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.

    • Tamrarose
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrati...
    about 1 month ago
    Tamrarose's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I also had a sentinel node biopsy

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • sameagle
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breas...
    about 1 month ago
    sameagle's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Although I was not scared going into the surgery, I did expect it too be far more painful and uncomfortable afterwards. I was up an...

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Bamagirl
    • Experience with Paget Disease of the ...
    2 months ago
    Bamagirl's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    It was not an average experience, because I ended up with a collapsed lung, three chest tubes, pleurodesis and VATS...due to a drug ...

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

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Experienced Frozen Shoulder and cording

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  1. 3 months ago
    KristaSchnee's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction. My port was also removed during surgery.

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  2. 3 months ago
    jrbracken15's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Double mastectomy with implant expanders, post op day 5 limited use of both arms

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • sessony
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    4 months ago
    sessony's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    1 month from surgery with reconstruction and realizing that this healing isn't like other surgeries. Patience and a great support s...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    1 Comment
  3. 4 months ago
    wachowskiw's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    IT WAS THE HARDEST THING I HAD TO DO

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  4. 5 months ago
    BeccaBianca's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The surgery was easy. I was thrilled with the way I looked the next day, but I'm upset about the concave appearance now that the in...

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

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Although, I did tons of research, and was emotionally prepared, the physical side effects were much more difficult to accept. Have ...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    1 Comment
    • JoAnninCal
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast...
    6 months ago
    JoAnninCal's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had two separate mastectomies 8 mos apart. they found a different cancer in the second breast. invasive lobular stage 1. not a rec...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • KathrynG
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    8 months ago
    KathrynG's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I continue to have fluid retention across my chest 6 months post surgery, and it's painful.

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    2 Comments
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