Reconstruction!! Yippy!! I have waited oh so long to have this surgery. The expander that I have been wearing for nearly a year bugs me. It’s too wide and I look like I have a shelf if I lift my arm. What’s up with that muscle anyway? I can only last about 5 minutes doing yoga and it is hilarious!! Long story short, I would say the pain level is a constant 1 since the last expansion which happened on October 31st.
So, this will be a happy surgery… if there is one. They call it an exchange. They are exchanging the expander for an implant. The surgery itself should only take about 90 minutes and it will be an outpatient surgery. I plan to take five days to recover and then back to work.
There are several kinds of reconstruction surgeries. Implant is one. I think most people are familiar with that one so I’m not going to explain it here. The TRAM flap is another option. This is where they take muscle, fat and skin from the belly or back and move it to create a new breast. The DIEP is a third option which is similar to the TRAM flap but doesn’t take the muscle. There are a few more options but these are the most popular. I seriously considered the DIEP but with my recent life events and my little ones, I chose the surgery that would be the easiest to recover and wouldn’t require quality time in the hospital or ICU (due to the tiny blood vessels they have to re-attach in the DIEP or the TRAM flap).
My sister, Brenda is coming from Denver to help me recover. I’m so excited that she will be here to support me this week and grateful to her for taking time off work. I know we will laugh and I can’t wait. Brenda and I are very much alike. At the same time, I am sad that my mom won’t be here. This will be the first time in my life that she won’t be present for such an event. She was always so supportive of each of us kids and her grandchildren and made every effort to be where she was needed most. We were very lucky to have her as a mom.