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I am 37 and underwent a bilateral mastectomy with a diep flap immediate reconstruction. The reconstruction is not complete, and I'm thinking of adding implants because I am very disappointed with the appearance. I am extremely depressed. advice?

By Anonymous January 23, 2009 - 9:45pm
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appearance of implants and diep flap reconstruction. I feel so unsure about everything and I am so disappointed with the initial results of surgery. Scars are not symetrical, tissue islands are not symetrical and too high, breasts are droopy. I was hoping for perky, but I feel disfigured. I am finding life difficult every day. See my plastic surgeon this week. What do I need to ask him? any suggestions?

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Expert HERWriter

Hi Anjie,

Maybe we can help you. There are videos I believe, we have on our site about the procedure you've just had done. Let me see if I can find them. It would be Dr. Jay Harness who's videos we would have on this procedure. He serves on our medical advisory board and is a wonderful human being as well as an amazing breast surgeon out of Orange County at St. Joe's.

Where do you live? If you live here in Az. I can help you with a fabulous doctor. If not, tell me where you live and let's see if we can find someone else for you to see to get a second opinion.

Let me see if I can get Dr. Harness to come on to post and give you some questions to ask your doctor.

Please don't get discouraged. I know it's easy to say and much harder to do, as you're looking at your breasts and not seeing what you thought or hoped you would.

Sounds like you are very disappointed and rightfully so. I just don't know about the recovery time and if things will change over time. Sometimes, swelling will cause things to not look the way they ultimately will look. It can take a while for things to calm down. You've had a lot of trauma to the area. Also, the scar can look much worse then it will when you've had some time to heal. I'm not making excuses or discounting how you feel. I know what you're feeling is real and painful. Please know that.

You've had major surgery and a very traumatic surgery, I might add. You are a very brave woman and clearly have great courage. For you to come to our site to even ask the question and share your disappointment is courageous.
Let's see what we can do to help you.

I'm going to have our Community manager, Tina, help you. As well as our videographer, Todd. They should know what videos we've captured and other women who've had the same procedure. We need to give you women, resources and doctors. That's what we do at EmpowHer. We need to do this for you.

Warmest regards,

January 24, 2009 - 11:08pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Michelle King Robson)

Thank you Michelle, I really appreciate all the help. I was feeling very alone and afraid. No one understood. I do have a BBC that I can call, and I haven't been able to make the support group that is 45 min away. I will when the weather gets better here (near Milwaukee, WI). I could not believe the overwhelming response of support I have recieved here! I was so very touched that so many people cared to respond. Much of what I am going through is emotional, and I know I need support. I found it here, and I am truly grateful. I am a registered nurse and I feel lost in this process. I feel misunderstood, and my concerns go unanswered because most people don't know what or how to comfort you. Knowledge is power, it is a way to feel more in control even when everything is out of your control. I just wish my doctor would make me feel more empowered, but he is so overbooked that I don't think he has time. Thank you for giving me your time and thoughts everyone. You don't know how this has helped me just feel heard. It has been 4 months since my surgery and I still feel devastated sometimes. I did saw my doctor yesterday and we are discussing implants, but I will not just jump into this. I am going to take the time getting empowered! Things are not all bad, I have beautiful symmetry and shape, just a little flat for me. I already feel better thanks to you and everyone that shared the caring and knowledge. What a wonderful site you have created.

January 30, 2009 - 4:20am

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August. On september 26th, 2007 I had the bil. mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using tissue from my abdomen to make the breast mounds. DIEP flap is deep inferior epigastric perforator, which describes the blood vessels harvested with the fat tissue in the abdomen. It has been about 4 months, and I am going to meet with my doctor this week to talk about adding implants. Does anyone know about this, or have any recommendations about implants. -not happy with reconstruction so far.

January 24, 2009 - 3:05pm
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