Bi lateral mastectomy and immediate reconstruction

Hi I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts lobular and ducal I have been advised I can have bilateral mastectomies with immediate Diep reconstruction . The whole surgery is going to take approx 10 -12 hours and it’s frightening to think about The other Option is to have mastectomy and delayed reconstructions ’ but advice is to get all the surgery over with in one go as I’m otherwise fit and healthy  I feel overwhelmed  with all of this as I was originally diagnosed with just cancer left breast but MRI showed lesion in Right that was also confirmed as Cancer and to make things worse I actually work as a McMillan Breast Nurse. And this does not make it any easier  . Please can anyone who has faced similar scenario advise how they made the decision as to surgery etc.

Hi  Having had a mastectomy on just one side 12 years ago - I now wish that I had had both breasts removed at the same time as I feel like a ticking time bomb and they both look so different.  For uniformity and peace of mind it makes sense to have both done.  I didnt have the choice of having immediate reconstruction and waited four years before having it done.  Now I am taking the huge step (for me) of having a breast tattoo - so that it draws attention in the right way - if I ever get undressed in front of anyone again - I am doing this to boost my confidence and cant wait - will be showing my body off to anyone who wants to look at it!!!


I hope your surgery goes well - whatever you decide.


Best wishes


Hi Jackie

I wasn’t in quite the same position as my cancer was only in one breast but I asked for bilateral mx and my surgeon agreed. I had it back in April. You say the advice is to go with immediate recon but is that what you want?

I chose not to have it as I wasn’t bothered and I’ve gone flat ever since. I have fab falsies if I want to wear them but so far I never have. The op was a breeze. I was up at the loo within an hour of coming back from theatre and 4 months on have no pain or stiffness just a bit of annoying scar tissue and I can go back any time if I decide on the recon.

I’m not trying to dissuade you but just saying don’t let yourself be railroaded into something you’re not sure about.

You could try phoning up the helpline. I’ve heard ‘someone like me’ is really good. You can speak to someone who has been in the same position and see if that helps.

All the best x

Hi Jackie,
Im sorry you find yourself here, but welcome.
I am not s McMillan BN but I am a nurse who has looked after many ladies who have followed the path I now find myself on. I also know my BN very well on a professional basis, and I also know the surgeon should did my WLE.
It’s been ok so far, at one point I did have to say to them, please treat me as a patient and not a nurse, because it seemed they were talking to me about someone else, you know like in a MDT. Also my partner was a little lost in done if the terminology.
You also will find your way about, I feel for you love because being a nurse, we sometimes know too much of the wrong stuff, I say that because we do t always need to know everything straight away, although feel we need to. We smash our brain a bit.
Good luck my lovely, hope the op goes well, when is it?
Car x

Sorry about the typos, it’s early and I’m using my mobile, big thumbs little letters, ?

Hi Jackie, I’ve only just found your post.  I had right breast mastectomy and immediate recon - ~DIEP and although it is a bit daunting to think of a 10/12 hours op, as you say and I remember it this way, I knew nothing about it at the time from the first few minutes until in the recovery room.  Having said that I did ask a lot of questions, particularly as I was 73yrs at the time and was told by one oncologist at the time that it was the ‘Rolls Royce’ of procedures and as I thought it through, I decided that it would be much better, in my opinion to have both procedures done on the same day, as I was advised was best.  I have to say that apart from a few niggles with the healing process which could happen regardless, I was very glad that I made the decision and would be happy to encourage anyone else considering it.  Obviously if the medics didn’t think it was right for you they wouldn’t be suggesting it.

Hope this helps