Road To Recovery, Post Mastectomy

October 25, 2017     

Recovery from Mastectomy
Road To Recovery, Post Mastectomy

Everyone craves for recovery. It gives them hope for a better tomorrow where everything could be back to normal how it once was before a disease or a condition got the better of them.

Mastectomy surgery is a procedure which involves surgically removing the breast tissue from the breasts of a woman to reduce the risks of getting breast cancer.

The procedure of Mastectomy surgery takes around two to three hours as it is a delicate procedure.

Mastectomy recovery time usually ranges between three to six weeks.

Recovery from a mastectomy surgery is usually in three stages. The first stage is when you are just done with the surgery and you have to recover in the hospital for a few days. The next stage is when you get back home. At home, taking care of yourself is of utmost importance and following everything which is advised as the environment at home is very different from the environment at a hospital. The last stage of mastectomy recovery is post a few months after the surgery.

Each of these stages of mastectomy recovery are important as even though some of the common do’s and don’ts stay constant, there are some differences in each of these stages with regard to recovery methods.

Immediately after the surgery:

Pain Medication: Medication for the pain post surgery is prescribed by the doctor depending on how the surgery went and also the extent of the surgery. Painkillers help to a great extent for the immediate pain post the surgery.

Dressing over the wound: Timely dressing of the wound or incision on the body is very important as it prevents blood loss and also infections. Doctors suggest not to take off the bandage until three to four days post the surgery. Bandaging will also be needed once home so knowing the technique of bandaging the surgery wound should be given by the surgeon.

Keeping the drain in check: Many a times, doctors attach a drain pump to the body of the patient which is attached to the shoulder or in the operated area which basically helps in draining out the harmful fluids in the body. The drain is usually attached one-two weeks post the surgery until the doctor takes it off. The fluid from the drain pump accumulates in a bag which needs to be cleaned everyday.

Stitches and Staples: Sutures are stitches which dissolve in time and hence most surgeons use this as there is no removal involved.

Exercising the arm: A very important recovery method is following a certain arm exercising routine which is given by the doctor. It aims in reducing the stiffness in the arm and shoulder on the side of operation.

Recovery at Home:

Rest: One of the most important things to do once home is resting. Exertion of any kind and as well as exercise should be avoided until further notified by the doctor.

Pain medication: Even after the patient is discharged from the hospital and heads home, there will still be pain and numbness around the incision where the surgery had taken place. Then the doctor can be contacted and prescribed painkillers can be taken.

Sponge Baths: Since the wound will be fresh post the surgery, exposure to water might tamper with sutures and the wound as such. Hence sponge baths are advised by the doctor to keep the body fresh.

Arm exercises: It is highly important for arm exercises to be done everyday so that there is no sudden stiffness in the arms and shoulders.

Post two or three months after surgery:

Phantom Pain: Post two or three months after the mastectomy surgery, the nerves in the area of surgery starts growing back which may result in a tingling sensation and often cause pain as well. After consulting with the doctor, there are painkillers such as Opioids and Ibuprofen which helps with reducing the pain.

Arm Exercises

Mastectomy recovery time, well it takes some time. The complete recovery usually takes around five to six months post the mastectomy surgery. To ensure complete recovery, the mentioned pointers needs to be followed to the point.