Dr. David Chandler, You’re Superb

I’m together with earlier than and after footage of my breast most cancers on this publish, together with a couple of current publish op footage. 

In the event you assume that this publish may hassle you, you might need to skip this one.

Tomorrow I’ll submit about soup. You’ll be able to come again then!

The most important Thank You ever to Dr. David Chandler with Kansas College Plastic Surgeons.

Do you assume that he has any concept in any respect of what he’s doing for ladies with breast most cancers? Perhaps. I’m gonna inform him at my appointment on Friday.

I plan to hug him so tight, he explodes. You already know what? I’m nonetheless tender. I’ll have Mike hug him. Mike did say that he needs to hug him too.

My aim on this publish is to be as informative as I may be in a tasteful method. I would like individuals to know what their choices are if recognized with breast most cancers. 

I really feel compelled to share my story.

I discovered lots of consolation in with the ability to view photograph’s on-line and in my docs workplace. It gave me clear expectations and it helped me to know what inquiries to ask.

I hope that my footage are useful in case you are confronted with making comparable selections that I’ve needed to make during the last a number of months.

That being stated….

Wow. What a two weeks it has been. I’m 17 days publish op and I actually wasn’t positive what to anticipate submit surgical procedure. I can say that I’ve felt a lot better than I anticipated to really feel and that I’ve skilled a lot much less ache than I used to be anticipating. Yay!

Sarcastically, probably the most discomfort that I’ve had has been in my decrease again, and that’s just because standing up straight after a tummy tuck is a sluggish course of, however in one other week or so, I ought to be upright!

I’ll write yet one more publish on simply how superior my husband and daughter have been over the previous few weeks, and what an necessary position they’ve each performed in my restoration. I do not know how I might have gotten via all of this with out them. It has been so candy to observe them work collectively to look after me. A lot love occurring right here proper now.



On July twenty first I was recognized with breast most cancers in my left breast. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) , Grade 1 Stage 1. Estrogen Receptor Constructive.

On August thirty first, I had a Pores and skin Sparing Bilateral Mastectomy. Based mostly on my analysis, I used to be capable of maintain my breast pores and skin, however not my nipples.

After my mastectomy, my pathology report confirmed precancerous cells in my proper breast. A special sort of breast most cancers. Lobular Carcinoma in situ (LCIS).

For me, the choice to have a double mastectomy was a very good selection.

Now what?

  • Getting the information that I had most cancers was scary as hell. 
  • Figuring out that I might perpetually lose my breast has been extraordinarily emotional. (They have been too giant and unattractive, however they have been part of me they usually have been mine.)
  • Discovering the potential of having new breast comprised of my our bodies personal tissue was fascinating.

My DIEP Flap surgical procedure was on December 14th and lasted 10.5 hours.

In the event you learn my weblog recurrently, then you could already know what a DIEP Flap surgical procedure is, however in case you are new to the weblog, DIEP Flap surgical procedure is breast reconstruction surgical procedure for breast most cancers sufferers who’ve had a mastectomy. To be a candidate for the DIEP flap surgical procedure, you should have giant sufficient blood vessels to do the tissue switch and also you should have sufficient stomach fats that may permit a genius plastic surgeon to provide you a tummy tuck, then switch your tummy tissue to your chest and make breast for you! Significantly, its GENIUS!! Click on HERE for an superior and brief, however extra detailed description of what DIEP Flat surgical procedure is.

A CT Scan is required previous to surgical procedure to ensure you have blood vessels giant sufficient that the surgeon can use them to make the tissue switch a hit. Since I had my CT a number of weeks in the past, and by no means heard that I’ll not be a candidate for the surgical procedure, I had no considerations. Nicely, truly, I did have one concern. Even when the surgical procedure is carried out efficiently, there’s a slight probability that over the primary seventy two hours, the blood won’t stream correctly and the tissue can die. That is uncommon, however it could possibly occur. I actually wasn’t involved about this.

Only a week previous to my surgical procedure, my surgeon informed me that he was unsure if my surgical procedure was going to be a hit or not based mostly on taking a look at my blood vessels within the CT Scan. He stated that one aspect may work, and the opposite aspect was actually quesrionable.

