Risk Reducing Bilateral Mastectomy with Reconstruction

I have been told that I am at high risk of developing breast cancer due to my family history and having dense breasts. I have been advised that a mastectomy and reconstruction would be my best option but I am really unsure about having it done.

Would anyone be able to tell me how long it took them to recover after the operation and how they felt?



I am sorry you are facing this dilemma, and understand to well how you feel. You don’t say whether you have a genetic mutation? Is it just your family history on which this advice has been given? Having a mastectomy and reconstruction will reduce your risk massively but not completely. It is a big operation and there are different types of reconstruction so it’s difficult to say how long the recovery time would be. I don’t know if you have received much counselling but before you make such a big decision it’s important to discuss fully all the different options available to monitor you. This can be yearly MRI’s, and/ or a preventative course of action such as tamoxifen. 

I was offered risk reducing surgery and reconstruction in 2006 but decided against it. I already had had breast cancer and a mutation of the BRCA2 gene was found. I opted for yearly surveillance which I still have. I don’t regret my decision.

If you are still feeling unsure or confused about your options then I would take your time to make a decision and if necessary ask for further counselling. I just can’t help feeling women are being rushed into making these decisions these days without the necessary support and advice. it was very different back in 2006 when resources seemed more readily available.

Whatever you decide I wish you all the best. x