- Women's Health
My Bilateral Mastectomy Week 2 Post-op
My new breasts
My drains were removed 10 days after my surgery. The removal wasn’t too bad, since they removed all 4 drains at one time. After this, I was permitted to take a shower. This was the first thing I did when I got home. I removed my bra and saw my new breasts in the mirror for the first time. I was nervous, but was really satisfied and happy with the way they looked. I had minimal bruising and my breasts looked normal, except for the incision sites below my breasts. The incision sites were covered with white steri- strips and these would fall off within the first two to three weeks after my surgery. The position of my breasts was a little high. I was told that over the course of the next 6-12 weeks, the implants would begin to settle. I felt my breasts in the shower and my chest area was numb. Feeling will come back to a good portion of your breasts, but it is uncertain as to how long it will take to return. Women who have had the one-step procedure have had feeling return after 3 years from their surgery date. The area that is least likely to develop feeling is the nipple area.
I stopped taking the pain medication and only had slight discomfort. I had tightness in my chest. I also felt an occasional spasm, which is indicative of the nerves to the muscles repairing themselves. I was to continue on the antibiotic prescription through week 2. My range of motion was good. I was able to completely raise my hands above my head. I started walking more, although I was still moving at a slow pace because of the discomfort. I could feel my implants when I would open a door, which is normal as you are engaging your pectoral muscles. I also had weakness in this area. It was more difficult to open the front door and refrigerator door. This too is completely normal, as your strength in your upper body has decreased. To help reduce swelling, I was told to lightly massage my breasts with cream twice a day, making small circles with gentle pressure.
I feel very positive about my decision to have surgery. I have healthy breasts and have reduced my risk of breast cancer by over 90%. I feel strong and empowered by my decision. I had a choice. I knew about my risk and was able to do something about it.
As far as surveillance, I no longer need to get regular mammograms or MRIs. I do need to continue to do self-breast exams and see a gynecologist for breast exams every six months.