double mastectomy

hi this is my first time post I was Diagnosed with cancer on the 16th of August had first op on the 6th September a wide local excision thought all was ok but on returning to see consultant on the 13th Sept I was told I had dcis and my only option was a mastectomy in fact due to the consultants concerns was advised to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction. I now have the date for that 1st November addmission op on the 2nd November its all been moving so quickly I am terrified about the operation any one had the same and can tell me what to expect x

Dear dwest

I am sorry to read of your recent diagnosis, I am sure you will receive valuable support and advice from your fellow users. In addition, Breast Cancer Care have published a Resources Pack specifically for anyone newly diagnosed with breast cancer which can be ordered on line, it is filled with information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and the various treatments available, you can order it via the following link: You are also welcome to contact our freephone confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000 for further support, advice and information from our team of specialist nurses. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm. I do hope you find this information useful.
Kind regards
Breast Cancer Care


I was diagnosed with BC on 2 July and after an argument with my consultant over dates for surgery (I got married on 11 Aug and there was no way in hell I was missing out on my dream wedding) I was admitted on 22 Aug (after a weeks honeymoon) and had a double mastectomy with tissue expander reconstruction.

It is nerve wrecking not knowing what to expect, but believe me, I am now 5 weeks on and I can’t remember why I was so scared. I am just glad now that the BC has been taken away…

You may be achey and a bit sore afterwards, but in the immediate term, you get morphine and stuff for pain relief… If you are in ANY pain whatsoever, then tell your nurses/consultant - there is no need for you to suffer in silence. I was a little out of it for a couple of days but was well enough for visitors etc. The one thing that you might not have thought of, is that you will have your intravenous stuff through a cannula in your foot… this is routine, as you are not supposed to have blood pressure/bloods taken etc from your affected arm - as you are having a bilateral mastectomy, this means both arms… They put it in whilst you are asleep so you don’t feel it going in. I had that in for about 5 days whilst they gave me pain relief and antibiotics, then they took it out and gave me the painkillers and antibiotics in tablet form.

It feels really funny having your blood pressure taken on your leg!! Make sure your leg is on the bed, leg out flat, rather than dangling off the end of the bed - your blood pressure result is higher if it’s dangling for some reason!!

The most annoying thing (for me) about the whole thing, was the drains. You have a drain fitted to collect excess fluid after surgery. This sounds scary, but it’s not, it’s just annoying having to remember you’re plugged into something… I had 2 small shoulder bags that the hospital provided to put your drains into when you’re moving around.

Your arms will feel heavy and tight, but don’t worry… As I said before, I am 5 weeks post-op and I have almost full movement in my arms - I had my lymph nodes removed too, so if you’re not having that done, it may take you less to recover!

The reconstruction side now is a doddle. I had the tissue expander implants, and have 50-60ml os saline injected into them weekly. This doesn’t hurt it just feels tight, it’s just like going through puberty again, only in fast motion as you can see you boobs growing loads each week!!

Feel free to ask me whatever questions you want, I will answer them as honestly as possible! Just remember that each person deals with things differently, so things that may have affected me might be a doddle to you…

J xx

thanks for the info am still bit worried as they are going for take skin and fat etc from my stomach to make my breasts ( daughter says bonus tummy tuc for free) but it still very nerve wrecking thought i would be less worried when i got my date but no. congrats on your wedding I have been married for 33 years most of it good but he next to useless with all wot i am going through now still he is a mam lol thanks once again at least i dont feel so olone now D


I only had a single mastectomy but I did have an immediate TRAM reconstruction back in August 06.

I woke up with a catheter in, it felt good not to have to make the effoert to get out of bed for a couple of days. I was hooked up to a morphine drip and had pain relief on demand. Tehy also came round with dihydrocodiene and paracetamol. So in the respect there was no pain, just discomfort.

It was a bit uncomfortable getting out of bed the first few times but the nurses were really good at helping. Don’t be afraid to ask for any help as they will are used to use all being weak weary and tearful.

The drains are a bit of a niusance, my hospital provided pump bag type bags for you to cart them about in.

My boob felt big and hard but it softens up and begins to have movement instead of being a solid lump that has been stuck on. Mine still has a couple of firm places but is getting there.

My worst thing was constipation. Ohhhhh. If you are prone to this with medication ask people to fetch you in plenty of things that might help you to go. I ended up with an enema. Got colonic irrigation as well as the tummy tuck.

I wore hospital nighties for the first couple of days as it was easier with having the drains in. I also slept with a pillow under my knees so that it did not strain my stomach, I also found it better to sleep propped up, that made it easier to sit up and get out of bed.

Let me know if I can tell you anything else

Good luck

Marilyn x