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Double Mastectomy - The Decision and the Procedure.

After waiting a week for a biopsy that was indicated by a recent annual mammogram, the results are in - Negative -- No Cancer... However, during that wait, I decided I could no longer continue to wait for the other shoe to drop... for the next breast cancer diagnosis so I decided on a complete double mastectomy. Because I am a diabetic (and one that is not especially well controlled), I decided to go flat - to have no reconstruction. I do not know if the loss of both breasts is a more emotional experience for large breasted women, but I have always had breasts that were above average in size (I wore a size 48 G bra).

My diabetes would make recovery especially difficult for me as I am very prone to infections. I had two years of infections following my first breast cancer surgery that was finally resolved by opening my wound up all the way to the chest wall. My partner stuffed my open wound with gauze every day for weeks on end until it finally healed from the inside out. I then had over ten years of chronic pain until a surgeon finally put me on Lydoderm Patches.  

Rather than risk complications from infections and my body's extremely slow healing due to diabetes, I opted for complete mastectomy with no reconstruction.

The procedure went very well. I told my surgeon to make sure she got all breast tissue (I would rather err on the side of caution with regards to tissue removal). I spent a couple of days in the hospital then went home with relatively low pain levels.

More about recovery in my next post.

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