Hi Val! Here's my story:
Biopsy was performed 7/21. Leaking noted within a day. I used Lansinoh disposable pads to collect the milk, and I was going through 2-3 a day. On 7/31, I returned to the surgeon for a follow-up, and he taught me to apply a pressure dressing on the basis that keeping the pressure in the ducts low would allow the incision to close up and heal. He also recommended a breast binder, which I was not able to find, nor was I convinced it was a good thing to use anyway.
I spoke with a LC who recommended that I nurse more on the fistula side to keep the pressure low. After a week of doing that, I went from leaking out of one part of the incision to leaking out of THREE. I emailed Jack Newman for advice, and he said to wean off the fistula side. I was really disappointed because I felt like emailing him was the magic bullet, and it was the last thing I wanted to do. However, I had a terrible allergic reaction to the surgical tape, so I was pleased to stop doing the pressure dressing.
It took about a week for my supply to adjust enough that I could get away with only nursing a couple of times a day on the fistula side. (We nurse at least every two hours when we're together--I work out of the home four days a week--so twice a day on the fistula side really isn't much.) Within the next week, the leaking had stopped. Two days later, I saw a wound specialist who said that it was healing nicely and would be fully knit together all the way through within a month. We just hit the 30-day mark, and yesterday, I started to nurse her again as much as possible on that side.
Things of note:
* I am currently lopsided. It's an aesthetic thing, but it's noticeable to me and to my partner. I used a breast pad on the fistula side even after I wasn't often leaking because it gave me a little extra boob girth.
* I had a lot of trouble pumping enough milk for her when I was away from her. I started a rigorous pumping routine (which I can say more about if anyone is interested) and pumped from the fistula side once a day and nursed on that side once a day.
* For whatever reason, nursing on the fistula side made her a little spitty in the last week or so. The milk pumped from that side did not, but it was always mixed with non-fistula-side milk.
* I work for a large medical system, and I do patient research. I am very skilled at navigating a medical system, and I really feel like my case was mismanaged, even when I advocated for myself so strongly. It's very easy to get lost, but you don't have to. You can stand up for yourself and get the care you need. If they won't give it to you, you *can* take matters into your own hands. Let me know if I can help in any way.