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Update —- Lumpectomy with Breast Reduction - Larger Ladies - Questions!

skyefall Member Posts: 18


I am just stepping into this world. I'm recently diagnosed and I don't have all my mass typing info back.

What I do know is that I am meeting with a surgeon on the 22nd, unless something changes.

I am a 36DDD. I feel like there is a ton of tissue and if I do the lumpectomy with reduction/lift, I could get some really nice margins and also get tissue in the other breast tested. Plus, I honestly was thinking of a reduction at some point anyways, so, lemons/lemonade.

Had anyone done this?

What was your recovery like? I know everyone is different.

Were you happy with your result?

How did it hold up with radiation?

Everything I have read shows there is no reason not to, plus reduction can help with radiation targeting and overall outcomes.

Thanks for any info!


  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 113

    Hi @skyefall -

    Welcome to the club to which no one wants to belong…..but we are glad you found us here.

    My situation was a bit different than yours, so I might not be too helpful, but I see no one else has responded yet.

    In 2003 after dx, I had a mastectomy on my right side. 9 months later, I had a tram flap on the right and a reduction on the left for symmetry. I wasn't quite as large as you, but large enough that I did feel like the reduction was the one 'good' thing that came from breast cancer. At the time, there were some studies that even showed breast reduction lowered the chances of recurrence. Since I had a tram flap at the same time, it's hard for me to tell you what the recovery for a lumpectomy with reduction would be. However, I would guess it should be pretty manageable. I have read that breast reductions are the most satisfying breast plastic surgery because you reduce the weight that you are carrying in your breasts. I do like have breasts that are smaller than they were previously.

    I can't tell you for sure if what you want to do is doable or not. It would 'seem' like it should be since your tumor is pretty small. However, so much depends on where it is located. For my most recent dx last year, lumpectomy wasn't really an option due to the deep location of my tumor…..but then it is in the reduced breast so now much smaller than it used to be. It didn't matter to me since I wanted a mastectomy anyway since it was my 2nd occurrence. If they have already mentioned lumpectomy, it would seem like your chances of doing what you are thinking are good.

    I didn't have radiation, so I can't help with that. Sorry I can't be much more helpful.

    You'll know so much more after you meet with the surgeon and it will feel much better once you have a plan in place. The waiting for appointments is one of the hardest parts.

    Hang in there and good luck to you!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,283

    @skyefall, welcome to We're sorry you have to be here for this, but glad you found us!

    Here are some links to our website that you might find interesting to read before your doctor's appointment, all about breast cancer surgery. You know, information is power!

    We hope this helps, and we look forward to hearing more from you soon.

    The Mods

  • tnsplayer
    tnsplayer Member Posts: 6

    I had DD breasts before. Even with a large tumor my surgeon was able to do a lumpectomy and did a matching reduction on the other breast. Radiation did shrink the cancer breast a bit but barely noticeable. With a bra on the cosmetic results are good. (There is a long scar and no nipple on the cancer side). One week after surgery I was able to hike six miles!

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,063

    It means a second surgery but waiting to reduce the contralateral breast after recovery from radiation might be a good idea to ensure symmetry. I had a large tumor and went from a C to a B after lumpectomy. My surgeon told me she would schedule the reduction when she saw me a year later. However, I developed breast lymphedema after radiation so the lumpectomy breast now varies between a C- and C+. Needless to say, I did not have the reduction surgery. At least I'm pretty symmetrical now and the cosmetic results are good (the scar follows the areola.) Hopefully there will be no shrinkage (or increase) after radiation but size change does happen occasionally.

  • skyefall
    skyefall Member Posts: 18

    that’s awesome that you were up and going a week later. We have five acres with my horses and sheep. I know I won’t be able to lift much for a bit, but I want to keep doing my chores to stay sane.

  • skyefall
    skyefall Member Posts: 18

    thanks for the comment.

    Yeah, I thought about waiting too, but I also read a reduction can help with radiation accuracy, so I’m not sure I want a DDD and. c+ or D for a year. That’s too off kilter.

    I’m sorry you got the lymphedema.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    I was a C cup and had the lumpectomy and bilateral lift and a reduction in the right to match the new size of the left. Now I’m a generous B and generally I feel like the two sides match.

    I think I was surprised by the scars. You see all the news about women getting breast surgery for cosmetic purposes and then they are out in string bikinis, so I didn’t really consider how much scarring there would be. I personally don’t care that much, but it wasn’t something I thought about. Basically one long scar starting under each armpit and up around the boob, plus scars up the bottom of the breast to the areola. Maybe I just had a bad plastic surgeon though… ?

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,063

    You can ask the surgeon what they are planning and where the scars will be. A lot depends on the tumor size and location but there seem to be a variety of surgical approaches. My lumpectomy was done by an oncoplastic surgeon. She emphasized that while removing the tumor is the main focus she wants all her patients to look as good as possible since that is psychologically important. Her approach left me with more internal scar tissue but minimal external scarring.

  • margecandoit
    margecandoit Member Posts: 149

    I not sure if you made your decision already but I was a 38 H before surgery. I had a lumpectomy reduction and lift. I wanted a DD but I got a D. they did it all at the same time and was one surgery which was what I wanted. Recovery wasn’t to bad wasnt fun but not to bad. I was also happy with my results and glad I did it. I was wanting less breast tissue to deal with.

  • skyefall
    skyefall Member Posts: 18

    So… I had my lumpectomy and reduction. The plastic surgeon did an amazing job.

    the SLNB went well 0/2.

    The twist…

    clear margins on my lumpectomy. No surprises but a grade change from 1 to 2.

    Now… all that tissue they took for reduction… chock full of DCIS on the left. No margins and no way to tell where it came from. The right is clear.

    Next up, unilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. New consult with the PS on Monday.

    To say I’m devastated is an understatement. Not even so much about my boob, but it feels like step right back to the beginning of figuring all this out.

    So, there you have it.

    but on a positive note, my PS did an amazing job with the reduction and all the work. I love the outcome. I even have feeling back on the right side which is the one that is fine. I’m a week and a half out from surgery and doing well with my recovery and TRex arms.