• I'm having difficulty with my incision closing 7wks post op. Surgeons deflated the expander twice (now flat) and the weight is causing pain

    Asked by Canto on Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    I'm having difficulty with my incision closing 7wks post op. Surgeons deflated the expander twice (now flat) and the weight is causing pain

    there is talk that they may remove the expander so the incision can heal, do the 16 week chemo, radiation and then back with the expander. No thank you! Has anyone else gone through this?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • Jenjen's Avatar

      Hi there. I have felt your pain and lived to tell and now have lovely, if not the same at all, new tatas.

      Lets face it expanders suck and are painful, period. A good PS appreciates this, and will tell you so. My incision didn't close well. From my 3/9 mast to my 4/25 re excision surgery, I was trying anything the surgeon suggested, to. No avail. After my re excision surgery, which was basically to get in there, clean it out and re close it, he used surgical tape which stayed on beatifically for 4 weeks and I could shower easily, and I had no re issues. If you can, I would avoid removing the expander unless you have no choice and or do not want reconstruction, as you ultimately will have to go through it again, unless your PS is willing to do a direct to implant surgery with you, which is extremely rare and based on re surgical tata size, skin quality and skin taught ends as well as other factors. Let me know how you do and hang in there. A year later, I am very happy and feel great and even sleep on my tummy again!!!!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      Yes! The same happened to me.. my situation is not yet resolved. I had my mastectomy and expander done at the same time last Feb 29. It was also not healing and I needed to start chemo. So after trying to deflate and even restitch twice, my surgeon finally said we are getting close to being outside the window to go to chemo so we needed to take the expander out. That was done in an outpatient surgery. Then I did strong anitbotics, had a some drains, but began to feel better almost immediately. Now I have a misformed looking left side, also, have lots of scar tissue in there. and the DIEP surgery scheduled for April.. Personally, I still have not 100% decided to do DIEP or try to go back to the expander. I did the radiation, after chemo and now take the tamoxifen. I use the mastectomy bra with the fill on the one side to even me out. Not really a problem. I still have yet to make the decision, but for now, I'm deformed with scar tissue. But, no pain, and everything was just checked out, ultrasound and all and I'm healthy.. so that is the important thing. Just focus on getting healthy now. Best to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar

      I had extensive lymph node removal with a modified radical mastectomy, immediate expander placement. Within two weeks an infection had begun. After much useless treatment by plastic surgeon a flight attendant with family experience in breast cancer looked at my red hot swollen weeping chest and said "Get to an emergency room immediately." I did, two weeks of twice daily antibiotic infusions through my port commenced. I then had a second surgery to remove the expander and all affected chest skin, scar sewed to my muscle, healed, had a very long delay to chemo. Don't mess with reconstruction difficulties. Get the chemo, radiation, and then make that decision. Given my poor prognosis and the fact that due to the extensive skin removal, I would need another body part sewed onto my chest I did not opt for any further attempt at reconstruction, also, the lymphedema I developed due to all the lymph node removal made the idea of reconstruction unwise. Read up, a surprising number of failures in the journey to reconstruction for some women. Not the easy breazy journey the press portrays. Good luck, God bless,

      over 3 years ago

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