Hi I was recently diagnosed with DCIS I have had one surgery and biopsy performed and now the doctor has said I need a further operation in order to try and achieve clear margin of healthy tissue, in order to achieve this I will lose my nipple and areola and will have a big scar running straight across my boob.

Is this normal? When I have looked a pictures on internet most people with lumpectomy have a little scar high up on the breast but all seem to  still have nipples etc.


Thanks  xx

Hello jan65


I am sorry to hear that you need further surgery, I am in the same situation.

I suppose it depends where the Dcis is and how extensive it is. Where is the scar from your first surgery? 

My scar extends from the edge of the nipple to the outer edge of my breast. I am due to have a further wle as the margin nearest my nipple was not clear. I was offered mastectomy and was told I could not keep the nipple if I chose mastectomy.  I thought that if you needed a further wle the surgery is via the previous scar so you only end up with one.

Perhaps you could speak to your breast care nurse and air your concerns about losing the nipple and areola.

Hope this helps.

Hi Jan


The location of the scar is entirely dependant on where the cancer is located. So you would end up with a scar high up on your breast if that was where the cancer was. If your surgeon is saying that he needs to remove more tissue, including your nipple and areolar then I’m guessing this must mean that there is cancer located under or very close to your nipple. If that is the case then the surgeon cannot risk leaving any cancer behind.


I had a lump right underneath my nipple so I knew early on that I would lose it. However my surgeon was able to do a purse string closure on the wound so that I was left with a circular scar where my nipple/areolar had been which I think helped me somewhat as at least I had something there.


It might be worth discussing with your surgeon whether there are any other options for you other than a long horizontal closure. There is also something called a grisotti procedure whereby a circular flap of skin below where your nipple was is turned up and stitched into place where your nipple was.


Hope that helps.