See it jiggle…watch it wiggle…

I know you are thinking what the hell is she talking about…what kind of drugs is she using. I wanted to talk about the DIEP procedure for…fat belly foobies…I had asked my doctor about it before anything had been done and he had to jiggle my belly to see if it was big enough. I did not have enough back then.

For the first time a woman’s life sucking it in would not an option. Come to find out that cancer can give you just enough to have this with the disclaimer of small boobs.

It is a LONG surgery followed by 5 days in the hospital 2 of which are ICU. It is no joke and not at all what I ever thought it would be. I know a woman who had it done…she said if she had it to do again, she would have thought about it longer and might not have done it. She said it was by far the most painful point in her journey. But it was also her only choice other than staying flat.

A DIEP flap is a type of breast reconstruction in which blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP), as well as the skin and fat connected to them, are removed from the lower abdomen and transferred to the chest to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy without the sacrifice of any of the abdominal muscles.

The DIEP flap reconstruction procedure is similar to the muscle-sparing free TRAM flap procedure, but it only requires the removal of skin and fat. Unlike in the TRAM procedure, however, no muscle is sacrificed. The DIEP flap—like the TRAM flap—requires an incision into the abdominal (rectus) muscle, as the blood vessels, or perforators, required to keep the tissue alive lie just beneath or within this muscle. Therefore, a small incision is made in the abdominal muscle in order to access the vessels.

After the skin, tissues and perforators (collectively known as the “flap”) have been dissected, the flap is transplanted and connected to the patient’s chest using microsurgery. The plastic surgeon then shapes the flap to create the new breast. As no abdominal muscle is removed or transferred to the breast, patients typically see a lower risk of losing abdominal muscle strength and may experience a faster recovery compared to TRAM flap patients. Studies comparing abdominal results with the muscle-sparing free TRAM and the DIEP show that abdominal wall hernias occur less frequently in DIEP patients, although the abdominal wall bulge rates are similar for both procedures.

Many women who undergo this form of reconstruction enjoy the added benefit of a flatter abdomen, with results that mimic a “tummy tuck” procedure. However, one risk of these procedures is the potential denervation of the abdominal musculature following the DIEP dissection. In addition, as with all types of breast reconstruction, two or three stages performed a few months apart are often required to complete the reconstruction process and to obtain the best cosmetic result.

Due to the complexity of the surgery, few breast centers offer DIEP flap breast reconstruction. The operating time may be twice as long as with the muscle-sparing free TRAM, and the blood flow to the DIEP flap may not be as good as that of the muscle-sparing TRAM operation—something to seriously consider about prior to choosing this method. However, with better preoperative imaging of the blood vessels in the abdomen (using CT-scan), operative time and complication rates can be further reduced in DIEP flap breast reconstruction. Despite the claimed advantages, little data exist to support a claim of superiority of DIEP flaps over TRAM flap breast reconstruction.

Why the hell would anyone want to do this?? Well, let me start by saying some women can’t do implants because they just won’t sit right, puckering and up to their throat or moving to the pits. Neither of those things looks very good. That is the first and actually easy reason. Now on to the bigger… Some women feel like a friggin alien!!! They feel more for lack of incorrect grammar “faker”. The constant awareness of those 2 fake things attached to them is more than they want to live the rest of their life with. They say they feel like a science experiment that They should not mean to do. They hate how they look when they take their clothes off it is like they see their head but what the hell is it attached to. So, they opt for another option.

No breast, do not define a woman but they are part of us. Whether you choose to be flat and fabulous, implanted with either silicone or saline, or flapped out they are a part of you. Society puts a lot of focus on breasts and because of that, we put notions in our own head of how our body should be. I want my old body back but I know that is not a reality.

Now, I know if you are reading this and never had cancer let alone breast cancer you are thinking “can’t she just be happy she is alive?” Yes, I can, but that is not the issue here. Cancer changes you so much and while I will never be back to my old self. And I want to feel little like me. Is this decision for everyone? No, it is not for me, but could be perfect for you.

I have friends that LOVE their implants (the jury isn’t back yet for me. I love them when it is warm, but hate them when it is cold.) and are doing great with them, or are flat and completely happy. I have a feeling that no touchy-feely feeling will be a no go either way, but the muscle pain in my chest would be gone.

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