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.

    • Stephylee4
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Bre...
    4 months ago
    Stephylee4's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    No reconstruction, aesthetic flat closure

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

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I initially thought the removal of both breasts would stop the cancer from returning. I feel the pain and down time just wasn't wort...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Dslaughter
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Bre...
    9 months ago
    Dslaughter's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The surgery was as I expected I have no breasts anymore but the recovery was not minimal to me cuz I had those drain tubes in for ab...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  1. 11 months ago
    Cgracie007's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I actually thought it went a lot smoother than expected and less painful. Of everything I found this to be the easiest. But I do rec...

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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
  2. about 1 year ago
    baxtersetters3's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had 27 lymph nodes removed on right side. To get clear margins I had reverse tummy tuck to pull skin up to close incision. Ribcage...

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
    • JoJo58
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 1 year ago
    JoJo58's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Dual mastectomy, tough on self care

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Flyniah
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in si...
    over 1 year ago
    Flyniah's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Previous radiation treatment really kept healing slow. Infection on and off.

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Freenow
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 1 year ago
    Freenow's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    If something could happen it happened to me! I went through so much it’s really hard to think about it sometimes

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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
    • MariaR
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in sit...
    over 1 year ago
    MariaR's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I am very happy to have two wonderful Doctors who walked through what to expect after double mastectomy nad immediate reconstruction...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    2 Comments
    • Mlaq
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    over 1 year ago
    Mlaq's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had problems with drains stopping up, but once they were removed, recovery went extremely well.

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
    • emprice
    • Experience with Mixed Tumors, Breast C...
    almost 2 years ago
    emprice's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    A LOT OF pain and discomfort for 3 weeks, slowly started to subside. 1 out of 16 lymph nodes affected microscopically.

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  3. almost 2 years ago
    Guntersmom2019's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had double mascetomy aug 23 2019 i feel great doing yard wrk and playung w my pup. Found out i have to have chemo so sept 10 i will ...

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