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Choosing between lumpectomy or bi- lateral breast reduction ?


Re: Choosing between lumpectomy or bi- lateral breast reduction ?

Hi amazing lady,


I'm not sure if you had made your final decision already but if you have, then maybe my response cpuld help someone else who maybe facing the same dilemma.


I actually had bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction 6 years ago now for triple negative stage 3 breast cancer. I then had both implants removed due to poor healing and the implant then leaking. i now wear two stick on prothesis' to match my skin.


My options were not lumpectomy but either to remove one breast or both. Due to my BRCA1 gene I then had to have the two removed. What i can tell you is that radiotheraphy did leave a permanent darkened discolouration on my skin where the tumour was. I had radiotheraphy after my surgery. I was told by my surgeon that have radiotheraphy can affect the skin and cause healing complications and it did. At the time I had no implant and still got burnt so I dont believe the size plays much of a role in that information based on my experience. In was completely flat.


I had to have both nipples removed and not put back on as therecan also be cancer cells in those too however there is a technique the surgeons can use after the main surgery to give an 'illusions' of nipples, almost like tatooting however i never had this done and of course the breast would still be smooth to touch.I guess leaving your nipple  would be the same as standard breast surgery where they would remove and then re-attach but I thing there are risks of losing sensations (would need to ask your consultant I suppose).


You did not mention your age and the reason i ask is because I was 30 at the time of diagnosis and surgery and my team were also very keen to give me brand new perky breasts and a great tummy tuck by using the stomach tissue and putting into my breasts. I think surgeons believe that younger women maybe more interested in overall final look of the body if that makes sense. Anway I declined the tummy tissue removal as the risks of matching the nerves together is an extremley skilled and risky surgery and saw first hand what happens when this goes wrong with another patient whilstin hospital.


More importantly I believe they may be leaning towards the bilateral due to the fact that cancer cells maybe be hiding in the surrounding tissues with the lumpectomy and more chance of removing more tissue with bilateral or another reason could be by reducing the size of both breasts you will then have a more 'even appearance'. if you only remove tissue from one breast then naturally you need a prosthesis in your bra in order for both breasts to look the same size basically. So this would come down to personal preference and recovery times being longer and more risks of course.


I see the challenge in deciding whether to go with the more straight forward operation or more lenghty one. Another thing to mention was that before my diagnosis i was 30FF cup! so like you my boobs were a strong part of my identitiy xx The main thing I can say to offer in encouragement is that no matter how your body looks you will always be you on the inside, although it maybe difficut to even imagine now. You WILL get used to your own body but it just takes time. I tell myself that not everybody has the privelage of experincing 2 different 'body types' in one lifetime. It is better to be here in good health and continue to create memories. I would be very direct and ask the surgeons what their actual reasons are for prefering the 2nd option as this may sound very sad but it does happen whereby their decisions maybe based on superficial things like appontment slot, surgeon availabity and so on (trust me it happens) so you need to be sure their decision is 100 percent and purely based on the treatment for YOU and no other reason.


All the best and good luck xx




Re: Choosing between lumpectomy or bi- lateral breast reduction ?

Hi Amazing lady78,

I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with this decision - it must be very difficult.

While you're waiting for a reply from the community, we do have some information on our website about breast reconstruction which I hope might be helpful: https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-breast-ca...

We also have a helpline staffed by breast care nurses, you can reach them on 0808 800 6000 and they're open again on Monday.

Take care,

Becca at Breast Cancer Care.
Amazing lady78

Choosing between lumpectomy or bi- lateral breast reduction ?

Can anyone share their experience?
I have to choose between a lumpectomy and a bi lateral breast reduction.
It’s provinf to be a very emotional issue which I hadn’t expected and I feel very upset most days.
I breastfed my sons for ten years and my rather saggy and large 32h boobs are such a part of my identity.
The surgeons have strongly advised I have bi lateral surgery on both breast at the same time and then have radiotherapy on the right breast where the tumour formerly was.
They want to give me really nice new perky boobs they say.
But I am very alarmed by the idea.
What if I hate them ??
How will this leave me feeling ?
Will they literally cut my nipple off and reattach it ?
Won’t having radiotherapy afterwards risk Shrinking the boob where the rumour was?
They said because I have big boobs the radiotherapy could cause burns which could scar and they said that’s another reason to have the reduction.
I really don’t want to have it.
But the surgeons are so strongly urging that as the best option it must be the right way forward.
So why does it feel so wrong ?
Feel like I’m loosing my mind a bit over this.
If anyone can offer some experience , strength or hope that would be great !