Mastectomy as Day Surgery !!!

Hello Ladies, Moderators.

I am booked in for a radical mastectomy and Sentinal Node Biopsy in a couple of weeks time. At my pre assessment with BCN have been told that this is done as Day Surgery, and will go home with drains. I must admit I was quite surprised by this as are many of my friends, and also feeling a little aprehensive. Is this what normally happens? From a psychological point of view the first time I look at my new body shape I will be on my own so to speak without any nursing input/support.

Any advice from others who have been in this situation gratefully received. Thanks x

Hello Hopalong

Whilst waiting for replies to your post maybe you would like to give our free helpline a call where the staff can offer practical information as well as emotional support. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Hi Hopalong  I think its quite common to have mastectomy as day surgery  I did and others I know did too -  To be honest I think its much nicer  to get home as fast as you can and time is hospital is not good particularly when you are feeling emotional about a BC diagnosis.  I went home with drains and whilst they are a bit of a nuisence to carry around once you get used to them its ok - I managed to shower and wander about the house ok but I never ventured outside.  My drains were in for about 5 days.   It does depend on your trust about what support you get when you are discharged.  In my area there was an outreach team which were hospital nurses that went out to patients who were discharged - they came daily and checked and changed drains and chatted to me about things.  I was encouraged to take off my dressings and have a look in the mirror etc which I did ok and it I felt better about it being in my own home.  Some trusts have District or community nurses doing this but you should get some support and its worth asking what will happen when you are discharged.  I had a telephone number too that I could ring if I had any problems in between visits -  I ‘trad’ on my drain line and it came out so I rang and the nurse came straight round and sorted me.   The emotional side/lopsidedness  of it is the worst to be honest and this is probably the hardest part of coming to terms with things and your BCN should be able to let you know what is available if you need any and of course this site is invaluable to get tips and others experience of what you are going through.  I had my Mx 4 years ago.   best wishes with it all  xx

I think this only happens if you are not having immediate recon. I had LD flap with Mx. I don’t agree with sending patients home with drains in place though, in fact I think I would have refused to go! Even with my WLE and ANC I stayed in for a few days!  Your dressings will be in place for a few weeks so you won’t get a clear picture of what you look like. Chances are you will also need help with showering etc., and to be honest there is no way I would want to ask a friend or member of my family to help me with that. I was happy enough for a nurse to help me though as I didn’t “know” her. Hope all goes well for you and have plenty of home back up in place as I reckon you will need it.

Good luck and take care

K M x

Hi.
Hopalong . I think it is common practise I had mine as a Daycase only difference my Dr didn’t use drains. Your Breast care nurse will give you a contact number use it and get the support you need.

Hello I had the same operation on the 20.08.14 and was told the same, however I had to stay overnight and came out the next day with 2 drains in. It was fine and they even gave me a small bag to carry it round in, I went for a short walk round the block every morning and after 2 days had the drains out.
If you get a long silky scarf to cover it up its not too bad and when you’ve lay on your back overnight, you are glad to take a stroll for fresh air and it does make you feel better.
Hope all goes well for and always remember you are in good hands, it is a shock to see one boob has gone but remember what was in it. My scar has healed now but the SNB is still a bit sore where they removed 3 nodes, the softie is a nuisance though it rides up and is driving me mad. I go for my prosthesis on 25.09.14 so this should be much better I hope, have’nt decided on reconstruction as yet.
You’ll be fine and hope you let us know once you feel up to it on how you coped.
Best wishes
Snapper58

Hi hopalong

I had mx and node clearance 2 weeks ago. At my consultation, the surgeon asked me whether I wanted to go home the same day or an overnight stay. I really couldn’t answer him as I was alarmed at the thought of going home too quickly. He said it cuts down the risk of infection and patients recover better at home. (He was at pains to point out that all postoperative observations would have to be normal!). As it turns out, I couldn’t go home the same day, as my drains were filling up too much, so had an overnight stay. I didn’t sleep a wink - the ward was so noisy - and wished so much I was at home. The district nurses came out every day to empty my drain until it was taken out.
Good luck with your op x x

This is a comforting thread to find.  I’m going in next friday for mastectomy of left boob and was also surprised how fast they send you home. 

My surgeon said hed only keep me overnight cos I live a long way away over a windy hill road. But he also said I’d be happy to go,  as surgical ward is very loud.

Seems crazy though!  :) 

Glad to read you all agree with what he said.

Was concerned it was one of those medical terms like…‘this may sting a little’  lol