Hint for surgery

Jwrenn Member Posts: 144
edited February 2020 in Newly diagnosed
I was diagnosed just before Christmas and just found out the date for lumpectomy surgery. I wondered if anyone has some advice they wish they’d been told before surgery to pass on to help me. 


  • Dory65
    Dory65 Member Posts: 323
    Hi Jwrenn,
    I was diagnoses 29 October after a supposed cyst turned out to be BC. Second surgery 6 November for lumpectomy margins and sentinel lymph node. Pain medication and an ice pack wrapped in a hand-towel helped a lot. Although very stiff and sore at first, I followed all of the post-surgery daily exercise instructions to keep my arm mobile and the stiffness has completely gone. The incision is now fully closed, flattened and pain-free. It took time, but it's remarkable how the body adjusts and heals. I also took soluble vitamin c with zinc, which I think sped up the healing, as did Giovene Specialised Scar Formula. I hope that's of some help in the meantime. The physiotherapist will help you with the scar and keep monitoring for lymphedema (which you won't necessarily get). I never met the breast care nurse. Hopefully you will meet yours and ask all of your questions. I was provided with a free post-surgery bras before leaving the hospital. It's lovely soft cotton and I'm still using it while going through radiation therapy. I bought two post- surgery bras from Berlie. Product Code: YYEQ Berlie Post Surgery Deluxe Bras. I got a discount code in my Berlie My Care Kit sent to me by the BC nurse. MYCARE50%. Might still work. Good luck.
  • Mira
    Mira Member Posts: 678
    Hi Jwrenn, 

    I had a lumpectomy close to 5 years ago.  The one thing I wish I had been told is that its normal to have all sorts of lumps and bumps around the surgery site when it heals, and its normal to get random pains for a few years after as the nerves heal (nothing dramatic, don't worry).

    Do your exercises so you don't get stiff, and follow your doctors instructions and you'll be fine.   Oh … and I had a blue boob for a while after the surgery due to the dye! :smile:
  • suburbangirl
    suburbangirl Member Posts: 123
    Hi @Jwrenn
    I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but also welcome to this forum where you will you find advice and support as we are all in this together!
    I am sure others will write with some hints! 

    First thing- a comfortable post op bra.
    I found my sentinel node biopsy scar was right where the bra sits under my arm, and found it tender for a good six mths or so post op, so needed a soft, cotton bra.
    This is the one I found best and still wear it now (12 months later!) Great during radiotherapy and appts as it does up at the front. Others will have favourites, this just happens to be mine:
    Google it as often on special - available at DJs, Myer and bra shops. Comes in a few colours.

    You will receive lots of information and feel free to ask everyone any questions you have, but one thing I was told prior to surgery by my breast surgeon is that sometimes post op, the information about your cancer (ie size etc) can be different once tested by pathology. I heard the surgeon say it, but thought this won't be me! I did need to go back for a 'clean up' as they found a second tumour separate to the first. All is well 12 mths later and I am doing fine! 

    Lastly, I found the waiting for results a form of torture. Everyone says try and keep busy and active while waiting. While outwardly, my family and friends think I have been 'so good', my heart was pounding like a steam train those first weeks and months. I ended up listening to relaxation tapes on my computer, and found they started to slow my heart rate (a bit!)
    Most importantly you are strong, you are in the best of care, and now you have new 'online' friends!
    Wishing you the very best!

  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,668
    Sorry to see you here, @Jwrenn - we have lots of info & good advice here tho, for you to draw on. xx 

    A small oblong cushion to support the wounded 'wing' after surgery - I found my affected arm just didn't like lying on the bed! So the cushion just held it up at 'body height' - a great help for sleeping.  I then also used it as a buffer/cushion when being driven home, cos every bump on the road transfers thru to your most tender spot - the point of surgery.  Sometimes your breast care nurse will organise one for you - but I didn't have one, so knew about it from previous shoulder surgery.

    Try not to overthink the whole thing - our minds are in overdrive & it doesn't take much for us to turn it all into a dragon, when it really is a mouse.  It really mucks with your brain!  Make sure you take any painkillers 'as advised' - do NOT wait for the pain to kick in.  I had a lumpectomy 2 years ago & the pain wasn't severe - but if it gets a hold, it takes longer to hit it on the head.

    A front opening nightie is easier than pulling one over the head ..... also make sure you take any 'other' meds with you & give them to the nurse - they like to make sure nothing will counteract what THEY are giving you.

    I was given a free Berlie Post Op bra too - make sure any that you may buy don't have any metal wires in them.  Sports bras are pretty good.  The Berlie one opened up at the front, too.

    There is a whole list of stuff you 'can' take with you to hospital - don't forget your phone & charger!!  Check them out here:

    All the best for your procedure . xxx

  • Jwrenn
    Jwrenn Member Posts: 144
    Thanks @BewilderedButHopeful, @Mira, @suburbangirl and @arpie. I found Target have front opening post mastectomy bras so bought one as only $15-