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gma
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 4/15/2007 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
hi my name is brenda and i was dignose in feb. with b-cancer I have gone throw two chem and have had a stint put on. i am coping o.k. but i was wondreringn how do they do a mastectomy done i will have to have one done they say they take it all off but how do they close it with what skin from where?
 
Brenda I brought your question to a new thread so you won't get lost in the post by Aleeuh.  MK



Post Edited (gma) : 4/15/2007 2:49:01 PM (GMT-6)


gma
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 4/15/2007 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Now I will attempt to answer your question. I am guessing since you are having chemo first your tumor could be large and the doctor wants to shrink it first before surgery. At least that was why they did chemo first several years ago. I have heard that they are doing chemo first more often nowno matter the size.

With any surgery, they do not take the whole area off such as a breast. They open it up and take the inside tissue. In fact, there is a nipple sparing surgery if the lump is located so that it can be done. Otherwise they will make a new nipple with reconstruction. Depending on the size of your breast and your intent as to reconstruction, they could do the reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy. My daughter had that done with a tram flap. Others have had inserts that are slowly filled with saline to reform the breast. And if you are older and your other breast is sagging, you can have it perked up, too, so they match or if you are large breasted it can be reduced and the new breast made to match the reduction.

Read and ask questions about reconstruction if you are considering it and find out what is involved with each type.

Hugs Mary K (MK for short)


barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 4/15/2007 5:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Brenda. There are lots of sites that describe the actual process of a mastectomy (check out the resource center here), and of course, there is the staple book that every breast cancer survivor should own, Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book. But if you want to know what it is LIKE to have a mastectomy, you have come to the right place. I remember rolling over on my side and crying as they wheeled me off to the operating room. I was out by the time they actually got me there. I had a TRAM-flap reconstruction done at the same time as the mastectomy, so when I woke up, I already had the new breast in place. It was not as traumatic as I had imagined it would be. I remember reading Betty Rollins' book First, You Cry, many years before, and she described hiding in the closet in the dark to change her clothes, afraid to look at herself, much less let her husband look at her scar. Well, I was determined not to be that way, so I was exposing myself to anyone who wanted to look at the breast, even while I was still in the hospital! That sounds kind of crazy, but then, most anyone here will tell you, I am kinda crazy. But you know, I think it actually helped. No one passed out. No one said, "Oh, you poor thing..." (Well, my mother-in-law did, but she doesn't count), and almost to a person, they lied and told me how great it looked. I think it really helped me feel better about it. Let me tell you, there are worse things, and I can only imagine that being dead instead would be one of them. So keep your chin up, cry when you need to (there are lots of shoulders here), and you'll get through this, too, sweetiie.

Hugs...
BEV
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