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DCIS - Breast marker missed in initial surgery

Reggie3Reggie3 Member Posts: 19
edited January 2021 in Newly diagnosed

I was recently diagnosed with intermediate grade DCIS left breast presenting as a stellate lesion (1.4cm), apparently the usual presentation is calcifications. I had a wide local incision just before Christmas to have it removed. The surgery went well and I was very happy with the incision/surgery (done by a private breast cancer specialist). The scans I had before surgery were mammogram, ultrasound and an MRI. A breast marker was implanted at the time of the biopsy with Breast Screen.

I went back to see the specialist last week and the pathology was showing that there was no breast marker in the tissue removed and also no DCIS in the pathology sample. He sent me for another mammogram, that was very uncomfortable I must say on a breast that has just had surgery! 

Long story short the recent mammogram showed that the breast marker and DCIS wasn't removed at surgery it had been missed, I'm booked in for the exact same procedure all over again this Thursday.

I'm so upset that I have to go through another general and have the surgery all over again, plus I've been a mess just waiting for the results the first time around. That's been the worst part of this whole journey so far. I've spoken to the specialist about my concerns but I'm not really satisfied with his explanation.

Also this is my second time dealing with cancer 23 years ago I went through surgery/chemotherapy and had to have an emergency hysterectomy. Going through this journey all over again is bringing up a lot of bad memories.

Has anyone else been in this situation? I'm just feeling so deflated atm.


  • Dory65Dory65 Member Posts: 323
    Wow! You have every right to feel deflated, let alone seriously pissed off @Reggie3. I hope they are not charging you for the second procedure.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,890
    Dear @Reggie3

    I appreciate that the first thing you will want is to get the surgery successfully completed but I am wondering what your specialist said about what appears to be a major failure. How was the problem explained? I’d be pretty distressed too. Best wishes for Thursday.

  • Reggie3Reggie3 Member Posts: 19
    He said that they are sometimes hard to locate and that he was about 1cm away from it. Apparently it does happen sometimes according to him! I actually think maybe that there is more to it.

    I didn't want to ask to many questions as I really want it removed asap.

    Thank you for your concern.
  • Reggie3Reggie3 Member Posts: 19
    Dear Dory65

    Yes you are correct I am more than pissed off!! I've been in tears for days since getting the news. I'm so glad that I have some other people on my side, I was wondering if I was being over dramatic about it but now I don't think so.

  • noosa_blue150noosa_blue150 Buderim QLD Member Posts: 180
    edited January 2021
    Can understand why you’re feeling upset about the outcome. I recently had a lumpectomy and excision lymph nodes which was successful. I had a marker/clip put in at time of original biopsy six months ago . At this surgery , on day of surgery, (after months of chemo) I had to go to,imaging dept first and have dye injection (which you may not have needed?) and also have a fine wire inserted to localise the lump for the surgeon prior to surgery.  I did ask why a fine wire needed as well as clip and was told that clip can migrate and a wire is used to go through the lump and help,the surgeon localise his/her excision  and get clear margins. Normally fine wire done under u/s but they did have to revert to mammogram in the end as they had difficulty visualising the lump,well on u/s. Perhaps this may be relevant to your care as well? Ask the surgeon .
  • Reggie3Reggie3 Member Posts: 19
    So you did make me smile AllJay :-) thanks for the advice about getting a 'please explain' ha ha. And also for your supporting words nice to know that I'm not alone on this one.

    I have an appointment tomorrow with my GP let's see what happens. 
  • Reggie3Reggie3 Member Posts: 19

    Dear noosa_blue150

    No I didn’t need to have the dye injection (sorry you did I’ve heard they aren’t that nice), I did ask at the initial consult if he would be using the fine wire to locate the lump and he said that he used other methods u/s. When he told me that I needed surgery again because the clip and lesion where missed I did ask again if he would this time be using the fine needle to locate and he said no it wasn’t necessary! Like OMG you missed it the first time! My DCIS is presenting as a 1cm mass so I don’t know why it was missed. Anyway I will be asking those questions tomorrow when I visit my GP.

    I’m feeling that I should change surgeons but I’m already $2,500 out of pocket, he isn’t charging for anything for my scheduled surgery on Thursday but that’s not much consolation, two generals anesthetics in three weeks is not great.


  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 373
    Hello @Reggie3
    I’m so so sorry you have to go through this again.  Not good enough.
    Good luck at the GP tomorrow. I will be thinking of you this week. 
    Sending love and thoughts your way
    Caz xx

    ps I had a clip inserted too, and my surgeon had an ultrasound during the operation - did your surgeon even do that? What is the point of putting a clip in if you aren’t using it to guide you??!! :(
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,446
    Oh @Reggie3 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️.
    You poor, poor thing. Believe me, you are so not alone in thinking this is wrong, and if anything you are being under dramatic. I would also ask for a refund, and immediately seek a second opinion. This is just not good enough. And you’re right, because of him now you need to be exposed to GA again so soon. Not fair and not ok!!! You paid for a service, didn’t get it, didn’t get a proper explanation in writing as to why you didn’t get it...I’d be suing this guy. 
    Btw, where do you live? It might be a good idea to leave him a nice little review to prevent more poor women going through the same thing. Just completely unacceptable. And second time round too. 
    So sorry darl, really. Hope your app with your GP goes well today and it sorts out quickly. Just remember your rights ♥️♥️
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