Reconstruction using stomach fat/tissue

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Hi I need to decide on reconstruction.  How long has it taken to recover from the abdomen surgery for reconstruction.  I'm just not sure I can handle the recovery.  Thanks in advance x

  • Hi Joanne, I am nearly two years past my diep reconstruction now, had it in jan 2022. As with all these things it depends person to person but my experience was the first week was really uncomfortable, week two I was slow about the house and not great with ‘bending’ jobs such as dishwasher, etc. but I was gently walking my own dog and able to do things to maintain life Rofl I’m a single parent so had to get on with it. The first month was a challenge but it’s surprising how you do manage, then gradually I just got better and better. I’d say just give yourself time to get better, don’t cut corners or rush back to work if you don’t have to. 12 weeks after the operation I went back to work as an LSA in a primary school which is a busy role and I was fine. I’ve never regretted having the diep, I’ve got a good outcome, it’s never the same as your own breast but it looks and feels natural and gains and looses weight as I do which is a big plus for me. Plus, you get a flat tummy which again, at 52, I’m grateful for. Happy to answer any other questions and if you click on my name you’ll find out more about my experiences. Good luck xx

  • Thanks so much, that's really useful.  Glad your doing well x

  • Another plus especially if you are young is not having to get new implants and other issues.  Here in US implants are the most common but I think if younger women demand DIEP it will become more mainstream.  Just my thoughts.  
    Glad you are doing well.
    Barbara

    Barbara 

  • Hi,

    I had a DIEP a few years ago. Recovery is very doable. You feel fine post op but just have to take things slowly for a few weeks ie put your feet up on the sofa. The first couple of weeks post op you will be slow but after that things improve rapidly. Wear support knickers 24/7 to begin with as it really helps with the abdominal surgery. The end results are amazing and certainly worth the hassle.XXXxxx

  • Hi Joanne

    I agree with Moresleep that recovery is very doable.

    I am now 6 weeks post-op. I am almost 65. I felt well enough to travel to Austria at 4 weeks post op.

    My abdominal scar has healed to a very thin scar. I did masses of exercise, but kept abdo wound supported with micropore bandage and support pants. I am still wearing the support pants and have s very well healed scar and flat tummy. 

    I have had some problems with  a "ROCK HARD FAKE TITI"  as my daughter calls my new boob!

    The circulation and drainage in the reconstructed boob is poor.  At 11 days post op it became like a rock and sore. I was advised to massage it and do more exercises to get the blood flowing better. 

    At 7 weeks post op I am still trying to exercise 2-3 times a day and massage 4 times a day. I also still need to rest twice a day and take analgesics.

    The reconstructed boob is slightly less rock- like. I need to continue with the above routine or I get a ROCK HARD FAKE TITI again.

    X x

  • I am down for my op on 19thDec.  No one has mentioned rock hard titi as a risk. What causes it please?

  • Hi what sort of support knickers do you recommend? Are they just ordinary light support pants or something more specialised,? No one has mentioned them yet Thinking

  • Hi.  Thanks for your advice.  Saw plastics yesterday and I xant have a diep. I've not got quite enough belly fat! Also I've had surgery on opposite breast and if I relapse on right side, they would prefer to reconstruct the same way, si I've got to have an implant using back fat which I'd been previously told there wasn't enough of.  Still waiting for a surgery date.  At least I will have less down time x. Thanks and look after yourself x

  • It's because the new breast is made up of the flap of fat with the DIEP blood vessels. The DIEP vein and artery are cut off in the abdomen and attached to blood vessels coming out of the aorta. However all the little capillary blood vessels get disturbed in the move from abdomen to new breast. I was told by one of the plastic surgeons that they "anchor" the capillaries in the new breast. It can take time for the capillaries to settle in and establish good blood supply and drainage.

    In my case I got a rock hard breast on day 12 post-op and at 8 weeks post op I still have it.  What makes it better is massage to the breast and exercise. 

    However, it is worth asking keeping dressings or plasters on the wound so any massage does not pull it apart. 

    I am really delighted with the result of the operation despite the issue with ROCK HARD FAKE TITI.

    I hope yours goes really well.

    X x

  • I was advised to buy ASDA, George high waisted spanks in a size bigger than my normal. ( To allow for the natural swelling you get post op) Actually the George knickers are a generous size, so I just bought my  size, size 16.

    I cut them at the front of the crutch and inserted velcro to make it easier to go to the loo post op.

    However the velcro is uncomfortable so I wish I hadn't put it into all my support knickers. I still want to wear them during the day to support my abdo scar.