• How satisfied are you with your Lumpectomy, Mastectomy or 2xMastectomy?

    Asked by OwlSearch on Sunday, June 2, 2013

    How satisfied are you with your Lumpectomy, Mastectomy or 2xMastectomy?

    My surgery will be in about 2 months, and I'd like to hear about your experience as I'm considering this decision.

    21 Answers from the Community

    21 answers
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      I had a bilateral mastectomy on Feb 15. All is well. One more chemo then 6 weeks of radiation. Good luck to you!!

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I am very satisfied with my lumpectomy. My surgeon was excellent, I had no complications, even though she needed to take a larger margin then normal as I was in active treatment for kidney cancer (though I was off my oral chemo for a week before and after the procedure), and I was not able to have chemo, though I did have follow up radiation treatment.

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I had bilat in 2006 and very pleased with the decision....TE recon with exchange for silicone implants....in clothes I look like a small chested woman...is it perfect...no...but it is good...if I was to do it over again, I would still do a bilat....I also had chemo and rads.....

      over 3 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I am very pleased with my bilat. It was my second b/c, so the decision to remove both, 1 prophilacticly (sp?), was easy. I want to be DONE with breast cancer! My breast surgeon (a woman) was AMAZING--and I am done w/major chemo, am just doing Herceptin until mid-September.

      As a formerly overly-endowed woman, I must say I am totally enjoying being flat! I can wear tank tops, t-shirts with no bra and run without bouncing or blackening both of my eyes! What an opportunity! I have consulted a p/s about reconstruction, but am postponing it until after I am finished with the Herceptin. Now I am wondering if I want to go through recon to the degree (DIEP flap) I was considering before--? I could remain flat and wear my "foobs" whenever I felt like it--SUCH FLEXIBILITY--after hauling around "Grandma breasts" most of my life--would be AWESOME!

      over 3 years ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar

      I opted for a bilateral mastectomy, after being told that I needed to have one breast removed. I have never regretted my decision. I had a port and tissue expanders put in at the time of surgery. I then had my chemo, and a month after chemo, began the expansion process which were then swapped out with saline implants. My new breasts look great, and on the positive side, I haven't had to wear a bra in 8 years! Best of luck to you. Make whatever decision feels right for you, and do not look back!

      over 3 years ago
    • penny364's Avatar

      I had a lumpectomy about two weeks ago and was told afterwards that they didn't get all the cells and I'll have to have more surgery. I meet with the surgeon next week to discuss the mastectomy. I'm thinking of just having a double because I don't want to ever get this diagnosis again or go through more worry and biopsies.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy as I wanted to be aggressive in my battle against this evil and elusive enemy. Also, I did not want to face any additional surgery in the future. I also had chemo, radiation and I am now on Arimidex for 5 years. I am very happy with my decision as I know that I have done all that I can do. However, everyone is different and the choice belongs to them alone -- after all, they are the ones that have to live with their choice. I wish you the best.

      over 3 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      I chose bi-lateral, and the reconstruction started that day with tissue expanders. One and a half years later, I am smaller and can wear clothes better. I often go bra-less, something I never would have done before surgery. The process is not easy, coupling it with chemo, but I had excellent doctors and I never experienced a setback. The biggest decision for me was saline or silicone implants, and after talking with a dozen or so women, I chose silicone. I know it all seems overwhelming, but you are doing your research so you will feel comfortable with your decision, and that's great. I wish you well as you move forward.

      over 3 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      Hi OwlSearch, I started with lumpectomy which came back with a second cancer, and two sentinel nodes with cancer. My choice was a mastectomy. I went with the bilateral because I never wanted to go through that again. My bilateral was June 14, 2012 and I started reconstruction 3 months after I completed chemo, Feb. 15, 2013. I will get my silicone implants in July. I would not go back to the lumpectomy if I had known then what I know now. But at 65 I had my boobs for a while and kind of wanted to keep them. But I am happy with the final choice and the Tissue Expanders are not so bad. Good luck with whichever way you decide to go. Peace of mind is priceless!

      over 3 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      bilateral in feb of 2012 - i'm now a flat chested grrrrrl. recon seems to make recovery take a bit longer and requires more surgery. i did not want more surgery, and i wanted symmetry. i am totally happy with my decision. i do - i admit openly and freely - miss my nipples, though...

