Mastectomy (Removal of the Breast) for Breast Cancer
What To Expect After Surgery
Mastectomy is done using Reference general anesthesia Opens New Window. After your surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room. A nurse will be able to help with any nausea, pain, or anxiety you might have.
When you wake up from surgery, you will have a bandage over the surgery site. You will also have one or two drainage tubes to collect fluid and keep it from building up around the surgery area. If these tubes are still in place when you go home, your nurse will teach you how to take care of them.
Your doctor or nurse will give you instructions on pain control and caring for your incision. Typically, you can remove the bandage and take a shower on the day after the surgery.
Most people go home within 24 hours after a mastectomy. If you have breast reconstruction during the same surgery, you will stay in the hospital for several days.
A physical therapist may show you Reference exercises while you are still in the hospital. These should help keep your shoulder from getting stiff. You will need to avoid strenuous activity for several weeks. Your doctor will let you know how soon you can increase your activity level.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: June 28, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology