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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Part Two of Breast Recon- Second Fill

 Tuesday morning rolled around full of dark, threatening clouds and cool moisture in the air. I layered my clothing choice, knowing in the back of my mind I was slightly nervous about the next step in the breast reconstruction. That usually spelled multiple hot flashes, urges to urinate at the worst time and a craving for chocolate. Simultaneously.
Silly because I end up dressed in a hospital gown and left on a guernsey in the clinic's procedure room until Dr. V appears. Her small hands are encased in surgical gloves and a smile has settled upon her face. She has been down this road before and although my confidence is lacking, her's more than compensates.
A bottle of saline is opened and a syringe bigger than an entire bonus-size tube of toothpaste appears. Saline is poured into a smaller cup and the syringe held over top to suck up fifty cc's of it.

Below is a picture of the expander that was implanted into my breast four weeks prior in the Prince George hospital by the plastic surgeon. A metal portal sits on top of a bag previously filled with 60 cc's of saline to get me started. Dr. V must use a special magnified tool she rubs across the breast searching for the exact pinpoint where the needled syringe can be inserted to fill the implant a bit more. I will be a total of 200 cc's spread across twelve weeks with four sessions, enough to replace the half cup of breast removed through the partial mastectomies endured during the breast cancer removal.

When the small arm on the blue plastic finder stands straight up, Dr. V knows she has found the exact spot and marks the place on my skin with a felt pen. She then thankfully freezes the breast area, having to go in sideways to the flesh so not to pierce the implant bag. Wouldn't want any internal leaks even though for now it's only saline solution being injected. Eventually this filled bag and expander will be removed in another surgery and replaced with a permanent silicone bag of equal size. It is done in stages like this as the breast tissue has undergone multiple rounds of intense radiation to kill any lingering cancer cells. This causes the skin to lose it's pliability- the ability to stretch as it once did. Or as I tell everyone,I've been microwaved and like a piece of chicken the skin has become dense. One tough boobie- don't you know it! To be cont'd.