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Thursday, September 10, 2009 4081, Community Member, asks

Q: What is the length of surgery for a bilateral mastectomy with immediate tissue expander reconstructi

I have surgery on Septmeber 29.  I know that everyone is different but would like an idea of the length of surgery for a bilateral mastectomy with immediate tissue expander reconstruction.

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Answers (4)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/10/09 10:57pm

Hi - I'd think this would be a question you'd ask your two surgeons. They should absolutely be able to give you a good idea, as they need to book the OR for a certain length of time. Just a "for instance" - I had a single mastectomy with body tissue reconstruction, and it took 8 hours. Implant reconstruction isn't as lengthy as body tissue reconstruction, but since you're having a bilateral... Really, you need to ask your surgeons, esp. since all surgeons operate at their own pace. Best of luck with this - I hope it goes well for you. PJH

Connie Jackley, Community Member
9/12/09 3:23pm

I had a bilateral mastectomy with the expanders put in at the time of that surgery.  I was in the hospital for two and a half days, going home with two drains coming out of each side. I was feeling fine at the time of my release, so anxious to be going home.  I have heard some comment on the fact that they were released in one day, two days, and thinking it was awful.  I guess it also depends on your insurance and, of course, how you are personally doing.  I would much rather have emptied the drains at home then have to stay in the hospital just because of that.  Yes, it is a pain to deal with, but being home is the best.  My drains were in one full week and it took a while for the incisions not to sting where they were inserted and a weird feeling when they are removed. Also, I assume they will be taking lymphnodes from under your arm - I just had the left side done, as that is where my cancer was, the left breast.  It was really not too bad, the recovery, but the weekly trips to the plastic surgeon for the saline fills can be a chore and does cause allot of discomfort.  You will get through it, and it will be so worth it.  Lots of luck to you and we all hope everything goes well and you are in and out of the hospital quickly.

Connie J.

Angi, Community Member
9/13/09 5:51pm

I would estimate about 4 to 6 hours.  Of course this time could vary greatly, and really only your surgeons would have the most accurate of answers for you.  But this should at least narrow it down some for you.

Good luck!


Carol, Community Member
9/28/09 12:48pm

I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate tissue expander reconstruction on June 30th 2009.  I was in surgery for 9 and a 1/2 hours.  Not sure if it took any longer because of prior lumpectomy and radiation 5 years ago.  The good thing is I do not remember anything.  I went home two days later with drains.  I had alot of pain on left side which is the radiated breast.  Although my pain med was just tylenol with codine.  Some say I should of had a stronger pain medicene.  Hope this helps.  Good Luck with your surgery.

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By 4081, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 09/10/09