Hi I'm afraid I cant offer advice based on experience, but I fully understand your thoughts re a mastectomy on healthy breast. I am seeing my surgeon next week and intend to bring this option up for me.
Keep me updated on your treatment?
It’s a shame you’re having to wait for so long before surgery. Depending on the type of job you do, you will need to allow recovery time after this major surgery. A friend who had her surgery at the end of June has only just gone back to work after 3.5 months. She is only working a couple of days a week and still gets exhausted. You may need to talk to your breast care nurse about any benefits you may be able to claim while you are off. You’ve got a lot on your plate at the moment. I hope you have a good holiday and will be able to relax, or there a possibility you could put the holiday back until after surgery? Your insurance should cover you.
To be honest, I really can’t feel my implant, so it doesn’t feel heavy to me. I do understand your question though. As my fake one and real one don’t match I have a partial prosthesis to wear over my real boob. That prosthesis feels quite heavy in my hand but when in my bra I don’t notice that either. I hope that makes sense and helps with your question. But do ask away won’t you.
Re a double mastectomy, I have heard that you need to go for psychological testing - and from reading other chats on here it seems you have to be firm and insistent. I did ask about it, but wasn’t insistent or firm and so didn’t get anywhere! It is a very personal decision and one you need to be happy with. I hope we can all help you make your decision. There are always pros and cons, it’s not easy.
Thank you so much for your reply. Yes this sounds like the same operation as the surgeon described to me. As they are not sure whether I will have radiotherapy or not I don't know whether I will need the special coated implant or the "regular" type. Can I ask, do the implants feel heavy? I know the one I was given to look at certainly felt quite heavy. I've spoken with the BC nurse and she says I would need a phycological assessment before I would be allowed a double mastectomy. Still thinking about it.
I’m not sure I can help with your decision about the actual operation, but I might be able to give you some more advice on your type of implant if you are having the one I have. My implant sits on top of the muscle (“pre-pectoral” it’s called), and is in a type of sling/bag called Braxon. I had radiotherapy after my implant and it is supposed to help reduce the risk of the tissue hardening (“capsular contracture”). So I have one real and one fake. They don’t match, but I have got used to that and it doesn’t really worry me now. Everyone is different, though so it would be a good idea to ask your surgeon to show you photos of previous operations so that you can get an idea of what it will look like.
If you are having this type of implant and have any questions on the implant or implants in general, I’m happy to chat more.
I wish you all the best as you make your decision, for the operation and your recovery.
Thank you so much - you are certainly helping to put my mind at rest. I think I am worrying more that any cancer in the "good" breast might go unnoticed as the two in my right one were so hidden they were only found on MRI. No I don't have a date yet because my surgeon is going on holiday straight after my hols and then they will have to wait a couple of weeks anyway to check for DVT after me flying. It's looking like early December. Sounds like you are making a great recovery. I've got the possibility of a new job (left my previous position this month and desperate to get some money coming in) but now I'm unsure when I will be able to begin - or even if they will wait for me!!! However, it is really good for me to hear how well you are doing.
Yes, I thought exactly the same as you, but as the consultant explained they do not like doing more surgery than is absolutely necessary (probably the NHS wouldn’t pay anyway!). Also why do more than is needed on a healthy breast? From what I understand this surgery takes about 2-3 hours. At the moment there is still swelling and bruising so it’s difficult to tell what the final result will be. However, they look roughly the same.
As with any surgery the non- implanted breast may change over time and therefore there is a possibility that further surgery may be required, but this could be years down the line. I don’t think it’s worth worrying about right now.
I have found the recovery better than I thought, but we are all different. The pain is OK and I have been able to reduce the painkillers over the days. I am currently less than 2 weeks post op. Rest is the key to recovery. The worst is the terrible tiredness, but even that is getting slightly better. Have you a date yet for surgery?
Thank you so much Musicmoll. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. My thoughts have been along the lines of well they are doing surgery on the other one anyway and I am going to be under for maybe six hours they may as well take the whole breast off. If you don't mind me asking, how do they both feel now? Will they both be even or will you need any further surgery? I'm so glad to hear you are recovering well.
I have just had the surgery you are considering- mastectomy with implant on the right with a reduction on the left. I also asked the question about having a double mastectomy but they are very reticent to do that unless there are specific concerns as to the type of cancer it is. The operation went well, and although early days I am recovering well. Obviously discuss the different operations with the surgical team. Good luck.
I need to have a mastectomy on my right breast with immediate implant. The surgeon will reduce the size of the left breast at the same time (I wanted to go smaller!). However, now I'm wondering whether I should ask for a double mastectomy? Two reasons - first I am now worried that I will get cancer in my "good" breast as the two tumours were very difficult to find and missed in a mammogram. Secondly, I am worried that in years to come I will have one breast that droops! I am also wondering how weird it will feel to have one implant and one "normal" breast. Has anyone else had this dilemma? I may need radiotherapy after but this hasn't been decided yet. One hospital said no but the one I've been referred to do it (although it will finally be up to the first hospital as that is where I would go back to for the radiotherapy). In this case I would need a special type of implant with a type of covering over it to protect it from effects from the radiotherapy. I know these are not the best implants. Has anyone else had these? They seem heavier and less natural to me. So many thoughts going through my head - getting confused and would appreciate some advice please.