If you have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and recommended breast cancer surgery, you might be wondering about the recovery process. Here are some guidelines from Dr. Soumen Das, a breast cancer doctor in Kolkata that you can follow to facilitate the recovery process.
Six Breast Cancer Surgery Recovery Tips
- Drainage Device – After breast cancer surgery, surgeons may place an external drainage device to remove and collect fluid from the surgery site. Follow the doctor’s recommendations about how to care for the device. The steps include measuring the fluid, emptying the drains, , and keeping an eye out for any complications.
The amount of fluid draining will gradually reduce and the color may also change from cherry red to yellow-red and then turn transparent. The drainage system can usually be removed within 1 to 3 weeks after surgery.
- Changing Bandages – You will get a special bra that holds bandages in place after your breast cancer surgery. The bra should not be removed till the time doctor says so. Follow the doctor’s recommendations about how to change the dressings.
- Getting Incision Wet – According to Dr. Soumen Das, provide best breast cancer treatment in Kolkata, the incision should be kept clean and dry for one week after surgery. Take sponge baths rather than showers. Small pieces of tape may remain to stick to the incision. They usually fall off by themselves.
- Skin Care – The surgical area may appear black and blue after breast cancer surgery. The color goes away in a few days. Patients might feel numb or uncomfortable on the inner part of the upper arm or in the armpit.
You can take a warm shower after a week of surgery to reduce the discomfort. Avoid applying deodorants or powder directly on the incision area as it may cause irritation.
The incision may feel thick and tough as it heals. The scar will soften after several weeks of surgery, says the breast cancer doctor in Kolkata.
- Pain Relief – Your doctor will prescribe pain medication after breast cancer surgery. Follow the prescribed medicine and avoid taking aspirin or products with aspirin for the first three days after the procedure. Aspirin can increase your chances of bleeding.
- Exercises After Surgery – Avoid going sedentary. Do daily stretching exercises to help you regain mobility, but consult your surgeon about when to start them.
It is essential to go for follow-up visits after your breast cancer treatment in Kolkata. In the follow-up visits, your doctor will examine you to ensure that cancer does not return. Generally, checkups include exams of the chest, underarm, and neck.
Women who suffer cancer in one breast have a high chance of developing cancer in the other breast. Therefore, if you had cancer in one breast, you should continue to do monthly breast self-examination and report any changes to your doctor.