Surgery waiting times

Hello! I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage 2) on 1st December and on 19th December I had a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy. It was great to have the surgery so fast. I received the pathology results on 11th January and they were good (negative) for the lymph nodes, it confiemd that the cancer was grade 1, but gave positive positive on three sides, so I needed to be operated again. I agreed with the surgeon that mastectomy with immediate reconstruction would be the best solution (no radiotherapy needed) and I started with Tamoxifen. Today they told me that the earliest possible appointment with the palstic surgeon is 19th february and given the timescale they are working on, and being optimistic, I imagine that my mastectomy will be taking place sometime in March, around 3 months after the initial lumpectomy. I am getting very worried about this; even if they tell me that with Tamoxifen I am safe, then why do the mastectomy? How long can a person live with cancer cells in their breast without these being spread when one takes Tamoxifen? Anyone has had to wait so long for being re-operated? Any previous experience will help me put things in perspective. This is in County Durham. Thanks!!

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Dear Martadg

Welcome, so sorry to read your post, we are all here for you. I know that this is a very difficult time for you. There’s nothing worse than waiting for dates to be put into place.

I’m not medically trained, but I feel that you’re quite safe to wait for your surgery, your consultant and your breast care team have everything to hand for you. Try to relax and keep busy I know this is easy for me to say when you’re feeling so anxious. I feel sure you’ll start to feel a bit better after your next appointment.

I wish you well, Everything crossed for a good outcome please keep posting how you doing.

With the biggest hugs Tili :pray::rainbow::pray::rainbow:

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I had a wide excision lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on 23 October for grade 1 invasive ducal cancer. It took 8 weeks to get my histology results which showed DCIS and LCIS and rather than the initial estimated size of 17mm it measured 49mm with unclear margins. Fortunately all of the 9 lymph nodes they removed were clear.

Due to Christmas, the Doctors strike and admissions cancelling the urgent appointment my consultant booked, I am now booked for further surgery on Monday, following intervention by my clinical team, so 3 months for me as well. My callback from my routine mammogram was at the end of July, I am not on any medication so am really concerned about the risk of spread. I’m assured that although urgent it is grade 1 and slow growing but I am still worried.

Not sure this helps you, but sometimes it’s helpful to know that others are in a similar position. Please speak to your team for reassurance and to see if they can intervene to get an earlier date. The nurses on here are great too and can talk you through your concerns and give you questions to ask.

Sending a virtual hug x


Dear holly.52, I am so sorry you had to wait 8 weeks for the histology results and 3 months for the second surgery (!). I cant beging to imagine how difficult this must have been for you. I wish you all the best for your operation on Monday and a swift recovery. Big virtual hugs back!!


Dear holly.52, I hope your operation went well and that you are also recovering well. Today I was told that my second operation will take place on 25 March, which has been a shock for me as I was told last Friday that it was going to be most probably at the end of February. I feel very frustated about these delays as I would like this to be over as soon as possible but I understand that they do all they can and will try to focus on the positives xx

I had an unsuccessful procedure initially and had quite a wait for it to be confirmed as unsuccessful so it was a good 7 weeks between first and second procedure. I was anxious at the time and they didn’t even want me to start anti - oestrogen meds at that point - we all are anxious, we all just want it gone . We all worry about what it’s doing in there while we are waiting however the vast majority of BCs are slow growing and you should be fine for a few weeks especially as you are now on Tamoxifen . If it was more urgent they would not allow you to wait in order to see the Plastic Surgeon .

Hope this helps. Xx

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Thank you!

Thanks for asking Martadg.
The operation went well as far as I can tell although I reacted badly to the anaesthetic mainly because the anaesthetist thought he knew my body better than me. Quite a lot more tissue taken.

It’s taken longer to recover than 1st time round but was less painful. I had the big dressing removed on Monday but it hadn’t healed enough so still have smaller dressings and not able to get it wet. I was warned about all this as they were going in through the same scar and disturbing tissue that was already healing but it was still a shock. The consultant wanted my results to be chased, which scars me a little. I have an appointment for 27th February, 4 weeks post op - usual time in my hospital is 6 - 8 weeks.

Sorry that you’re having to wait until 25th March for your surgery. I found the waiting a nightmare with my mind going to dark places about what they might find. I hope that you have some nice things planned to make the wait more tolerable.

Thinking of you.