Just had WLE and SLNB

Hi, yesterday I had a WLE and an SLNB after being diagnosed 2 weeks ago, following my very first breast screening mamagram. The last 2 weeks have been the longest ever and have passed in a fog. I now have to wait another 2 weeks for results and to find out what follow up treatment I will be offered. I am finding the whole thing scary. Friends and family have been really supportive and have helped me to stay positive and determined to beat this, but none of them have ever been through this so don’t know what it is like. I haven’t yet taken off my dressings and am not looking forward to what I will see. I love(d) my breasts, and thought they were one of my better features. How do you come to terms with the scars and the misshapen breast? I would love to talk to other people who have been through surgery.


I had WLE and SLNB in February this year. To be honest I was really pleased with my breast and was wearning bra’s within a week and there was no difference between my breasts - I did lose my nipple though but with a bra on no one could tell.

Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky in that when I went for my results there was spread to my nodes and also no clear margins so I had to have a mastectomy and full clearence. At least though they got all the cancer out and thats the main thing.

I agree I found the waiting for results the worst. Its almost as if you life stops for a while and you can’t have normality. Once you get your results in two weeks you will know exactly what the postion is and it does get easier then as you will get a full treatment plan. Hang in there, arrange so nice days out, nice lunches with friends and generally things to look forward to.

Hello Elf,
I had the same op as you on 12th May. Once the dressings came off the scar was not as bad as I had expected, very neat the nurse at my doctors said! The waiting for the results does your head in a bit and after waiting three weeks I got good results, i.e. clear margins and no node involvment. I am now waiting for my app with my onc to discuss the next stage of my treatment. My BCN and surgeon told me at the beginning that I would probably have rads and five years on Femara, which is what I am expecting to hear from the onc. I hope all goes well with your results and all I can say is that you will just have to sit tight and wait , but I do hope that you don’t have to wait as long as I did, mind you the good outcome was worth the extra long wait, I just didn’t think so whilst I was waiting.

Good Luck and Best Wishes,

Isabelle xxx

Hi Elf
Had the same op July last year with good results as only needed Rads and Femara as follow up. The scars have virtually disappeared to the extent that I’m happy to get changed at the baths in the open part rather than in a cubicle.
There’s no rush to take the dressing off but I found it better to do it myself at home just in case I broke into tears. I didn’t as the scars were very neat and not at all scary.
The waiting for results is terrible but try and keep positive and take each day at a time.
Good lucj with your results.

Hi Elf,

I had a WLE and SNB coming up for three weeks ago, like you after being diagnosed following my first mammogram. As others have said the wait for results is the worst bit, but I heard on Monday that they got a clear margin and there was no node spread, coupled with it being a T1 tumour, so huge relief. I don’t think I realised how stressed I’d been - when the surgeon told me the results it literally felt like walking out of a long dark tunnel into bright sunlight. Bizarre!

At the moment my breast doesn’t look any different, apart from the addition of an attractive scar (not). I saw one of the breast nurses this week and she said my breast was still a bit swollen so it might end up a bit smaller. I think it really depends on where the the tumour was, how deep it was and how big. Mine was pretty deep, but also quite small, so that’s probably why no difference at the moment.

Good luck with your results!


Thank you to everyone for your comments. They were really encouraging. I did take my dressings off this morning and it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I am taking each day as it comes and trying to build in something to look forward to each day, even if it’s only a Costa coffee! Thanks again. It’s good to talk


hi Elf
the scar will look better an better over time, I hardly notice mine now. Treats are a great idea, I indulged in things I wouldn’t have normally ‘allowed’ myself, novels, feel-good videos (Finding Nemo etc), magazines, walks, coffee with a newspaper in a nice coffee shop… don’t cost much and if it helps to get you through things its worth it!


I went through exactly the same as you last September and I could have written your post. Believe me, you do gradually come to terms with it all, but it is a huge trauma in your life and it will take time. Fortunately, I had good results and truly hope for the same for you. This, of course, made all the difference.

