Experiences with Double Mastectomy

A double mastectomy is breast cancer surgery done to remove both breasts. A double mastectomy may be done because cancer is found in both breasts; however, it is also done when there is fear of a second breast cancer forming in the other breast. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer, with a known BRCA mutation, or family history of breast cancer often choose to have a double mastectomy. After a double mastectomy, women consider breast reconstruction surgery options including different types of implant procedures and different types of tissue flap procedures. Some surgeries may even be done at the same time of the mastectomy.

Getting rid of breast cancer or lowering the risk that it will return is liberating. However, losing both breasts is an emotional lifestyle change. It is hard to prepare for what to expect, but especially hard to prepare for how you feel when the surgery is finished. WhatNexters offer encouraging words by sharing what they experienced through their treatment. They also offer practical advice like buying a lot of stretchy tank tops to wear after surgery, shirts that open in the front, bringing comedies to the hospital to keep your mind off surgery, and bringing a pillow for the ride home to put between you and the seatbelt. Read what others have to say and maybe you can pinpoint your feelings about how to proceed through your double mastectomy by discovering their firsthand journeys.

Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.

    • TheeWarden
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Bre...
    3 days ago
    TheeWarden's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a double mastectomy on July 11, 2018 with tissue expander placement. I had breast implants (thank God, because it stopped the...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  1. 16 days ago
    ReallyJenn's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery on 7-24-18

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Milin
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 1 month ago
    Milin's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery on July 2nd. Still recovering today is the 9th. Getting strong for the next step that will be radiation. My doctor confirm t...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • CharlieD
    • Experience with Invasive Lobular Carc...
    about 1 month ago
    CharlieD's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I wasn’t really prepared for any of this!

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  2. 2 months ago
    Thankful4life's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I underwent a prophylactic BL Mastectomy with immediate reconstruction where they placed expanders for implants later on. The biospy...

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  3. 3 months ago
    Maniacint's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    It took about a year to feel myself again.

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • MNCathy
    • Experience with Invasive Lobular Carci...
    4 months ago
    MNCathy's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had 3 drains in. 1 in for 2 weeks and the other 2 for 3 weeks

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
    • mjqtpi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    4 months ago
    mjqtpi's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I didn’t anticipate the pain I was in following the surgery.

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  4. 4 months ago
    Tuttylawhorn's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    end up having edema and fluid pockets where they have removed the drains after my double masectomy

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
    • Cheese
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    5 months ago
    Cheese's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Healing now and going better than I thought I would. Week out and very little need for pain management. Will get margin results tom...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Canoeracer
    • Experience with Invasive Lobular Ca...
    5 months ago
    Canoeracer's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    During bilateral mastectomy, a Sentinal Biopsy was also performed. Results were good; no Lymph node involvement.

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
    • Grace53
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in si...
    5 months ago
    Grace53's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Direct implant reconstruction following double masectomy

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
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