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If you have bilateral mastectomy, how long does it take to recover from the surgery? I hear about the tubes for drainage - how long are they kept in you? What are extenders if you have reconstruction surgery?

Ethel Brooks Profile
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anonymes

Stage 0 Patient over 3 years
  • Cheri Davis Johnson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2009
    I had an unilateral mastectomy in 09. I also had a tissue expander. My drain tubes were in place for almost 2 weeks. They really were annoying! Didn't hurt, but just bothersome. I used a mastectomy cami and it was wonderful. It had a pouch in front to stuff the drain tubes in. I wore bagging, button down or zipper up tops and it was fine. The tissue expander is not fun though. It is a hard, implant like thing that has a magnet in it. The magnet is for the fills. The doc fills a syringe with saline and with the magnet guides the needle to the right spot and then he pokes your skin and into the expander. How long you have to have the expander in all depends on how big you want and how long it takes for you body to stretch. It didn't hurt at all except for the stretching of the muscles. My neck and back would ache for a few days. I was lucky, it only took 2 months before I was ready for the permanent implants. Over-all it isn't a horrible surgery as far as surgery goes. I have had worse for sure!! And I was only in the hospital 1 night too.
    over 3 years Signal
    • Ethel Brooks Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Is there a place to buy cami's & other supplies for a larger woman? I am a 2x in most blouses. Is the expander always left in you for your breast implant? I sound dumb, but this is all new? I am a larger breast size 48DD.
      Does anyone know what...

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      Is there a place to buy cami's & other supplies for a larger woman? I am a 2x in most blouses. Is the expander always left in you for your breast implant? I sound dumb, but this is all new? I am a larger breast size 48DD.
      Does anyone know what it means when a pathologist sends the tissue to another pathologist to read also? They said it was inconclusive? does that mean just not sure???

      over 3 years Signal
    • sandy glisman Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had a bi lateral mast on st pattys day and got my drains out after 8 days. I have expanders and i wouldn't really say its painful, more like uncomfortable. The fills make you tighten up. Time depends on how much was filled at surgery, how many...

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      I had a bi lateral mast on st pattys day and got my drains out after 8 days. I have expanders and i wouldn't really say its painful, more like uncomfortable. The fills make you tighten up. Time depends on how much was filled at surgery, how many cc's your fills are and how big you want to be. Stayed in hospital 16 hrs post surgery and left because of poor hospital care. The surgery itself wasn't too bad.

      over 3 years Signal
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous

      Why expanders and fills? Why can't reconstruction happen during the original surgery?

      over 3 years Signal
    • Sarah Adams Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I was originally a 38D. I woke up from surgery with 300cc's (about an A) in my expanders

      over 3 years Signal
    • Janice Baker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had surgery on 11-19-10. I'm a larger woman also. I have completed radiation and also have expanders in place! Recovery was not that bad but am having lots of problems with the side I was radiated and lymph nodes were removed! I hope your doing...

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      I had surgery on 11-19-10. I'm a larger woman also. I have completed radiation and also have expanders in place! Recovery was not that bad but am having lots of problems with the side I was radiated and lymph nodes were removed! I hope your doing okay!

      over 3 years Signal
    • L D  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2004

      I had reconstruction done at the same time (implants placed behind chest muscle) and it took me 3 weeks to really feel like working and going back to a regular life. I had drains in for 4 - 5 days. They get in the way, but don't really hurt.

      about 3 years Signal
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      I had double mastectomy with nipple sparing reconstruction at the same time. One set of drains were removed at 1 week and the other set the following week. The drains were irritating right at the skin because every time I moved I could feel them...

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      I had double mastectomy with nipple sparing reconstruction at the same time. One set of drains were removed at 1 week and the other set the following week. The drains were irritating right at the skin because every time I moved I could feel them pulling. Also, it made sleeping difficult. I had to prop up this way and that, but you will make it work for you. After the drains are removed, you will really feel great and press on toward healing! I am 6 weeks post surgery and I am driving, light exercise, brisk walking, and doing all of my normal activities. Many blessings to you!

      about 2 years Signal
    • Tammy Tjader Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Stage 0 patient, what kind of flap did you use for recon? I am facing the same thing (double mastectomy with nipple sparing reconstruction) in January, would like to hear more from you.

      almost 2 years Signal
    • Emily Willman Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Double mastectomy with nipple sparing reconstruction at the same time - I didn't use flaps because my post-surgery size matched up enough with the room I already had, plus as I am a smaller framed person, I didn't have enough extra anywhere to be...