As far as the shape of the breast goes, as others have said, it depends on how much was taken away. At first, mine was swollen and the scar seemed very long but as the swelling reduced, so did the scar. I do have quite an indentation as although it was a relatively small lump, it was lobular bc and I think the surgeon took extra to be on the safe side. I had radiotherapy and am now on Femara (see my profile) and I am getting on ok. My surgeon recently said it can take up to 2 years to get over it all physically and mentally, although you never really get over it completely, obviously.

Everyone on here will help you through. The lovely people on here can give you reassurance and support whenever you need it. There will (probably) be someone on here even in the middle of the night. You will have lots of questions, so just ask. If you prefer, you can send private messages to individuals. Just click on their profile name and then on ‘Send Message’.

Let us know how you get on and good luck.

Ann x

Hi everyone

Thank you for all your previous comments - they were all very reassuring and have enabled me to get through the last 10 days. I’m asking for advise again though. When I undressed last night I noticed that my breast looked as if it had sprung blue bruises, and this morning my breast is swollen. It is not painful to touch but has been aching all day. Should I be worried or is this normal. I have phoned my bcn and am waiting for her to get back to me but as time passes I am getting more and more concerned. Would appreciate your comments please.

Go to the hospital for results on Thursday. At the moment I don’t know what type of tumour they have found or whether it has spread to my lymph nodes. There has been an indication that I may need radio but nothing confirmed. It’s a very unsettling time. I don’t like dealing with the unknown.

Reading the comments on the forum and just being able to offload to people who understand is a great comfort. Thanks for being there.

Hi Elaine,

I had my WLE and SNB on the 11th of May. A few days after my op my whole boob was very badly bruised and went from a bright purple to blue and then a very unsightly yellowish brown for about two weeks. This was all nicely accented by the blue from the SNB! The District nurse was visiting to check on the wounds and when they went very red got me to ring bcn who made arrangements for me to go in the next day and be checked. She said it was a seroma and drained fluid which didn’t hurt and made me instantly much more comfortable. I should say the seroma never actually hurt just felt tight and a bit like I had a golf ball under my arm. It hurt more because it made the scars stick out and they were still V sensitive.

The blue has slowly faded but I still have an interstingly blue nipple.

Good luck and I hope it’s all fine.

All the best.


Thanks Jo. I have an appointment at the hospital tomorrow so I hope the news is good. Thanks for your reassurance.

Good luck for results tomorrow…I’m in the same position as you waiting.
I only had mine last friday so a wait for me yet.

I agree it could be a seroma…mine is the same…BCN came yesterday but couldn’t drain it as I nearly fainted…lol…nothing to do with needles but because of low blood pressure so she is going to do it next week.

Well the results weren’t what I would have liked. The tumour was type 2, bigger than expected but with wide margins. Unfortunately, cancer cells were also found in the lymph nodes so it’s back for ANC on 21st July, most probably followed by chemo, radio and hormone therapy. I think I’m in shock as I have been doing all sorts of stupic things today and I keep drifting off. The worst part is the feeling that I’m not in control because as a teacher it’s not something I’m used to! Also I was due to start a new job in September - I think that will have to be put on hold now. Everybody keeps telling me not to worry about anything and just concentrate on getting better, and I know they are right but right now I am finding it very difficult not to worry.
By the way is it normal to have a CT scan and a bone scan or is that something else to worry about?

