Experiences with Mastectomy

A mastectomy is a surgery done to remove the entire breast. All of the breast tissue and sometimes other nearby tissues are removed. A mastectomy is commonly performed for all types of breast cancer and helps prevent breast cancer from recurring. A mastectomy is not always the best option; sometimes a lumpectomy is preferred when the tumor may be easy to remove from the breast. There are many different types of mastectomies including a simple mastectomy, skin-sparing mastectomy, and radical mastectomy. A mastectomy is commonly suggested as the best treatment option when radiation therapy has already been done, there are 2 or more areas of breast cancer in the breast, there is recurring cancer in the breast, for women with connective tissue diseases, pregnant women that prefer to avoid radiation therapy, large tumors in the breast, and inflammatory breast cancer. There are many options for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

While you and your doctor may have identified which surgery will be the best option for your health, what women struggle with most is, “How will I feel about losing my breast?” and “Do I want reconstructive surgery after my mastectomy?”. Some WhatNexters who have undergone a mastectomy share that they did not know what to expect until after it was finished, some love being flat, and some have had success with reconstruction. In the end, the best way to think of it is that you are getting rid of cancer, not “cutting off your boob”. If you have fears, uncertainties, or just need to relate, read firsthand experiences below, post questions, and feel some comfort in knowing you are not the only one trying to make this decision.

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

  1. 20 days ago
    cswwhatnext's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    On 2/23/17 having a partial mastectomy on the left side to remove all the tissue from the original nipple sparing mastectomy in Apri...

    Read More

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

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The numbness , pain and burning sensation under and down my arm worries me.

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  2. 3 months ago
    mikohargett's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, and sentinel node biospy. I had a blood transfusion later after my hemoglobin leve...

    Read More

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

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    3 surgeries wound vac from infection and wound opening up

    Read More

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

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    3 surgeries wound opened up had to wear a wound vac after each surgery

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Las928
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    4 months ago
    Las928's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Infection following surgery

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  3. 6 months ago
    carlhover's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Fairly free of pain for the first week but much pain the second and third week.

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  4. 6 months ago
    Katherinespr's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    My 1st surgery was a nipple sparing mastectomy dressed 3 days a week the skin and nipple died so surgery 2 was to remove remaining w...

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Gidgetsmom
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    7 months ago
    Gidgetsmom's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I want my breast back

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Trego
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    7 months ago
    Trego's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I was back at work 1 week after my mastectomy. I really didn't have any pain and for me it was a relief to get the cancer out. All...

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
    • Tracy6
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    7 months ago
    Tracy6's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had 4 lymphnodes removed w/ 1 positive. Also had immediate reconstruction w/ plastic surgery aka silicone implant

    Read More

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

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    2012 Right side mascectomy with removal of some nodes also cancerous.BIG impact on my daily life2015 Brain surgery to remove tumor o...

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  1. 1
  2. 3
  3. 4
  4. 5
  5. 6
  6. 7
  7. 8
  8. 9
  9. 10
  10. 11
  11. 83
  12. 84