Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The 3rd on the 2nd

Today was my grandmother's 3rd surgery.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, she had a lot of dead tissue and wasn't healing properly. She was in pain and was having to constantly nurse her open wound.

When she had the first surgery (lumpectomy) in February, the breast tissue was "weak" so they had to use filler tissue called fascia. I believe it's lab grown tissue, but I'm not completely positive. They stitched the fascia into her other tissue hoping it would grow into one cohesive mass. It did.

In April (mastectomy) they placed an expander in her breast. The idea was for the breast/incision to heal, then they would expand the breast over a years amount of time into the size she desired or until it matched the other breast. It's been 5 months since her first surgery and 3 months since the last. And she still has an open non-healing wound! Until today...

The surgeon wanted to close her wound, so she went back in for a minor surgery today. They removed the dead/damaged tissue and closed the wound. When they were in there, they realized the expander was growing into the fascia and that's what was causing her pain. They had to remove the expander altogether.

She is currently at home and recovering, yet again. I was worried that she would be upset about not having the expander in. She was really upset (and understandably so) about not having her breast. The expander was the only thing that was keeping her sane because she knew at the end of all this, she would have a breast again. Without the expander there, she can't do that.

She has the option of placing the expander back in after she has totally healed from today's surgery. But that means ANOTHER surgery and I don't know if she's up for that.

I'm just glad that she's okay. That she's still alive.


Monica said...

That's a lot of surgery in a short time. I'm sorry that the expander didn't work. I get that she wants to have her breast back to normal, but it has to scare you that she has to have more operations to do it. I'm praying that everything turns out ok.

theviewfromthisplace said...

yes, i am glad that she is still alive, which is truly what matters. but of couse as a woman she would want this reconstructive surgery. please keep us posted. i can't imagine all these surgeries NOT taking a toll on your grandmother.

mrsmuelly said...

I'm glad she's okay too. She certainly is a brave lady! I hope she is doing well.