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Topic: simple mastectomy

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Jul 2, 2007 10:25AM

Mary1968 wrote:

It confirms, my 60 year old mother will have a simple mastectomy on Thursday 7/5/07. She does not want any reconstruction. Will she be in pain? Mentally how will she cope with out her left breast? I will like some input on those that experience a simple mastectomy.

Thank you
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Jul 2, 2007 11:09AM Sandra1957 wrote:


I had bilateral mastectomies, with a SNB on the left side last year. I had the OnQ pain pump for three days. Everyone is different, but I had no real pain, only discomfort and an odd jab here and there. The drains were a major source of discomfort, but are inevitable. I had a major post-surgery high that lasted several weeks. My mental state was pretty much positive until 3 months later when I was fitted for prosthesis. After three tries with different types, a bout of depression, and a good cry, I decided that I was going to go the reconstruction route. It's not for everyone and your mom will likely go through the ups-and-downs of the BC rollercoaster, but I'm sure she'll be fine with a caring daughter like you by her side.

Best to you and your mom,

I'm always steppin' in and out of crap!
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Jul 2, 2007 11:47AM MinAZ wrote:

I had a single mastectomy and two nodes in January of this year and I am over 60. I had no trouble at all. One night in the hospital and I needed no pain meds when I got home. That surgery was much less of a problem than others I've had. The drains were not too bad, but a big help when they were removed. I've had some burning where the nodes were, but I understand that is nerves regenerating and it's not been that bad.

I decided before the mastectomy that I wanted reconstruction although not immediate. I'm going the expander route right now. But after living lopsided for a couple of months, I think that if I'd had both breasts removed, I might have not done any reconstruction.

Tell your mom to keep a positive attitude going into all this - I think that helped me. If, after a few months, she decides she want reconstruction, then that's certainly do-able. A friend of mine waited ten years then finally went the implant route and is entirely happy.

Best of luck to both of you.
Dx 10/15/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 3, 2007 11:08AM purplemb wrote:

Mary...I was Like Minz...home after one night...I had a left mast with expander..but after two failed tries I had it removed......I go with out my proth alot..I will be having a tattoo on my scar tissue...beautiful purple remind me of better days ahead...
hugs to your mom..and take care of her for awhile...
MB A website to find help
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Jul 3, 2007 11:23AM jlazyk wrote:

I had bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, but my mother had a unilateral and to be honest she was relieved to have the other removed when she had a recurrence. She really hated being lopsided. She had relatively large breasts that still looked pretty good for her age. Basically her boobs were her best feature. Reconstruction wasn't even discussed because we lived in the middle of no where and it was 22 years ago.

On the other hand, my friend's mother had relatively small breasts and had a unilateral and doesn't seem at all bothered by the lopsided issue.

I had a co-worker who had a delayed lat flap after a unilateral and she is thrilled. My understanding is that if you have relatively small breasts a lat flap is easy and a quick recovery.

It is easy for a lady to dismiss reconstruction, but if she doesn't need chemo or radiation, a lat flap might be low mantainance compared to prosthetics in the long run. I honestly could not deal with a prosthetic device.....I couldn't wear a wig during chemo either.

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Jul 3, 2007 01:22PM DebNC wrote:

I had a unilateral mastectomy and waited 6 years before I decided to get an implant (using expander). I really didn't mind wearing the prosthesis (a good quality one), but after awhile, I grew tired of the lopsided look. My husband has been great and said whatever I decided was fine by him. I stayed in hospital one night, and had one drain in for a week. It really wasn't bad. I'm sure she'll do fine. Take care! -Deb

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Jul 3, 2007 05:44PM LauraR wrote:

I have 57 years old. I had a simple mastectomy with an expander 10 days ago. Today is the first day that I have actually felt pretty good. I spent one night in the hospital. I didn't feel too bad for the first 5 days. In fact the first night I was home I went to a beach (it was dark) and walked around for at least 1/2 an hour - I was so glad to get out of the hospital. I was OK but on pain pills until 5 days after the surgery and then I had quite a bit of pain at times. I wonder if it was the burning of the regenerating nerves that MinZ mentioned? Whatever it was it really really hurt off and on for a few days ( I restarted the pain pills but it didn't help much).

I hate being lopsided which is way I got the expander. I have been out a couple of times to the store etc and I've been trying to hide it with a big shirt. I avoid looking at myself and I am very self-conscious and I must come up with a plan before I go back to work. But today, day 10 I actually feel pretty good mentally and physically.

Good Luck to you and your Mom
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Jul 3, 2007 06:03PM betsy43 wrote:


All my best wishes are coming your way for your mom. I had a left breast mastectomy with expander for reconstruction last Valentine's day. I am in my seventies and many others my age would not have bothered with the reconstruction, however, I would not have been happy otherwise I don't think. It's an individual choice.
I will be having the expander/implant exchange surgery the first of August. I will be so glad to get on with my life.
I did not have to go through chemo or rads. I was so lucky to have found it very early. All my best to you and your mom. Take good care of her.

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Jul 4, 2007 05:56AM Patrish wrote:

I had a r. mastectomy and lymph nodes removed in 2005. the surgery was much easier than I had expected, one night in the hospital and one drain. I had very little pain, and lost no range of motion in my arm. I had a prosthesis fitter come to my house and measure me for the right prosthesis and bras. this was all covered by my insurance. I was not devastated by the loss of my breast, or by having to wear a prosthesis, it just was what it was. reconstruction is not easy, and it is not for everyone. your Mom can change her mind later if she wishes. best to you and your Mom tomorrow, Pat

Patrish Dx 10/26/2005, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+

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