• What kind of help will I need in hospital after my mastectomy? Also what have other people experience been post op at home.

    Asked by acbeach on Friday, November 2, 2012

    What kind of help will I need in hospital after my mastectomy? Also what have other people experience been post op at home.

    How much help is needed post op at home after mastectomy?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      Hi acbeach. I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction last January and then permanent implants placed in June. For the most part, recovering from a mastectomy is relatively easy. I was surprised at how little it hurt. For the first few days I needed help sitting up or laying back in bed. And it was hard to get on and off the couch without help. But, once the initial soreness went away it was pretty much business as usual. Your body will tell you what it can and can't do. Sending you well wishes and hoping that you sail right through this!

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      You may have some trouble lifting your arms over your head for a few days. Have some button type shirts rather than ones you have to pull over your head. Put anything you need to be able to reach at eye level or lower (like meds, drinking glasses, etc.). You will need to measure the drainage coming from your drains. They gave the measuring cups and a chart to keep track at the hospital. You shouldn't lift anything over about 5 lbs. for a few days, so you might need some help with laundry, big pots, etc.

      over 8 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      Hi. I don't think you'll be hospitalized too long. I was sent home 24 hours after the surgery. For a few days, you will be very sore. I started reconstruction w/expanders as part of that initial surgery, so if you are not doing that, your post-surgery experience could be different from mine. I slept in a recliner for weeks because it was easier for me to get up and out of by myself. I had some physical therapy on my arms, three sessions only, and was given some exercises to do to increase mobility after a few weeks, which helped. You can't over-do, that's for sure; no lifting, no vacuuming, no reaching or straining. Your body will pretty much tell you what you can do and when. It's a slow go for about two weeks but you will feel much better after the drain bulbs are out. If you live alone, I would think you would want someone with you for the first few days around the clock, and someone to check on you once or twice a day thereafter for a couple weeks. That's my suggestion. I'm hoping and praying the surgery goes smoothly, and your recovery isn't complicated.

      over 8 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Oh my... Hope Sandy spared you any severe problems. I'll be saying a prayer all goes well with you! I had ovarian cancer, thus I'm worthless on ideas.

      over 8 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      After both of my mastectomies, I resumed my normal life right away. My family and I were staying in our motorhome in the mountains and I went right back to camping the next day. I only rested when I felt the need and took short walks every day. The whole process was quite easy and I only wish I had both mastectomies done at the same time.

      over 8 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I had a double with no reconstruction, and I was able to be independent. Sure - it took a bit longer to wiggle into shirts... and changing bandages took a few minutes... But really, it was okay. I went to work on the Friday after the Monday surgery - not for a full day... but I had a super important meeting....

      Actually, in the hospital, my biggest issue was the CAFFEINE HEADACHE! Egads - you wake up from surgery... and later in the afternoon - head pounding! Hmmm - maybe I'm a little too much of a caffeine hound... but I think they should bring you caffeine STAT as soon as you're allowed to drink....

      Anyway, my impression is that reconstruction makes it a bit tougher... Are you having reconstruction work done at the time of your mastectomy?

      Every one is so different. Some people get a lot of referred pain... some nearly none. I was in the latter category, and I got on my bike on day 6 after surgery (glorious glorious day - had to ride, you know?).

      Get up and move right away... and take your pain meds when you need them... and listen to the nurses - they are super smart when it comes to the post-surgery smarts.

      Good luck. I hope you have a boring boring surgery... and a smooth recovery with minimal pain.


      over 8 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956 (Best Answer!)

      I had a bilat in Feb 2006...I was lucky that I got to spend 2 nights in the hospital.....MY husband took the week off following surgery to help me out....I have 3 kids...one in college at the time and 2 at home.....we had meals made for us the week of surgery and people helped with my youngest who was in grade 2 at the time...play dates etc....I got button or zip up tops to wear the first couple weeks plus jogging pants that were easy to wear around the house....DH took me to Fantastic Sams to have my hair washed....boy was that decadent!!!! Had a big pillow by my head board to lean on......slept on my back (which was new for me as I was always a stomach sleeper)...husband helped with the drains (they came out after a week...PS took it out as I had a seroma and he felt it would help it heal)......could drive after one week.....By 2 weeks post Mx, I felt pretty good and went out with my gf for lunch 2 1/2 weeks post surgery....then I started chemo (:
      Wishing you an easy time.....Hugs, Karen

      over 8 years ago
    • lynnh's Avatar

      I was put in the Maternity ward where the nurses were very attentive. The hardest part of post op was the drains. Learning to empty and just the logistics of taking a shower with the drains was a challenge. One nurse suggested using a velcro belt that they use on mothers for monitoring the baby. It worked great because it was soft and I could pin the drains to it. It didn't matter that it got wet either. At home I needed help with the drains and had no energy to do much of anything. My very supportive family took shifts and stayed with me to cook meals and clean the house. I enjoyed the company during recovery. One other thing - if you sleep on your side and have expanders - forget it. I wasn't able to sleep on my side for months!

      over 8 years ago
    • believer's Avatar

      Thanks for asking this question as I was wondering the same things. I am scheduled to have a double on November 26, so this is helpful. May God be with you during your surgery.

      over 8 years ago

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