Bathing after surgery

Hi, if there is anybody out there. Had a lumpectomy last Tuesday, was getting really frightened and you hear such horror stories… Woke up feeling rather sore but apart from feeling uncomfortable from time to time its not been anywhere near as bad as I thought.

What I need to know is how long do I have to keep the dressings on, so many conflicting views. Have been told anywhere from 3 days to 7-10 days, the dressing from the biopsies came off yesterday but the main dressing - well I am sure it would heal better if the air could get to it though it seems fairly stuck in place at the minute. Was told I could soak it off, then was told to keep it dry - dont know what to do for the best [must admit I also want to look at my surgeons handy work - though slightly apprehensive too]

Hope everything goes well for anybody else going through this, you just have to keep positive and upbeat

hi there, i have had further excision on wednesday. was told to keep dressing dry, but was given some spare ones in case. if its like last time i have a strip type dressing across the actual incision/scar and then i have like a biggish padded type plaster thing on top of that. (so cant actually see the strip). i have managed to keep padded plaster thing dry by getting in bath washing carefully around it. i have wound check tomorrow at clinic where i think they will take big plaster thing off, but leave the strip type dressing for further few days if they are happy. last time when all of dressings were off i was ok to get it wet, but nurse said not to soak in bath for too long 10/15 mins ok but not longer and after few weeks would be ok to soak longer. i assume its so it has knitted together properly and water cant get in to wound or something. it was between 7 and 10 days before all dressings were off.

take care TTM xxx

Hi, I have had 2 breast ops - 12th Dec and 13th Jan and on both occasions had no clear instructions on when to take the dressings off. As u I showered and the main dressings came off but I didn’t dare remove the stero strips fearful of wat I mite fined. I Waited for my results days and took them off b 4 I saw the consultant as soaked them in shower so wudn’t hurt- the 1st was on for 2 and half wks - the 2nd for 12 days! Both times were not as bad as I feared!!! The unknown is always scary. Goood Good luck with your results - it’s scary when it’s out of our control! xxx

For keeping fresh dressings dry in the shower, I wrapped cling film around my boob and that shoulder and stuck it down with sellotape! It worked pretty well though I did feel a bit stupid, and needed a bit of help getting the sellotape in the right place. If yours was last Tuesday you’d probably be ok, but if it’s still stuck down and not annoying you, there’s probably no hurry to take it off. The dressings are usually very good at letting the air get to the wound. If it’s soggy though, get your GP’s surgery to change it for you.

and good luck for your results appointment with your surgeon.

I only have steri strips on my breast and under my arm (anx)and was told to dry them gently with a hair dryer.
The strips are starting to peel off bit by bit …i’m going to leave any that are left until i go for my appt next Monday.
Interestingly (well to me anyway) the node clearance (longer excision etc) has healed better than the lumpectomy (small excision above nipple) which has become infected (on anti biotics now)

Mary M

Many thanks for all your support, have since spoken to the Macmillan Nurses who tell me the main dressing should have been taken off at about day 3. So - Just had a couple of pain killers [just in case] put the heating on and about to have a shower - will let you know how I get on…

hi there had wound checked this morning.

nurse took main padded plaster thing off, checked for swelling or any problems. but she has left the steri strip thing on. she said this will come off 7-10 days. still got to be careful washing, just washing around boob and very gently pat dry dont rub.

TTM xxx

water can create lot of problem for you. stitching and surgery can create a lot of problem after bathing so cover them with some plastic coating so that water can’t touch that.

As the steristrips start to disengage, you might want to snip off the ends that have come adrift with a small scissors, to reduce the annoyance factor with them catching on your clothes. By the time day 10 arrives there will be hardly any left!

Dressing came off really easy. Still cant see a lot because of the steri strips, they are all still firmly in place. Might attempt a bath tonight but very wary of getting the wound wet.

Is it just me or does the pain under the arms seem to get worse… after day 3 I could lift my arms, put on T Shirts and comb my hair with no problem, the exercises were a doddle, now 1 week later I have had to go back on the pain killers and its really uncomfortable. There is no obvious swelling apart from the bruising, is it just the nerve endings coming back to life or am I just weird.

Love and healthy thoughts to all of you out there, its great to read all your stories, I was starting to think I was all on my own but now know I am just a small part of a large loving family xx

she has given me some padded plaster things to put on if the strip things start snagging on clothes, she mentioned that. i will make sure it doesnt get wet.

thank you TTM xxx

Hi EBHippo,
I am so surprised reading all the comments as I had a lumpectomy too but no dressings whatsover ! My poor daughter nearly fainted when she helped me put my bra on to go home. Did you gave stitches ? I had glue, maybe that is why.
All the best and big hugs