      over 3 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      I had a double mastectomy July of last year. I was diagnosed with DCIS which was non invasive and localized. However, the stupid radiaologist missed a spot on the mammogram and didn't put it in his report so the surgeon ordered an MRI to check that spot out. They recommended a triple MRI guided biopsy because they found two clusters in the left breast. That did it, I made my decision to have the double mastectomy based upon that MRI report. I didn't want to take the chance of the cancer coming back. Turns out the left breast was negative for cancer, but it was just a matter of time and it would have been cancer too. Doctor told me I made the right decision. That spot that was missed was not in the duct, but it wasn't invasive either because I didn't have to have chemo or radiation treatments. I am coming up on my one year mark and boy am I scared. Had my MRI Friday (No more mammos for me doctor said) and anxious about the results. The first surgery was rough, I am not going to lie to you. Every person is different with their experiences and mine was not pleasant. I had stomach fat taken from the lower belly to rebuild breasts and it wasn't enough. Had to have a second surgery to clean everything up and try to even out the belly. Had a 3rd surgery to clean up the breasts and make the incisions marks across each breast to disappear and because I didn't have enough stomach fat to make full breasts I will be going in on the 24th to have implants put in. The last two surgeries were a little easier than the first. So if you decide to have a DIEP or TRAM flap done be prepared for a lot of pain and being house bound for a month or more. For me it was 2 months before I could completely straighten up and walk right. That stomach incision caused me to have to bend over when I walked and then there is the hassle of having the dressing changed every day and one day a week a visit to the wound care center for dressing change and measurements to be taken on the stomach incision because it is not stitched up. They stitch the inside with stitches that dissolve and butterfly the out part of the incision. They don't close them completely up anymore for fear of infection thus the trip to the wound care center every week. It was a hassle and quite inconvenient and if I had it to do all over again I would chose the implants from the get go. It's done the day they do the initial surgery, but I wanted that little bit of tummy tuck the DIEP flap was going to give me. So that is my experience. I don't know how this implant surgery is going to turn out, but I am hoping for the best.

      over 3 years ago
    • virginiab's Avatar

      I had a surgical biopsy in June, 2012 followed by a lumpectomy to get better margins plus a sentinel node biopsy. I have been very satisfied with the results. I did, of course, have to do radiation, and I also chose to do chemo. The cosmetic results are pretty good. Now that my breast seems to have stopped swelling (it took a while!), I may get fitted for a little "lifter" that I can wear in a bra when I want the girls to match.

      But, in truth, I never had matching boobs. As it happens, it was the larger one that had the tumor, and that breast has now become the smaller of the two. I have some doubts about how much I would wear the augmenting pad, but it might be nice with certain fashions.

      The surgical recovery was simple. It took longer to recover from the anesthesia than the post-surgical pain. I never used any of the pain drugs that were prescribes, just advil or tylenol plus some ice. It took about 24 hours to recover from the biopsy, and twice that for the lumpectomy, which used general anesthesia instead of the stuff they used for the biopsy.

      Good luck with your decision. For me it seemed obvious to have as little surgery as possible, probably because I once had post-surgical issues from joint replacement surgery and ended up a mess for six months. I figure the less I need to be cut up, the better.

      In the end it's a personal decision that we each make, based on our own history, preferences, desires (and maybe our fears, too).

      over 3 years ago
    • laurie2025's Avatar

      I had my surgery after my chemo, had to have chemo first to shrink the tumor. I went with a bilateral mastectomy for the same reason others have listed, I just do not want to go through this ever again. Currently I am 2 weeks post-surgery. I still have 1 drain in, down from 4. Drains are a pain, as you have to empty them and write down how much fluid is coming out. I have developed axillary web syndrome in my left arm, which is a type of cording or roping of the tissues where they removed a bunch of lymph nodes. It is quite painful, and I am getting physical therapy and doing stretches at home for it. I am jealous of everyone who writes they didn't have pain and didn't use the pain pills. I used the prescribed pills for a week, and now use Tylenol as needed. But, I do not regret my decision, and am going to be moving on to radiation in a few more weeks.

      over 3 years ago
    • MillieS's Avatar

      I had a bilateral . I don't regret it. I had a high chance of reoccurance and didn't want to to sorry about it. I had a radiologist miss my first one and didn't want to take any chances again. I am happy with my decision and actually like my flat chest. I have been huge all my life and enjoy going bra less. Good luck. Hugs

      over 3 years ago
    • jad's Avatar

      I was offered choices. And that was difficult. Now that Angelina Jolie has made deadlines with her decision - I'm rethinking my decision for the lumpectomy. However I do not have the BRCA 1 or 2 genes as she has, and studies (according to my breast surgeon, oncologist and what I've read in the popular press) indicate the results from the lumpectomy are close to equally as good.

