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how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

55 REPLIES 55
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi how did you know you had an infection?

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi Jacs.

Hope everything went as plan and recovering well ? Everything for me went smoothly off work for 6 mths ,I’m now back full time,so back to normal apart from terrible lower back & hip pain.

Hope you are well x

 

Community Champion

Re: Hi I am new to this group so not sure quite how it works....

pennylynne

 

Just wanted to echo Jobey's welcome to the forum.

 

As Jobey says there are a lot of ladies who will be able to give you help and support, it is a safe lovely place where you can say things that you might not to your family for fear of upsetting them.

 

Heres the linke to the recently diagnosed section and there is a thread on there Diagnosed with Breast Cancer amongst others

 

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/I-am-recently-diagnosed/ct-p/recently_diagnosed

 

Sending you hugs

 

Helena xxx

Community Champion

Re: Hi I am new to this group so not sure quite how it works....

Hi Pennylynne and welcome to the forum. If you join in on the recently diagnosed thread as well you will find ladies about to start their treatments also. There are plenty across the forum who have had a mastectomy that can offer you reassurance about what's to come, we are a wealth of knowledge between us here! 

 

The early days are full of anxiety but once things start happening it all feels a little easier to cope with Xx Jo 

Member

Hi I am new to this group so not sure quite how it works....

Hi I am new to this group so not sure quite how it works. I am a 67 but far from old I have a very young outlook and an active life style. I have her2positive invasive grade 3 breast cancer and due to have a simple mastectomy in two weeks followed by  Chemo and Radiotherapy 

I am anxious but very positive but could do with some helpful advise and thoughts from anyone who has been through this before.

Thanks

Pennylynne

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

For me, it's taken over 12 months and still do not feel like a well woman.

Mascetomy of one right breast, ended up with 2 emergency ops bcuz of medical/surgical mismanagement. Treatment Injury, is what ACC called it. Two times 'Treatment Injury' for the first 2 ops. Then I got an excellent surgeon the 3rd time.

 

Still can't drive without pain, have Lymphodemia, can't do vacuuming, hang washing out.

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

G00D LUCK! IT IS TOTALLY DOABLE... BUT THE RECOVERY IS NOT SUPER FAST.
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

It takes a long time.. I am three weeks in and not ready to be back in my normal routine. Had no idea it would be this hard

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I hope everything went ok with your operation. Im in for mastecomy and lymph node surgery in the next few weeks. Xx

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I am due to have a mastectomy of my right breast and they are taking all of the nymph modes out. How long after does chemo start.
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Karensol I’m interested to see how you go on. I’m booked in for right side mastectomy with lymph nodes biopsy on 26/01/18 due to two sites of Lobular cancer. The doctor today told me it takes 2 wks to recover and after that I’d be fine to drive etc. (Male doctor who hasn’t gone through this procedure). Obviously he has also said there’s still a lot of uncertainty until they actually do the surgery and get pathology report but I’m hoping that I’ll just have to have hormone therapy after the op. I was however a bit disappointed to be told today that I can’t have an implant as he can’t save the skin. The doctor I saw 2 wks ago made it sound as though the implant was a normal thing that would happen. Hope you are ok tomorrow and please let me know how you go on x
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Thank you for the reply 😊 

 

I wanted a double mastectomy but got told because there was no family history of breast cancer I could not have one, so I might look into going private depends on the cost. 

 

I’ve been off work for 6 months with having chemo so hoping to go back once I recover from the mastectomy. 

 

 

Thank you you again for the advice. 

 

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had a double mastectomy and implants put in right away two years ago.  It took me three months before I was back exercising and playing golf   I was retired at that time but I really could not have seen myself work for at least 6 to 8 weeks.  Thank God I didn’t need chemo or radiation but there was a bad infection and I had to go back in the hospital and have the right implant removed.  It was not replaced for 9 months.   

 

Good of luck to you 

 

ps I chose to do the double because i didn’t want to ever go thru the emotional roller coaster again.  I’m glad I did    The oncologists tried to talk me out of it

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had a double mastectomy and implants put in right away two years ago.  It took me three months before I was back exercising and playing golf   I was retired at that time but I really could not have seen myself work for at least 6 to 8 weeks.  Thank God I didn’t need chemo or radiation but there was a bad infection and I had to go back in the hospital and have the right implant removed.  It was not replaced for 9 months.   

