Description of the Procedure
The extent of the surgery will depend on the type of mastectomy you are having.
For breast-conserving surgeries, an incision is made where the tumor is located. The tumor is taken out along with a small bit of normal tissue that surrounds it.
For breast-tissue removal procedures, the entire breast, and fatty tissue are removed. The doctor may also need to remove lymph nodes and portions chest muscles that support the breast. Tissue that is removed during surgery is examined under a microscope for any abnormalities. If you have skin-sparing surgery, the skin around the breast will be retained.
After either surgery doctor will then insert a tube to drain blood and fluids. Lastly, the area will be closed with stitches.
At the Hospital
Right after the procedure, you will be in a recovery room where your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be monitored. Recovery may also include:
- Pain medications
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Medication to prevent blood clots
- Getting out of bed and moving around within 24 hours of your surgery
If you had cancer and it has spread,
may be needed.
Recovery will take about six weeks. When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Keep the area clean and dry.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Avoid vigorous activity and heavy lifting.
- Rest when you need to. Slowly increase activities as approved by your doctor.
- Physical therapy may involve shoulder and arm exercises.
Ask your doctor when you can begin wearing a light-weight prosthetic breast. You can be fitted for a more permanent one when the incision area has healed. If you want
surgery, talk to your doctor.