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      Double mastectomy with nipple sparing reconstruction at the same time - I didn't use flaps because my post-surgery size matched up enough with the room I already had, plus as I am a smaller framed person, I didn't have enough extra anywhere to be able to do a flap from my own skin.

      about 1 year Signal
    • commentaires
  • Pam Johnson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I had bilateral mastectomies 8 months ago. Stage I invasive but very small. Genetic testing negative. Sentinel Lymph node negative. Estrogen progesterone positive. Post menopausal. Age 56. I had tissue expanders for silicone gel implants for only 3 weeks before implant exchange. Drain tubes for almost the whole 3 weeks. They are annoying but not horrible. I wore my surgical bras and loose tops. Not a huge issue, really, but was ready for them to come out! The exchange surgery was quick and not a big deal. Went to opening home game of OU football 2 days after!! Made it thru half! Taking Arimidex ...no chemo needed. Doing fantastic'nnb
    over 2 years Signal
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Double mastectomies (amputations) sound extremely dramatic to me, especially with a Stage 1 very small tumor. I refused an amputation as well as further treatment. I'll just die with it before I'll go through that. There are worse things than...

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      Double mastectomies (amputations) sound extremely dramatic to me, especially with a Stage 1 very small tumor. I refused an amputation as well as further treatment. I'll just die with it before I'll go through that. There are worse things than death.

      over 2 years Signal
    • Pam Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      AGAIN, if you are so ashamed of your attitude, ANONYMOUS, then just stay the heck OFF this site!!!!!!! You do not add anything to it, and the rest of us are trying to be supportive. I HIGHLY resent your reference to my decision to treat MY...

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      AGAIN, if you are so ashamed of your attitude, ANONYMOUS, then just stay the heck OFF this site!!!!!!! You do not add anything to it, and the rest of us are trying to be supportive. I HIGHLY resent your reference to my decision to treat MY breast cancer as I saw fit, and YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO JUDGE MY DECISION, OR ANYONE ELSE'S!!!!!! You must have a pathetic life.

      over 2 years Signal
    • Debbie Stanley Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Were you diagnosed in both breasts?

      about 2 years Signal
    • Pam Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      No, but after my mastectomies, when the tissue was evaluated in my non-cancer breast, pre-cancer markers were found! My doctors all agreed I had made the right decision...would have been just a matter of time until I would have had to deal with...

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      No, but after my mastectomies, when the tissue was evaluated in my non-cancer breast, pre-cancer markers were found! My doctors all agreed I had made the right decision...would have been just a matter of time until I would have had to deal with breast cancer again!

      about 2 years Signal
    • sherry marsh Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Pam, I was just diagnosed last week with invasive ductal carcinoma. Dr wants to do lumpectomy but I am leaning to mastectomy...I have all the same markers you do. They will not do both breasts at same time because of some other health issues I...

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      Pam, I was just diagnosed last week with invasive ductal carcinoma. Dr wants to do lumpectomy but I am leaning to mastectomy...I have all the same markers you do. They will not do both breasts at same time because of some other health issues I have and also I havevery large breasts and MD says it will be big surgery. Because of family history on both sides I am leaning for bilateral...My Grandmother had cancer in one breast and then shortly later had it in the other so think I should just do both to be safe. It is still so shocking and I find I cry alot still. I am a nurse but somehow all that goes out the window when you find yourself as the patient.

      almost 2 years Signal
    • beth hughes Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Pam

      I was just diagnosed with invasive stage 1 tubal ca estrogen and progestren sensative I am so conflicted on whether I should have bialteral mastectomies I am 55 yo.My genitic testing was negative also. My sister that is 50 was dx with...

