Your stay in hospital following a mastectomy will vary depending on the type of surgery, and will be between one and three days. You may still have a drain in your chest which your doctor will remove with any non-dissolving stitches at a later consultation.
After breast surgery there may be pain around the incision, and you will be prescribed pain medication. It is common for fluid to collect in your armpit, and although this will usually this will disappear on its own, it may need to be drained.
Additional treatments might be necessary after a mastectomy, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy.
A counsellor will be available to support you and help you cope with having breast cancer and with your breast cancer surgery.
Although most women recover well from mastectomy surgery, complications following breast surgery can occur. You should contact your doctor immediately if you have:
- A fever and / or pain that is not helped by medication.
- Excessive bleeding and / or swelling.
- Redness outside of the dressing area or unusual discharge from the wound.
- An allergic reaction to medications.
- Depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping or a feeling that you need are unable to cope.
Following your breast cancer surgery you should expect to return to work within three to six weeks, depending on how physical your work is and how well you are recovering.