Nipple Sparing Mastectomy : Is it right for me?

types of mastectomy

While exploring options for my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, both my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon asked me if I wanted a Nipple Sparing Mastectomy. There are different types of mastectomies performed depending on the situation. My situation allowed me to choose if I wanted a Nipple Sparing Mastectomy that would enable me to keep my nipples.

I already knew going in that I didn’t. I mean, yes of course I “wanted” them. Who would choose to remove their nipples if they didn’t have to right? Well I guess I did.

The risk of having breast cancer in the nipple is quite low but it does occur. So I wanted to remove as much tissue as possible that may increase my already high risk of breast cancer. Keeping them wasn’t an option for me. I wanted to know I did everything possible to eliminate my chances of this disease that has devastated my family.

I chose to have a bilateral “simple” or “total” mastectomy that would remove the entire breast including the nipple.

The decision wasn’t easy. The loss of feeling and sensation of natural breasts and nipples is something I knew I would struggle with. I was and still am sad at the loss of them.

But in all honesty, that loss doesn’t compare to the happiness and relief I feel about reducing my chances of breast cancer to single digits. I had such a huge and heavy worry erased in a matter of hours thanks to this procedure.

And again, my procedure was prophylactic. I was lucky that I didn’t have any lymph nodes or muscle removed. Other women like my Mom and two aunts weren’t so lucky. All three sisters had a diagnosis and were battling Breast Cancer. My procedure was done to prevent it.

There are so many facets of this process that are deeply personal and individual. What was right for me would not be right for someone else. I’ve met plenty of women who kept their nipples and they don’t lose any sleep over it.

Choosing not to keep my nipples was the right decision for me.

I don’t regret my decision for one minute. Not one.

5 thoughts on “Nipple Sparing Mastectomy : Is it right for me?”

  1. Hi there. I was starting to worry that I hadn’t heard from you. So glad that you are doing well with your decision. So hard for someone your age. But you are the strongest person I know. Thanks for the anniversary wishes. I really posted that because I thought it was funny…..not sure those commenting thought that, hah. Hope all else is going okay. (((((HUGS)))) Your Fairy Blogmother

  2. Hmmm hello…

    I just came over from Lana and i am suprised to see a young face and such a heavy content. I thought i was the only young woman with cancer… haha silly me…

    I hope you are doing good and i thought you did the right thing. I’m gonna be here lot’s more and light a little candle tonight (just to make sure)

    Lots of hugs from northern Indiana

  3. Debby: Your anniversary wishes are well deserved! :) Even if none of us got the funny part! :)

    Kim: Thank you. I think you’re amazing too!

    Leontien: Thank you so much for thinking of me. I don’t have a cancer diagnosis but it sounds like you do/did. :( I hope you are doing okay. I’m really glad to meet you! I went to your profile and visited your website. Do you have a blog too? Please know that you’ve now got one more person rooting for you now!! *hugs* right back at ya!! :)

  4. I didn’t keep my nipples either. I went down in size and didn’t have to be stretched for implants. I have done good. There is alittle numbness on right side.

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