• deciding about whether or not to have mastectomy,double,single? How do you decide?

    Asked by tutuca67 on Sunday, July 15, 2012

    deciding about whether or not to have mastectomy,double,single? How do you decide?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I decided on a bilateral with the right side being prophylactic. I wanted to be even and figured that would give me the most options. Ironically it didn't turn out that way though. I had to have a re-excision on the left side in order to get clean margins. After the second surgery there wasn't enough skin left to close the would so I had to plastic surgery to transplant abdominal tissue and skin to the left side of my chest to close the wound. So now I am totally flat on the right but have a puffy flap on the left.

      over 8 years ago
    • bcsucks2012's Avatar

      I felt like for me it was best to do the bilateral mastectomy because 1 I didn't want to do this all over again and 2 I turned out BRACA positive so I knew there was a change it could happen so I just said oh well there are just breast and had them both out and have decided not to do reconstruction either I have heard bad stories and to me it is not that important ... my life is more important than how I look to people ... that is how I felt anyway ... hope that helps

      over 8 years ago
    • hikerchick's Avatar

      I had double, and there are some advantages, besides the primary advantage of removing all the tissue that has a history of becoming susceptible to cancer. You don't have any "sag factor" on one side. :-) You are more likely to end up with a "matching pair." You can choose your breast/prosthesis size (I went from a D cup to an A cup prosthesis -- yay!). You will be more "even" when exercising. If you choose no reconstruction, you can go without any weight on your chest, if you want: you can spend part or all of your time wearing no prostheses, or you can wear "recreational" foam prostheses (I do all the time I go out of the house) that weigh almost nothing. (My spine loves me for it!)

      over 8 years ago
    • tutuca67's Avatar

      Thank you all for you responses...I didn't realize how different an experience it would be for everyone...it does help hearing your stories..I will keep all informed of my decision.

      over 8 years ago
    • Lynn51's Avatar

      I had bilateral . I had no problem deciding tho I wanted no chance in going thru this again I had stage iv invasive .Its something I felt strongly about,but do know alot of people having hard time deciding..one friend only had the one taken then decided to have other done a few months later. I am still undergoing reconstruction because of being on herceptin I've lost tissue expander on right side(good side) twice but still do not regret my choice... I'm keeping positive some day this will be over and I'll be whole again.... and very thankful to be alive... wish you the best in your decision...

      over 8 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      You are right, everyone's situation and decisions are so different and there are many options. I had left mastectomy, then lymph node dissection, then chemo. Then 6 months later did prophylactic right mastectomy and reconstruction with expanders on both sides, then saline implants in both. Just finished in May. Reconstruction took 6 months but I'm 45 and hope to have many more years ahead of me (as we all hope) and glad I can get dressed normally and don't have to deal with looking at a flat one side as I did for a year - and deal with a prosthetic (although it is doable, just a daily hassle). My new lumps are not breasts but they fill up my clothes fine and I don't have to wear a bra all the time, no sagging, but also, almost no feeling in the chest. It was a long process and at times painful, but I'm glad I did it. And I don't have to worry every day about "when" the cancer will appear in my second breast. It was an agonizing decision, though, to remove a body part that worked fine and was healthy and had feeling, but I sleep better at night with this decision. Granted, I was not ready to do bilateral last year when I was first diagnosed, it took me a year to get to that point. I was in such shock when first diagnosed I thought the medical staff were crazy to recommend bilateral at that point. Finally, I came around. All the best with your decision, it was the most difficult decision I've ever made in my life. Second most difficult was opting to do Lymph Node Dissection when 1 node was found positive. Tough choices, but at least I felt glad that there were choices to be made. All the best.

      over 8 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      i did bilateral with no reconstruction, and i'm delighted to be flat. i do, however, miss my nipples. i do not wear foobs nor bras... i just go as i am - flat. and, it's kind of awesome.

      this is such a personal decision. some women do not feel whole until they have reconstructed breasts. some feel whole without. some feel uncomfortable going out in public flat. some do not.

      like you, i had very dense breasts. i also had fibrocystic breast tissue, which basically means i was lumpy. i didn't want to end up with biopsy after biopsy after biopsy. i also could not deal with the idea of being lopsided. i know that assymmetry would have been very difficult for me to handle. so, with those three things, it was easy for me to choose bilateral mastectomy. add to that, i had chemo before surgery. that allowed me to have ample time to be sure i was comfortable with the decision. while i do wish i had never had cancer, i have no regrets about choosing bilateral mastectomy.

      good luck - i hope you are able to come to a clear decision - with peace.

      over 8 years ago
    • nantse1's Avatar

      I also decided on bi. literally a day and a half before surgery. I spoke to all kinds of women that had to go through this and all answers were different. For me the deciding factor was what will it take for me to look in the mirror and like me. (my husband passed away suddenly 3 months before my diagnosis so it really was all about me).I couldn't bare the thought of looking at just one. It's hard enough having a cancer that you will always be reminded of every time you look in the mirror. I slept like a baby after I finally made my decision. I'm happy to report that my breast recon. is underway and have had no problems with the tissue expanders.(knock on wood...really!) The bump in my road was that the surgeon wouldn't let the recon. start when I had the mast. because she thought I would need radiation too. So it was also good news that I didn't need radiation just recon. had to be stalled til after chemo. So 6 months since diagnosis and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wish you the best of luck and will keep you all in my prayers.

      over 8 years ago
    • tutuca67's Avatar

      Well my meeting with my oncologist went well today,was my first visit and she put most of my worries to rest.Turns out I was getting ahead of myself and she explained to me my diagnosis and the pathology report..Have stage 1 and her negative ..so Will be going back in for re-insition to try to get clear margins...so we shall see what's next...thank you all for you stories and support! Helped me lots!

      over 8 years ago

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