Since I actually didn’t need implants, this information got here as a little bit of a shock to me. Now I had new selections that I needed to make going into surgical procedure in case the surgical procedure didn’t work.

I made a decision that if neither aspect labored, that he might then use implants. I knew that if I didn’t like them after a number of months, then they could possibly be eliminated.

I had additionally determined that if just one aspect would work, then I needed him to do the one aspect and provides me an implant within the different aspect. This was a troublesome determination and for some cause, tremendous emotional for me. I needed my breast to match. It appeared unusual to do one breast DIEP Flap and the opposite breast be an implant. However, the extra I considered issues, I put myself at age 60, sixty five, 70 and older. I considered how I’d really feel about my physique years down the street. I knew that if an implant wanted to be eliminated for some cause on the age of say 70, then I could be okay with being flat on one aspect at that age figuring out that my breast on the opposite aspect was all me.

It’s a really private selection, and one which I assumed lengthy and exhausting about (one night whereas standing within the bathe sobbing for over an hour). I wanted readability on my determination, and as soon as I made up my thoughts about what my choices have been and what I might be proud of, I felt good about shifting ahead.

I didn’t like understanding that I wouldn’t know something till I awoke from surgical procedure, however I did go into surgical procedure feeling comfortable with the choices that I had made.

The week earlier than surgical procedure, I used to be just a little extra emotional than I had anticipated. Understanding you’re going into a ten hour surgical procedure, and the danger concerned, is a tad scary. I didn’t need to vocalize my fears with my household as a result of I didn’t need them to have these fears in the event that they didn’t have already got them. It was a tough few days.

I do know for my husband and daughter, these hours spent within the ready room made for one of many longest days ever. They got updates as surgical procedure moved alongside. At one level, they have been advised that one aspect was a hit and that they have been shifting ahead with making an attempt to do the opposite aspect. Then they have been ultimately up to date that each side have been a hit they usually have been ending up. Ten and a half hours later, surgical procedure was full.

The image under is of a single breast DIEP Flap. I might NOT discover an illustration of a double DIEP Flap, so whereas this can be a nice image to point out what this process entails, take into account that I had each breast executed they usually used all of my stomach tissue. No muscle is eliminated on this process.

The image on the fitting with the pink arrow, exhibits a soccer formed pores and skin paddle. (That’s what they name it, a pores and skin paddle.) The pores and skin paddle is the stomach pores and skin on the breast after the DIEP flap has been accomplished.

The pores and skin paddle is monitored for seventy two hours within the ICU after surgical procedure to make it possible for the blood vessels are pumping blood and that the tissue switch is a hit. With the pores and skin paddle seen, they’re able to search for any discoloring within the pores and skin. The pores and skin begins to show darkish if the tissue is dying. Not good.

Previous to surgical procedure, I requested Dr. Chandler to point out me precisely on my physique the place I might see the stomach pores and skin on my breast. I had checked out a number of footage on the web and in his workplace of a accomplished DIEP flap, and I wasn’t loopy about the best way that my breast would look publish surgical procedure. Don’t get me flawed. VERY glad to probably have new breast made with my very own tissue, however I needed as little scaring as attainable, if it was an choice. It by no means hurts to ask!

I requested Dr. Chandler if we might make my pores and skin paddle a circle as an alternative of a soccer form. The ultimate stage of a DIEP flap is nipple reconstruction or a nipple tattoo. I needed to know if my “pores and skin paddle” could possibly be the form of a circle in order that every thing would look nearly as good because it might for the ultimate part. I had appear some footage of “pores and skin paddles” that seemed extra like circles than footballs, and different pores and skin paddles that basically had no form in any respect, so it appeared like an applicable query. Proper?

He then proceeded to inform me that he may have the ability to do the surgical procedure on me with out utilizing the “pores and skin paddle”. 


He stated that he might put the stomach tissue beneath my breast pores and skin and probably not use the stomach pores and skin in any respect. He stated that there was a means that he might connect a really small wire to my stomach tissue underneath my present breast pores and skin and that wire can be related to doplar extremely sound machine that might monitor my transferred tissue.

If he might do that, then he wouldn’t have to visibly see the “pores and skin paddle” in any respect.


