Mastectomy dilemma

I have been offered either a mastectomy or WLE and am trying to decide. My question about mastectomy (which in my case will include ALND) is does the surgeon leave enough skin to close the area after removal or is there a skin graft?

Hello sundowner,

Thank you for posting.

It’s understandable that you have questions to help you decide when offered mastectomy or wide local excision to treat your breast cancer. You say that you are having an axillary lymph node clearance as well.

Many women wonder what their chest will look like after surgery. You will see from the diagram in the mastectomy link above that the surgeon would leave enough skin to close the wound. Women who have a mastectomy have a single scar running across their chest. You may wish to ask your treatment team if they can show you a picture of a women who had mastectomy if you think this would help.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions about any of our services. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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