Hi sorry that the news is not what you expected. When i was being staged/graded i had lots of tests which included a deep bone scan


Hello Ladies,
I am still waiting for two of my results before I can get my onc app, I have now been waiting for over six weeks ( I had my op on 12th May). I was told a couple of weeks ago when my own BCN was on her holidays that my margins were clear and my snb was clear. I narurally thought that it meant that I would be fine and would just need rads and tablets. Since then I’ve been told that it’s grade 2 which I hadn’t expected and that it was in two places and not just one. I have now been told I may need chemo as well as rads. Still waiting to find this out when the rest of my results come back.
It may seem odd but I now feel after all of this waiting I have got my head round the idea of having the chemo and I think it could be a relief if they just say yes we’re going to do that. I think I would feel better because I think that at least then I would have thrown everything I can at this bl–dy bc. I am not some kind of hypocondriac and I look after everyone else in my job, I’m not used to being the one who’s ill.
I know it may sound odd, but after waiting all of this time I don’t want to come back with this occuring again in a couple of years time just because I didn’t get all of the treatment that is best for me now.
Does that sound silly or do other people understand where I’m comming from with this?
I would like to know other people’s thoughts on this.

Best Wishes to all,

Isabelle xxx

Hi Elf4d,
Sorry that the results weren’t what you had hoped for, mine was a high grade, grade 2 but was smaller than expected just 12 mm, it was also in 1 of the 3 lymph nodes they first took, I had a full clearance of my nodes on monday (21st june) and got out of hospital yesterday, I have to say I feel better after the full clearance than I did after the SNB. I now have to wait till the 6th July for my results, have been told that I will prob be offered chemo, radiotherapy and then hormone therapy for 5 years.

I hate the feeling of not being in control, I am normally the one who does everything for everyone else. I am trying not to even think about what they have found/not found and am trying to focus on the next step - whatever it may be.

So far I have not had any scans, but from what I can gather, here they like to get the surgery out of the way first - so will find out more on the 6th july - trying not to think about it yet, but I will do anything and everything to beat this thing!!!

I’m not a hypocondiriac either, but I’m gonna take whatever they offer to get rid of the bc, its good that your margins and snb were clear. I had my WLE & Snb on 17th May and have had my results, and been back for a node clearance as i had 1 of 3 nodes affected.
I don’t think you sound silly, I think its wise to do/take all we can that is offered to us to give us the best chance to stop it coming back again.

Love and Hugs to all you lovely ladies
Tracey xxxxx

Thanks Tracey,
I thought I was a bit odd thinking that way, but I do feel better knowing that other people in the same position understand how I feel about it.
The sooner I get those bl–dy results the better !!!

Best Wishes

Isabelle xxx

I can’t beleive that you are still waiting for your full results after 6 weeks - that doesn’t help when you have to get your head around things, before my full clearance the doctor told me that I would prob be offered chemo, as preventative and due to my age (47) and then radiotherapy, but the bc nurse said it would be a possiblity - there will be discussions - is what she said, but im gonna take anything and everything I can to beat this bl**dy thing - I am so glad I only have 2 weeks to wait - well only 1 week now i’m out of hosp from my node clearance, think i would be in a mental hospital if i had to wait longer.

I’m like you not used to being ill, resting and doing as i’m told is totally new to me (still cant get head around it - as hubby is just hoovering dog hairs up after finishing ironing lol)

Good luck with your results when you finally get them all, let us know how you get on and what treatment you have next

Love & stuff to all
Tracey x

Hi Tracey,
Thanks for your comments, I’m hoping that I will get my results this week so I can get my onc app.
After my op on 12th May I was told that I would have my results back in two weeks,or three at the most and here I am still waiting and I think it’s the waiting that’s the worst thing. At least when your having your ops ect. something is actually being done.
Sorry for the moan I’m not normally like this, I just want to get on with some treatment.

Thanks for listening, I hope that you are doing ok since your operation and that all goes well for you.

Best Wishes,

Isabelle xxx

I had my wle and snb nearly 3 wks ago,going in again on tues for a full node clearance,1 in 3 got the dreaded cancer cells,luckily for me they had a slot 5 days after they told me it had spread,usually 3 wks,as you all know the waiting is the hardest,and the waiting for the results is the worst,im keeping my fingers crossed but the’ve offered me chemo too due to my age,43. At first they told me it would be wle,snb,radiotherapy then tamoxifen, now they’ve moved the goalposts well out and it seems they are throwing everything at me,and its a bit worring to know whether they are just being precaucious or it more serious than they first thought