Forums

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Men can also develop breast cancer, although this is rare. This group is for anyone affected by breast cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

what to expect just before and coming out of mastectomy surgery!

No. of entries: 9 | Posted on 18 Mar 2013 06:57
  • hi - if you feel like 20 questions, here goes minus the Beer!  :

    1]  It would be reassuring to know how the hospital procedure works just before and after surgery, how long does a single mastectomy take in a straight DCIS [non-invasive] operation, would it be 2, 3 or more hours?

    2]  With a simple DCIS mastectomy is the underlying muscle cut, I'm still not certain about that?

    Having had a discectomy years ago, a five hour operation for a fractured lumbar disc, that time after anaesthesia I felt extremely weak, it took a day to just get a little strength back.

    3]  Would I be able to move my left arm at all  [left breast mastectomy]  -  and would there be  need for a bed pan if needed in the first few hours after operation?

    4] Is there a difference with the initial recovery period depending on age, say in 40's, 50's and 60+ years?

    A 'thank you' -  again to those who kindly answered my earlier post over the weekend.


     



     


    Dee

  • Hi dee, I had a right side mx may 2012. I was in surgery for over 4 hours. Back on the ward at midnight. The nurse helped me (and the two drains and the drip) to the loo and then left me!!!! I had no sleep it was a nightmare. At 7.00 am the surgeon was at the end of my bed telling me the tumor was much bigger than he thought!!!! Omg he frightened me to death. My sister was on the ward by 9.00am and, as I was told that my mobility would be an indicator of my discharge time, we proceeded to go back an forth to the cafe! I was home with only one drain by 5pm. Day 2 after I had codine prescribed by my gp for the pain. The bc nurse came before the op and advised on exercises to start straight away. It was uncomfortable but by week 2 I was driving with a cushion to stop the seat belt rubbing and by week 4 I had full movement and reach. I forced myself to do the exercises throughout the day. It wasn't too bad. The district nurse came to me at home and removed the drin after a week. I did get a lot of fluid in the cavity which was syringed out by the bc nurse but as the nerves are cut ifelt nothing. I have no feeling in my arm pit and don't anticipate this changing much. It really isn't as bad as you think it will be. In fact I am having my remaking breast of ASAP, rather than reconstruction, as I am so pleased with the result. If it was bad I wouldn't be! Your experience may be different I was 49. I'm 50 today! Last May I thought I wasn't going to see this birthday. Good luck Ethel x
    Ethel Horner
  • Hi N, I had a mastectomy and lymph node removal Oct 2011, no idea how long it took,just grateful to be asleep, op was thurs afternoon, assistance given going to the toilet because of drain fri afternoon, drain removed temp prosthesis fitted painkillers given, exercises given, and home.felt better being at home, kept up painkillers and stuck to excercises,and felt really good within a week.Just see this as the start of getting rid of this cancer,and the road to recovery, I am 60,and feel optomistic about the future, so good luck, and allow yourself time to recover properly. regards little jude

    little jude

  • hi Ethel - my best wishes to you for an enjoyable Happy Birthday today!  

    It seems from what you went through, the first week was the worse for discomfort and by week two you were able to drive again with full movement and reach, that's quite quick I guess.

    I wonder if you experienced any Lymphoedema or did your execises help to prevent that?

    Can you tell me also what is the difference between 'remaking' the breast and 'reconstruction'?  It was mentioned to me that I could go for an implant but I need to research this more.

    With best wishes

    diana x

    Dee

  • hi little jude,   we are in the same decade, me a little older.  Thank you for the details,  this will help knowing what to expect when I've have the mastectomy. From what I have learned so far the exercises are important to recovery.  You had a 'prosthesis' fitted - would that be an implant?  

    What kind of painkillers do they give you, I can't take paracetamol, is it codeine?

    It must have been a relief for you to feel good within a week, that quickly and the future has a positive tone to it again. 

    With best wishes!

    diana

    Dee

  • Hi Diana, think I had either tramadol or codeine can't really remember,am not going for reconstructruction, just want to get on with enjoying life,still am numb in the chest and arm region,but thankfully no sign of lymphodema,do still think back to last year going thro chemo etc. but you know what that is soooooo! last year ,onwards and upwards that is what I say, best wishes Jude

    little jude

  • hi - if you feel like 20 questions, here goes minus the Beer!  :

    1]  It would be reassuring to know how the hospital procedure works just before and after surgery, how long does a single mastectomy take in a straight DCIS [non-invasive] operation, would it be 2, 3 or more hours?

    They should tell you but it can be between 1.5 and 5 hrs.  Depending if you have any kind of reconstruction could be longer.

    2]  With a simple DCIS mastectomy is the underlying muscle cut, I'm still not certain about that?

    Having had a discectomy years ago, a five hour operation for a fractured lumbar disc, that time after anaesthesia I felt extremely weak, it took a day to just get a little strength back.

    The underlying muscle shouldn't be cut unless they find it is affected.  You may well feel the same but you just have to go with the flow!  


    3]  Would I be able to move my left arm at all  [left breast mastectomy]  -  and would there be  need for a bed pan if needed in the first few hours after operation?

    Yes, you should be able to move your arm although it might get stiffer for a while.  Do the exercises they give you.  If they don't, have a look on here, I'm pretty sure there are some (or on breastcancercare.org).  You might have a bedpan if you aren't feeling up to much, but most probably the nurses will help you to the toilet if you need it.

    4] Is there a difference with the initial recovery period depending on age, say in 40's, 50's and 60+ years?

    Who knows?!

     

  • Diana

    I've never heard it called remaking the breast!  Prosthetics are false boobs that you tuck in your bra. Implants are put under the skin and muscle.  If you are having reconstruction, you should have a consultation with your plastic surgeon who will give you a list of possible options depending on your body. 

    Depending where you are in the country, there may be a support group local to you where you can go and see real women with reconstructions?

Page 1 of 2 12Next 5 >