Once you' re home, keep the surgical area clean and dry. Your doctor will give you
specific bathing instructions.
You'll also be taught how to take care of the drainage tubes. They should be taken
out after about 2 weeks at the first follow-up exam.
The amount of pain you have will vary. It depends on the amount and location of
tissue removed during surgery. Most soreness lasts a few days. Take pain medicine as
advised by your doctor. Aspirin and some other pain medicines may increase your
chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medicines.
lymph nodes were removed with your mastectomy, your doctor may have you see a
physical therapist and will want you to do certain exercises. These can help limber
up your shoulder and arm and help prevent swelling. Soreness after surgery may cause
you to keep your arm and shoulder very still. This can make your arm and shoulder
stiff. But overdoing the exercises can also hurt you. Start the exercises slowly. Do
them regularly, and progress a little each day. You may be asked to do these
exercises even if you didn’t have lymph nodes removed.
You can often go back to your normal activities in a few weeks, based on your doctor’s recommendation. In the meantime, avoid doing anything strenuous. Don’t do things that involve using your arm too much, such as cleaning windows or vacuuming for a long time. Your doctor will tell you when you can start driving again and when you can go back to work.
If you have problems dealing with your recovery, your doctor may refer you to a volunteer agency or group for support.
Your doctor will talk with you about when call. You may be told to call if you have
any of the following:
- Fever or chills
- Redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage from the incision site
- Increased pain around the incision site
- Swelling, numbness, or tingling in the affected arm
Your doctor may give you other instructions, too . Ask about signs you should watch
for and when call. Know how to get help after office hours and on weekends and