wonder how long I will be in theatre

Makes me sound like an ageing drama queen - maybe I am! Have high grade DCIS and am having mastectomy, reconstruction and reduction on other side - on 31st May - and wonder how long I will be in theatre - any ideas out there? Anybody else had this package - would love to hear of others experiences - feeling positive I am doing the right thing …well today anyway!

Cheryl x

Hi Cheryl,

I had a mastectomy and LD flap with expander reconstruction on 2nd April so not quite the same as yours but thought I would reply. I left the ward just before 11am and came back about 6pm - but that included time in recovery before and after the surgery. I think the actual operation took 5 1/2 hrs. It does seem a long time but then I didn’t know anything about it (the hrs are harder for the family) and the work is so neat and tidy and has healed really well - so I think they took their time and it was worth it. I guess op times vary and you don’t say what reconstruction you are having - it might be worth contacting your bcn as she may have a good idea or be able to be in touch with your surgeon. It is a bit wierd to have ‘lost’ that time in surgery but I try not to think about it too much and rather have concentrated on getting well. After the op I was in hospital for 6 nights.

As to staying positive - it is tough some days especially during that waiting period but I’m sure it helps with recovery. Other things that may help: My friend recommended taking lots of vitamin C in the weeks in the run up to the op - she bought me Haliborange 1000mg ruby orange flavour dissolvable - and pineapple juice for after the op as it is supposed to help with inflammation. I took the size you buy for lunchboxes into hospital and then drank one a day diluted 50/50 with water. Also for hosptial, I’d recommend taking a framed family photo and an unusual cuddly toy as this breaks the ice with the nurses, docs and other staff - and then conversations flow. If you have or can get hold of a portable dvd player they’re good too especially once you start to feel better and visiting time is over. Other than that sleep and rest when you need to, let other people look after you for a while - sometimes it is frustrating when you can see things that need doing and no-one else seems to see them - but I’m sure recovery is quicker the easier you take it at first - but do, do the exercises they will tell you to do. Oh, and don’t leave hospital without seeing a physio to tell you how to do them. The physio didn’t turn up the day I was being discharged and I didn’t insist as thought I would be okay following the booklet. Then when I saw my surgeon 3 weeks later she was ‘cross’ that I’d not done my exercises properly and I had to be referred to the outpatients physio!!

I wish you all the best. x

My op lasted 7 hours and that was a mast with tram flap recon but no reduction.

I had removal of DCIS and reduction on both breasts. Op time was 5 1/2 hours. Recovery was good and I was home 2 days later.

Hi all - got results of sentinel node biopsy - all clear so set for mastectomy immediate reconstruction and reduction - Sat 31st May …ages away…not! thanks for the info on length of op - saw surgeon yesterday and he reckons about five hours - whew…Kate - you really give me hope - thanks.- and thanks Shell - wonder how you two are doing now and how long ago was the op? Thanks for all the practical advice too - much appreciated - How are you doing now ?

Love to all

PS Any advice on how to help scarring?

Hi Chebsy

My surgery was in July and it was followed up with 25 sessions of radiotherapy.
I had a nipple/ areola tattoo done last week. It looks good but strange as I had got used to having nothing there.
My time in hospital was short because I refused morphine and had volterol and co-dydramol for pain relief. Morphine makes me ill and prolongs the recovery.
I used bio oil for the scars but didn’t see much difference but I’m pleased with my uplifted D/ DD cup!
Wear non-wired, soft, seamless bras. Even now, I can’t wear an underwired bra for too long
Buy some tops that have the hidden support in them. You will be heavily strapped up for at least 7-10 days and this will be all the support you need.

I wish you well and good luck.

Kat x