This may make an enormous distinction for my scars and the way I might perpetually view my new breast!

Oh, I additionally had requested my breast surgeon (totally different physician) for a vertical incision with my mastectomy. I had checked out a number of footage of vertical and horizontal incisions on mastectomies and I favored the look of the vertical incisions. She agreed to do as I had requested and my plastic surgeon agreed that my outcomes can be visibly higher after my DIEP flap with a vertical incision. Significantly, It by no means hurts to ask!

Not solely did I get up from surgical procedure to find that I had two new breast created from my very own tissue, however Dr. Chandler was capable of do my surgical procedure with out seen pores and skin paddles! I used to be a cheerful mess.

The primary seventy two hours after surgical procedure are probably the most essential. That is when the tissue switch is monitored hourly within the ICU to make sure that the switch is a hit.

I had little wires moving into my new breast and each hour a nurse would are available and do an extremely sound on every breast and we might pay attention for the blood pumping. Each hour, my nurse and I might take a look at one another after listening to that sound and say “Yay!”

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The primary day after surgical procedure, the aim is to take a seat up on the aspect of the mattress, then work your option to sitting within the chair. Did it. Whereas sitting within the chair, I requested what day two objectives have been. I used to be anxious. The day two objective was to take a stroll down the corridor. Did it day one. It was brief, however I did it. I used to be needing to proceed to be ok with issues.

One other publish surgical procedure objective is to poop. That’s proper. Gotta make certain every thing is working earlier than you go house.

Objectives individuals.

So, there I used to be, within the toilet, hooked as much as 4 physique drains, one at every breast and one at every hip. I had two IV’s, I had an oxygen monitor on, I had oxygen popping out of my nostril (I feel that went to the toilet with me?) and I had little wires going into my chest that have been hooked as much as an extremely sound machine. And, I used to be making an attempt to carry up my hospital robe. Are you able to think about all of this happening and making an attempt to maintain “issues” your self. Oh, and my arms have been actually sore. Apparently they’ve your arms in a very unusual place in the course of the surgical procedure. So, a profitable journey to the toilet was rather a lot to ask of a woman!

As I flushed the bathroom and stood up, the bathroom overflowed. Yep. It did. I pulled the pink twine.

Nurse… “Can I provide help to?”

Me…”Um, sure. I used to be very profitable within the toilet and now the bathroom has overflowed and I’m simply standing in it .”

There are different tales, however that’s the most effective one. You’re welcome.


After 4 profitable nights within the ICU, I got here house.

One among my nurses at my plastic surgeons workplace informed me at a current submit op appointment that she had by no means seen the DIEP flap completed with out the stomach pores and skin being seen after surgical procedure. SUCCESS!

One of many interns advised me that I could be the Poster Affected person for DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction! YIPPEE!!!


Now for some footage.

Here’s what I appeared like earlier than mastectomy and clearly, above my objective weight. 

That black dot is the place I first felt my lump whereas placing on lotion after a bathe.

Please do self breast exams!

I had giant breast (DD) and clearly, one bigger than the opposite. lol

The white oval is the world to be eliminated to make my new breast. Observe that the white line is above my navel. My navel was eliminated after which reattached.

The blue line represents the scar that I now have on my stomach.

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This can be a tissue expander. They’re inserted following the mastectomy to increase the breast pores and skin in order that the pores and skin is giant sufficient to carry the brand new breast, whether or not it’s an implant or a DIEP flap breast. I’m truly unclear why I wanted these since I had loads of pores and skin, however I feel it’s commonplace process throughout a mastectomy with reconstruction, regardless of how a lot pores and skin you could have.

The smaller circle on the tissue expander is a magnetic port the place the saline is inserted at intervals.

These are depressing.

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That is me publish mastectomy with tissue expanders in and just a bit little bit of saline in them. My nipples have been eliminated. I solely put the purple marks there so that you don’t have to take a look at the grey tape over the incisions. I’m making an attempt to be thoughtful right here.

The grey tape in my arm pit is overlaying the incision have been the lymph nodes have been eliminated.

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Extra saline was then added at my 2 week submit op appointment by way of the port within the tissue expander.

