How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Mastectomy?

Mastectomy refers to an operation that involves removal of breast and thereby, to treat breast cancer in patients. In addition, the surgery is essential to remove breast tumor and it intends to reduce the risk related to development of breast cancer among individuals.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Mastectomy?

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Mastectomy?

A majority of people underwent with the surgery of mastectomy recover in well manner after the respective procedure and usually do not develop any complication in the near future. Thus, in most of the cases of mastectomy, the patients recover fully within a period of about 3 weeks to 6 weeks.

When a patient wakes up after the surgery, patient may feel sore to some extent. However, the doctors may recommend for painkillers to control the respective pain. It is very much essential to inform the doctor when you feel pain, as they may adapt the necessary medication accordingly. In addition, in some cases, you may have a saline drip in your arm to get fluids until and unless you become fully able to drink and eat normally.

Care of Wounds

After you experience Mastectomy, you may have a few drainage tubes coming from the site of your wound. Main objective of such tubes is to drain out the impure blood as well as tissue fluids away from your wound to avoid its collection and causing any infection or swelling problem. Surgeons in this case will decide the time, for which such tubes will stay within the wound. Thus, it may be of only 1 day or may be for a period of 3 to 4 days.

Dressing on your mastectomy wound should essentially stay in its place for minimum 2 days period. During this period, doctors/nurses replace the dressing and clean the wound. In some of the cases, same dressing should stay for one week or more time.

Similar to the dressing, stitches used to cure wounds may be of two different types. This means, the patients may have a few automatically dissolvable stitches, which do not require any removal. On the other side, in some cases, nurses/doctors remove metallic chips or stitches after 7 or 10 days depending on whether your wound heals or not.

Length of Stay in the Hospital

The numbers of days you have to stay in the hospital depends primarily on the exact type of Mastectomy surgery. However, in most of the cases, the doctors recommend their patients staying for 2 to 3 days in the hospital.

Doctor/Nurses Recommendations Before Discharge

Before you are discharged from the hospital after mastectomy, your doctor or nurse will talk with you about do’s and don’ts in your home. Most of the times, they recommend patients recommend to take lots of rest and do few general exercises to overcome the arm stiffness as well as achieve healthy circulation across the operated area.

After this, the specialist may discuss about bra inserts/prostheses and bras to wear for patients, who have not yet achieved breast reconstruction. Especially, doctors recommend placing lightweight and artificial shapes of breasts to put within the bra. This is a temporary solution, which you should do until and unless your wound heals completely. Eventually, doctors may suggest and provide you a permanent prosthesis.

Along with this, specialists may recommend strictly avoiding the following activities, particularly during the initial 3 to 4 weeks post your Mastectomy surgical procedure.

  • Driving of car or any vehicle until you become confident enough to handle your car properly on road.
  • Lifting any heavy objects or performing repetitive moves, like ironing or vacuuming.
  • Playing sports, jogging and swimming activities.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 2, 2018

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