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      Hi Pam

      I was just diagnosed with invasive stage 1 tubal ca estrogen and progestren sensative I am so conflicted on whether I should have bialteral mastectomies I am 55 yo.My genitic testing was negative also. My sister that is 50 was dx with invasive ductal ca 6 mo. ago she started on tamoxifin and postponed radiation for now

      How did you decide to have bilat mastectomies? I have the surgeon saying it is up to me whether to have this done and my risk goes down the medical oncologist telling me that my chances of the cancer returning does not go down with mastectomies It is difficult to decide when you get two totally different opinions

      almost 2 years Signal
    • Pam Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Beth and Sherry, I hope you are both doing well. Sherry, I am sorry I did not see your reply when you posted 24 days ago! I know how difficult it seems to make the decision for bi-lateral or single mastectomy, but I had a very strong family...

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      Beth and Sherry, I hope you are both doing well. Sherry, I am sorry I did not see your reply when you posted 24 days ago! I know how difficult it seems to make the decision for bi-lateral or single mastectomy, but I had a very strong family history (mom, grandmother, great grandmother) despite testing negative for genetic mutations. My geneticist made sure I understood that other genes may show genetic connections, but BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the only genes currently tested. I wavered as the date got closer but had such strong family and friend support for my decision, I really felt comfortable. As it turned out, my non-cancer breast tissue showed pre-cancer markers when the tissue was examined, so my surgeon said I absolutely made the right decision. I am almost 16 months from my surgery, and feel great and worry is not a big issue--although I think we all worry no matter what our choice. But I do know I did everything I could to prevent a recurrence of BC, and have not for ONE SINGLE SECOND regretted my decision. My breast surgeon also said I had a choice...but when I point blank asked HER what she would do, she said mastectomy. My plastic surgeon also said if I were his wife or sister, he would recommend mastectomy. My daughter, sisters, best friends, all my gal pals were very supportive and relieved I chose mastectomy! My husband supported whatever I wanted to do, but if you forced him to admit it, I think he would say the same. Our son never expressed his opinion, just supported me whatever I did. I pray you each feel comfortable with your decision, whatever you choose. It will be the right decision...your decision!!!!

      almost 2 years Signal
    • beth hughes Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Pam,

      Thank you so much you have helped me out so much!

      Beth

      almost 2 years Signal
    • Pam Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Debbie, I guess I never saw your question. No, I was diagnosed in only one breast after routine annual mammogram and subsequent ultrasound then biopsy. Other breast had cells that showed pre-cancer markers when pathology was done post mastectomy....

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      Debbie, I guess I never saw your question. No, I was diagnosed in only one breast after routine annual mammogram and subsequent ultrasound then biopsy. Other breast had cells that showed pre-cancer markers when pathology was done post mastectomy. Beth, I am happy to help!!! My experience is limited, but my outcome was fantastic. Best wishes and prayers for quick recovery and healing!

      almost 2 years Signal
    • Linda Green Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      I too had bilateral mastectomy in 2012 and have never looked back. 54 yrs old so currently debating reconstruction or not. Must admit its kinda nice after being heavy chested my whole life to pick the size I wanna be and take them off when I'm...

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      I too had bilateral mastectomy in 2012 and have never looked back. 54 yrs old so currently debating reconstruction or not. Must admit its kinda nice after being heavy chested my whole life to pick the size I wanna be and take them off when I'm tired of wearing them!

      over 1 year Signal
    • Mrs. Collins Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Pam... Thanks for telling anonymous Exactly right! It's hard enough coping... To hear that type of talk is Not Necessary!!

      about 1 year Signal
    • Georgina Lee Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello every One on this Sites, I have a testimony to share, My Name is Georgina lee am from the United State of America.Am now 54years old Am a Medical doctor in Canada, I married for about 24years ago without any child then me and my husband go...

