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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I have a question. I have to have surgery
to have a mass removed in my breast (highly likely to be benign). However, most surgeons here in Phoenix, I have talked to have told me that I have to wean my son (20 months) to be able to have the surgery done.
Their reason for weaning is that there is a high probability that a milk fistula will occur (=milk leaking through incision). Has anybody had a similar experience and was able to find a more nursing friendly surgeon? I am seeing a surgeon next week who at least does not have a office policy of immediately weaning but I will have to see how open she may be to my idea of continuing to nurse my son.

Thank you very much for your help!
 

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I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

I had to have a lump removed from my breast last year. I wasn't nursing any babies at the time, and I'm done having kids, so I wasn't concerned with those issues. But I did like my surgeon. A good friend of mine is a P.A. and he did a rotation with this group when he was in school and said that this was a top notch group. He recommends all but one of them (PM me and I'll tell you which one). I saw Dr. Damore, but I later noticed on the website that one of the other docs specifically specializes in breast surgery. I don't know if they'd be able to help with your specific case or not, but it would be worth a shot. I do know that I had a couple of (very different) concerns about my specific surgery, and Dr. Damore was very willing to work with me.

Here's their website: http://advancedsurgery.com/Default.asp
 

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I just wanted to add that I was just perusing their website, and it says this about Dr. Damore:
Having a great interest in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Damore spent a year at the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery at Ohio State University.

So maybe he can help?

I will say this about him...he's kind of quiet and to the point. I found it to be a good thing, as I'm pretty much the same way. He wasn't harsh or abrasive at all, and he listened to me and didn't make me feel rushed, he just didn't get involved in a lot of chit-chat. I thought he was wonderful, but thought I'd bring it up, as some people might not be comfortable with that style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for your quick response. I have come across this board only recently when I was searching for some info on what to do with my breast mass and it is such a great community.

I have looked at the website you suggested and if the breast surgeon I am seeing this coming week will not work out then I will start contacting your place. It is so nice to have some recommendations as otherwise it is really hard to tell who one should see.
 

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Let me know what you find out. For what it's worth, I posted last year asking for breast surgeon recommendations and got no responses, so I'm guessing no one has recommendations. (That's when I ended up talking to my P.A. friend, even though I wasn't really ready to talk to any of my friends about it yet). Before that I just saw the surgeon my O.B. referred me to, and I wasn't happy with him at all on a number of different levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi there,

I went to see the surgeon today and she was perfectly fine with me wanting to continue nursing my son!! I was sooooo relieved! Basically, I can have the surgery in one or two weeks (which is much earlier than the weaning route). She suggested not to nurse for 24 hours after the surgery but to pump and dump instead. I am perfectly fine with that as one day not nursing for my son seems so much better than completely having to wean him. He nursed about 6 times today and for the first time in about 2 weeks I felt not stressed with it as previously I was trying to get to fewer nursing sessions in anticipation of having to wean him soon. So, I feel that it was really worth to do some more research and get a second opinion. The surgeon's name is Barbara Merz and she is working in the North Valley.
 

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I'm so glad to hear that! That must be such a relief! I ended up weaning my son abruptly when he was 18 months old because I had a sudden pregnancy complication and ended up in the hospital for a week. He seemed fine with it, other than being a little mad at me when I got home (and I think that was for being gone for a week), but I have always felt bad about it.
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi everyone,

I had my surgery yesterday. It was an outpatient surgery - everyone was supernice and it was pretty fast. It did not hurt that much afterwards and the sedation wore off very quickly.

So, yesterday I was very enthusiastic and was really happy that I made the decision not to wean as it also sped up the process of setting up the operation.

This noon I noticed that my area between my incision and the aerola has turned red and it is hot. I had DS nurse a lot at each session to really drain out the milk. I am going to see the surgeon tomorrow and hope that it is not an onset of mastitis but something simply. I am a little worried now - it does not really hurt which I take as a good sign.

I will post again once I know more. It was really nice to nurse my son today and think that I would not have been able to do this had I listened to the initial surgeon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I saw the surgeon this morning and the red spot is only some skin sensitivity to some of the stuff they used during surgery. It has started to disappear slowly which is great. I also got the pathology report already saying that the mass was benign!!! So, I am very happy.
Thanks again for all your support.

I would definitely recommend this surgeon - Dr. Merz!! She and her staff are very helpful and friendly. I had it done as an outpatient at PV hospital and I thought it was great. I am glad there are surgeons out there that support nursing - I still can't believe that if I had gone with the first surgeon I would not be nursing my son any longer and the surgery would probably be only in a month or so.
 
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