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Upcoming mastectomy - any tips?

Lisa_E66Lisa_E66 Member Posts: 14
edited May 2020 in Newly diagnosed
hi there 
so on Wednesday I am undergoing a mastectomy on my right breast as well as auxiliary clearance. Does anyone have any tips or helpful info they can suggest - I’d be really interested in hearing others experiences 
many thanks and take care



  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,889
    Very best wishes for your surgery. I found it pretty straightforward, very little discomfort and a quick recovery. The removal of lymph nodes can temporarily affect the mobility of the affected arm so be prepared for that - you will be given exercises to help. I found mine was very good, very fast, but it does vary a bit. Drains can be a bit tiresome, a bag (or deep dressing gown pockets!) are good to put them in so you don’t trip over them. They may be removed before you go home or not, depending on the flow of fluid. I found staff were almost over solicitous about pain relief, as I really didn’t have any, but that can be a good thing! Take whatever you enjoy to pass the time, front opening pyjamas are handy, and tea or coffee bags if you can’t stand hospital issue. My hospital provided me with a soft pad to wear (I wore my normal bra to surgery and back home but you may prefer a soft one for the duration) until I had a prosthesis fitted. Good to have the surgery over and done with. 
  • Beryl C.Beryl C. Member Posts: 270
    Lisa_E66, Hi, I had surgery at 4pm and was home next day at 1pm. I had friends 'on roster' for about a week and they helped me shower and did meals etc. I thought my feelings of relief were a bit strange, well meaning friends had warned me of 'grieving' the loss of a breast - it was just the opposite for me as the 'threat' had to go.
    As @Afraser suggests do the exercises! Do you have a small horseshoe shaped pillow? This was part of my 'package' from the hospital - it made lying/sleeping far more comfortable. If at any time you feel a little bit 'wobbly' (emotions) remind yourself of this support group - my 'words of wisdom?' Its ok to laugh and its ok to cry, in fact, all emotions are ok. We are with you. xxxxxx
  • Lisa_E66Lisa_E66 Member Posts: 14
    thank you @afraser. Some great tips there. And I agree with you re laughing and crying. Saturday was filled with laughs yet yesterday, Sunday, I was so emotional. But I’m allowing those feelings. What a wonderful group this is. And thank you again for taking time to reply xxx
  • Lisa_E66Lisa_E66 Member Posts: 14
    Thank you @Beryl C.  Wow that was fast for you.   I do feel that the breast has to go. It is interesting that some friends have said similar re grieving the breast. While I am a bit sad I see this as getting rid of bc so it’s a positive thing.  I did go and get a horse shape pillow as I had seen someone else suggest it in another post. That’s why these forums are so great. And yes emotions can be hard but at least I’m feeling them!  Thank you again for taking the time to reply xx
  • ddonddon Member Posts: 348
    Button up loose pyjama top - getting your arms up to get dressed is the most painful part I found. I had a right sided mastectomy and I couldn’t do my hair for a week or so and needed help to get dressed. Other than that it was an easy recovery. Best wishes - it is an emotionally draining time xx
  • ZoebellaZoebella South East Queensland Member Posts: 15
    @Lisa_E66, Hope all goes well for you with your surgery. Are you have a tissue expander put in as well, for future reconstruction? Xx
  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,725
    hi Lisa_E66, I found the auxiliary clearance the most painful part.You may find lifting your arm up can become abit difficult/sore so do your prescribed exercises.My drain came out after a week which was such a relief and I was driving after a few weeks post mastectomy.I wore a singlet and loose shirts until I could wear a post surgery bra and soft form(a few weeks after) and I got fitted with a prosthesis at about 6wks.
    At first I was glad to be rid of a cancerous breast and I was in survival mode but as time went on, I experienced various emotions.It can sometimes hit you down the track.
    Take time out to fully recover and do nice things for yourself.Sending hug.
  • AbbydogAbbydog Adelaide, South AustraliaMember Posts: 306
    I hope that your surgery has gone well. I had what sounds like the same surgery, February 2020.  Mine went well, the drains were bothersome, especially when changing position at night. I was so pleased when the drains came out, on day 5 and 6. Do your exercises. Although I found being Right handed, I used my right arm instinctively and relatively easily. I never needed strong pain relief, but everyone is individual. Take what you need to maintain movement and do exercises. I didn't get on with the little horseshoe pillow. I found great comfort in having a normal pillow on my left. When on my left side, I'd put my Right arm on top of the pillow.  I also used the pillow behind me when laying toward my R side. It was quite a while before laying on my Right side became more comfortable. Bed time was when I needed any pain relief the most, usually Paracetamol. Don't be surprised if you have or get a seroma. Apparently these are quite common, and resolve at their own pace. Everyone's experience is individual. I'd love to hear how you get along. Stay positive.  Experiences vary. Do you have Chemotherapy to follow? 
  • Lisa_E66Lisa_E66 Member Posts: 14
    thank you so thank you so much everyone. Had the surgery last Wednesday, out Thursday. Fingers crossed one drain may come out tomorrow. The second not too long after that. All your advice and tips were so great. Thank you again results next week to find out next step. Fingers crossed xxx
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