/

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Thanks for sharing this link! It's great!

      almost 6 years Flag
  • Erin Ely Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    My Mom had a double mastectomy with a DIEP flap repair on Feb 1st. It was a 10 hour surgery in all. She spent one night in ICU and the three nights on the regular floor. She has had very little pain, the six drains bothered her more than anything. She does fatigue easily but she is getting stronger everyday. They did not have to use any muscle for the flap so she maintains her abdominal strength. Also, she has no lymphadema due to only two nodes removed during the sentinel node biopsy. At her fist post op visit, five of the six drains were removed. I encourage women to consider this surgery if given the option. Yes, the surgery is long, but she will look amazing and be cancer free when all is said and done. I am Han RN and have been very pleased with her healing and progress. If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me.
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Erin, Thank you so much for sharing and providing me with very valuable information! I will definitly have some great questions for my plastic surgeon now!

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Erin Ely Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      You must remember that the mastectomy and flap repair is the first stage of the reconstruction. You will not look finished, so do not let that shock you too much. My Mother's doctor told her that this is an 8 month process and the end result is...

      more

      You must remember that the mastectomy and flap repair is the first stage of the reconstruction. You will not look finished, so do not let that shock you too much. My Mother's doctor told her that this is an 8 month process and the end result is beautiful. I feel so blessed to get to help my Mother through this process and I am happy to provide comfort and support to others going through this. Just remember that this is affects family and friends and please let those around you provide care to you and your loved ones. Take care!

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Yes, i am aware of the long process. That's one of the reasons I'm hesitant to have this done. I have a great support group and a fantastic husband who has endured this journey right by my side. Thanks again Erin and I wish your mom all the best.

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Sherri Mercer Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      How old was your mom if you didn't mind me asking

      5 months Flag
    • Erin Ely Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sherri, my Mom was 61. She's been in remission since the surgery...she did have to complete chemo after she healed as her tumor was HER-2 positive.

      5 months Flag
  • Karen Locklear Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I am having re-construction and they are doing what is called Fat Cell Graphing. They are taking fat cells from my lower abodomen (like lipo-suction) and then inserting it into my little bit of breast tissue left from my lumpectomy. I have had this done twice. Now he is going to do the implant and match my other breast to this one hopefully without having to move any muscle. He said he would not be but a 2-3 hour surgery to finish it up. Please keep me posted on what you do. My email address is khlocklear7259@yahoo.com.
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Hi Karen, Thank you for sharing your experiences. I will definitly keep you posted. I have make my decsion in the next couple of weeks.

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Roxanna Sanchez Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2008

      You're brave Karen. I had a little bit of that done and it was painful, but I would do it again. Fight on sister!

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Karen Locklear Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank you both. My next surgery will be to finish it all up. I just pray he doesn't have to pull muscle from my back. Can't pull from my stomach area because I have lymphadeama in my trunk!!!! Thank you for listening!!!

      almost 6 years Flag
  • Christin Waleski-Kirby Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I had my DIEP last year on 1/26 and I love the end results. My surgery was 13 hours but that did not matter to me since I was asleep the whole time (lol). I was in ICU for 2 or 3 days and then to progressive care (step down) for about 2 days and general for 2 to 3 days... My days might be wrong I know like at 7pm one night i was trans to progressive care from ICU. I am not sure if I was well medicated for my pain control. I know they do that for all patients not just me because I work as a RN at the Hospital where I had the surgery done. When I had mine done it was only being done at teaching hospitals which means you have to use a univeristery to have this done. I love the end results because my breast feel real, and yes there is some scaring but my mastectomy scares were used and then my c section scar was going to be used but for some reason my belly is higher than most and so I have a second scar but no worries because I do not wear a binki plus I do not care. I love it and have learned with sunlight my scars lose that red purplish now I just need to find a topless beach!!!! LOL! please let me know if you have more questions..... the tram and diep are different the tram is just fat and the diep is fat and blood vessles... both you get a tummy tuck
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      christin, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story! It was very helpful. I have to make a decision in the next couple of weeks to have the DIEP or TRAM, or have implants instead. Congratulations on your successful story!

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Debbie Carss Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank you for sharing that information about DIEP as I am going to have mine done I am hoping in Dec this year. I had a double mastectomy one year 9 months ago, not that I am counting. Still having trouble with my memory at times on Tamoxifen and...

      more

      Thank you for sharing that information about DIEP as I am going to have mine done I am hoping in Dec this year. I had a double mastectomy one year 9 months ago, not that I am counting. Still having trouble with my memory at times on Tamoxifen and looking at stopping this due to side effects. This site I think is heaven and has help me heaps. So thanks to everyone.

      over 5 years Flag
    • Sherri Mercer Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      What kind of side effects can you get from tamoxifen? I am 48 and I am already starting menopause due to chemotherapy. I have 2 more treatments left. Had a double mastectomy in march 2017. Will have reconstructive surgery march 2018. Is been...

      more

      What kind of side effects can you get from tamoxifen? I am 48 and I am already starting menopause due to chemotherapy. I have 2 more treatments left. Had a double mastectomy in march 2017. Will have reconstructive surgery march 2018. Is been a scary ride. Someone told me they had to come off tamoxifen because it put them in full blown menopause very fast.

      I really want to do DIEP.

      5 months Flag
  • Sherri Mercer Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Sorry Kristine I did realize I put my question in the answer part😲
    5 months Comment Flag
  • Beth Marlow Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Hi, I had the diep procedure done in Oct of 2011 had done on a wed and went home on sun. It was a 10 hour procedure but i love my results. I took the pain pills for about a week and then switched to advil and was driving 2 weeks to the day after my procedure. I went back to work after 6 weeks with mild discomfort but advil helped with that. Did have to wait to the 3 month mark to begin exercising again and around the 15th week am able to exercise 5 days a week ( treadmill, yoga, and spinning!). In 2 weeks will have my second surgery to do adjustments. Good luck and i would recommend this procedure.
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Hi Beth, Thank you so much for the positive feedback! Congratulations on such a great recovery. Just curious, did you have both breast done or just one? I have to have both removed.(and my ovaries removed (later)).

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Beth Marlow Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I only had one but the best thing is that I came out of surgery with the same look, they removed the tissue and replaced from my stomach tissue. Having it all done at once was the best thing and as someone else mentioned the drains where the most...

      more

      I only had one but the best thing is that I came out of surgery with the same look, they removed the tissue and replaced from my stomach tissue. Having it all done at once was the best thing and as someone else mentioned the drains where the most annoying of it all, I had 3 in all.

      almost 6 years Flag
  • Sherri Mercer Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I haven't had the surgery yet, I thinking about but I am looking for advice and what people experienced during and after. I'm nervous. I had a double mastectomy on march 9, 2017, had expanders put in. I just want to make the right decision, no regrets, I mean chemotherapy has been awful but it's over in September.
    5 months Comment Flag
  • Roxanna Sanchez Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2008
    I had a TRAM flap done using my belly fat. It was a 10 hour surgery for one breast. My breasts are normally big so that is why it took longer. I have had a total of 3 reconstructive surgeries (1 tram, 2 revisions) and I am done. Next is the nipple reconstruction and the tattooing. It has been a long road and sometimes painful, but I love the results and couldn't be happier. Be prepared for pain, take your pain meds and get lots of help if you can. It is worth it. God Bless you as you continue to become stronger!
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Kristine Fonseca Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Hi Roxanna, thank you so much for sharing. Your comments will help me in making my decision.

      almost 6 years Flag

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