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What Is The Recovery From A Mastectomy Like?

What Is The Recovery From A Mastectomy Like?

A MyBCTeam Member said:

Same here, single mastectomy, uncomfortable- but not really painful. They kept me overnight, they offered a pain pill, I took it, I figured if I had problems with it, I was in the right place to discuss options. When the time came for the next dose, I asked for an OTC Tylenol- and I couldn't tell a difference!! So I just took Tylenol before bed, the rest of the time Tylenol if needed. I was surprised at how comfortable I actually was, I think part of it was just the peace of mind of knowing the cancer was out with clear margins and lymph nodes The drains are a pain in the backend, but when they come out- you are in for the bestest shower ever!!! I was closed up with staples, and because of the nerves being cut, there was no need to numb the area when they came out. Scar has healed nicely- like Melissa I opted for no reconstruction (Team Unicorn!!). No regrets.

posted 2 months ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

Me now 🦄

posted 2 months ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

Two weeks after mastectomy (a lot of this is adhesive from the surgical tapes)

posted 2 months ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

Me a week after mastectomy 🦄

posted 2 months ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

@A MyBCTeam Member: everyone is different I would imagine, but for me, I had a single mastectomy with no reconstruction and it was very easy. I was home 5 hours after the surgery in very little discomfort, and i slept comfortably in my own bed that night. I had my drain tube for 8 days. I started doing very gentle exercises right away (shoulder shrugs, that sort of thing) and once the tube was out I added more exercises (like laying on the floor and doing snow angels). The arm pit where they take lymph nodes is the most uncomfortable bit, but I found putting a little pillow under my arm pit helped with that. I got my full range of motion back in a few weeks though I still have to stretch my arm regularly.

Overall it's surprisingly not as painful as you would imagine - when they remove a breast they are cutting through (and ultimately killing) a lot of nerves, so the incision area actually feels almost numb. The next morning I felt a bit like I took a donkey kick to the chest, but it soon passed once I got moving around. They sent me home with maybe 12 pain killer pills - I don't think I used half - and when I did it was only at night to get comfortable. The rest of the time tylenol/Advil was enough. The drain tube is a pain but it's manageable - I wasn't allowed to shower so I tied it around my neck and sat in a shallow bath. Removing it was not painful either, just felt really bizarre.

All in all ive been on the operating table 6 times in my life for various stuff, and I will say my mastectomy was one of the easiest. I know it can be a whole different ball of wax if you get reconstruction, however 💖

posted 2 months ago
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