What are the Side Effects of Surgery for Breast Cancer?

The surgery for treating breast cancer may be varied because the types of surgery for the treatment are also varied. The common side effects of breast cancer surgery include:

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Hormone Imbalance: As a part of the breast cancer treatment, hormone therapy is given at times after the surgery for breast cancer. Such therapies are used to block the effect of estrogen on the cancer cells. Due to this, an imbalance in the hormone levels of the patient may be counted as a side effect.

Hair fall: Adjuvant chemotherapy may be used to block the recurrence of cancer after the surgery for breast cancer. Extreme hair fall and pain are the side effects of chemotherapy.

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Menopausal Symptoms: The patients undergoing a surgery for treating breast cancer are often seen to have menopausal symptoms much before time. This is seen to be an important side effect of the surgery for breast cancer.

Tiredness: Patients are found to complain of extreme tiredness and exhaustion after the surgery. Such tiredness may not always go away with rest and sleep and may affect the person physically as well.

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Blood Clot: Patients undergoing surgery for treating breast cancer are seen to be more prone to blood clots. Care must be taken in this context.

Osteoporosis: Patients having a history of surgery for treatment of breast cancer can be an easy prey of low bone health and osteoporosis.

Emotional Imbalance: If the patient has gone for mastectomy and reconstruction surgery as a part of treatment, it may affect her emotionally. Getting rid of one's own breast and again treating the reconstructed breast as one's own requires a lot of mental strength. If need arises, the patient can talk to a mental health professional.

What May Be The Possible Risks Of Lumpectomy And Mastectomy?

The possible risks of mastectomy may be varied. Few of the risks involve are:

  • Pain in the shoulder and feeling of stiffness.
  • Bleeding.
  • Pain on the site where the surgery has taken place.
  • Infection on the surgical site.
  • Swelling in the arm.
  • Change in shape and appearance of the breast in case of lumpectomy.
  • Tissue scarring on the surgical site.
  • Buildup of blood in the surgical site.
  • Feeling of numbness particularly under the arm from where the lymph nodes are removed.

What are the Risks After The Breast Reconstruction Surgery Which One Should Be Aware Of?

The potential risks after the breast reconstruction surgery may be varied. Some of them include:

  • Problem of uneven breasts.
  • Absence of or changes in the sensation of nipple or breast.
  • Loss of muscle strength.
  • Changes in the arm on the side of the reconstructed breast.
  • Death of tissue of a part of tissue flap, skin or fat.
  • Need for immediate special surgeries to fix problems that come up accordingly.

How Does The Patient Feel After A Breast Cancer Surgery?

The patient may feel tired for a day or two after the surgery for breast cancer. The patient may also complain of some amount of pain at the breast cancer surgery point. The skin around the surgical point may feel stiff and swollen. The bruise may start healing within two weeks. The swelling may continue to stay for three to six months. The healing process may be gradual. Once the bruise is healed completely, the doctor may ask the patient to start with some stretching exercises to regain mobility.

What is Done in the Follow-Up Visits after the Surgery for Treatment of Breast Cancer?

The follow-up may include some tests to ensure that the cancer does not relapse back. It is important to be careful about the recurrence of the cancer cells. This can only be known by being regular for follow-up visits.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 28, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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