• Taking out the expanders after reconstruction

    Asked by Kqeen1958 on Monday, April 8, 2013

    Taking out the expanders after reconstruction

    I was a very strong person before cancer knocked me down. Now everything seems to bring fear to me. I just don't think I can take much more pain. ; )

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I'm sorry you had to join the b/c club. I'm there, too--in fact, I've been initiated twice. I read your journey and see you have both chemo and radiation coming up. I've had both--and I survived both. I agree that the waiting for chemo to start can be tortuous--but in the meantime, why not get ready for that first day by packing a chemo bag with everything you may want during chemo--some snacks, crossword puzzles, ipod, and comforter or quilt. I left mine in the hall closet and each chemo session, I'd just pull it out & it was ready to go. Plan what clothes you'll wear. Do you have a port? If so, plan to wear clothing so that your port is easily accessible to the nurses. Most people who've had both chemo and rads say that chemo is worse, and I agree. But this way, you will get done with the worst part first! That's GOOD.

      Radiation wasn't too bad for me. I didn't burn--some women don't--and really, going to get the radiation every weekday for 7 weeks was much more bothersome than the radiation treatment itself! Enlist the help of friends & family to take you to chemo and rads. I have been very open about my cancer and have found I have friends who have a curiosity about it. They've taken me to radiation & chemo and thus will be much better informed when cancer happens to someone they know.

      I don't know anything about expanders, since I'm planning on a DIEP flap recon in October. But if I can hold your hand through the computer or reassure you about chemo or radiation in any other way, don't hesitate to write to me. Good luck. We ALL care about you.

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I too wanted to rip the expanders out...they were so miserable....but the silicone implants are soooo very much more comfortable....if you can hang in there, it will be worth it..
      After my last fill, I was so miserable, I had my PS take 50cc out and it was better....why don't you talk to your PS and see what he/she can do to help....

      over 7 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      This next surgery is a relatively easy one after the Mx and expander. There's not so much sensation in the breasts, which helps. Hang in there, you are strong.

      over 7 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      That second surgery (removal of expanders/silicone implants) takes half the time of the mastectomy, there were no drains afterwards, and I had very little pain, needing only Tylenol for a couple days. So don't fear that procedure. It's a rough journey you're on but hopefully you can stay strong and get through it. I promise you there are better days ahead. Concentrate on your fight; realize that you are doing all you can do to beat this thing. The more courage you feel, the less fear you feel. That courage is in you.

      over 7 years ago
    • DorothyV's Avatar

      I know exactly how you feel. My exchange surgery was so much easier. It was outpatient, so I came home the same day. I had drains, but they came out a few days later. Just try to take it one day at a time, easier said than done! You are much stronger than you think. You can and will get through this. Praying all goes well for you :)

      over 7 years ago
    • Mel's Avatar

      I was thrilled to get my expanders taken out!... and that I didn't have to have drains again. It was an outpatient procedure. This was probably my easiest and less pain surgery (To me anyway) Hang in there you can do this!!.. Thinking of you... :)

      over 7 years ago
    • MarnieC's Avatar

      Do you live in a town that has access to meditation? I ask that because you mentioned the fear factor. Meditation helps you to access deeper parts of your mind and helps you to resolve the fear we often experience (especially after a cancer diagnosis). I highly recommend it - used it myself and still do. If you don't have access to a class, let me know, I have a course on my blog. Sending hugs to you from Denver.

      over 7 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      I went through expansion and had my last surgery to remove expanders and put in saline implants 11 months ago. Expansion was painful, constantly uncomfortable, felt like I was in a straight jacket for 6 months. But the final surgery was easier than the others and it was such a relief to be done with the process and have the rock hard expanders removed. I think my saline implants (double mastectomy) are firmer than silicone but I'm fine with them and I'll never have to wear a bra again - there are a few small benefits! Hang in there, you've been through so much but there is light at the end of it.

      over 7 years ago

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