Breast checks after risk-reducing surgery

You won’t need to have any further screening tests following risk-reducing breast surgery. But you should still check your breast area regularly, as there will still be a small amount of breast tissue remaining.

Ask your nurse when you should begin to do this. They can tell you what to look out for and show you how to check your breasts.

Things to look out for include:

  • breast tissue that feels different, for example harder or tighter
  • a change in the appearance or shape of the breast
  • a change in the skin’s texture, for example puckering, dimpling, a rash or thickening
  • a visible lump or bulge
  • a lump or lumpy area you can feel in the breast or armpit
  • discharge from the nipple (if not removed)
  • a rash or swelling on the nipple or the areola (if not removed)
  • a rash or change along the scar line
  • swelling of the upper arm
  • pain or discomfort.

After surgery, it will take time for you to get used to how your breasts look and feel and to find out what is normal for you. If you notice any of the changes we’ve mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. But it’s important to tell your nurse or doctor so they can check you.

Your surgeon will examine you and they can arrange tests if needed. These can include an ultrasound, mammogram, MRI scan or a biopsy to check for anything unusual.

There is always the doubt that it might come back, but you just get on with life. I had the risk-reducing surgery, so I’ve done everything I can.


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