Struggling with surgery choices

I have grade 2 ICS HR2 neg and hormone receptive x 2 tumours in right breast and grade 1 in left breast.

I am struggling with my options. It seems to be a choice of lumpectomy and reduction in left with radio and mastectomy and Diep tummy on right.

Or double mastectomy and implants.

I have gone round in circles. My cancer surgeon seems to think lumpectomy on left and implant on right isn’t an option but will talk to plastic surgeon tomorrow on that.

I really struggle with my decision between saving what I can v all off. And then tummy v implants. One is about getting rid of cancer but seems it doesn’t change outcome? And one is about scaring and recovery ?!

My mum had a mastectomy and reconstruction 20 yrs ago. She had a muscle cut and pulled from her back and has had terrible nerve damage and pain ever since.

I am worried with implants I will feel that they are heavy and weird and cold and not mine. And also need upkeep. But no boobs for cancer to come back in. And I feel with the Diep op, it’s a lot. And are there risks of ongoing pain. And left with scaring.

I am so confused. Would love to hear from women faced with similar options.

No one can tell you what to do. I can say I had a double mastectomy and then a delayed diep for both breasts. Healing has been fine and there’s no pain or long lasting side effects. The breasts feel like mine and the bonus very tight tummy is great.

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Hi kay0987. Thank you for replying to my post. Please to hear things have gone well for you in surgery and no lasting side effects.

Hi lovemydog

Thank you for posting.

Making decisions about surgery can be very difficult as there is often a lot of complex information to consider on top of the wish to get on with treatment as soon as possible. You have breast cancer in both breasts and that can sometimes limit your options. Some women choose to go for a lumpectomy while others want a mastectomy with or without a breast reconstruction. I wonder if it might be easier to call us and talk this through. We often find we can help people more by speaking to them on the phone. If so call us on 0808 800 6000. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.

It’s understandable that you feel confused especially with your mum’s experience with reconstruction. It’s important to choose the right technique to suit both your body shape and lifestyle.

To help you make the right decision for you, it’s important to ensure you have all the information you need and have all your questions answered. Your surgeon is best placed to answer all the questions you have from a professional point of view, so I’d encourage you to speak with him/her for this. You are due to see the plastic surgeon and hopefully this will give you further information about your options. Surgeons also often have a portfolio of photos to show the outcomes of surgery on previous patients that they can share with you, which may help to answer your questions about the scarring and possible pain post-surgery. You may also have the opportunity to talk this through with a breast care nurse who is part of your treatment team.

As @Kay0987 says it has to be your choice. Everyone will have a different experience, but you may find it helpful to post in this section of the forums.

Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can be helpful at times like this. Our Someone Like Me service can arrange for one of our volunteers to talk to you by email or telephone. Our volunteers have had a personal experience of breast cancer and are trained to provide support.

You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0345 077 1893, or email them so they can then match you to your volunteer.

If you would prefer one of our nurses to call you. To do this, please complete this form ticking the box agreeing to a call back.

Our usual opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am - 1pm on Saturday.

Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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