      more

      Hello every One on this Sites, I have a testimony to share, My Name is Georgina lee am from the United State of America.Am now 54years old Am a Medical doctor in Canada, I married for about 24years ago without any child then me and my husband go for an adoption of 2kids male/female. Last years something wonderful and gracious happened to me i came across DR.OLOYE in the internet that promise to help me get pregnant which i totally disagree,,, How can i be pregnant looking my age he ask me not to worry that he only specialize on pregnancy no other. That after the job has been completed there is no any side effect, that was how he told me what to do which i did, could you believe i miss my periodical time that same Month and i was pregnant. Today am now the happiest woman on Earth,, While am i testify to this site i know there are a lot of people that are in this kind of trouble some will decide to commit suicide. Please just do and contact him for help make him to understand that Georgina lee from USA directed you, his email pregnancyspell@gmail.com Hello every One on this Sites, I have a testimony to share, My Name is Georgina lee am from the United State of America.Am now 54years old Am a Medical doctor in Canada, I married for about 24years ago without any child then me and my husband go for an adoption of 2kids male/female. Last years something wonderful and gracious happened to me i came across DR.OLOYE in the internet that promise to help me get pregnant which i totally disagree,,, How can i be pregnant looking my age he ask me not to worry that he only specialize on pregnancy no other. That after the job has been completed there is no any side effect, that was how he told me what to do which i did, could you believe i miss my periodical time that same Month and i was pregnant. Today am now the happiest woman on Earth,, While am i testify to this site i know there are a lot of people that are in this kind of trouble some will decide to commit suicide. Please just do and contact him for help make him to understand that Georgina lee from USA directed you, his email pregnancyspell@gmail.com

      4 months Signal
    • commentaires
  • Emily Willman Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 0 Patient
    I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in May of this year (BRCA2 positive + STRONG family history). Age 40. No lymph node biopsies since this was preventative. I was out of work for a little over 6 weeks, it took about 1 week to not just be sleeping and eating on the pain meds, at about 2 weeks to feel like I was coming out of the fog, at about 4 weeks I started to feel like myself and could be out and about. I had immediate reconstruction. The drains were not a huge deal to manage, just make sure you have tops you don't have to get over your head and that are loose. I used a breast binder (per my surgeons) and safety pins to hide the drains. I didn't want to leave the house until after the drains were out (about 7-10 days in if I remember right). Also, I found the removal of the drains to be VERY painful (not a usual experience from what I am told, so I wasn't expecting it). In retrospect, I wish I had asked them to stop so I could take a pain med, let it kick in, then have the drains removed. Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself. It it hurts, make them treat the pain FIRST.
    about 1 year Signal
    • Jean Tunnicliffe Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      How are you feeling now that it is all done? I had my surgery for the same reason. I am a BRCA2 carrier, I am 45. What type of reconstruction did you have? I had bilateral dermal flap with in plants. It is taking me a bit to get used to the...

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      How are you feeling now that it is all done? I had my surgery for the same reason. I am a BRCA2 carrier, I am 45. What type of reconstruction did you have? I had bilateral dermal flap with in plants. It is taking me a bit to get used to the muscle in my breasts. Every time I open a jar or push a trolly I feel the muscle tighten and it feels weird. I count my blessings though. I agree that you have to advocate for yourself. Only you know how you feel and what is best for you and the doctors are good at listening and helping you through it all.

      10 months Signal
    • commentaires
  • Karren Williams  Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    My surgery was 3 weeks ago. Down to one pain pill at night. Drains out week 2. Going to have my first fill of expanders next week along with appointment to discuss beginning chemo. Feeling well right now. Letting God control everything especially my thoughts which can take you to a bad place. Stay positive. Not just for yourself but for your health and love ones around you.
    10 months Signal
    • Jean Tunnicliffe Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      I am glad that your surgery went well. I pray that everything goes well for you. I had my surgery Sept. 12, 2013 and came home on the 17th. Sending you lots of positive love..

      10 months Signal
    • commentaires
  • Pam Johnson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I had bilateral mastectomies 8 months ago. Stage I invasive but very small. Genetic testing negative. Sentinel Lymph node negative. Estrogen progesterone positive. Post menopausal. Age 56. I had tissue expanders for silicone gel implants for only 3 weeks before implant exchange. Drain tubes for almost the whole 3 weeks. They are annoying but not horrible. I wore my surgical bras and loose tops. Not a huge issue, really, but was ready for them to come out! The exchange surgery was quick and not a big deal. Went to opening home game of OU football 2 days after!! Made it thru half! Taking Arimidex ...no chemo needed. Doing fantastic'nnb
    over 2 years commentaires Signal

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