Tips after a breast cancer surgery
Everyone reacts differently to surgeries. Curing through surgery isn't sufficient, playing it safe after surgery is more critical for improvement. If you're having a lumpectomy, chances are good that your recovery will be pretty uneventful.
Mastectomies are more complicated, usually requiring an overnight hospital stay; expect it to take three to four weeks before your energy level is back to normal.
Here are some doctoral advice about recovering from breast cancer surgery:
- Keep moving: Turning into a seat potato isn't only awful, it additionally ups your risks for profound vein thrombosis, which can transform into a life-threatening embolism in your lung.
- Be prepared for some pain: To control pain, your doctor will give you a strength, pain reliever, but many people get away with taking Extra Strength Tylenol. Nights tend to be the hardest times for pain, so be sure to have something in hand in case you need it.
- Take care of your drains: Instead of allowing the area around your surgery to swell, your surgeon is likely to install clear hoses to gradually drain fluids. You'll need to track how much fluid is going out so that your doctor knows when it's time for the drains to come out, usually after one or two weeks. Don't worry that your drain will come out by accident; it won't. Women who have a mastectomy with or without implant reconstruction will have one or two drains, plus another if you had your lymph nodes removed.
- Take care of scars: Whatever breast surgery you have will leave some type of scar. Scar tissue is produced naturally by the body during healing. Your scar(s) may feel tight and tender and you may not be able to wear a bra or anything that puts pressure on the affected area. If you have had a mastectomy without a reconstruction you will be given a lightweight prosthesis (a false breast) before you leave the hospital. This is designed to be worn after surgery during the time when the area feels most tender.
- Watch out for lymphedema: This is one of the more likely side effects of a mastectomy, though it affects just 25 per cent of the patients who've had the surgeries. The arm on the side where you had lymph nodes removed swells up and retains fluid. See your doctor for treatment.