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Latissimus Dorsi Reconstruction

BloonaBloona Geelong Member Posts: 9
edited October 2019 in General discussion
In April 19 I had a mastectomy and lat dorsi reconstruction. I am still experiencing swelling/fluid that comes and goes in my back and boob, tightness in my back and general discomfort. I also had a seroma under my arm so a drain tube was put in for 4 weeks, and was removed 3 weeks ago. I guess I’m feeling it’s one step forward two steps back and was just hoping to hear from anyone who has had the lat dorsi reconstruction a while ago to give me some kind of perspective on long term recovery. I guess I’m fine if this is how it will always be, but I would just like to know. Also if anyone has advice on returning to exercise and building strength in the upper body. All I’m really doing at the moment is walking. I had started doing a little gentle yoga then the seroma appeared so I’m a little paranoid about exercising. Any advice would be greatly appreciated 


  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,534
    @bloona It might be a good idea to see an exercise physiologist who has experience of breast cancer and recon - you want effective but mindful exercise.  Often hospitals that do cancer treatments will have something like this attached or affiliated - give your clinic a call for recommendation.  Alternatively, if you include your general area/town on your profile, other members may be able to suggest somewhere (eg. Calvary Rehab or Lift in Adelaide, Exmed programme in Melbourne, I think).
  • BloonaBloona Geelong Member Posts: 9
    Thanks @Sister I am seeing a Physio that specialises in cancer rehab and I think she is going to liaise with another Physio near me who has a gym for supervised exercise so maybe once I start that I’ll feel better ☺️ 
  • Jane221Jane221 Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 1,162
    Hi @Bloona, I'm not sure if you're a member of the Choosing Breast Reconstruction group, but if not, you might find the information and personal stories from women who have experienced different types of reconstruction, including Lat Dorsi, helpful. You can apply to join through the Groups tab and one of the group leaders will be in contact asap.

    It sounds as though you are on the right track in terms of seeing the specialist physio and looking to go to the gym for supervised exercise. The few ladies I know of through the above group have recovered well physically from their lat dorsi reconstruction through similar programs. 

    You might also be interested in coming along to a Reclaim Your Curves lunch in Melbourne on Nov 16 (https://www.reclaimyourcurves.org.au/melbourne.html) where you can meet with others who have had, or are thinking about reconstruction to get some great hints / tips and support. 

    Best of luck with it all, Jane xx
  • BloonaBloona Geelong Member Posts: 9
    Thanks so much @Jane221 I did notice the reconstruction group but not sure I’m ready for photos maybe in a few weeks. I would love to go to the Melbourne meeting thanks so much for suggesting it 🙏 
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,330
    @Bloona please join the reconstruction grouo. Sharing photos is purely optional and the photos are listed at the top. You can just post a general discussion in there.
  • mum2jjmum2jj Member Posts: 4,041
    @Bloona just signed you up to the choosing breast reconstruction group. 
    Paula xx
  • TinkatTinkat Member Posts: 17
    I also had a lat dorsi tissue expander put in after mastectomy on the 8th Aug. It's very hard and lots of puffiness under my arm (had lymph sweep 10 days after 2 had c from first op).  My plastic surgeon says all is fine, the puffiness is the same amount of 'fat' as on my left side and after chemo/radiotherapy, maybe middle of next year, I can have the op to insert the implant and adjust the other boob (reduction from a 16E probably down to a C/D cup).  I have a 550cc expander but have stopped at 400cc.  Have had enough of the tightness and swelling. I wasn't expecting it to be so uncomfortable and probably wouldn't have elected to  have it done if I had known about the chemo prior.  My daughter says it's a good idea as I only need one other op and have been able to use my own skin with no grafting.  The scar at the back is really good and not much of a problem.  I had to make the decision quite quickly and that has good points and bad ones.  A friend had a DIEP flap and has had problems too - it's all traumatic.
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