I’ve been worried about the left-side of my abdomen for a few weeks as it’s more prominent than the right and feels a bit ‘sloshy’. Following a DIEP you’re at risk of a hernia or abdominal bulge (which I imagine is nowhere near as much fun as it sounds). I didn’t think I had either, but something didn’t feel right so I went to get it checked out. In one of my early appointments with my plazzy surgeon, I seriously asked if they would take all the fat tissue from my abdomen, or just what was needed to make my foob 😂 They do remove it all, but as I was having a unilateral recon, only the right side was used. The right had the strongest blood vessel, which is needed to provide a blood supply to the transplanted tissue. This is what is checked hourly for the first 48 hours of recovery (see video Day +4). One of the pros of a DIEP flap is that no abdominal muscle is compromised. There is, however, a small, deep stitch used to repair the fascia (I think) where the blood vessel was pulled through (or something like that). The technicalities of why/what/how have become a bit sketchy in the post-op information overload, but my take-away was this: I might feel it pull sometimes, and that was normal. All good. It became known as the Illie Stitch after the co-surgeon who perfectly explained all the above to me. So if I ever felt it twinge, I’d think “That’s OK, that’s just the Illie Stitch”. (Unfortunately, this could happen at the most inappropriate moments 😳). I was told it was like a sprain and would mean that I’d be weaker in that area for a while. Right on script, it seems that the left side of my abdomen is compensating for this weakness. This was discovered by Julie, physio at Spinal Synergy alongside Balanced Bodies Lifestyle Clinic, using a real-time ultrasound. It’s all fixable, though, and I’ll be cracking on with her and EP @annalouisemoule to get me righted. There just seems no end to the work I’m needing to do as part of my daily Wellness Roadmap (see Day +76). Also, I think it’s time for a much needed re-brand of the Illie Stitch. Suggestions on an Insta Post(card) please.
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