Lumpectomy Surgery on Monday

Hi all,

Please bear with me, it’s my first time posting.

I’m due to have a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on Monday.  I’ve been going through all sorts of emotions, wondering whether I should have had a mastectomy, they have said I’m stage 1 but I guess they won’t really know until they have a look. I know a couple of people that have had lumpectomies and then had to have a mastectomy so I just don’t know.

I suffer with extreme anxiety and panic attacks and I won’t find out until Friday whether my husband will be able to come with me and be there for 2nd stage recovery.  It sounds ridiculous but it is a deal breaker for me, I don’t think I will be able to cope knowing that he won’t be there. 

I have so many emotions right now and questions, lots of questions.  I have just buried my head under the sand until now.

What type of bra should I buy, do I need to wear button blouses, so many things buzzing through my brain  

Thanks for listening.

Wendy x

Hi this is my first time !

I can understand your anxiety completely on the 17th of Nov I’m having the same surgery and you are right until they look at your lymph nodes the diagnosis might change same for me . I`m sure you have made the right choice about your surgery , from what I have read and the surgeon told me there is no clinical difference between a mastectomy and lumpectomy in the caner coming back . Its how the team treat you afterwards with chemo / radiotherapy / receptor therapies will help it from coming back .

Could another relative or friend not be your plan B in case your husband is not there?

I`m in awe of anyone facing this on their own 

Perhaps your GP could help with some medication to relax you .

Positive  thoughts you will beet this on Monday is the step towards been cancer free xxxxxxx


Hi Callista,

I know a diagnosis of breast cancer comes as a shock so totally understand the anxiety.

I presume the biopsy showed stage 1, which indicates it has been caught early. 

When I was diagnosed just over 6 years ago I read quite a few medical studies and at that time the conclusions were (exactly as my oncologist had informed me!) that breast conservation surgery (ie lumpectomy) potentially with other treatments has just a good a long term outcome as a mastectomy. 

The oncology and breast cancer team will be guided by all the scans showing the lump and will remove  the lump along with a margin around it and then test the tissue in the margin (as well as double checking the lump). Another operation is only required if any cancer cells are detected in the margin or in the lymph nodes if being checked via a sentinel node biopsy (results usually come through a week or so later - for me this was during a post-op follow up check with the surgeon).

If you think it might help you could phone the Breast Cancer Now helpline and/or ask to be put in touch with someone who has gone through a similar diagnosis and treatment. Alternatively you could try to contact your breast care nurse at the hospital.

Bra’s and what to take to hospital - loose button up soft cotton nightshirt or top. I took some loose T-shirt bottoms to put on when leaving the hospital (anything easy since you may be feeling a bit groggy).

Many women tend to get some swelling post op, and a good supportive bra (non-wired) helps post op (support re the wound area, plus helping reduce swelling and any bruising). I went for a seamless sports bra, rear fastening, with some bra extenders to get round the post op swelling (M&S, John Lewis etc sell extenders). Some women prefer bras which do up at the front (personally I would have found these a bit tricky and you can’t use the extenders with them so possibly slightly less flexible - but some women prefer them). ASDA and M&S do various post surgery bras and/or sports bras. 

I appreciate you would ideally like your partner to be able to take you in/collect you afterwards. As a fall back ask a reliable good friend, preferably someone who is quite calm, to take you and visit/collect you after. A friend did this for me since unfortunately my partner had to go to the other side of the world since another family member was having a major health crisis (worse than mine!)

You might find it helpful to try some mindfulness to help calm you on the day. Or anything else which may distract you. For me I imagine I am at the top of cliffs next to the sea, hearing the sounds, imagining the breeze and sun on my skin, the grass seed heads rustling, birds overhead etc. It really helped me - and might be worth you trying?

I found the surgeon was very neat and my scars healed really well (very faint now - hardly visible). Besides a good diet, eating protein at every meal can help since it’s used for cell repair/building. 

I hope the above helps. If you have any other q’s please post if you think any of us can help.   

Be kind to yourself - the medic’s know what they are doing.

XXX Seabreeze 



Thank you both, your replies have really helped me.

My husband wants to be with me and has taken the time off work.  Its just because of the Covid situation, the hospital said that he might not be able to be there.  If that is the case, I don’t think I would be able to do it. 

I am stage 1 so I class myself as really lucky.  I will have a sentinel node biopsy in the morning before the operation.

I feel better today,

Hi wendy. I’m not sure what way round your treatment is  I had all my chemo first, then had my lumpactomey on the 19th October. Like you wasnt sure how it would be. My husband wasnt aloud in, also I had to go and have some markers put in first  then had to go and hv a injection done ready for the blue dye they put in during the OP. All which was pain free and didnt hurt. Also  recovery from op was a lot easier then I thought. I only needed paracetamol first night. Have done the excercise  every day  today I took my dressings  of and was very impressed by my scare. The only think that is sore still is the under arm where that scare is .  Had good news as they got rid of all the cancer and lymph nodes were clear to. So just got radiotherapy next  then hopefully that’s me finished.  All the best for julie

Hi, i had my surgery at beginning of Oct. hubby was only allowed to drop me off, otherwise he would have been in their like a shot. I had

lymp node biopsy and lumpectomy. Got results this week and i am stage 1, they wouldn’t tell us at the start! Should have been discharged same day, but because i have a blood clotting disorder, i was in overnight. The other two ladies in for same surgeon were in overnight too but that is because breast surgeon or somebody from department didn’t come up to do the paperwork. Took until early afternoon the following day for someone to appear and that was after the charge nurse made a fuss! I had a pj’s that buttoned up the front (never got a chance to wear them though!) i have sport bra and have been wearing at night too, too help support during the night. Have tried without but woke up really sore. Will try soon without.

hubby could only pick up from car park, and I had to be escorted from ward to the car park by a hospital worker. 

i was scared too, i have a phobia about hospital, but most of the staff really tried to help me relax and we did have jokes before i had mini meltdowns. Consultant anaesthetic was getting me to find a imaginary bruise on his leg to give me a distraction even though I didn’t have my glass on and i am blind as a bat without!