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Nipple Sparing Bilateral Mystectomy with Immediate reconstruction

Posted by on Sep. 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM
  • 8 Replies

Hello everyone!  I was informed by my surgeon yesterday that I am being scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy soon.  He is referring me to a surgeon who has a lot of experience with nipple sparing bilateral mysectomies because he has only preformed complete mystectomies in his experience.

I've been trying to find info unitl i get the call from the new surgeon on what to expect, the time off needed from work and just about anything useful.

Would anyone who has had this procedure let me know their experience?

by on Sep. 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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Replies (1-8):
2curly
by Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM
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I hope that you were able to get some of your questions answered.  I cant help you with the nipple sparing part of the surgery because I did not have that.  I did have a bilateral mastectomy back in May.  I was back to work in four weeks.  I am still undergoing the reconstruction part of it.  I am due to get the expanders removed and implants put in the end of this month. 

itsgreatat38
by Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Thank you 2curly.  That did help.  I went to the new surgeon yesterday and he is sending me to the plastic surgeon this coming tuesday to discuss the different types of reconstruction procedures.  I did however have a question in regards how long the whole process was and you answered that question as well.  I am having the expanders entered the day of the mastectomy and i didnt know how long it would be before they are removed and replaced.  Now i know that it could be a few months. thank you again for your reply

2curly
by Member on Sep. 25, 2013 at 11:37 PM


The expanders can be in for a couple of months unfortunately.  My doctor started filling them about 3 weeks after surgery, after the drains were out.  For me, I saw the plastic surgeon weekly at first for my fills and then it went to every other week.  So that lasted about three months.  I had my last fills almost a month ago.  My doctor wanted to wait a couple of weeks before surgery to give my skin time to stretch.  Everyone is different.  I think it depends on how big you want to go and how much stretching your skin can take.  My doctor told me that my skin was pretty stretched and he did not recommend anymore.  I am actually having the surgery tomorrow.  I am kind of excited about getting the implants and giving up these expanders :)

Quoting itsgreatat38:

Thank you 2curly.  That did help.  I went to the new surgeon yesterday and he is sending me to the plastic surgeon this coming tuesday to discuss the different types of reconstruction procedures.  I did however have a question in regards how long the whole process was and you answered that question as well.  I am having the expanders entered the day of the mastectomy and i didnt know how long it would be before they are removed and replaced.  Now i know that it could be a few months. thank you again for your reply



itsgreatat38
by Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 4:30 PM

yeah i am hearing some yucky stories about the expanders (how uncomfortable they are) so i'm trying to prepare myself.  my onc/surgeon called me to day to say the mastectomy is scheduled for 10/10/13.  unfortunately, according to the PS that is performing the reconstruction stated i cant have a nipple sparing bilateral but i am a candidate for skin sparing.  i am just wanting this to be over with.  do you have any tips on what i need to have on the first day home after the mastectomy?  like what do i need to have to make things most comfortable for recovery.

2curly
by Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM
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My surgeon was able to spare a lot of my skin also which was good.  This helped so when the PS put in the expanders he was able to fill them up a little bit.  So I was not completely flat after surgery which is what I expected.  

You will probably stay in the hospital at least overnight if not longer.  I was not able to shower for two days after surgery.  Some things that helped me and I would recommend, are button down shirts, pajamas, so that I did not have to put anything over my head and lift my arms too much.  After surgery they put a front zipper type bra thing on that you have to wear all the time for a few weeks.  Ask for a second one before you leave the hospital. Your doctor can write you an order for one.  Your drains will be pinned to the bra.  What I did is when I would get into the shower, I actually would get in with the bra on.  I had a shower chair that I borrowed from my uncle.  So I would remove the bra while sitting down in the shower and place the drains on my lap while I cleaned myself.  For me, I felt really stiff and tight and could not lift my arms up too much, so I had either my husband or my mom help me to wash my hair.  Anyway since the bra gets wet, I would wash it off while I was in the shower and since I had a second one I was able to put the other one on when I got out.  Sorry if this is TMI, but it really worked for me.  I felt so much better after getting a shower.  I also got a itchy rash from where the tubes pressed against by skin from the drains, getting a shower made me feel better every day.  The nurses are usually pretty good, but make sure that they give some gauze and bandages to take home so that you can change the bandages. 

Hopefully you have enough pillows on your bed.  I had to sleep propped up because I couldn't roll over on my side and also it is hard to sit up from a lying position due to you being sore and in pain.  

The biggest thing you will need for the first couple of weeks is someone to help you, especially around the house.  You will not be able to do and lifting or reaching above your head, so no cleaning.  I also couldn't lift my daughter up.  Thankfully my mom and husband were very helpful with everything.  So take the opportunity to rest and be lazy, let people wait on you and let your body heal. 

Something good for me is that I had my drains out in a week.  Once they come out, you will feel such a freedom,  but make sure that you don't overdo it.  Even though you feel better each day just remember that your body is healing on the inside too.  After the drains were out, I was only taking Tylenol for the pain.  If you are young and healthy, you will heal well.  And when I say pain, it was not as excruciating as I expected.  I read online all these horrible stories about the pain so I really expected the worse, but I did not have that bad of an experience.  I know that I have a high tolerance for pain, but I think most women do.  It wasn't a sharp shooting pain for me it feels more constricting and uncomfortable.  It is like someone is giving you a really tight bear hug around your chest area and not letting go. 

I hope this helps.  Sorry if I overwhelmed you, but I spoke with another woman before my surgery and I am glad that I did.  It really helps to not always hear the horror stories.

 I know how you feel about wanting to get it over with.  Good luck with your surgery and take care! 

Quoting itsgreatat38:

yeah i am hearing some yucky stories about the expanders (how uncomfortable they are) so i'm trying to prepare myself.  my onc/surgeon called me to day to say the mastectomy is scheduled for 10/10/13.  unfortunately, according to the PS that is performing the reconstruction stated i cant have a nipple sparing bilateral but i am a candidate for skin sparing.  i am just wanting this to be over with.  do you have any tips on what i need to have on the first day home after the mastectomy?  like what do i need to have to make things most comfortable for recovery.



itsgreatat38
by Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Thank you once again 2curly.  i wish i can give you a million hugs!!! all info that i can get and im a happy camper

2curly
by Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM
1 mom liked this


hugs

Quoting itsgreatat38:

Thank you once again 2curly.  i wish i can give you a million hugs!!! all info that i can get and im a happy camper



itsgreatat38
by Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 3:18 PM

I'm just now seeing that i spelled mastectomy wrong....ooops!

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