Answers You Need Before Returning Home After a Mastectomy

Answers You Need Before Returning Home After a Mastectomy

After a mastectomy you will have many emotions and feelings that you will need to work through. Your surgeon, physician or the nursing staff should be able to tell you what to expect and whom to call if you feel that you need help with your emotions.

Make sure you understand how to properly care for your wound and how to dress the wound with bandages. You should also feel comfortable doing so.

You need to understand and be familiar with the signs of infection and know what to do if you suspect that you have an infection. Generally, any reddened and hot area, or an area with swelling and/or discharge should be reported to your physician and checked. Any new or sudden bruising and swelling also needs to be reported immediately in the event there is any unresolved bleeding within the surgery site.

Make sure you have instructions on how to care for your drains. You need to understand how to care for and monitor the drainage tube. If the drains will need to be emptied by someone other than yourself, that person should be given instructions.

Ask your physician and nurses what type of pain and sensations to expect from the mastectomy site. You will be sent home with pain medication, and it is important that you understand what the medication is for and the times and dosages that you need to take to manage your pain.

Following our Healing Diet will optimize your body's healing and ensure that you are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that you require to fully heal. Ask your physician if they have any recommendations as well.

Learn what activities your physician recommends avoiding throughout the healing process as well as when you can resume "normal" activities. You should also find out when your surgeon recommends you begin exercises to increase your range of motion and decrease the stiffness that you may experience in your arm.

Ask your surgeon what type of support is best in regard to wearing a bra or, if you choose to, when to wear your prosthesis.

  • Saturday, 05 May 2012