Mastectomy instead of lumpectomy
Newly diagnosed, yesterday! My pcp had breast cancer and so she filled me in a bit. She mentioned lumpectomy then maybe moving on to mastectomy. I'm thinking I want the mastectomy, since my biopsy report was graded 7, 9 being the worst. I have an appointment today with the surgeon.🙏
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Many of us have both taken off. (We have a legal right to symmetry apparently.) I had two separate surgeries but have often read about women having both at once. I went "flat" so my surgeries were not a big deal. It is a big decision!
If you do have a mastectomy, ask about a paravertebral block for pain. They do it before the surgery and it avoids heavy duty meds like dilaudid that make the experience harder, at least in my experience.
Thank you so much for your response.
I just added it to my list of questions for my appointment with the surgeon today.
First good luck to you on this journey. I had a masectomy almost 2 years ago and glad I did. They did a nerve block while I was still asleep that helps pain wise. I didn't have to use heavy drugs for me it was not that painful.
The drain was in for a week and then slowly do the excersize they give you.
I had a big pillow that propped me up in bed and you will need zip up tops if you go with masectomy. I bought on Amazon some zip up hoodies that had pockets inside so you could place drain in pocket. I had an aggressive cancer so chose masectomy over lumpectomy. I use a prosthesis as at 69 did not want alot more surgeries. I have nice cotton ones and a silicone one I got thru Amazon. Thinking of you.
Hi @clynnford — sorry to hear about your breast cancer. I also had a double mastectomy 10 years ago since I was BRCA2+ and went flat. The surgeon added a bupivacaine pump during surgery to keep pain away for 3 days after surgery — it worked. Once the pump was removed, I didn't have bad pain after that either.
@windyshores mentioned symmetry. My cousin had only one breast removed and said it's inadvisable because you can never get symmetry after that. A breast prosthetic specialist also told me women that only have a single mastectomy are never happy with it due to symmetry issues.
I also did a unilateral mastectomy 2 months ago. I was also offered a nerve blocker prior to surgery. I was shocked of not having the pain I thought I was going to be in. They gave me 10 pain pills and I only took 3, saving the rest in case of pain a few days later but never had to take them. I'm still numb in that area but I had an aggressive tumor so I'm not sure if I'll get all my feeling back. I had the drain for 2 weeks and the bras that have a holding pouch worked perfectly. In my area there is a place that offers mastectomy bras and with my insurance, I get 3 free bras a quarter. They not only provided the mastectomy bras with the zipper but also bras with the padding so I don't look lopsided! Good luck on your journey.
I did also get mastectomy bras and silicone prostheses through my insurance that I can wear when I go out and want to wear more fitted clothes and look more shapely. Initially, I wore them every day because I was still working, but now I don't wear them around the neighborhood, walking dogs or when running errands — just for special occasions. It's just a comfort preference and the new normal. 🙂
I will add that my second mastectomy revealed developing atypical dysplasia (and was full of cysts) so I felt justified in requesting it, in addition to the right to symmetry.
Glad you are doing well. They say walking is great to do to stop cancer rom reocurring . I wear sports bras around the house and use the prosthesis when I go out.
This is a decision you definitely need to have a serious talk with your physician about. It is tough because no one has that magic chrystal ball that will give you the answer. I am probably the last one to give you any advice since I had my Mastectomy 56 years ago (I was 36 years old). There was no Chemo, and Radiation was given only for Positive lymph involvement. The decision was not mine, but my Doctor who opted for a Radical Mastectomy, even though my lymph nodes were negative (14 removed). This may have been overkill, but how can you fault success? I am alive at 92. At the time of my surgery, my surgeon put his arm around my husbands shoulders and said "I have done all I can, all we can do is wait and see". If your physicain has this kind of empthy, you are in good hands.
Wow what an amazing journey of hope! Thank you for sharing, God Bless You.🤍