 

Good of luck to you 

 

ps I chose to do the double because i didn’t want to ever go thru the emotional roller coaster again.  I’m glad I did 

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi im due to have a right side mastectomy this Friday plus lymph nodes removed and wondering how long does it take to recover and how long would you recommend being off work ? 

 

Also is there a higher risk getting breast cancer in your other breast ? 

 

Thank you 

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Well done for posting, very well said and very helpful . I am not up to posting anything at mo but wanted to tell u Thxs as this will have helped a lot of people.
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Great discriptive words "elec shock". I equated the pain of removing nymph nodes to pulling the hair under your arm or pinching you inside your arm.  I too had a bilateral mastectomy - left after 17 years being clear. Back then underwent 6 weeks radiation and 5 year Tamoxafin.  My surgery was 10/2/17. My surgeon has drawn out two vials of fluid every week since and I suppose tomorrow's visit will be no different.  Now my wound has been oozing.  Did anyone else go through that???

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had a right side mastectomy 3 weeks ago I have had fluid build up on the wound site which has been uncomfortable now it seems to have gone a bit hard which I think is scar tissue , has anyone else expire ended this .Otherwise I feel really good and delighted I do not need further treatment .

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi,

I went for my Bra fitting yesterday, my Prosthesis, and i am really pleased with it.

I mentioned to my Breast Care Nurse, that where i had my Mastectomy (Right side) i feel really sore-all of a sudden.She has told me it is probably Bone Bruising! She said not to worry.But it feels very sore and tender.Otherwise, i am in tip top condition.

Has anyone else had this i wonder?

x

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi I have just read what's happened to u ..I have just had same done on Monday when does the pain ease xx
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I

Community Champion

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I am cancer free now but have some ongoing health isssues as a result of treatment.Getting there though !
Community Champion

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi Butterflies,both times I was home on my own too.They should always invite you in with support to discuss things like that , the nurse said if I had invited you to come in you would have known anyway ???
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Thank you for replying. And that must have been awful for you--Twice. I think something should be done about this. Its unacceptable .

i hope you are well now x

Community Champion

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi Butterflies,well done for having the courage to post and share your story !! I pretty much got told I had cancer over the phone ( twice ) and I think it is a terrible way to give people bad news .Your call on a Friday - really not good ! Keep posting !!!
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hello,This is my first time on the Forum.

I went for my normal Mammogram, i didnt have a lump or anything.Although years ago i have had 2 lumpectomys which were benign.

I was diagnosed with low grade DCIS in February, after having all the usual biopsies etc. i was told that all i needed was a Lumpectomy. I had this done in April.

 I recieved a phone call off my Breast Care nurse 2 weeks later, to tell me that i would have to have a Mastectomy.You can imagine how i felt after this phone call!Telling me this on a Friday . My Doctor and Family were not pleased that i was informed this way.

I did see my Consultant, and he told me that all the tissue was not removed.

I had my Mastectomy (right breast)9 weeks ago, on the 7th. June. I stayed in Hospital overnight, and for the next 5 days the District Nurses came to empty my drains. I did do my excercises, and my Husband cared for me.And my Family were wonderful and supportive. I am doing well , i still have slight discomfort, and still have numbness under my arm, where the 2 lymph nodes were removed.And i still feel tired if i do too much.

I did go to the Hospital a few times, to have fluid drained from the site.

And the same Breast Care nurse that phoned me about my Mastectomy, asked if i wanted her to phone me and let me know my results from my OP!!!I couldnt believe it.I bellowed---NO

As i believe she was disciplined over it, and shouldnt have given such news over the phone.

What did help me, prepare for my OP. Was watching the Victoria Derbyshire Video, when she had her  Mastectomy. I must have watched it about 10 times!

I go for my Bra fitting on Thursday, and my Prostheis, as i didnt want reconstruction.

