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.

    • emprice
    • Experience with Mixed Tumors, Breast C...
    4 days 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
  1. 12 days 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 ...

    Read More

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

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    It was so different and took a lot to get used to. I'm not happy with the scars that I have, and my left breast isn't sitting like i...

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  2. 4 months ago
    Sreinold821's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I did not have reconstruction and it has definitely impacted my daily life

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  3. 4 months ago
    HuskyontheHill's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Don’t have full range of motion

    Read More

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

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I have not had the surgery yet. May 23 is the date. I am terrified

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
    • ima164
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    5 months ago
    ima164's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had bilateral mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction. Recovery was hard and one breast had a lot of skin necrosis (skin died).

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  4. 5 months ago
    Magnoliagirl's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Double Mastectomy, became infected after surgery, Wound Vac for almost 8 months!!! My scars are HORRIBLE, I LOOK LIKE A FREAK!!!

    Read More

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

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Still recovering from surgery

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  5. 6 months ago
    LindaKayA's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I did not have reconstruction due to being so ill, so I now have loose folds of skin all around my chest area.

    Read More

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

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Incisions, particularly one side, necrotized due to lack of blood flow resulting in long recovery, expensive treatment modalities, d...

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Tanya76
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    7 months ago
    Tanya76's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The december following chemo, I was feeling great but it was time to get my breasts taken care of. I was glad to and did not want re...

    Read More

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