      Also the risk of infection from major surgery in the hospital/hospital stay influenced me as well. With the lumpectomy, I was home in a few hours and my recovery was quick - drove the next day, experienced virtually no pain etc. It was X-ray guided surgery, so the set up was a little time consuming (x-rays and needles stuck in). But the radiologist doing the set up was very good.
      She was quick, capable, and her chat was diverting,Truly, the thought of what she was doing was more painful than what I physically felt.

      Of course, you must take into consideration the type and stage of tumor you have, your own genetic testing and any oncotype testing. I think it's a good idea to have all of that testing done, especially if it's covered by your insurance.

      And you can not rule out the fluke thing - like someone misreading a test result (as detailed in someone else's answer). And you can't rule out the occurrence of a cancer showing up elsewhere - lung, colon, etc. Life is full of the unexpected - and we need to be able to deal with it. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but there are no guarantees, with anything.

      Making such a decision for treatment is difficult and for me that was perhaps the most difficult. Maybe not the most uncomfortable, but certainly the most difficult emotionally. I wish you well.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      Although my implants will never compare to real breasts, I feel whole. I loved my surgical team and they did a great job. My experience is here on my blog www.breastcancerbattlescars.net

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      I had a unilateral (one side) mastectomy in Dec. of 2012. I have a tissue expander in with saline and I'm very comfortable. I was pleased with my surgical team (I originally began at Sloan Kettering but changed hospitals because my daughter was injured and I have a wonderful plastic surgeon and an oncologist who attended Yale Med and did internship, residency and fellowship at Mass General.).

      I'm physically comfortable, need to lose some weight, looking forward to my reconstruction surgery, happy that I was able to escape chemo because of Oncotype genetic testing (I scored an 8, and am about to celebrate my 6th Cancer free month!

      When they do my reconstruction, my other breast will be lifted (I'm 54) and an implant will be placed into my "good breast" to make certain that it matches perfectly with the reconstructed one.

      My cancer (diagnosed last August 2012) interrupted my Wedding plans-I was supposed to get married in December and I had a mastectomy instead-it was small and intimate...;) (if you don't laugh, you cry). I have a sense of humor about it and my fiance is my caregiver and very much still with me!!...;)

      over 3 years ago
    • Beannie's Avatar

      I had partial mastectomy with oncolplastic surgery on the right breast. I don' t have any regrets with decision - a mastectomy was not an option for me emotionally at the time, I think it would of been too traumatic for me personally. If I did not have a choice, of course, that would have been what I would have done. I chose what was best for me which was the lumpectomy, even though I had to go through more than one surgery to clear area, I am happy that I have my natural breast still. I did radiation after surgery. Scars are a little sore, not going to lie and I do have some pains that shoot through breast occasionally but that is something I can deal with. Good luck with your decision - remember it is your decision!!

      over 3 years ago
    • jamrck's Avatar

      I had a bilateral 6 yrs ago, with expanders put in same day, then silicone implants down the road. I am very happy with my decision. Best of luck to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • Bethie's Avatar

      I am blessed that I was able to have a lumpectomy, but if I had known what I would look like, I would have gone with a bilateral mastectomy. I was always well endowed and gravity has taken hold. My right breast is an almost perky 38 C (give or take) with a 3 inch scar from the lumpectomy. But my left breast, poor baby, has a gully the size of a quarter with a bowl shape as deep as a spoon because of my port. This is where gravity comes in. My left breast is a 38 long. I just roll it up in my bra every morning. Unfortunately, they no longer make the type of filler that I would need to make me balanced. Every one I have spoken to says that they don't see a difference, but I do. Oh well, a 38 pert and a 38 long is what GOD wants me to have so that's what I have. The reason my scars are so bad is because my body doesn't dissolve the dissolvable sutures. So my incisions opened up and were a big pain in the fanny. I call them my badges of honor. I fought, I cried, I won.

      over 3 years ago
    • Kats' Avatar

      I had a double mastectomy in April 2013. I chose to do the mastectomies rather than a lumpectomy because of fear and personal appearance. Because of my age I chose to have reconstructive surgery with implants. I am still recovering but I am very happy with my decision.

      over 3 years ago

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