I do feel sad that i have "lost" my right breast, but it is a small price to pay.

I am now debating wether, to have my left breast removed, to prevent what happened.But my Doctor has told me to discuss this with my Consultant in January.

I am on 20mg.Tamoxifen, and as yet no side effects, although i did have a Hysterectomy when i was 38yrs.

On the whole my OP, thanks to the video i watched, went smoothly. The only part i didnt like, was when the Surgeon was marking my right breast, with his felt tip pen,it seemed to go on forever. i did feel like breaking down, i felt humiliated. I know this has to done, but surely they can do it when we are under!!

I hope my letter will help someone, as this Forum has helped me.I am on it everyday, but its the first time, i have written anything. x

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I am OK thanks. Just going for dressings changed tomorrow. Hopefully they will take it off for good. Still get tired though.
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had my surgery on the 13th April too - how are you doing now?
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Brilliant reading this forum. I had a mastectomy last week. Had dressings changed yesterday. So very sore where lymph node was taken out.
The reply about little electric shock helped as I get these a lot.
Tried to do too much normal stuff I suppose.
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I forgot one great thing. My surgeon told me to empty my drains in my plants. I did. The protein makes them shoot up like Jack and the Beanstalk!
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had a 6 centimeter tumor and 12 lymph nodes removed. Send home with drains. It didn't take long to recover as long as I did the walk the wall exercises. My armpits are still a bit numb. I don't think I'll ever regain total feeling. Who cares? I'm alive! Keep exercising and also keep your arm as much as you can up with your armpit exposed. That helps eliminate lymphedema, which I get every now and then if I wear jewelry on the same side as my operation. Good luck! You will feel better.
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had my surgery April 13 and they ran into complications that extended my surgery from 4 to lil over 6 hrs. I spent wk and half in the hospital and was discharged with 4 drain bags that drains as much as when I was admitted. I recently visited ER fr major discoloration on the right side. Fortunately not an infection but alot of bruising. Ice packs bring some comfort but I still need help in and out of bed, restroom and I would love to take a shower. Hopefully this will get better and I can be more independent.

Love
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

My surgeon always used glue on top of the stitches that were on the inside.  I was always afraid to remove the glue for the same reason, pain, drainage or infection so I would wait until the Doctor would remove it.   I used "5x7" gauze  pads so the surgical bra would not rub the incisions.  Feel. Better soon

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I have had a double mastectomy and anc in one arm last week. I got out of hospital without drains but still.have steri strips. I am frightened to remove them in case of pain or infection or opening the wound but the elastic bra band is rubbing, what advice does anyone have?
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

it's been 3 weeks and I was told by my surgeon to massage the area of the incisionsame and that seems to help....I know every surgergy is different, I am wondering the range of time before I don't feel like I am out of significant pain
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had pain in my left armpit and below about one month after mastectomy that was finally cured by a therapist who used a little metal tool to break down the scar tissue.  He also stretched my arm a lot. Walking and swinging the arms helped too.    I'm having my last reconstruction surgery next week on the 15th.  Prayers needed that all goes well.   Good luck to you.  Don't give up hope. God Bless

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had an ultrasound last week - lumps in mastectomy area and armpit turned out to be scar tissue and fluid - pain is still there but I am relieved.
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi, I had my mastectomy in Jan 2016 and node removal in Feb 2016 - it is only now that it is painful. I now have pain going down my arm and my shoulder is now clicking in and out of joint. This is particularly awful first thing in the morning. I had pain in my ribs for a few weeks but thankfully that has now eased. Good luck. X
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I know what you mean about the pain.  My left side hurt so bad that I would cry out in pain. The only thing that relieved it was to lay flat on my back.  No pillows.  It was scar tissue build up on a nerve the doc said.   I did find a very good therapist that would stretch me the opposite way.   He had me twist to the right several times. Then I could lift the arm a little higher after each set.  Walking helped too swinging the arms slightly.   I did not want to take so many pain pills because of the side effects. But I had to for relief.  And I prayed a lot.    I found comfort in scripture.     Turn to the Lord for He is always with us. He will hold you in the comfort of His arms.  God bless you

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

My surgery (left removed and replaced with muscle from my back and fast from my sides. Right breast lift, etc. This was done 12 days ago.

