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How to get matching scars.....

How to get matching scars.....

Posted by Joanie on Mar 11, 2019 7:17 pm

If you are having a double mastectomy, then radiation on just one side, will the skin on the radiated side shift slightly. ? And then, the scars wont match if you are having a double mastectomy???????  I have cancer on my right breast with lymph node involvement.  I am having one breast removed for sure.   They will do  radiation from sternum to armpit on that side only.   I will not be having any restorative surgery.  THERFORE, i am interested in the scars on both left and right looking the same.  I beleive I should also have the other breast removed because my breasts are dense and the risk increases.

My surgeon thinks I should wait a year before I have the optional second mastectomy on my left side.(no cancer there, a fibroadadenoma that is benign)  She says that sometimes the skin on the radiated side can shift somewhat and that if I wanted matching scars, to wait a year for the second' optional surgery on the left.  BUT.......that means two major surgeries.  does anyone have any experience in this matter?


Re: How to get matching scars.....

Posted by WesT on Mar 12, 2019 6:35 pm

Hi Joanie‍ and welcome, although it could be under better circumstances.

Although being a man I cannot personally offer any advice to your inquiry.  I can tag ashcon‍, Kims1961‍, Elizabeth06‍  and cancertakesflight‍ into the conversation and maybe they can offer you some specific advice or support as required.

Good luck with your journey.


Re: How to get matching scars.....

Posted by Kims1961 on Mar 12, 2019 7:53 pm

Joanie‍   Good for you in posting on various forums.  I'm sure others are also wondering this same question.  Thanks for the tag WesT‍ !

As i mentioned in the other post - this idea of skin shifting was never mentioned.  Even if it had - i had lots of areas of my body that are "shifting" so would have still gone with the bilateral mastectomy.  Some doctors aren't supportive of doing bilaterals - so it's not an option  - or there are medical reasons that this is not possible.  Although i was glad to have both breasts removed at the same time - if that wasn't possible and had to do them one at a time - so be it.  I did find the surgery not that bad - healing went well, albeit slow, but what i expected.  

Let us know what you decide!  Kim

Re: How to get matching scars.....

Posted by cancertakesflight on Mar 12, 2019 10:34 pm

Welcome Joanie‍. Thanks for the tag WesT‍.

Like you, I only had cancer in one breast and I didn't think of having my other breast removed and my surgeon did not even mention it to me. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to have both breasts removed, because my right breast now feels different than it did before my cancer. I don't know if it has to do with my hormone levels changing as a result of chemo. Now, because it is a foreign feel to me, I have not gotten used to the feel of my remaining breast so noticing differences is harder for me. For this reason, whenever my breast feels lumpy, I always wonder if it might be cancerous. Like you, I was told I had dense breasts, but my breast density has never been included on my mammogram results and I had never had a mammogram before I was diagnosed with cancer. I was 49 and regular screening was supposed to start when I was 50. Ironically, I had my surgery two days after my birthday and on my husband's birthday. We both turned 50. 

I considered having breast reconstruction (diep), but I am not a good candidate. I am overweight (would have to lose 60 Ibs to be considered for surgery), was having clotting issues, and I have epilepsy so there was some concern about how the anaesthetic might affect it.  I was told if I had the reconstruction, the surgeon would, in addition to reconstructing my breast would also do a breast reduction on the other side. That was a surprise to me. I always assumed that because I only had one breast removed that any additional surgery for reconstruction would only be on that side. I was told that because I was larger breasted I would not be a good candidate for implants because of their weight and the damage to my skin from radiation. 

After my surgery, I did notice a shift on my left side where my breast and lymph nodes were removed, but I don't really know how much different it would be. Like Kims1961‍ said, I personally wouldn't be too concerned about whether or not my scars lined up, but everyone is different. You have to do what makes you comfortable with your body. Also keep in mind that what you are comfortable with now may change from what you feel comfortable with in the future. 

If I could do it again, would I have both breasts removed, I would be like many other women and struggle to make up my mind. I don't know. 

cancertakesflight (Debbie)