Mastectomy without reconstruction

I think that this is what will be suggested when I get my results next week. Can anyone tell me how this was for them?

What is the recovery like?

How long without driving?

How do you cope ‘breastless’ - I’ll be honest, this is freaking me out a bit! I’m not even in a relationship!

What is the recovery like from the delayed reconstruction?

Currently a mastectomy is the best case scenario for me. My brain is not allowing me to go to the worst case, so I’m thinking it might help me to at least have this option processed.

Currently using wine and chocoalates to get me through - not healthy I’m sure!! Any help appreciaited.


And sorry, cos I feel like I am using up a lot of this forum at the moment.

Hi Mac66
I had mastectomy and lymph node clearance without recon in May last year. The recovery wasn’t too bad at all, two days in hospital then six weeks at home with no driving etc. Sent home with loads of painkillers but didn’t need them. If you have lymph nodes out it is important to do the exercises they give you.
The physical side of recovery from my mastectomy was fine but emotionally is harder. At first I was just so relieved to have the cancer out I didn’t question my surgeon when he said recon would be about 6 months after rads finished. I have since found out this was not a realistic prediction as I saw him again after rads and he will not even refer me to plastic surgeon for 6 - 12 months, then have to join a long waiting list.
Being breast less isn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be but I wish I had been prepared for how long this would be for. I hate being lopsided but the prosthesis are pretty good when fully clothed.
What you are going through now is the worst part once all results are in and you have start dates for treatment it does get easier. I remained fairly active during my recovery from the mastectomy but didn’t chance driving until the 6 weeks were up, think there are insurance issues too. Just listen to your body and don’t overdo things and I’m sure you’ll be fine.
At times like this chocs and wine are the best medicine, when I was going through chemo my onc actively encouraged me to indulge, as he said there’s plenty of time for healthy eating afterwards.
Take care, Karen x

Hi Mac66

I am exactly three weeks today on from left MX with no recon at this stage. I found the first week a doddle pain wise although the drain is a pest, the second week more uncomfortable as the feeing returned to nerves and made it more sore, and the last week it feels like I’m getting there although the skin around the area and my armpit (SN removal only) are very sensitive to fabric moving against them so I don’t wear my sports bra and softie for any great lengths of time if I can help it.

I’m signed off work currently as starting chemo next week so am coping fine mixing short term softie wear with sometimes nothing and just a strategically placed scarf and definitely only tops when at home - no bra! I am quite large naturally (36H) so there’s no hiding the lopsided-ness, but I am strangely ambivalent about it. Possibly because I’m focused on stage two of the treatment plan now.

I’m 47 so intend to have a recon after treatment is finished and have opted for a DIEP which I know is a big op but I think it’s the right long term solution for me.

I started driving carefully about 2.5 weeks post op - if you sit back from the steering wheel like I do, it’s indicating right and gear changing that pull a bit, but it’s manageable. The insurance company told me it was medical advice only - they don’t have fixed guidelines so ask your BCN and try it when you feel able for a short journey with another driver who can take over if necessary.

And I’ve also found wine is a good solution some days - not so much on the chocolate! :wink:

Good luck! Sarah x

Hi Mac


We are all different: heres how it went for me. I had mx just over three years ago with SNB. I did not want recon because of all the extra surgery etc and wanted to get back to normal as soon as possible.I was not prescribed chemo or radiotherapy. I was put onto Letrozole immediately. I had 10 days off work and was on ‘lighter duties’ for want of a better expression for a while. I had problems with my arm and chest tightness on the affected side but slowly with religious attention to the exercises it got better. Overall it was nothing like as bad as I imagined it would be. I had imagined at some point I would look at myself naked and burst into tears but that has never happened.I wish that none of it had been necessary but it has not altered my activities or stopped me doing anything I want to do. I wear a prosthesis and have to be a bit careful with tops but I have never worn low ones anyway.