Prep for surgery

What is the best way to prep my body for surgery. I need mastectomy hopefully reconstruction. I’m recently diagnosed with Ducis

I didn’t have mastectomy but there’s some general advice that applies to all anaesthesia and for surgery to this area.
You will have some sort of fitness assessment before surgery - possibly more than one but I would suggest that if there’s anything that you’re concerned about you might try to get it sorted before surgery . I had a filling - it’s better if possible not to have loose teeth/ fillings etc when you’re having a general anaesthetic and good oral hygiene.
I was due a cervical smear so I made sure I got that done - however if it’s not feasible to do such things then don’t worry . You don’t give your age or say if you have any health problems - it’s quite common for people to have raised blood pressure after a diagnosis of breast cancer and prior to surgery due to stress and Drs. generally make allowances for things like that but if you have a known medical condition it would be reasonable to ask for a review if it hasn’t been done recently.

Exercise will improve your overall fitness level and for me was one of the best ways to deal with the stress . Don’t go mad as you don’t want to risk hurting yourself but walking / swimming / Yoga / Gym whatever you like to do - but a little more of it . If you are overweight exercise may help you to lose weight and improve your muscle to fat ratio which is thought may be beneficial in helping to prevent recurrence. We tend to turn to alcohol or in my case the wrong kinds of food when we are stressed but if you can keep it in moderation it will help detox your body prior to surgery . If you smoke then it will help with the anaesthetic if you can cut down. Make sure to drink plenty of water to flush your system out . If you are taking any vitamins or supplements you may be asked to stop them prior to surgery as they may react with the anaesthetic drugs so its more important to try to eat well . Some ordinary medicines cannot be taken for a specified time prior to surgery either so make sure if asked that you tell your team exactly what you are taking . In my case I was unable to take my blood pressure medication for 36 hours prior to surgery but my BP did go up at one point so they prescribed something else for me.

Has your BCN sent you a copy of the post - op breast exercises ? If so I would advise reading that and practicing them to make sure you are confident that you know what you’re doing and make sure that you have full range of movement in your arms and shoulders , it will improve your flexibility and you will know what you’re working towards afterwards.

Make sure that you moisturise your breasts / shoulders / arms / underarms / chest so that your skin is in good condition . I wasn’t given advice about removing the hair under my arms - I shaved with a normal razor but about 60 hours prior to surgery rather than on the day so that any little nicks would have healed and not increase my risk of getting infection ( I didn’t get one) . Some women have been advised to use depilatory creams instead and stop using anti- perspirant and change to a natural deodorant - so check with your team but obviously you won’t be able to put it on prior to going into surgery. If you have a stiff neck I would advise taking your own pillow , I’m glad I did as the one they had was very flat and didn’t give my neck enough support.

Some BCN services seem to fit patients with bras as well as prostheses so I would find out if this is possible rather than paying for a bra that you aren’t sure you will be able to wear. One of the lighter threads on here is entitled Number of Bras - a lot of us , me included have gone a bit berserk buying lots of different ones to try . If you do feel up to going and getting fitted with a bra now it may help you later with maybe a good crop top as back up . I can recommend M+S bras post surgery bras and Flexi Fit crop tops , Anita and Nicola Jane post surgery bras available at . Others have found suitable bras at Sainsbury’s and Primark amongst other places - it will depend on your back and cup size as to what is easily available for you. Obviously I didn’t have mastectomy and for the first 48 hours I used a cheap crop top from Amazon and a support vest I’ve had for years before moving into my M+S hook up bra .

Hopefully someone who has had mastectomy with / without reconstruction should pop along shortly . I didn’t mean to waffle on this long ! Hope everything goes well for you xx

Thank you so much. I’m 73, i think I’m fit for my age. Not overweight, not on any medication and no other health issues. Going for pre op assessment on Friday, and the plastic surgeon on 24th.

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