3rd op is now Mx.. Recovery time

Hello again everyone. I had a lumpectomy and ANC on 17th Jan and returned to work 2 weeks later. This was followed by a further re-excision on 14th Feb to try to obtain clear margins. I returned to work 1 week later. This is despite being re admitted after both ops due to a reaction with the anaesthetic. I seem to heal well wound wise though. Yesterday I found out that it is multi focal and I now need an Mx no choice in the matter. so my question is being as my recovery from my ANC is now almost complete what is the recovery time/ return to work time after an Mx. Is it much longer than the ANC/WLE??
many thanks LS

Hi Littlescoot

Whilst you wait for the other users to reply with their expereinces and advice you might find it useful to read the BCC booklet ‘Your operation and recovery’, it has specific section on recovery. If you would like to order a copy or read this on-line just follow the link below:-


If you have any further questions or would just like to talk things through please do give the BCC helpline a call, where you are able to talk to a member of staff who will offer you emotional support and practical information. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.

I hope this helpful.

Best wishes Sam, BCC facilitator

Hi Littlescoot,

I am 41/2 weeks on from my mx and am just about back to normal. My mum stayed for the week following my return home, but, to be honest, whilst it was great having her there, with a bit of forward thinking, we could have managed after about 4 days. I did not drive until after the post surginal review, which at my hospital is 3 weeks post op, but felt that I could have driven after 2 weeks, and that is with having the ANC at the same time.

Most of my post op issues are as a result of the ANC (I think) in that my arm is stiff and I have some residual cording, but the mx wound site has been relatively pain free apart from the odd shooting pain of nerve regeneration. Nothing that paracetamol can’t deal with. The wound site still swells a little each day, but goes down over night. I understand this is because I have gone back to more normal activities, and this will ease in time.

Judging by some other stores I have read, I may have been lucky with my recovery, or I have a very high pain threshold! If you have any further question feel free to pm me.

best of luck,


Hi Littlescoot,
I had a lumpectomy and ANC followed by a mastectomy three weeks later, It took me about eight weeks to recover initially however it was three or four months before I felt ‘normal’ My car insurance compay - Admiral - said I could not drive for eight weeks from second op and required a letter from my GP to confirm I was fit to drive, I had a percentage of my premium refunded and was not charged for the letter confirming fitness to drive. It is not just the physical side of a mx it is also the mental side, each woman reacts and deals with things in different ways. Hope all goes well for you.

I had MX and would say4weeks to recover by which time i started chemo. Tiredness was an issue and i needed a nap most afternoons. I did drive after 2weeks but found i was not strong enough and waited a bit longer. I could do a lot with one hand and stretching. Remaining active was important including walking.
I went back after second chemo but found i had to reduce hours and am still notback full time.
best wishes for your treatment

The same thing happened to me, but I didn’t have node clearance, just the SNB. My recovery was about 3-4 weeks. I wasn’t in any real pain to be honest, not any more than after the initial wide excision. You just have to be careful with lifting things etc. I did the exercises on the sheet they gave me (should still be doing them now but have to admit have got a bit lazy)
Wishing you all the best with your treatment. It’s a horrible time but we’ll get through it.

Hi littlescoot

I had a mx with immediate reconstruction on 22nd Jan. I agree with the other posters-it took me about 4 weeks to feel a bit more back to normal. I didn’t equate my lack of energy to the op but realise now that surgery and anesthetic take it out of you.

I was pretty much able to function independently after the op though I had 2 drains that were annoying but necessary. I’d say the recovery time from a mx is more than a wle-its a bigger, longer op. I had v little pain but some discomfort-probably more due to my tissue expander (which is like a rock on my chest!).

Good luck

Hi thank you everyone for your replies. I saw my consultant today who has confirmed that it is far more aggressive than they ever thought and the 21mm cavity shave done on valentines day was positive in every slide. Thus a Mx is the only option. I’m having immense difficulty coming to terms with this and am in floods of tears at the slightest thing. He has also told me that they will be keeping a very close eye on me for the next 2 years and I must also check myself very regularly too and report the slightest change or illness to them. This has spooked me immensely. My OH is amazing but I can so see the stress and worry on his face now. But also I am having so much trouble being on my own -although he is taking a lot of time off work for me at the mo- if he goes out the house I just dissolve into an emotional wreck yet at the same time I can’t stand to be with people- I’m doing a lot of on call night shifts at work so I’m not technically taking sick leave but I don’t have to mix with anyone either. I had my really long hair cut yesterday ( see my " the little princess trust" post) so I think everything is really starting to hit home now.
I made a really good friend in the clinic but (thank god!) her margins were clear no lymph node and no chemo just rads for her so I feel so so isolated made worse by my consultant saying they get very very few patients like me x
sorry for the rant. I’m just so stressed upset and emotional at the mo and my OH s shoulder is already soaking wet xxx
thankyou for reading xxx

I had a radical mx after being diagnosed with a very rare case of cancer (300 cases world wide ) i had my op on the 23rd nov 2011 and returned to work the start of he new year fetl very tired and would nap or just sit for a good hour at home resting i was told i could not drive and would not be insured until i could do an emergency stop with out it hurting !! you say your doctor has not seen many cancers of your sort can I ask what sort it was ? I know how you feel I feel isolated as I am up to now the only one on the books in the isle of man with my type of cancer there are some ladies that have the benign type but no one else with the malignant type !!! talk about wanting to be differant .
lizzy c

Hi lizzy
thankyou for your support. I don’t think mine is rare it’s just that’s its taken everyone by surprise. It started out as 25mm grade 2 with some DCIS and maybe lymph node ( 1 showed on ultrasound as being enlarged) to beIng grade 3 49mm main tumour multi focal grade 3 IDC throughout the whole breast and 9/15 nodes affected and status changed from being invasive to extremely aggressive so every time we have been to the hospital the news has just got worse and worse and now they’re saying they prob can’t get all the cancer when doing the Mx and it may go to my bones. What a roller coaster and emotionally had enough xxx