Recovery after recent double mastectomy

We had another commenter post how they were doing after a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and I found it quite helpful since I was going into surgery very soon. Well I’m through with my surgery which was a simple double mastectomy with no reconstruction and I thought I’d post how I’m doing since I’m sure someone at some point will have questions. I’m at 72 hours out and feel really quite good. Amazingly so in fact. Pain management is working great and I have pretty good mobility although I’m told not to lift my arms over my head. I probably could though if I wanted to but I’m trying to follow instructions to a tee.

As far as what I had done, I had radioactive dye put in my cancerous breast two hours before surgery. That hurt horribly but it was only when the dye was being put in and lasted like three seconds. Shocking but by the time I wanted to hit my nurse to get her off me it was done and the pain completely cleared. So it’s very, very brief. The dye worked immediately and by the time I left five minutes later a lymph node was already visible on their machine. Surgery was rather straightforward with markings on both breasts, sedative given, and it lasted four hours. Waking up was tough. Surprised at how sleepy I was and 72 hours out am still wanting to take frequent naps. No incision in my underarm which was a nice surprise since they were able to reach my lymph nodes through the breast. Underarm is tender though so even without the incision, lymph nodes being removed is still more painful than leaving it alone. The pain is a lot less there now though. Some skin was kept so that I can do a DIEP in the future. I am swollen which is to be expected so I don’t look completely flat but surprisingly I don’t mind the contour so far. I always had huge breasts so in a way it’s nice to see my shoulders. Skin looks surprisingly amazing. Probably the fluid they’ve pumped in me and I’m still using the bathroom quite a bit since I guess it’s still going through. All in all this hasn’t been all that bad and I thought it might be nice to see that surgery can go very well with minimal discomfort even surgery as invasive as a double mastectomy. My kids actually said I look younger after the surgery. Go figure. They might be saying it to be nice but I don’t think so. My breasts were super overwhelming and it’s going to be a nice change of pace to have something smaller. 

As far as things that help, while you’re in the hospital keep ice under your arms at all time. Amazingly comforting and cooling. And just rest and be honest about where your pain is at. Makes sure you understand how to work the drains but it’s super easy and I only had to have two. They want to manage your pain and drains well in the hospital so they know they can show you how to manage it at home. Anyway there’s my experience and as always I wish everyone the best on this site :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you for sharing your experiences .x