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Hi, Anjie,

I'm so sympathetic to your feelings. And I'm so happy you are here.

You underwent a traumatic diagnoses and a major surgery, and I'm sure recovery was difficult. By now you'd hoped to see much better results, and you haven't. That's so disappointing. But try not to give up -- I think that while it may take some more surgery, you ultimately can be happy with your final results.

Have you been happy with your doctor? And with the plastic surgeon you have for reconstruction? Do you feel that you can confide in one or both of them how you feel? Does each of them have a good bedside manner?

While we're waiting for our experts, I thought it might help you to see some pictures of completed DIEP flap reconstruction. Of course, the missing element here is that we don't know how long after surgery any of these photos were taken. Though I imagine that for doctors to put them up on the web, they are either finished with recovery or well into it. But I thought it might be good to have pictures to refer to when you see your doctor again. This first one (scroll down on the page) is from the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center (this was a left mastectomy):


Here is another woman who is clearly not as far along in her healing process (this was bilateral):


Here are several, from the website of the doctor who originated the procedure:


and here are several:


this is another before and after gallery:


and this is a forum with before and after pictures of all types:


What I am noticing from looking at these pictures with you is that while the breasts tend not to be perfectly symmetrical (like all breasts, lol), the reconstruction does tend to create two breasts that are similar in size, placement, coloring and nipple placement; also, that the scars do seem to fade very much with time. It seems like this is what you should be able to expect from your final results.

This is a blog written by a woman who is going through breast cancer and who writes about her diep flap reconstruction. She does not put pictures on the web but she does write about a dissatisfaction with one of her results and when it will be fixed:


Take care, Anjie, let us know where you live, and let's see if we can get you some more information.

January 26, 2009 - 10:16am


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