What to Expect After Breast Cancer Surgery

The very confirmation of having breast cancer can have a devastating effect on the individual. It is a well known fact that breast cancer is a life threatening disease. While some are fortunate enough to survive after undergoing and being under prolonged treatment, there are a good number of families who have lost their near and dear ones to this disease. Breast cancer, which is more prevalent among women, can make one its victim irrespective of age. The success rate depends on how quickly the disease is diagnosed, and how much precautionary measures one takes once the surgery is over. One is always not aware of what to expect after breast cancer surgery. Having the right information is necessary to recover quickly.

Following are certain things that anyone who has undergone a breast surgery needs to be aware of:

The first sensation when all that anesthesia wears off will be that of pain. The patient should be ready to bear that. It has to be remembered that it is a major surgery and one must give it time to heal. It is going to be a time taking process, and should learn to endure the difficulties. One is given pain relief medication through an intravenous (IV) drip, or injection as as oral tablets. Pain medicines are prescribed by the doctor. One should take care of the bruising and swelling at the place of surgery which generally goes away within 2 to 3 weeks.

Tubes for drainage of fluid from the surgical site are common. After the surgery, one might have to stay with all the drainage tubes for nearly 10 days. The wound has to be kept clean and properly dressed. It is better to follow the advice of the doctor.

Another thing that one should keep in mind after the surgery is over is that there will be some change in the appearance of the breast. That often is a concern for many as it effects one’s self confidence and self-esteem. It is advised not to be too hard on oneself as there is nothing that one can really do about it. One needs to be emotionally strong. If at all needed, then one can always opt for counselling.

So, now that one knows what to expert after a breast cancer surgery, it is also crucial to know how to take care of oneself when at home. Following are some of the things that the patient must adhere to:

  • It is important to get as much rest as possible. After the first few days of the surgery, just be in bed. Let others take care of the household chores.
  • Do not stress yourself emotionally. It might worsen the physical pain too. Be mentally strong as that is much needed for quick recovery.
  • Wear comfortable dressing. If a bra has to be worn, then do not strap it too tightly. Also, use a soft pad so that the tender areas are not irritated. Avoid any cuts.
  • Take baths, but do it gently. It is vital to keep the wound clean.
  • Start moving your arm and practice exercises as shown by the doctor or nurses. Movement will help in getting one to a normal life faster.

A breast cancer surgery is not a small thing. It takes a lot of physical and emotional toil on the person enduring it all. After the surgery, proper care and rest is necessary for quick recovery.

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