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Managing treatment and side effects

Share experiences, and ask questions about treatments and managing side effects.

  • 16 conversations

Need some advice about operations

Started by Anonymous on 19 February 2018 at 22:07

Hi, I have just finished my seventh sessions of chemo. My operations are the next stage. I will have a mastectomy. I recently had a blood clot on my left arm and because of this I might not be able to have the reconstruction at the same time as opting for the flap operation. I am concerned as I am a 38E especially how I will feel waiting for a year. Is there anyone who has just had a mastectomy and is my size. Am worried about coping with only one breast.

Comments (3)

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  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    21 February 2018 at 11:59

    Hello,

    It's a lot to be thinking about...

    I work alongside Robyn, and was a breast care nurse specialist before I joined Maggie's, so I'll message you privately - you can then ask any questions or worries you may have.

    It can all feel very daunting, when you're trying hard to imagine the operation, how it might look, and how you might cope. I think sometimes the first thought is how you'll feel about your change in body image, and then how other people might see you, when you're out and about post surgery. Some people also worry about the impact it may have on their confidence levels, and personal relationships too....

    I'll message your Maggie's 'inbox', and hope I can help...

    Warm wishes

    Sue


  • From Anonymous
    20 February 2018 at 15:49

    Robyn Thanks for this, this has helped me. No I have not seen my Breast Care nurse yet, hopefully will do so in the next couple of weeks. I am unsure whether to have the flap operation, if I can, or just stick with a prosthesis, do I risk the operation which in 5% of cases does not work and it is also a long one, that is something I know I only can decide. It would help me to see and feel the prosthesis and to maybe talk to someone else who has gone through this too so I can see what it looks like under clothes. Thanks again.


  • Picture of Robyn
    From Robyn  
    20 February 2018 at 13:28
    Edited on: 23 February 2018 at 10:34

    Hello You have a lot to think about just now and also uncertainty to deal with and I can imagine you have a lot of thoughts and questions whirling round. I don’t’ know if you have had the opportunity to talk things over with your breast care nurse yet ? and it sounds as if the decision regarding the reconstruction is not yet final.


    The thought of having a prosthesis (false breast) is understandably difficult however it can help to see some before the operation – and your breast care nurse may also be able to introduce you to others who are wearing them .
    Not only do prosthesis come in different sizes there are many different shapes and makes and they have the same weight and move in a very similar way to your natural breast When worn with a good well fitting bra it should be impossible to tell if someone is wearing a prosthesis.

    Immediately following your operation the wound is too sensitive to have a full prosthesis so you would be given a ‘softie’ this is a lighter weight made of soft material to ensure no friction whilst the wound heals . It doesn’t have the weight of a breast and moves around easily but if you are shown how to fix it with a t shirt and/or a well fitting bra it means that people wont be able to tell by looking at you that you have had surgery. Like the full prosthesis they come in different sizes .

    Your breast cancer nurse will be able to tell you about local services for prosthesis fitting and also local bra suppliers and fitters. There are specialist mastectomy bras with pockets in them and many shops offer a free fitting service with specially trained staff. You may also find the post surgery clothing section of our infomration website Maggie’s cancerlinks useful

    You write that you are worried about coping with only one breast. you may also be thinking of specific setting like sports/swimming or  perhaps more intimate settings where your breast is more exposed to yourself and/or to your partner. You are welcome to message Sue (susieq) or me privately if you wish to talk in more detail
    Best wishes
    Robyn


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