Surgery with an auto immune disorder : Good morning all... - NRAS

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Surgery with an auto immune disorder


Good morning all

Some issues have come to light in my family recently which mean I may be eligible for a BRCA ( it’s the gene mutation which increases the risk of breast cancer amongst others) test.

It seems to me that the worst possible outcome would be to agree to the test, be tested positive but then for reasons of pre existing health conditions- in my case ulcerative colitis, inflammatory arthritis and hearing loss - be told that surgery was too risky. If that was a possibility I think I would stick with ignorance is bliss!

Has anyone had surgery such as a mastectomy or hysterectomy since having RA or equivalent? Was this an issue? For example was recovering more difficult? Or was the operation itself more of a challenge?

I am going to ask my rheumatologist about this when I next see him but thought I would put the question out there to hear your experiences.

Enjoy the sunshine and I look forward to seeing your replies



6 Replies

The risks multiply with many factors.Age Different meds depending on how your body is coping..I had anew knee and wanted no RA meds and had little problems.How much they effect you is a very individual thing.

I have RA & had surgery for breast cancer whilst on Methotrexate...stopped the Mtx for a few weeks & recovered as well as others without RA. I don’t believe your other health conditions would hinder surgery for cancer.

But as I keep banging on about ..... treatment that was prescribed for me won’t necessarily be advised for you.

Do talk to your doctors & if necessary a councillor before you decide whether to have the BRCA test.

Yes, I had a mastectomy in 2012. Was diagnosed with RA in 1987 and was having MTX which I had to stop when I had Chemo. My big worry about surgery was that I also have Bronchiectasis so I was anxious about my lungs and breathing while under anesthetic. Good luck.


I have RD but unbeknown to me was also BRCA I positive. I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2015. Please please please get tested... you don’t have to have surgery ( I haven’t had a mastectomy) but you will get much better screening and you will have the option of surgery. You will also avoid anti TNFs which I believe accelerated my cancer.

No one will dismiss your strange stomach symptoms as IBS.

I know you probably don’t want to invite problems but seriously this test might save your life xx

I had double mastectomy in October. Had BC 23 years ago with positive nodes. Did quadrectomy and 29 lymph nodes removed followed by chemo and radiation. This fall found I had a breast angiosarcoma caused by my radiation treatments. Go figure. Needed mastectomy. Opted for a double. Have all kinds of other issues too including IgG deficiency, asthma, type 1 diabetes. Was out of recover 3 pm one day, discharged 9 am next morning with two drains. Honestly the worst time was first ten days until drains were removed. They were a pain, uncomfortable, made sleep more difficult. Once they were out, it was a breeze. So much easier than shoulder repair and knee replacement. There are no joints involved. All soft tissue. Did so much better than I anticipated. If you have a lot of family members with it I would not wait. Even if not BRCA could still be a different genetic cause. Easier to have prophylactically than wait until you would also need nodes removed and perhaps chemo. My rheumatologist has no concerns. Had to hold my bioligics for a month and anti-inflammatories for a week.

By Thanksgiving was 100% back to normal. The hardest part was additional fatigue. I rested a lot first two weeks then just did a little more each day. Total recovery 5-6 weeks. Good luck. I like taking control when I can rather than having to wait until my body gives me another big surprise. Hence my decision to do double at this point. My visiting nurse was a Godsend. Helped me take showers and redress drains etc until drains out. Take all the help you qualify for. Freeze meals ahead or let friends bring them in to you.

I was like you really worried about coming off meds as at the time after months of pain was starting to feel better I spoke to my rheumatoid consultant and he said their would be no need to come off the meds it may take longer to heal so I took his advice and I stayed on methotrexate injection and he was right I had no problems the op was straight forward and all went well for me so all the best on what ever you decide x

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