Mastectomy Recovery Timescales

Hi all,
I am six months post mastectomy (without reconstruction) and just wanted to ask how long you felt it took for you to feel ‘fully healed’.
My scar is still fairly purple, I still have a fair bit of swelling on the outer edge and it still aches a bit there too. There is still a small bit of a soft bump of skin under the scar too which is going down and becoming flatter.
I’m not especially worried about how I’m healing, I’m just interested to hear other people’s experiences. Naively, I think I thought I’d have a nice neat, flat scar by now and would feel it was the finished article!

Hi @KayLou2

I’m sorry you haven’t had a response to your question yet.

I am sure someone will be able to share their experience with you. In the meantime please know that our nurses are here for you any time, here on the forum on the Ask our Nurses your questions or over the phone 0808 800 6000.

Sending love,


Hi KayLou2
I am 11 months post op, finished my radiotherapy this September after 6 mths of chemotherapy. I still have a tender bit above my scar and my operated area has never really gone as flat as I had hoped. It has reduced to what it was directly after surgery but I too thought I would have a flat chest, I have resigned myself to the fact it is never going to get as flat as I wanted. It gets easier to look at and not worry so much. I am just glad that I am still here and able to tell the tale. Hope you get the result you are hoping for x

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Ah that outer edge :frowning: Why they can’t cut it. away while they are at it I don’t know. Not much sisterhood support from my female surgeon. Kindly called my puppy ear by my lymphedema nurse :thinking:

Nearly 3 years post op. that’s the one bit of my mastectomy (no recon) that annoys me as it can make my bras uncomfortable.

Everyone heals at a different pace. I must admit it was about 7 months for me to think I was the finished article (nice wording) as my scar suddenly became a silver line.

I still use an aqueous cream - though not religiously. I was told to not to use (Bio) oil. I found Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Vera the best. I did massage with 2 fingers doing little circles backwards and forwards along my scar for a good few months.

I do have a few lumps and bumps above and below but not much to talk about. I think it’s just more skin pulled over the tissue beneath.

I developed lymphedema and have a little pool of it at the non-puppy ear of my scar - it’s like a little wobbly bit of jelly.

As Alice says, give the nurses a call or chat to your BC nurse if you’re concerned.

I’m sure you’ll get there soon. I hope so.

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I had a mastectomy without reconstruction three years ago. My scar still has one pink area that is also a little wider than the rest. I suspect it pulled open slightly at some point. I can’t now recall how long it took for the scar to go silvery, but sometime between six months and a year I think.

I found massaging the scar helped get rid of the small fold/tag I had at one end. I sort of regret not asking for some kind of professional massage as the chest area of scar has one point that feels fixed in place and the skin after that is a bit baggy and droopy. Thankfully that is hidden under my arm.

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