Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Easy Mastectomy Recovery Tips

Breast cancer is one of the most common female cancers nowadays. Many women diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age. Though, it may not be prevented, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can considerably improve chances of a woman surviving from breast cancer and allows many women to be cured. For breast cancer, the course of treatment is based on the extent of the woman's disease, general health and personal circumstances. Treatment options of the breast cancer include surgery; mastectomy or lumpectomy. Mastectomy is the surgery in which one or both the breasts, generally including the nipple and the areola, are removed to combat the spread of cancer. Just like any surgery, patient will have a recovery period after mastectomy surgery before she is feeling up to par.

Mastectomy Recovery Tips

After Mastectomy

Patient may experience the following after surgery:
  • A bandage covering the surgery site.
  • Possible numbness, swelling, pinching, or a pulling feeling underneath the arm closest to the pretentious breast, maybe because of damage to nerves in the region.
  • A drain from the breast and/or underarm that eliminates blood and fluid while the surgical site is healing. This drain will require proper care; report any problems to the doctor immediately.
Following a mastectomy, stay in hospital will differ depending on the type of surgery, and will be between 1 and 3 days. Maybe, you have a drain in your chest after surgery, which will be removed by the doctor with any non-dissolving stitches at afterward consultation. There may be pain in the region of the incision after breast surgery. As well, it is common for fluid to collect in armpit following a mastectomy; although this will generally disappear on its own, it may require to be drained. After a mastectomy, additional treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy might be necessary.

Recovery Tips or Follow-up Care

After a mastectomy, recovery depends on overall health of the patient and how much tissue removed by the doctor. For instance, a radical mastectomy requires more time to recover than the normal. While having a mastectomy, it is essential to review all recovery tips and follow-up care instructions with your physicians and caregivers.

Get Plenty of Rest

For a successful mastectomy recovery, you will require to get plenty of rest as mastectomy is a major invasive surgery and body tissues should get enough rest to recover and repair from the procedure. Don't do any strenuous activity or lifting for the first 6 weeks following your surgery. When you reach at home from the hospital, you will perhaps be exhausted from the experience. Let yourself to obtain extra rest in the first few weeks subsequent to the surgery.

Medications and pain control

Around the breast incision and the chest wall, you will most likely feel numbness and pain. If you had axillary dissection, you will experience this in the armpit incision. If you feel pain, take pain medication as per your doctor’s instructions. When you leave the hospital, your surgeon will perhaps provide you a prescription to take with you. You might desire to get it on your way to home or have a family member or friend to get it filled for you.

Caring for the Bandage over Incision

Consult your surgeon or nurse for getting info about how to take care of the mastectomy bandage. Normally, you will have to use compression bandages at the incision area and then switch to the compression garments after a particular time in most cases. The surgeon may inquire that you should not try to eliminate the bandage, and in its place, wait until your first subsequent visit in order that he or she can eliminate the bandage. For avoiding complications, use these items exactly as instructed to get the successful recovery.

Proper Surgical Drain and Wound Care

During your mastectomy recovery, proper upholding of the drainage equipment and wound care is essential. The doctor will instruct you on how to be careful of your incision and any drain if occurs, and you will require to follow these instructions cautiously to avoid any infection or other complications. Drain in the area of breast or armpit might be eliminated previous to leaving the hospital. However, sometimes a drain remains inserted until the first visit with the doctor, generally 1-2 weeks following the surgery. If you’re leaving hospital with a drain inserted, you’ll have to empty the fluid from the removable drain bulb few times in a day. Ensure your surgeon provides you instructions on how to take care for the drain previous to leaving the hospital.

Stitches and staples

Sutures (stitches) get dissolved over the time so most of the doctors use it. There is no longer any need to remove them. However, you will observe the end of the suture jab out of the incision similar to a whisker. Your doctor can easily take away it if this takes place. Another way of closing the incision is the surgical staples which are eliminated during the first visit to the doctor after surgery.

Identify the Symptoms of the Infection

Your doctor will alert you about the signs and symptoms of the infection. He/she will explain you about how to inform if you get an infection in your incision as well as when to call the office.

Exercise your arm

The muscles that move arm got sliced, pulled, and stitched amid the lymph node removal and the breast tissue removal. During the first week, you may not want to move your arm very much. Remember that not moving arm at all means it will be harder to restore full movement of arm later. Doctor may show you an exercise routine that you can do to prevent stiffness in the arm and shoulder. Generally, you will begin performing exercises in the morning after surgery. Until drains are eliminated, some exercises should be avoided. Ask your doctor if any questions you may have to ensure the exercise routine is right for you or not. Doctor should also provide you written, exemplified instructions on how to perform the exercises.

Drink plenty of Fluids

It is very important that you drink plenty of water and other fluids during your mastectomy recovery. While having surgery, a lot of blood and other fluids are removed from the body and you will have to reinstate these in the days following surgery for getting the best probable recovery results.

Consumption of foods rich in Nutrients

It’s not a matter whether patient has a single or double mastectomy surgery; she will require staying on the diet rich in nutrients during recovery period. For cells and tissues, nutrients are the building blocks so if your diet is deficient of these nutrients, it may be hard to recover appropriately from the mastectomy procedure.

Clothing restrictions

With proper nutrition, you should also follow some clothing restrictions for example, when prosthesis or a bra can be worn. The place of mastectomy surgery, and particularly mastectomy with reconstruction, requires time to heal previous to you can wear a prosthesis or bra. Your physician will inform you how long you should wait.

Sponge baths until the removal of drains or sutures

You should take sponge baths until your doctor eliminates any drain or suture. When any staples, drains or sutures have been removed, you can obtain your first shower. Until your doctor approves baths or showers, you can take a sponge for getting refreshed.

Talking to others

Emotionally, it can be very hard to recover from the mastectomy. You may find it helpful by conversing with others who have gone through the operation, both before and after the mastectomy. Friends and family also help to recover faster, ask them to help with meals, shopping, laundry, and childcare.
Most of the women recover well following a mastectomy surgery; however, complications following breast surgery can take place. Consult physician immediately if you have:
  • Excessive bleeding and/or swelling
  • An allergic reaction to medications
  • A fever and/or pain that is not cured by medication
  • Unusual discharge from the wound or reddishness outside of the dressing area
  • Anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping or a feeling with that you are unable to cope
After having a breast cancer surgery, you should look ahead to come back to the work within 3 to 6 weeks, reliant on how physical your work is and how well you are getting better.
Image Source: alternityhealthcare.com


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