Posts Tagged ‘nipple reconstruction’

Back to the Drawing Boob…

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

Post-surgery & back in the hospital July 2012

Tattoo ideas

Nothing like a bit of breast wordplay to start a long overdue post…

After a much needed year away from operating rooms, I have bitten the bullet and begun the process of ‘fixing’ my reconstruction.  It should be said that the problems are purely cosmetic.  According to my plastic surgeon, he had placed post-surgical expanders that were larger than the implants I ultimately agreed to, leaving too much space in the skin that remained.  It created what I began to call my ‘divet’- a strange impression  at the top of my right breast that for some reason bugged the holy living shit out of me.  So the solution is a process of fat grafting to fill the extra space.  Fat grafting, for those of you who don’t know, is a procedure that the surgeon described as causing minor discomfort for a day or two post-surgery.  This is NOT the case.  Fat grafting involves liposuction- take a little from one place and inject it into another, as it were.  Neither the ‘sucked out’, nor the ‘shot in’ were very happy post-surgery.  On the upside, it’s the first time I’ve  been grateful that I no longer have feeling in my breasts.  But the host site (and I confess, there are plenty to choose from if you’re fat collecting on me) feels akin to having gone 8 rounds with a boxer.  I am nine days post-surgery and I’m still too sore around my waist to put on a pair of jeans.  Heh heh, get it, pair of jeans…

ANYWAY.  Having discovered that these procedures are not of the wham bam variety, I am hemming and hawing about what to do next.  With grafting you have to do the procedure 3-4 times as fat dissolves initially.  It has to be built up gradually.  In speaking with my plastic surgeon, we  agreed that as I near the end of these surgeries that I will finally get the nipple reconstruction I have been putting off as well.  Too bad, I have been using my lack of nipples as an excuse not to date.  I guess I’ll have to find a better excuse.  Oh, what I mean is, I guess I’ll start dating…?  I will likely forgo the final step of having the pigment tattoos, I’m inclined toward more elaborate, decorative tattoos.  (the design of which is above)

Why have I decided to move forward with all of this?  I think mostly because I’d like to have some sense of closure on these proceedings.  I have done all that I can, at least surgically, to lower my chances of getting cancer, and maybe completing the process of reconstruction will allow me to close the door on this part of my life.  I think too, since I bothered to go ahead with the reconstruction, I should at least like/tolerate these foreign orbs that sit beneath my eye line.  I will always be disassociated from what has been put there in the place of my breasts, but it doesn’t mean we can’t peacefully co-exist.  (Stupid divet).

Here’s the thing that you need to know when considering  reconstruction after a bilateral mastectomy.  It may take more than three or four steps to get it right.  If you have opted not to do the nipple sparing approach, and you opt for implants versus the FLAP procedure, (see the December 2011 post for information on FLAP ) you are looking at a minimum of four surgeries, and that’s assuming that everything has gone as planned, i.e. no cavernous divets.  (my new favorite oxymoron) The process of building something from nothing is miraculous, but it IS being built and in some cases will have to be rebuilt numerous times in order to make the ‘fake’ more ‘real’.  And I am not sure I can go another 24 rounds in the boxing ring.  I may choose to stop after the next procedure.  Then again, I have been ready to throw in the towel many times over the course of this fight and I have yet to do so.

For those of you who have been reading the blog for awhile, you’ll notice I’ve shaken things up, given the blog some reconstruction all its own.  I hope to begin sharing the series of photos that were taken before my surgery and over the course of my recovery.  They are, needless to say, incredibly personal, so I’m gathering courage and will begin to share them with each post.  The inclusion of photos is what brought me to a new look- I’m also hoping it’s a bit easier to read- but feedback is always appreciated.

Until the next round of surgery…

“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.”
― James A. Michener