Prophylactic Mastectomy - Columbia, SC

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Due to a high family history of breast cancer and...

Due to a high family history of breast cancer and the fact that I was get multiple cyst all the time I decided to see a dr about getting cyst removed and discuss my risk factors for BC. It was after that appointment that I started doing research on having preventative surgery. So on July 11th I had a double mastectomy with tissue expanders put in. At my first follow up appointment I had complications and end up back in surgery the next morning. All the fluid in the right expander was removed to aid in recovery. Complication was due to a previous surgery, not the actual mastectomy, I have lost blood flow to an area surrounded by previous scar tissue. He was however able to save both nipples! At my first fill he replaced the 100ccs he removed on the right side - this made them even again. At my next fill he put in 100cc on each side. Word of advice - take your pain meds before you go!! At my next appointment I could only handle 70cc then made him stop. Right now I'm at 270cc and not sure how much more I will do, but I will post more as I go through the process. Here is some of what I have learned so far:

1. Dont let the dr decide how much to fill at each are the one who has to deal with the pain. My dr wants to do 100 cc each week - I can tell you now that will not happen again!

2. Before you decide to have the surgery, find a dr you are comfortable with and ask all the questions you want. I had 3 appointments before my first surgery.

3. Ask for meds!! Most PS will give them to you if you ask. Ask about how they address pain before you have surgery. I get Tramadol for pain and Robaxin for muscle spasms. He gives me refills each week if needed.

4. You need to stay mobile. The more you move around the better the pain gets. Yes, sitting in a recliner watching TV is more comfortable, but you wil pay for it when you do move around. But don't over do it, just move around and use your arms.

5. Discuss with your PS what you want to look like after surgery, let him know your expectations. My dr originally want to remove the right nipple due to a previous surgery. I told him if possible i would like to keep them and he made it happen (with a minor set back).

6. Heat is your friend. As soon as you are cleared to take a shower, take warm showers as often as you want. Heat hell's with the pain and mobility.

7. Drain tubes suck and they can hurt when removed. They did not hurt while in just uncomfortable and annoying. They are removed in the dr office and take about 10 seconds to be removed. Take your pain meds before you appointment and you should be fine. You will be a little sore for a few days but worth it!

8. Buy Coco butter and apply it every few days to both breasts. It will help with stretch marks and stretching the skin.

9. I have found that a tank-top shirt with the bra shelf works better than a bra. You can also go with nothing!!

10. Expander CC and implants CC are not the same. Everything depends on your body type. After your first 2 fills you should start to see shape again and get an idea of how much you need to fill to.

I'm hoping to have my exchange surgery at the end of September. It will all depend on my my expansion process goes and how much I can handle at each appt. I HOPING to get to 400 cc. Based on my side this should give me a decent C cup according to my PS. (I'm 5'4 and 140 pounds) before surgery I was a 36B, at 270cc I'm almost back to that size. (My old bra is a little big still, but not by much).

I will post updates as I go through this whole process. So far, I would say it is worth it, even with all the pain and discomfort. It is far less than what I have watched people with BC go through.
Dr. William M. Leppard

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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