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Oh. my. goodness! January 15, 2015

Posted by Judy in Musings.
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I’m so speechless right now I don’t even know how to start this post!  I’m pretty strong in my resolve to not have reconstruction.  But if there was ever a moment of doubt, this video would be enough to push me over the edge.  It’s a video showing one of the reconstruction methods.  It’s a long video, about 45 minutes long, and it’s graphic.

I couldn’t tear myself away.

I was horrified and fascinated all at once.  Fascinated, because I never realized the crazy precision needed in surgery.  Horrified, because I fully realized why people are in so much pain after surgery.

Just in case you don’t feel up to watching the video, here a brief synopsis.  The reconstruction method is called DIEP flap reconstruction.  In this method, a chunk of fat, skin and vessels is removed from the patient’s abdomen and is used to create a fake breast.  I learned that if the surgeon finds the vasculature in the abdomen to be insufficient, they’ll switch the surgery to a TRAM flap, which means they would be taking a big chunk of the rectus abdominis muscle in addition to the skin, vessels and fat.  Before placing the flap, they have to connect the flap vessels to the mammary vessels, which is done using some parts from one of the ribs, which is “sacrificed.”  The final piece is the insertion of the flap.  The patient spends one day in ICU and then five more days in the hospital.

Nope.  That version of reconstruction is not happening here . . .. ever!

Here’s the vid, if you’re up for the challenge of watching!

ETA: Fast forward to minute 43, which is where the DIEP flap is inserted. Madness, total madness!

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Comments»

1. rlape85 - January 16, 2015

Wow! this DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction is amazing. ooh surgeons have to be very careful with the perforators. Oh yes they will be in lots of pain for a while; thank goodness for meds to help with the pain. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

2. Frances - January 19, 2015

Are they cutting open the stomach are for this? I couldn’t do it. It was making me sick.


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