I have to choose - lumpectomy or Mastectomy with DIEP

I’ve been told that because I have 2 small lumps and the area between them will have to be removed making a total of almost 6cm.

WAE brings risk if margins not cleared, that another op will be needed. If margins are clear then just radio and that’s it. Same outcome as after mas.

Mastectomy is a hugely bigger op …

What do people think?

Very difficult choice Jessie.If it was me I would go for the less major op and keep everything crossed that one op would be enough ,but it’s a very personal choice .Good luck whatever you decide .Jill

Hello Jessie, yes a difficult decision.  I didn’t have mastectomy, but did need 2 lumpectomies. Only 20% need a second lumpectomy, so 80% don’t! Did surgeon give any indication whether good shape could be achieved with the lumpectomy? Wishing you all the best, this is a fantastic forum and there will be lots of ladies who have been in your position who will be along shortly. xxx

hi Jessie,


Only you can make the decision, but I have just undergone two WLE because margins not met.

It wasn’t that bad, looking back but was emotional as just as you start to feel human again, you have to do it all again.  But there is a good chance you won’t need to.

Much love



Hi jessie

I chose to have a lumpectomy and 45mm was removed. Luckily had good margins so no more surgery needed. I do have one breast noticeably larger than the other though. For me, I wanted the chance to keep my breast, but that was my choice. Only you can make that decision. Good luck with whatever you decide xx

Hi Jessie, I was also given the choice of lumpectomy or mastectomy and I chose mastectomy… the reason being after an MRI scan, I had a smaller lump behind main original lump. I had my op on Thursday so am just 48 hours post op and all is well. Oh … also I only have small boobs so quite a bit of reconstruction would have been needed after a lumpectomy …

Hi - I am new to this forum but read this and found myself in the same position as you early December.  Initially I was told I was going to have a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy as the ultrasound showed the area (a mass rather than a formed lump) to be 3.5cm.  Unfortunately after an MRI it showed it was 5.5cm.  That is where they then said it was up to me to choose to either take a tablet for 6 months to see if it reduced it (to me that was prolonging the agony), to have a lumpectory and node biospy with a quarter of the outside of the breast removed, or mastectomy.  I’m 43 and I couldn’t just tell them to remove it all, so opted for the lumpectomy.  During the surgery on 13 December they found 2/3 nodes they didn’t like the look of so removed them, rather than wake me up, discuss it, and put me back under.  I trusted the surgeon 100% (having heard nothing but great things about her).  If she had thought a mastectomy was better than lumpectomy then I would have trusted her judgement.  But I’m glad I went for that option for me.  However - IF when I get the results back next week more breast needs removing she has advised mastectomy will probably be needed.  I will face that if and when.  My mother in law (at 83) did not think twice and said to remove the breast when she had it last year, and her cancer was smaller and different to mine.  She wanted them to remove it altogether and didn’t have to have radio or chemotherapy.  Our situations are so different. Good luck in what you decide to do.  I am glad to have found this website and forum - brilliant to read things to reassure and inform :slight_smile: xxx

Welcome to the forum Claire.Good luck with your results .

Hi Jessie

I had a similar decision to make, my tumour was 5cm across. I was offered either mastectomy with immediate reconstruction if I wanted, or a lumpectomy with lift and reduction surgery, radiotherapy to follow, and an operation six months later to match up both boobs.

I opted for the lumpectomy, my surgeon rearranged the remaining tissue to recreate a good shape. Unfortunately I didn’t get clean margins, so had to have quite a lot more removed. That boob is now quite a lot smaller than the other, but is still a normal shape. Now I have six months before any surgery to the good side, to make sure the operated side has finished any changes after radiotherapy.


It’s not easy to make these decisions, but I would say to trust your surgeon. If s/he says they can create a good shape despite this amount of surgery, then hopefully they know what they’re talking about. I had about 9cm removed in the end, I think the size you are before surgery makes the biggest difference. I was an E cup, which meant there was enough breast tissue left to recreate a breast shape despite the amount they removed. If you are already small to start with, it may be more marginal.


Good luck with your decision, I hope everything goes well for you.



Good luck with your op Jessie.

Very best wishes for your op and glad you were able to come to a decision you were comfortable with…