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Every week a bit extra saline was added till the specified measurement was reached that the plastic surgeon thought that my new breast can be.  Then we stopped. The tissue expanders have been depressing (did I point out that?)  and I hated them. I’m so comfortable to have these out of my physique.

Some plastic surgeons will carry out a DIEP Flap on the time of mastectomy if they will coordinate that with the breast surgeon. I don’t consider that my surgeon does that, 

This image is about half method by means of getting fills. This was as uncomfortable because it appears! Not painful, however uncomfortable.

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This half was onerous for me to take a look at.

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This image under is the day earlier than my DIEP flap surgical procedure.

The tissue expanders had been crammed to the plastic surgeons satisfaction. He truly needed to fill them just a bit extra to fill my breast pores and skin out so I might be happy with the best way that they seemed briefly, however I used to be depressing after every fill and actually needed no a part of it. We agreed that regardless that I had a pleasant sized stomach, he didn’t assume my breast can be as huge as they’re on this image, so there was no have to stretch my pores and skin past what I naturally had.

The white arrows present dimples the place the tissue expanders weren’t utterly full. It was bizarre, however I knew it was momentary.

The blue arrows present how superior my scars are. In fact, I’m beginning over there now, however I feel they may barely present!

The purple dot is simply me making an attempt to be well mannered. I don’t even have nipples!

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This image is about 6 days publish op the DIEP flap surgical procedure. I assume my tummy was greater than I noticed!

These are a lot bigger than I used to be anticipating! I even have incisions all the best way throughout the very backside of every breast. These scars won’t ever present!

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They’re very flat.

It’s going to take some time earlier than my posture is one hundred%! My again is killing me! lol

That blue arrow is like….Look! No Stomach!! (Hey, there’s a primary time for every part.) It’s truly a bit swollen right here. It’ll go down.

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That is me as we speak. These are actually dangerous photograph’s, however Tess took all of my different footage. 

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With my underwear up the place they belong, my scar gained’t even be seen!

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Now, I’ve received some work to take action my ass and my thighs match this flat tummy I obtained happening!

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All drains at the moment are out. All tape is now off.

I’ve an appoint subsequent Friday. 

My appointment on Friday will full Part I of DIEP Flap.

Now, I wait three months earlier than starting Part II.

Part II include fats grafting. Meaning after all the things settles for the subsequent three three months, the plastic surgeon will have a look and see the place any indentions are seen. Widespread areas are on the prime of the breast the place the breast tissue was eliminated in the course of the mastectomy to the chest wall. It’s common to see dents in that space and on the edges of the breast. In that case, fats is graphted from totally different elements of the physique and used to fill in any areas needing to be crammed. Fats grafting can be used to fill within the breast so they don’t look like flat. Cool, huh?

Part III, the ultimate part, is the nipple Part. We will talk about that later

Now, I wlll begin taking Tamoxifen. That is the capsule generally prescribed for my sort of breast most cancers. I’ll take this capsule every day for 5 years to scale back the danger of reoccurrence.

As a result of I’m premenopausal, and my breast most cancers is estrogen pushed, I’ve determined to have a hysterectomy. That may doubtless be scheduled earlier than Part II of this surgical procedure, so perhaps late February.

Then, I sit up for shifting on.

I’ll proceed to maintain you posted on my progress.

I’m past grateful that I used to be launched to Dr. David Chandler.

I actually assume that what he was capable of do for me is superb. I had ready myself to not like what I noticed within the mirror publish mastectomy, and I now know that I will probably be very happy.

I hope that via my Breast Most cancers expertise, I’ve been capable of inform you, encourage you to schedule your mammogram, have open conversations about breast most cancers with your loved ones and pals, inspired you to ask questios about your personal well being, and most of all, inspired you to share your personal story.

You simply by no means know who may profit from it!

Thanks ALL on your continued help, your prayers, your good vibes and your sort phrases. I’ve learn each remark and can reply to all of them inside the subsequent few days. You’re all so appreciated! I want I knew you all in individual! You actually know how one can make a woman really feel nice!! Huge Hug to you all.

What a publish to finish the yr! 

Completely happy New Yr!

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“love the life you reside, reside the life you’re keen on”


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