I am scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy and the surgeon is recommending LMA over Endo since I had a bronchospasm before.

Are LMA's safe and approximately how long does a bilateral mastectomy take? I'm afraid to do reconstruction because I only want the one surgery.

Doctor Answers 2

One stage mastectomy surgery with reconstruction

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I'm so glad you have not had your surgery yet.. please talk to your doctor about options including one-stage reconstruction, where the final implants are placed at the time of the mastectomy surgery, meaning only one operation! Another option is the Goldilocks mastectomy, which is also one surgery. This option does not require the use of any artificial material and leaves the fullness of a smaller breast without there being any breast tissue. For some patients, it is a good compromise between having reconstruction and having "nothing". If you are comfortable and want a flat chest, of course that is fine- but there are alternative options to two-step reconstruction vs to what amounts to a "breast amputation".

Surgery time for mastectomy can vary widely from surgeon to surgeon- so it's best to ask your doctor how long it usually takes them. I think of safety under anesthesia is like flying... it's the "take off" and the "landing" where the most concern for problems  lies, not the time spent in the air. So, it's no "safer" to fly from New York to Boston than it is to fly from New York to Los Angeles. Please do not let your fear of what most likely will be a safe operation with safe anesthesia keep you from having a final result that will make you happy as you recover and go on to live your life. 

Feel free to contact us if you have questions about these options to see if they may apply to your situation...

Beverly Hills General Surgeon
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LMA is safe as long as no paralysis is required for the procedure. Usually mastectomy without reconstruction can be done with either LMA or endotracheal intubation. I support your decision to avoid reconstruction, however there are one stage reconstructive options for many patients which would only require one operation. Be sure to consult with a plastic surgeon regarding this option in your case before you proceed with mastectomy. The fact that you had bronchospasm in the past requires careful anesthesia but endotracheal intubation (a tube down your throat) is generally the safest option in high risk patients. Get a preop anesthesia consultation so that you and your anesthesiologist make the safest choice for you. Good luck and take care.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.