double mx with expander risk reducing surgery soon ,

Hello ladies,i had a lumpectomy with 6 chemo cycles and 20 radiotherapy which ended sept 2010,i have since found out that i am braca2 carrier. As the last 4 women in my family all had bv i have decided along with doctors,family, to have surgery which is due next month,i would be grateful for any advice on recovery from surgery etc thank you in advance ,sandrae

Hi Nanny4,

I had a double mx with expanders 2 weeks ago and all good so far…!! Touch wood! I had chemo before my surgery so I had time to decide what I wanted to do in terms of surgery and whether I wanted to go for the preventative bilateral mx.

It seems to vary how long you spend in hospital depending on whether the surgeon uses drains or not. Mine doesn’t and I had my op at 16.00, was out of recovery by 21.00 and then they were all up for sending me home at 09.00 the next morning!! After a bit of persuading they let me stay in until the next morning.

In terms of recovery, I’ve been a bit sore where the implants are behind my chest muscles - but nothing too bad - just a bit sore when I do something that would have used the pectoral muscles (eg had a bit of difficulty heaving myself out of the bath a few days ago and haven’t been walking my puppy who tends to pull quite hard on the lead). My biggest source of pain is from my axillary clearance, but you wont be having that. I’ve just been taking it pretty easy for the past couple of weeks.

I’m really happy with the shape my implants have given me (although worried as I’ve got to have rads and know my implants will be affected - but again, you wont have that problem). And I, personally, am relieved that I have done all I can to reduce my risk of recurrance or a new primary. I was worried I would be upset or have an element of regret afterwards - but I have none at all. I am 100% happy with my decision.

I hope it all goes well.


Hi Nanny 4.
i am a brca1 carrier . i’ve had lumpectomy with snb, chemo and now gonna have full node clearance - not sure about rads yet.

i am thinking about the mx with immediate recon for risk reduction but am struggling to come to terms with loosing my breasts.

if you dont mind, how did you come to terms with your deciion? i feel like i’ll never be ready to loose mine, even if i get new ones.

Hope you get lots of good advice from those with the experience like Sandytoes


Hi sandytoes,im so glad all went well for you,thank you for your speedy reply,i had node clearance last year and i have to say that was very painful for weeks,more painful than from the lumpectomy site,i had to wait a year as i had had rads,and my surgeon said he would prefer i wait a year.i am due my pre op assesment on 10th of nov ,i need to find out the fine details as i havent seen my surgeon since i lost the 2 stone i put on during chemo last year.i will keep an eye out for your posts,thank you again for posting , sandrae x

Hi cannoliwings. I dont mind u asking at all,i think my decision was made easier by the fact that my mum had breast cancer twice ,and i had a secondaries scare a couple of months ago ,i e was told that i may have spine cancer,luckily i was given the all clear,but i can honestly say it was hell waiting for the results.i had alreadydecided last year when i found out that i had the brca2gene that i would have the surgery,but after the secounderys scare i was even more sure,i would be devastated if i left it and did get bc again.i had my ovary removed a few months ago,i have already had a hyesterectomy some years ago,one ovary was left as i was only 28 at the time.i hope all goes well for you , take care sandrae x

Hi Sandrae,

I had a bilateral mx and expanders in Feb last year. I had invasive ductal BC in my left breast, but after an MRI revealed that I had 8 areas of cancer (turned out to be a mixture of DCIS and IDC) all in the 1 breast, I made the decision pretty much straight away that I wanted both breasts removed.

I think in the back of my mind I was thinking that if all this was going on in 1 breast, what are the chances of it creeping back in the other? Add to that the fact that I was 29, have 3 children and so on.

The surgery itself was fine, the recovery took a little time, purely due to fluid needing to be drained etc. But I am 100% happy about the decision I made. I am having my final reconstruction with silicone implants in a couple of weeks and really looking forward to getting it all over with:)

I completely understand your reasoning for going for this surgery, I think I would do the same with your family history too.

Take care

Paula xx

Hi paula ,thank you for your reply,glad that all has gone reasonably well for you,hope all goes well when u get your new implants,i have still got to discuss a few minor details with my surgeon before the surgery,like how long would i have to wait for the implants,what sort of size breasts to expect,i dont even know if they take the nipples or not.i will find out in two weeks,but im ready no matter what.take care,sandrae x

Nanny4, do you mind if I hijack your thread for a sec and ask Jbug a question? Sorry, but hopefully it’ll be useful for you too :-).

Jbug - do you still have the expanders in or have you had them replaced with implants or another recon? Also, how long did it take for the soreness in the muscles to go away - or will it be sore every time they expand them?