To flap or not to flap. That is the question.

I just had a follow up appointment this morning with my plastic surgeon. I thought it was just to check in with him about what we'd talked about previously and get clearance to book my recon surgery in september. It was a strange meeting. After looking at my chest again he felt that although I have healed up well my radiated skin might not be robust enough to survive the surgeries and expansion and that there is a risk that that whole route might end up with me having to have it all undone and then try another surgery. I can't do a flap surgery from my abs or butt (since I'm pretty healthy he heh...the first time it's been a bad thing to be thin and healthy) but apparently they can take some of my latissimus muscle from my back and move it forward to my chest to create a pocket to put a small expander and eventual implant into and take a piece of skin from my back and use it to rebuild my breast so that it should stretch out better and be healthier. It's called latissimus flap breast reconstruction surgery. There is a 95% chance that this would work very well and be quite natural looking....except for the scar it would leave on my back, but it would be a straight line along where the bra strap sits, so I'm trying to make my peace with it. There are other back muscles that work to support your back and shoulder so I wouldn't be significantly weakened by it all...just might not be able to play tennis or row in a boat...
I'm trying to make my peace with it. I was all gung ho and ready to book in for my expander and eventual swap out - as frustrating as it will be for the whole process I was ready mentally to get that all going. Now it's a more major surgery and I have to stay overnight after...but in the end it should work out to be a good result. Total recovery time is about the same, just more pain since there's two sites and not one that they are working with. Ugh. Still...the more I look at it I feel like I would be too vain to try and do the original way and end up having it fail  just to save a scar...and it's not like I'm not scarred already. Plus, apparently flap reconstructions look much more natural too, so if I'm going to do this I would like to have it look as good as possible. I'm just sitting here at work on my break trying to wrap my head around it. I should hear in a week or so what my surgery date is. If the scars bug me later I'm planning a beautiful tattoo to wrap around from my back across my chest. I plan to do this on my terms.
On the plus side, and on a totally different topic, I just learned that there is going to be a live reading of the Welcome to Nightvale podcast in Edmonton on my actual birthday in October...he heh. SO I'm getting J and I tickets and we're going to make a birthday weekend of it and go visit friends and see it. I have really been enjoying the podcast and on our recent road trip we listened to a few and J is now a fan as well. Should be a fun way to celebrate my birthday.

Anyhoo...should go get some work done. I feel like I've slacked a lot since I was away for my appointment but I after a talk with J on the phone I just had to get this out from rolling around in my head so I can concentrate on what I'm doing. Thanks interweb peeps.
Later taters.

1 comment:

Yum Yucky said...

I'd tell you to find peace and complete comfort with whatever decision you make regarding the surgery, but you're a genius of a woman and I know you've already got that advice covered.