Recovery

Wounds are often closed with absorbable stitches, hence stitch removal is not needed. Wound care is simple and patients will be taught and given specific instructions in the management of various types of wound coverage. Patients are recommended to shower 2 days after most surgeries such as breast-conserving surgery and simple mastectomies.

Soft flexible tube drains are placed under the skin at the time of surgery. These help to remove blood and other fluids that accumulate at the site of surgery. Patients are usually discharged from the hospital with the tube drain on the day after surgery. The nurse in the ward will teach the drain care and provide a chart to keep a record of the drainage. The drain will be removed in the clinic when the drainage is minimal and this usually takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Routine medications prescribed by doctors are usually resumed immediately after surgery and there are diet restrictions unless otherwise advised by the doctor. Patients are encouraged to resume normal mobility and function as soon as it is suitable after surgery. Some arm exercises will be given to the patient. This will enable the patient to use the arm as you had before surgery in activities at home, work and in recreation. Some exercises to maximize the lymph flow will be given to patients with lymphodema.

Post-operative Care

Patients are recommended to be checked up by their doctor routinely which is very important because even if the cancer seems to be treated completely, it may return back again due to unwanted remaining cancer cells in the body.

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