MX dilemma

Had MX 5 weeks ago & am feeling truly depressed by the appearance. Previously had WLE & result was cosmetically satisfactory, so I expected a similar result for MX ie neat & level. Instead I have a depression in the middle of the cut with 2 lumps at each end of cut. Also there is a bulge below the cut. The lump nearest centre of chest has been sore from day 1 & because of the location I cannot wear a bra. These hot days I have to go out with a thick coat so the lopsidedness will not be noticeable. I did mention how upset I was to 2 different breast care nurses when I was having wound checked post surgery but didn’t get much sympathy - they said major concern of surgeon was to remove disease, not necessarily to produce good cosmetic result. However, surely the 2 are not mutually exclusive. Also, shouldn’t I have been told beforehand about looking like a freak afterwards (which is how I feel). I am now expected to sign up for chemotherapy & radiotherapy & quite honestly I’ve now had enough of it all. At no point did the surgeon mention reconstruction (I wouldn’t want this anyway) but equally no mention was made about cosmetic correction of unacceptable results. What should I do now?

Hi There, I’m sorry you are so upset with how your scar is looking but I think its still early days. I am only 2 weeks post mx and have a lot of fluid in there, it looks like an A cup and its very bruised, because of all this the scar is slightly puckered too. I think it will take 2-3 months to settle down but others may know more from their experience. I can wear a bra for a short while but if its too uncomfortable I just safety pin the cumfie in a camisole top. M&S do a pocketed post-surgery top but they didn’t have my size, mine is just a cheap one from Peacocks. It looks fine as long as I don’t wear a clingy top. Perhaps you could try that. I think if you are not happy a few more weeks down the line you should ask your bcn if you can have another appt with the surgeon to discuss the appearance and ask if anything can be done. Its a huge thing to get used to, I hope you soon start to feel more positive about it.
Take care XX

Hi Phloxylady,
I’m sorry you’re feeling so bad. I’m 6 weeks post bilateral mx. The scar from the breast which had had the WLE is very much wonkier than the other one, and looks a bit like it’s been gathered up. I’ve got a funny fold at the centre end of that scar that looks like a little smile, and the other end has a bulging scar. The surgeon has removed the WLE scar which was above the nipple, I guess it would’ve been even more messy had it been left. I’ve also got a seroma under my arm on the same side, and phlebitis in the vein underneath it, and haven’t worn a bra for longer than 10 minutes because of this. I’m lucky it’s bilateral, so I can easily go breast free.
Since the op, the whole thing has really settled down especially in the last couple of weeks, and the swelling and seroma have improved dramatically in the last few days. I’m using bio oil on the scars. I do hope it will improve, but I think surgeons will do ‘tidy ups’ (sounds so simple!) once treatment is over.
I hope your scar improves enough for you to feel ok about it. I’d speak to the bcn and/or surgeon about it too. My plan is to have funky tattoos along the scars, so hopefully that will make things less obviously wonky and I’ll feel happier about it.
Big hugs,
Lynne xx

Hi there Phloxylady

I am four months down the line from a bilateral mx and my scars are more or less flat now after looking a bit puckered and angry for a while. I also used bio oil and still do. However I have been left with considerable fatty deposits under my arms and a fatty lump in the middle of my chest. As I say to people I went in to the hospital with two boobs and came out with three. I made a decision early on that I did not want reconstruction
Anyway I will be back in next week to have that little lot tidied up. I asked my surgeon at the three month check up if there was anything that could be done and she didn’t hesitate in saying yes. At this point I am feeling a bit strange about it all. My last two ops (I had a failed WLE) were no brainers but this one I have chosen and I am now asking myself if I should be putting myself through something else. I am going to do it though and hope that it works out.
I am sure that once you have given everything time to settle down your scars will improve and if there is some way to improve things then it will be done. But I do sympathise with you understand your concerns.

Hi Yamslass,
lots of luck with the op - you probably won’t even notice it having been through the WLE/Mx lol. Let me know how it goes, I’m not even sure what’s in some of my lumps at this stage, but might not be able to live with one of them. Hugs xx

Hi Phloxylady.
Firstly I really sympathise about being depressed about your appearance and to let you know you are not alone. . I felt truely terrible for a while, [I had E cups before my Mx]it is still early days for you and your wound will still have some settling down to do. You might want to get your BCN to check you for seroma too. My surgeon told me to rub Vit E oil on the scar, I’ve heard others use Bio Oil. Do keep going back and let them know how distressed you are, could you ask to see a different breast surgeon? some have more experience of reconstruction than others.

Mine was a right Mx after failed WLE. I too have a dip in my chest half way along the scar, a small lump at the clevage end and what seems to be a A/B cup Under my arm!
My surgeons explanations for the lumps (she called ‘dog ears’) was to leave enough skin/flesh to give the best recon result at a later date, BUT she has already offered to tidy them up if I feel it’s necessary.
The under arm lump does get on my nerves but I’m willing to live with it until I’ve made my mind up about recon (I’m having my last Chemo in a week, then have Rads and surgeon won’t do recon until 6-12 months after that…). I will be having the remaining one reduced too.
It has been very hard feeling ‘mutilated’ and then going bald too!! It’s a long road but you will get there.
I do hope this helps.
Best of luck.
P xxx

Hi Phloxylady,
It is so helpful to read others’ experiences here, isn’t it? I feel exactly as you do- I can’t believe how vile and angry the MX scar is - also 5 weeks post-surgery. The replies to your posting have been very informative, I think most of us have similar experiences but like you, I wish I’d been warned of what to expect. I tried phoning my bc nurse twice, left messages, but she never bothered to reply. I felt they were more than happy to slice off my boob, then leave me with no support. Now I’ve found so much here and from a friend of a friend who had the same op five years ago. She, however, had so much more post-operative support, and I think the lack of it is all down to cuts in funding. Do you find the worst part to be inability to sleep because it hurts so much? I’ll go to see my GP to ask her about it when she is back from holiday, maybe that might be a good port of call for you if you have a nice GP, someone who knows you and understands the whole effect- including psychological. I do hope you get things sorted, it all seems surreal at times. x

Hi Phloxylady,

I had my MX five weeks ago too and my scar sounds the same as yours with two bulges at either side of the scar, although im going to have reconstruction at some point so just try not to look at it too much. It is seriously depressing but just think you’ve got all the bad stuff taken away x.