I am on a Facebook group of women that has all had Mastectomies with DIEP reconstruction. A topic has come up time and time again ” What will my husband think about me after my mastectomy?” So, I asked my husband to write this post with his thoughts on a man’s prospective on his wife having a mastectomy and reconstruction, especially one that was done to prevent Breast Cancer. I have instructed Brian to be honest ( and I would not get mad about anything he writes, women need a man’s honest prospective. )
What was your thought when your wife first talked to you about a preventive mastectomy? I was in favor of it, but cautious. I wanted to understand all the benefits and the risks in order to help Kelly with her decision. Ultimately, it was her decision to make. As her husband, I wanted to understand as much as possible to better support her.
What were your fears? I was afraid of any side affects (infection, blood circulation) that would possibly occur. With any major surgery, there are always fears being under the knife for such an extended time frame.
What was the worst part of the actually surgery? The long time interval for the actual operation. Kelly’s surgery took approximately 14 hours to complete. While I was getting periodic updates on how things were going, it was still a long day at the hospital. Her surgery began at 7:30 AM and I didn’t see her until 10:45 PM. There were also some complications with one of her flaps not circulating the blood from the tissues adequately, which prolonged her operation. By the time the doctor finally came out to say he had finished, I was quite stressed out.
What was the worst part about recovery? The day-to-day progress on the flap that was having issues. I have no doubt that God had his hands on her as even her surgeon was astounded at her progress. In the beginning, he only gave a 20% chance that the flap would survive. Kelly made remarkable progress daily and defied the odds. Still, it was a lot of people praying that made her recovery so remarkable.
What has this procedure taught you? That plastic surgery has come along way from the past. Kelly’s reconstruction has been far from the “butchering” that women had gone through in my mother’s generation. It has been very surprising in the way her “new” breasts have a natural look/feel to them. And she is not done with her revisions yet, so I anticipate that they will only improve.
Do you still find your wife attractive? Very much so. I find my wife even more attractive now. She did this for herself first and foremost, but also for our daughters. She wants to see them wed and have their own families and this gives her a much better chance of fulfilling that. To see how brave and vulnerable she was during this was inspiring in so many ways. Her breasts are certainly a part of her, but not all of her and don’t define her womanhood. Her role as the mother of our daughters, as my wife, and the dreams we share are more attractive than any single part of her body. I’m excited as to what the end result will be.
( any other thought you want to add)
If you are a husband whose wife is weighing the pros and cons of having this procedure, I would encourage you to take an active role with her. Go to doctors appointments, ask questions, share your feelings with her, read blogs/articles/web pages, and become her advocate. Be a participant in this decision process. Ultimately, its her choice. You need to be an active part in the process.