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Quicker recovery from mastectomy or therapeutic mammoplasty

JojodotJojodot Posts: 16


I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 19. I have since had six cycles of chemotherapy. Three EC followed by three docetaxel / perjeta and herceptin. I am relieved to have completed chemo as it was very hard at times especially the last three treatments. I have to return to chemo unit fifteen more times for herceptin.

Saying that I am grateful to have received this treatment as it has had a dramatic effect on my 6 cm lump - it’s gone !! There is no evidence of lymph node involvement.

Next step for me is surgery and sentinel node check and after that radiotherapy . And this is where I ask for some advice.

It is hard to make a decision when you are feeling exhausted by the treatment - still very tired with some digestive issues. And now I have to decide on a mammoplasty or a mastectomy. My surgeon has explained that the mammoplasty is generally given to ladies with larger boobs as it reduces the size and they are often offered breast reduction in both. I am D cup and on borderline of this treatment. Although lump has disappeared she still has to remove area with enough margins and she feels as I am not big but the area she will have to remove is and so the result may not be ideal and the operated breast would be smaller than the other .Which I believe may become smaller with radiotherapy. On the other hand the team meeting said I do not require a mastectomy although I can have one if I prefer. So my choice is to have one side smaller than other but still retain some shape or agree to a mastectomy.

My biggest wish is to ensure the cancer has gone but also the easiest and less complicated surgery to have. And the quickest recovery as well although I realise everyone is different. I really just want to get better as soon as I can and get back to normal living or at least a new normal.

Can anyone give any advice.



  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 771 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020


    Hi Lorna,

    It is so lovely to hear from you!

    I am so pleased to hear you have completed your chemo, fantastic! I do understand how hard that was, it is an achievement to find yourself at the other side of it. Have you started the Herceptin injections yet?

    It is a difficult decision to make, which surgery to opt for. I was wondering if you have the mastectomy, are you considering reconstruction at a later date? Has that been suggested as an option for you?

    I didn't have a choice in surgery, it was necessary for me to have a straight mastectomy, but I was offered a reduction in the healthy side once I had completed everything. I was considering a reconstruction and was told even with a reduction the two sides may not be exactly equal in size. In the end though I decided against a reconstruction and simply had a reduction so I am lop-sided but I don't care!

    My feeling is, and this is just my feeling ok, if it were me, I would opt for a mastectomy, because then I would know the cancer was completely gone. I think my sister was offered a mammoplasty rather than mastectomy, but she opted for a mastectomy for the same reason.

    The other thing to consider of course is the timing. Will one operation take place sooner than the other? If reconstruction is offered they may suggest doing it at the same time, but that may involve a waiting list. Better to have the operation and face reconstruction later in my view, even if it means another surgery. Plus you get a bit of breathing space to think about your options.

    Sorry I hope I haven't added more quandary to you dilemma!

    I hope you are starting to recover and have begun to get stronger since chemo has finished.

    Happy New Year to you Lorna, and may this year be soooo much better than last year!

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx😄

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Lorna

    It is good to hear from you. I am so pleased to hear that you are through the chemo, that your lump has gone and that there is no lymph node involvement.

    I cannot offer you any advice of course, but I do hope that you will soon be through your surgery, feeling stronger and more comfortable.

    Rob x

  • JojodotJojodot Posts: 16

    @LouiseJ @RobertA

    Thank you for your cheery replies. I have to get Herceptin today - had three doses with chemo and now fifteen more. We don’t get injections here so my poor veins will be assaulted again!

    I will get to see my oncologist so will have a chat with her about my dilemma. Maybe the BC nurse too.

    Thank you Lou for giving an honest opinion. I think many people think that a mastectomy is the best solution but if it’s not necessary then why I wonder. Sorry your sister has had to go through this too.

    Thank you Robert for your reply and quite appreciate you are unable to advise on this kind of question !

    Lorna X

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 771 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Lorna,

    I hope today's Herceptin went ok, I do feel for you having to endure your veins taking this hit each time..ouch!

    Did you manage to chat with your oncologist about the operation etc? I found mine to be a great source of wisdom and support, often thinking outside of the box for me which really helped.

    I hope you are having a restful evening and the side-effects of the Herceptin are bearable.

    Lou x

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