I've had 7 or 8 surgeries in my life but I've never had so much pain as I'm living in now with the breast surgeries. I cry for hours every day. It's comforting to know I'm not unique but every minute in pain makes the weeks it's going to take to recover seems way too far away. I keep praying for God to help me.

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

 I had a double mastectomy due to DCIS on March 9, got an infection on the right side and ended up having the implant taken out one month later.  I recovered quickly once they took the implant out.  I did have very bad scar tissue pain on the left side but finally finding the right therapist the pain stopped.   I was playing golf and exercising by May 25.  The dr did not want to replace the implant for 6 months, waiting for the infection to be all clear.  It's now December 6.  I had the expanders put in to stretch the skin out and he will put in the implant in 3 months. I still have a drain which is very painful but hopefully comes out today.   I still feel like I'm wearing a very tight sports bra.  I don't know if that feeling will ever go.away.   I'm ready for this journey to be over with    It's been a long year but that God, I'm cancer free.  

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I have done my double incision mastectomy in the last month and the recovery period is most likely related to the depth of the surgery. I started shower after 8 days and my next appointment is on 12th of this month. Recovery process would be easy on the mind and body if we adhere to the surgeon's guidance.Here's a blog which explains about the recovery period after a mastectomy : http://www.ftmtopsurgery.ca/blog/ftm-surgery/whats-the-recovery-like-for-ftm-top-surgery/ . Hope it helps! 

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had a bilateral mastectomy March 9.  I was doing very well and then developed an infection and thought I was going to lose one of the implants.  I did not have to have chemo or radiation so they were able to put implants in right away.   5 days in the hospital and heavy antibiotics, and now 10 more days or antibiotics.  It's a wait and see game now.  Over the last week I have developed a horrible pain on the left side. This was not the cancerous breast. The pain is excruciating and I have cried many nights over this pain.  Hoping it's just part of the healing process as the dr says.  Has anyone else experienced this?  

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hello im new to the form. I had a double mastectomy 1/5. I have a few questions
How long does it take fir all the drains to cone out?
Does that heavy feeling every get off your chest?
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi it took me about 9 weeks to recover from my mastectomy on my right breast with dermal lattice reconstruction ( Also had full node clearance ) very pleased with results although after having radiotherapy it has unsettled the breast and made it feel more solid. Going back to surgeon at end of October. So hoping it will improve. 

 

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi i had mine single breast mastectomy 3weeks ago feel great arm slightly stiff ..excercises help..i get like littlexelectric shocks in breast area which i assume is nerve endings but nothing i cant cope with ..still have swelling and feel uncomftable with a bra but all goin well ..i do feel it depends on each person ..best look to all
Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Hi there
just walking through the forums before I settle down in front of the TV for the night. You will recover from your mastectomy - different people take different times. I remember being very impatient to start my chemo after surgery but my oncologist was right to make me wait 6 weeks. I had my op in February 2005 and went back to teaching in the September with no problem reaching the top of the whiteboard, and certainly no pain. there are parts of my armpit that are still numb today but I was warned about that before the op - and I guess that depends how invasive your surgery has been.
Hope this is helpful
Tina

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

Thanks Sophie. That sounds quite promising.

Rose

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

My arm is still not 'right', but I don't notice it anymore, so it's either got much, much better, or I've got used to it after all.. think it has actually got better! It still tingles and feels odd when I touch it, and occasionally when I lean on something I have to move, because it's uncomfortable, but it doesn't drive me spare all the time like it initially did - it's quite liveable with now!

Armpit still numb - can't feel when I spray deodorant under it, and parts of inner arm also totally numb, very odd when showering and using a shower scrunchie!!

So.. yes, def. improvements. Hang in there!

Sophie xx

Member

Re: how long does it take to recover from a mastectomy

I had a double mastectomy three weeks ago and was fine pain wise for the first week. The nerve pain has been with me across the front of my chest and inner arms the last week and a half and is quite debilitating. Interested to know if you ladies above have had relief from it yet.