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Post Bilateral Mastectomy (no reconstruction) Body Image

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1042
Joined: Dec 2010

I was on breastcancer.org reading a thread about a woman who, like me, was expecting to be flat chested with scars post bilateral mastectomy, but ended up with small amounts of tissue, looking like small breasts, even though they aren't true breasts.I have that and in addition, I am uneven. I was not prepared for this.I thought i would be flat with scars.I was feeling better about it while reading that post, until a woman, posted that she was flat like an 11 yr. old and loving it on that post.It just sunk me right back down last night.I don't have a problem with it everyday, just some days it gets me so down.Seeing a PS to have another surgery is not an option for me.I don't think I am feeling sorry for myself, just adjusting to a an expectaiton that did not happen.If there are any women who are or have gone thru what I am, I would love to hear from you. However, I don't mean to be rude, but if you were flat chested post mastectomy with no reconstruction, I would really only like to hear from women who can relate.I just want to hear from others because I find it is comforting when I am down like this to find others who can say, yes, I had that happen or am experiencing it,too.Thank you, Cinnamonsmile.

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5259
Joined: Oct 2010

just wanted to say sorry are going through this....

I HOPE you get someone who can help you out...with their feelings!

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2567
Joined: Jun 2008

Like you I have little "pouches" that are not even. It was not what I was expecting. I think my PS left me that way in case I decided to get reconstruction. I'm more at peace with it now than I was when it was all new. Mostly I don't think about it. It will be OK. xoxoxo Lynn

jessiesmom1's picture
jessiesmom1
Posts: 708
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Cinnamonsmile,

I had a mastectomy on my right side. My left breast is a DD cup. I expected and was prepared to be completely flat with a wicked scar on my right side. As it turns out I have what I call a "pseudo-breast." There is a enough skin/fat to look like a tiny breast. I actually found that kind of comforting. I could mentally fool myself into thinking I had a breast on that side. It was not quite so shocking. That being said, I am still significantly deformed. I have made the decision to have reconstructive surgery with an implant - probably within the next couple of months. I would like to feel less like a cancer patient and think when my body looks more female I might be able to do that. After a mastectomy (either bilateral or unilateral) our body image takes a big hit. I don't think your feelings are unusual. How you deal with it is a VERY personal decision. May you find mental/emotional peace with this whole issue.

Hope Springs
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2011

Hello Cinnamonsmile, This is my very first post anywhere, so I hope it's ok. Thursday will be a month since my surgery, and like you, I was surprised to find that the sides are uneven, and I have these two bumps that look like lower half-breasts with a line underneath like the marks from an underwire bra. I'm flat-ish otherwise, but now my midriff "pooches" out and I didn't expect that either. On the whole, I'm positive about the experience, but I'd be lying if I said I looked like I thought I would. Does that help? I have a lot of other questions - can you help me figure out how/where to post them? I'm so happy to have found this community, and I hope my comments were of some value to you. Very best regards, Hope Springs

Hippiechick58's picture
Hippiechick58
Posts: 320
Joined: Feb 2011

The pouches are called "dogs ears" and I have them also. Had a Blmx in Sept and was devasted when the bandages came off. I opted not to reconstruct after surgery but now am thinking I just might try for it because of how depressing it all is. I have one more tx of taxol then off to rads for 30 visits then I might seek out a PS and get an opinion. I am also uneven (redundant tissue on right side)

So hang in there, you are not alone. I wear my prostheses when I go out and they (my non-girls) look normal with clothes on. DO you have a prosthesis?

I will be praying for you. Keep the faith.

"May you be at Peace; May you be free of Suffering."
Dianne

PinkPearl's picture
PinkPearl
Posts: 280
Joined: Oct 2010

Well not shocked but I didn't expect it! I had a skin sparing double mastectomy so the extra skin sort of makes the dog ears. Maybe they do this even if you don't want reconstruction since the skin covers what would be an open wound really and helps you heal better. Just guessing on that but to me it makes sense.
I am doing reconstruction but still there is a new body to adjust to and it does take time and some creative clothes shopping for me! Bit of retail therapy!!!

Wolfi's picture
Wolfi
Posts: 425
Joined: Aug 2009

I also have that problem. I have extra tissue on one side and also some concave parts on both sides where they had to remove more chest muscle than normal so I could get clean margins.

Some days it bugs me but most of the time I try to remember the good parts of the surgery - getting the cancer out of my body.

linpsu's picture
linpsu
Posts: 725
Joined: Mar 2010

I was so glad to read your post, as I am quite disturbed by my chest as well. I expected to be flat with a scar and was absolutely mortified when I discovered these flaps of skin, as well as a small mound towards the center of my chest that looks like a small golf ball - nowhere where a breast would be. I am going for my 6-month oncologist checkup next week and will ask what is up with this. I think I was so shocked right after surgery that it didn't even sink in that this was intentional for some reason? Although I'm assuming that the flaps of skin are there in case I do reconstruction in the future (NOT), and the mini-boob sort of gives me the perception of a teeny bit of cleavage in my mastectomy bra. This was not at all what I expected, that is for sure. I've looked at all the pictures of actual post-mastectomy breasts on-line, and I've NEVER seen anything as weird as this. Linda

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