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By Anonymous July 9, 2017 - 6:05pm
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I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. I had a double mastectomy with tissue expanders placed and 12 lymph nodes removed from the right side. After chemo my blood count had a difficult time coming up, which delayed my exchange. When I finally had my exchange surgery, the doctor put the wrong size in. I was extremely "lopsided". He would not fix the mistake. Another doctor added saline to my right implant about 6 months later, and this new doctor also stitched me up quite a bit in order to keep my implant from "falling into my armpit". This ended up causing my some mild lymphedema of my right trunk and breast area. I also had lots of pain on my right side, and cosmetically still was not "right", both breasts had extreme rippling. I waited 5 years, and finally decided to see a third surgeon who came highly recommended. He said it would be a complete re-do. So on May 10, 2017, I had my saline implants removed from under my muscle, my muscles re sewn to my chest wall, and tissue expanders placed above the muscle on both sides. The doctor said there was a lot of scar tissue he had to go through on the right side. After a week my drain tubes were removed. After 4 weeks I went back to work. That weekend I also tried a beginner scuba dive training. I ended up with lymphedema of my right breast. The nurse was removing about 200 cc of fluid every other day, and then it found its own way out, through a hole in my incision. The fluid was not infected, but the hole continued to grow. The next step was to remove the expander, clean the area, and replace the expander with a drain tube on that side. I asked if we could just go ahead and do the exchange for permanent implants to hopefully keep me from a third surgery later, which he agreed. The last surgery was June 26th, two weeks ago. My incision started to leak last Friday.

I'm not sure what to do, and I don't believe this doctor understands lymphedema at all. I have an appointment with a lymphedema specialist Tuesday, but now wondering if I need to talk to someone in wound care. I've seen different posts on tunnel wounds, and I'm wondering if that's what is developing? Am I jumping the gun to think I need to just have the implant removed? Or do I give it time to possibly heal, WILL it heal? I just don't know what to do

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. You have been through quite an ordeal.

Take this one step at a time.
Call the breast surgeon's office to report the incision leak.
Meet with the lymphedema specialist.

Keep us updated,

July 10, 2017 - 6:33am
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