Nipple Sparing Surgery Experience anyone?

Hello everyone,

I am 48 years old with no family history. i have been diagnosed with IDC Aug 9th, during screening mammogram (grateful for that). Lesion is 17mm it is supposed to be early stage no node involvement so far after CT and MRI. ER/PR +, HER -.

After discussion with BS and PS both are leaning towards Nipple Sparing Mastectomy with expander because I am small breasted and he is afraid he cannot get clear margins. Scheduled for Sep 1. this all has been a whirlwind for me as there was no family history. A lot of emotions and sometimes numb

I am hoping anyone here who been through this type of surgery to share her experience. How was recovery? Is it painful? I know people heals differently but would help to hear from others.

I am nauseated from all the anxiousness that I feel. thanks for reading my post

Hi Reeba

I had a bilateral, nipple sparing mastectomy in January this year. I had to have it in 2 stages, first a reduction (I was ‘too big’ and ‘implants don’t come in that size’, hahhah!), and then the mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with implants.

Obviously not something I wish I’d had to go through at all, but I think it went about as well as it could have. I get the impression that nipple-sparing is relatively rare, and it does make a difference, I think, when I see myself looking almost more or less the same. The scars are all healing really well. I have lost a lot of sensation, but that can improve a little over a few years, I’m told.

It was surgery, so yes there is going to be some pain, but nothing that wasn’t managed with paracetamol and a few stronger things once in a while. The biggest issue was sleeping: I cannot get comfortable on my back, but no choice for a while. Loads of pillows helped!

I hope everything goes smoothly for you tomorrow. Feel free to reach out - here or PM - if you need to or have any other questions xx

Hi Reeba,

I’m not sure if you’ve already had your surgery, you said it was scheduled for 1 sept?  But if it helps alleviate your anxiety or you want to chat to someone at the same point I’m currently 5 days post op from a nipple sparing mastectomy, sentinel node clearance and temporary implant.  I’m planning to have the other breast removed and a bilateral DIEP 6 months after radiotherapy. Nipple sparing does seem somewhat unusual from what I’ve seen on the forums, I’m not sure why but I know it depends on whether there’s any cancer in the milk ducts near the nipple and it does of course take longer.  My surgeon said that nipple sparing techniques have improved a lot over the last decade, so there’s no longer much increased risk of recurrence.

my recovery so far has been very good.  Home from hospital the day after surgery, pain is very manageable mainly with paracetamol with occasional codine.  Mainly resting, walking twice a day and doing shoulder exercises every few hours, but no strenuous exercise allowed for four weeks.  And no cleaning or housework .  I still have the drain in obviously, it’s annoying but not painful. I have been back in for a new bottle once but I think this one may see me through, it’s slowed down a lot.  The breast looks ok, dressings are all that clear film stuff so I could see it straight away.  Because it’s a temp it looks more “fake” than a final permanent implant would, but in a bra it’s perfect.  Scar is very subtle and it still feels like me if you know what I mean.  Nipple was quite dark for the first two days, but is pinking up nicely now.  Horrible bruising in the armpit though, but that is already starting to green.

hope your surgery and recovery goes really well, try to take care of yourself.