• Lifting my arms above my head, etc.

    Asked by nonnie917 on Sunday, February 17, 2013

    Lifting my arms above my head, etc.

    I had part of my reconstruction (flap transplant from lower belly) surgery on the 4th of February. Because the flaps were so small I have to have implants as well. I think I get my implants around April or so. In the meantime, I was told NOT to put my arms above my head, sleep on my stomach or let anything heavy press against my breasts such as a grandchild. Well, at some point and time during the night last night I removed all my special pillows and woke up a couple of times to find myself with one or the other arm above my head as I slept on it and another time I woke up finding I was sleeping on my stomach. That is when I got up and went downstairs to sleep in the recliner. Does anyone know if I might have caused myself damage that might show up later? I am really scared that I may have harmed my upper body, especially the flaps that were transplanted from my lower belly. Can't call the Dr., he's out for the next week. Don't know what to do or who to ask. Can anyone help?

    2 Answers from the Community

    • nancyjac's Avatar

      If you are not feeling any pain and the transplanted flap is not discolored, you are fine. I had the same procedure, not for reconstruction but because my wound from my mastectomy was too large to close without transplanting a flap from my abdomen. The major concern with any type of transplant is establishing an adequate blood supply so the transplanted tissue does not die (necrosis). In the first couple of weeks after surgery, movement or pressure that causes strain on the transplant can effect that blood supply. If you have not had any problems with it since the surgery, that blood supply should be well established by now and raising your arms, lifting weight, or some pressure against your chest within reason should not be a problem.

      If it eases your mind, call your doctor's office. I'm sure he has a backup that can discuss this with you while he is out.

      over 3 years ago
    • Momofivedcisbc's Avatar

      I had a diep flap reconstuction after a double mastectomy for dcis breast cancer in the right breast and fibroidadenoma in the left breast. My surgery was September 19, 2012. I was amazed that after sleeping in the recliner for the first two weeks after surgery, I too went to sleep in my own king size bed, and slept like a baby. I sometimes found myself with my arms over my head and also had rolled over to my stomach. I did everything that I could to put pillows around me to my left and to my right to try to keep myself on my back. These are all precautionary measures so we do not stretch our internal stitches. I even put a pillow on my stomach and would fold my hands to try to keep them together. I sometimes would prop my head up with 3 pillows so it would discourage me from rolling. I was pretty numb from my chest to my belly button and needed to try to take it easy. I healed exceptionally well and my plastic surgeon kept saying be careful and cautious. I am all healed. Try not to be anxious or worry, do as much as you can to prevent the non recommended activity but remember we are on a healing journey and everyone is different. Slow and steady. Talk to your doctors when they get back in the office. You are probably going to be o.k. try to Relax. I am so.... glad that you are not feeling pain. That would be the first sign that something is wrong.

      over 3 years ago

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