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What Are the Side Effects of Double Mastectomy?


A mastectomy is a breast gland removal process mainly carried out in women to remove either cancer cells or to meet other reasons. Mastectomy includes Double Mastectomy, where both breasts are surgically cut out to remove the breast tissues. Sometimes only the nipple and the areola are conserved.

The recovery time of double mastectomy depends from person to person, and it also involves emotional recovery. Some get better in just a couple of weeks, while others have different side effects.

Let’s understand about side effects associated with this procedure.

Side effects of Double Mastectomy

According to the MNT, a person can face some side effects after a double mastectomy. The list of side effects includes:

  • Patients can get excess fat because of tiredness after the Surgery. 
  • One can feel the shoulders and arms stiff, causing them severe pain.
  • People can have phantom breast pain that causes numbness in the arms and shoulders. 
  • It is the process of building fluid under the skin. It can cause infection and swelling of the arms.
  • You can notice a hard area like a lump where the Surgery occurred.
  • Bleeding is a common side effect as after Surgery, you can find bleeding over the surgical area. 
  • Following double mastectomy can inbuilt strong emotional depression or a loss of identity in persons. The common depression includes:
  • Sadness
  • Mourning
  • Loss of sexuality
  • Anxiety
  • Concerns
  • Fear of returning to Cancer

Apart from side effects, let us understand the basics of this procedure.

Read More – How to Detect Breast Cancer?

Conditions when you need a Double Mastectomy

According to research, a person can consider having a double mastectomy if the doctor suggests them. The doctor allows Double Mastectomy is under the following reasons:

  1. When the person does not have the choice to undergo radiation therapy.
  2. If the person has already gone through radiation therapy in the past, it showed no positive results.
  3. In the past, if the person has already gone through BCS but did not completely recover from the Cancer. 
  4. Have a high spread of cancer cells that cannot be removed in one operation. 
  5. Having a large tumour larger than 5 cm or the gland size. 
  6. Women who are pregnant have to meet radiation therapy. 
  7. If you have BRCA mutation as your genetic problem, this can lead to the chances of second-time breast cancer. 
  8. Serious tissue diseases like Scleroderma or lupus can lead to radiation therapy side effects. 

Have queries or concern ?

    What to expect during Surgery?

    Your doctor can perform a Double Mastectomy on your body by taking some measures. This procedure normally takes 2-3 hours to finish.

    The process followed by the doctor is as follows so that you know how wills your Surgery will be performed:

    1. The oncologist will numb the gland with the help of anaesthesia.
    2. Then she will mark and open up the gland to perform Surgery.
    3. In the third step, skin will be pulled backwards to remove cancerous tissues.
    4. Detaching your breast tissue will automatically detach the lymph nodes. 
    5. In the fourth step, the Oncologist will examine the area to check the presence of the cancer cell. 
    6. The oncologist will locate some thin tubes in your body to control the flow of the excess fluids.
    7. The doctor will close the area with stitches after the Surgery.

    Double Mastectomy Recovery

    According to the research by MNT, the recovery from Double Mastectomy normally takes 4-6 weeks for both men and women but also can vary from person to person.

    After the operation, we will admit the person to the hospital, where the nurse will take care of the person by checking their blood pressure, sugar level, and heart rate.

    Before leaving the hospital, we would guide the patient with several recovery tips that are discussed below:

    • You should take proper rest after your Surgery and avoid any hard work.
    • As the surgical area remains delicate, it needs proper care and maintenance. Try to keep it dry, or else it can get infected. 
    • While removing the bandage, try to be very careful and remove it with soft hands.
    • The doctor would prescribe you some medicines to help you cure at a fast rate. 
    • Performing light exercises and yoga will help you be physically fit and mentally active. 
    • You can have a regular basis emotional breakdown, but you have to think positively and should perform meditations. 

    Survival Report of Double Mastectomy

    According to research, people who got a Double Mastectomy done had a survival rate of 81.2% in the past 10 years.


    You can opt for various surgical options, but your Oncologist will always provide you with the best method by observing your condition. Breast Cancer can be emotionally challenging, so choose an expert that makes sure you are in safe hands.

    Our best oncologist in Pune, India is available for consultations at +91 88888 22222 or you can request an appointment online. If you have questions about double mastectomy or would like more information, you can mail us at [email protected] or you can request an appointment online.

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