DCIS surgery & feeling wonky

2 weeks ago I had a surgery to remove my DCIS, together with a sentinel node biopsy. Fortunately I had good margins and the nodes were clear so I am now awaiting my first radiotherapy session. I suppose my main issue at the moment is feeling so much discomfort and not being able to find a really good post surgery bra. M&S have been by far the best but I previously had large boobs (H cup) & now one is less than half the size; so no matter what bra I get, there is little support for the smaller side. I know I can get a prosthesis in time, but it’s proving quite uncomfortable at the moment. 

I am not concerned in the slightest about how I look, it’s more about feeling I have the right support. Most companies I look at don’t even go up to an H cup & Bravissimo do not have any specific bras for post surgery. I am fortunate that because of my size I did not need a mastectomy and I have effectively had a breast reduction surgery instead. The DCIS & benign calcifications spanned 9cms. My consultant has offered to reduce the other side in 6 months time, (although currently i’m not fancying that much), but I’m not sure quite what to do in the meantime. I guess it’s still early days & I have much to come to terms with. 

Has anyone else had similar issues? It would also be useful to know when you felt up to returning to work. Thanks. 

hi Sharon,

I had DCIS and had left mx and immediate DIEP flap reconstruction. I felt similar when I first came out of surgery and couldn’t get a single back closing bra that was comfortable or supported properly. They were all either too tight, too loose or huge on the straps and hurt. 
I bought a few front closing crop tops/bras from Amazon, which were nice and soft and stretched/shrunk to accommodate the size of both boobs but once I had all dressings off, I found these Royce ones (link below) to be the best and I still wear them, 4 months on. My surgeon also wants to lift/reduce my other side but I’m not sure I’m going to let him and I need a nipple but I’m not sure I want this either. Things have only just started to settle down and feel like a part of me. These Royce bras are my go to along with M&S post surgery bras (just within the last 2/3 weeks mind you) when I need the padding for appropriate tops. It took a while to be able to cope with the shape of a proper bra again so give yourself some time. 


Returning to work: I returned to work 4 weeks ago on a phased return, working from home. I was off for 12 weeks in total and have had 4 weeks of phased return.  I’ve just submitted another GP fit note with altered hours to my boss for another 4 weeks and I’m waiting to see how they suggest proceeding. They previously wanted to change my contract! I guess we’ll wait and see.

Take your time and allow yourself time to recover. I’ve figured out that slowly and surely is the name of the game here. Your body will tell you when it’s ready to pick up speed again. Take it easy. 



Hi Sharon

I had similar surgery to you, with a large area of DCIS removed . I didn’t have your problem because I had a lot of swelling and seroma, so much that I could hear it slosh when I turned over in bed. So at first the operated boob was still the same size as the other one. But eventually I had to use a partial prosthetic to fill out the other cup, and last year had two operations to reduce the other side.


After the breast reduction they sent me home in a surgical bra, which is effectively a front fastening sports bra with soft wide straps and stretchy cups, it did up with hooks and eyes and a zip. It may be worth asking your BCN if you could have one, and failing that, I think M and S do something similar. It is an issue because it’s painful not to be properly supported, there are internal stitches which pull. But when you’re healed it will still be an issue.  The partial prosthetics are very good, mine was flesh coloured silicone gel which sits in an ordinary bra cup to fill it out. They are available from the NHS prosthetics service, but you can look online at Amoena or Nicola Jane.


I was told to wait till I’d finished radiotherapy to get the partial prosthetic, which just delayed things, I’d needed it for at least two months before I got it.


Gosh, I hope that wasn’t too much information, it’s just that I didn’t find anyone who had a partial prosthetic and could have done with information a lot sooner.


Good luck with your recovery, hope all goes well for you.


Hi Sharon. I am newly diagnosed with DCIS and due for right side mastectomy start of July. I am 38F and love my boobs - but they say I will be lucky if I can get up to a D cup. I am having reconstruction on same day. I can imagine how you must be feeling - I have been looking online and its not easy finding stuff for one sided surgery. I hope you get something sorted. I am going to opt for the sports top ones with a zip front to start with and then adapt as I go.
Sending strength and positive energy - be a brave warrior my darling. Blessed Be )O(

Hello all,


It is reassuring to be part of this forum. I recently was disagnosed with DCIS and had a mastectomy 2 weeks ago. I had about 7cm in one section of my left breast and another 3cm in another part of the same breast. What was destabilizing about all this was, I came to the UK on holiday and came for a second opinion with a gynaecologist here and after a series of blood tests this was discovered. So a lot has happened in the last 2 months.


What i am most anxious about now is returning to work. I do not know how I am going to cope. I am scheduled to leave the UK to go back to Lagos, Nigeria in two weeks, and everytime I think about work I get anxious. I lead a business that is into coaching and human resources training and some of my clients are requesting for me to facilitate some sessions as soon as I get back. I really do not see myself working full-time for the rest of the year, I just do not feel emotionally ready to take on that workload. Am I being extreme? I just need to know that I am not alone in this. I am a very active person, so slowing down is not normal for me and I am filled with so much guilt for not being able to be there for my company. How did all of you cope?


I need some reassurance that I am not going insane.


Sochi, All i can say is that I wrnt back to work fulltime 3 weeks after my lumpectomy.
Worst mistake ever.
My head hadn’t got used to the idea of what i was going through (diagnosed and then surgery within 3 weeks) and at my rads planning everything just crumbled.
I took 6 weeks off over rads and for recovery and then returned on a phased return. Im back to fulltime now but I really take it easy and work from home whenever possible.
I really do think that people at work, who know, see me looking fit and healthy and forget that I’ll be in recovery for another year.
So just put yourself first. Don’t be pressured in to going back before you feel ready. Going back too soon really set me back until I just listened to my own heart and body.