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violetita07 (@violetita07)

Bilateral Mastectomy or not

Breast Cancer | Last Active: Mar 1, 2021 | Replies (30)

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Welcome to Connect @violetita07 and @rejoys,

I'm so glad to see that @cindylb and @elvandi have connected with you. I'd also like to introduce you to @jusme @chamisa @wendyh @zazu @djankord1 @teege1 and I hope they can share some of their insights about bilateral mastectomy with you.

@violetita07, what questions do you have about this surgery? May I ask if anyone in your family has been diagnosed with breast cancer?

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Replies to "Welcome to Connect @violetita07 and @rejoys, I'm so glad to see that @cindylb and @elvandi have..."

Well I was told that my risk for cancer on my left breast was very low. But still trying to decide for peace of mind whether or not to have the bilateral. My sister was diagnosed at age 52 (3 years ago). She’s the only one from my immediate family. Just want to know what we’re the deciding factors for others.

Mastectomies are major surgery with general anesthesia. After cancer, that is what scared me the most….but I had no complications or difficulty with my surgery. I did find the recovery pretty easy. I had a great deal of fluid buildup and anyone that you talk with you has a mastectomy will say the drains they insert for the fluid is the worst part. It's not very painful and I was up and back to work in 5 weeks. Over the course of the following year you do need to make sure you're doing some physical therapy, possibly massage therapy and healing well. But, overall…..when you think about it. A breast isn't an 'internal' organ (as much as say your intestines or something). They're pretty easy to remove successfully. I was only in the hospital one night. A second night was an option but I felt I'd be more comfortable at home and I had my husband to help me. I was fortunate (and surprised) to find 3 good friends who had mastectomies to talk with before and after my procedure. Two did reconstruction and one did not. Along with this site and lots of research, as well as the guidance of my doctors and nurses……….the right decision for me was the bi lateral (but I'd had cancer in both breasts). Hugs and good wishes as you make your decision.

I’m in the same boat weighing pros and cons. It’s easy for others to say do both! Insurance will cover new perky ones. Everything I read is you may have a nice new matching set but they have no feeling and can be colder. Surgeon told me there is no reason to remove the other since my cancer is very early stage DCIS on the left. By removing just my left my chances of cancer on the right as the same as the general population. I’m definitely having reconstruction just not sure what yet, I speak to the plastic surgeon tomorrow. I’ve been on the internet pretty much everyday looking at images of reconstruction after awhile they all look the same.
Would like to hear from others that had a unilateral masectomy. Thoughts?

Hi, @octoberred, I had a bilateral mastectomy (one breast was cancerous, one prophylactic) with immediate breast implants. I am now 4 weeks out. I requested the skin and nipple sparing procedure. Luckily, they were able to spare both successfully. Currently, I still have tape over my 5-inch incisions and will (by choice) leave this tape or another fresh strip of Micropore tape on for at least 3 months for scar refinement. I am quite pleased in that I do have some sensation in my breasts that I was not expecting. Here is what I have:
If you were to draw a circle around my breasts, all the skin outside the circle has feeling above and below the breast, but the area from the armpit down to the bottom of my breast is numb and painful.

Now, inside the circle (the breast itself) one half of the breast has feeling and one half is numb! The outsides of the breasts, from the outside edge of the nipple are numb, but the inside of each breast (including the nipples) have normal sensation! And actually, my nipples are fairly painful right now which is not surprising, considering. So that is good.

Regarding feeling cold, I have silicone implants and my skin and the implants feel as warm as the surrounding skin. I am a low thyroid and know that I would not like the cold feeling if it were to occur, so I am glad that is not the case for me.

I don't know if this information gives you anything more to think about. Good luck to you.