• 4 weeks after a dbl mastectomy, I had to have one of my expanders removed, due to infection. How long until this can be replaced?

    Asked by siestaluvr on Saturday, December 29, 2012

    4 weeks after a dbl mastectomy, I had to have one of my expanders removed, due to infection. How long until this can be replaced?

    My plastic surgeon assured me this is a common occurrence. Has anyone else gone through this? I am lopsided - any ideas of what I can do about it until they replace missing expander? Many thanks

    3 Answers from the Community

    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      A family friend had that happen. She now has her second expander in. I think it was a month between surgeries. I think it's common no matter what, but more likely to happen if the person is a smoker (oops I just realized with her it was the skin that went necrotic, not just a straight infection)

      almost 4 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      This happened to me as well. I just had the left mastectomy, but the wound never really healed and I was facing chemo. So we removed the expander, I healed up quickly and started chemo. Then after chemo was done in August, I started radiation. That ended in October. I am still sensitive in the area and further healing is needed (radiation caused burns) My plastic surgeon is an expert in the DIEP method which takes tissue from the stomach and he is recommending for me in lieu of trying the expander again. He wants to let me heal and not undergo surgery until at least March. So, I am currently scheduled for April. In the meantime, I've continued to use surgery bras, with the fill in the one side. It is not the best solution, but I don't want to invest too much since it will be short term. I went on the TLC.com site and ordered waterproof fill as well so that I can use for swimming or working out (sweat). Helps alot. Also, since both sides are never even, I wear scarves to distract from that area a bit. A good bra with the right size fill works well. This too shall pass is my motto!

      almost 4 years ago
    • ConnieB's Avatar

      I recommend getting a prosthesis and a mastectomy bra. This prescription comes from your surgeon. I had the same experience within 4 weeks of my dbl. mastectomy also. My Surgeon told me it wasn't something she see's often. After the second surgery I had to have my radiation and wait 3 months after that before they would schedule reconstruction. It has been 12 months since saline expanders' were put in and 11 months since one was removed. I was supposed to have reconstruction to put in a new insert and start expansion in mid December but the plastic surgeon got the flu and vertigo the day of my surgery so it was rescheduled for March 22, 2013. The prosthesis and mastectomy bra make waiting bearable. Good luck to you.

      almost 4 years ago

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