Recovery Times from Lumpectomy, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy and Anaesthetic

Hi, can anyone give me an indication of recovery times from having a general anaesthetic, lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy please? I’m normally a very active person but 5 days down the line am still feeling very tired, can do a bit them am zonked! I was very emotionally drained and anxious before the operation so that maybe why but am also conscious that my surgery isn’t anywhere near as major as it could be. Many thanks 

I’m sorry I have had it done yet so can’t advise but from everything I’ve read, tiredness is one of the worst symptoms.  Suggest you be kind to yourself and try to let your body heal, it’s doing a lot of work at the moment.  My surgery is scheduled for 13 Feb and I’m planning on 2 weeks off work, possibly more.

hope you heal soon x

Hi Cat10

Sorry to hear you’re struggling, but can’t say I’m surprised though, after 5 days.

I DO strongly feel, that many medics DON’T advise us more on what to expect, from a “General” Anaesthetic point of view, with ops. IT alone, can take quite a while to recover from. It’s quite an “assault” on our whole body system, with surgical procedure recovery on top of. AND, some people react to it, more than others.

Soo praps you just need to be a bit gentler and patient on your “system” to recover, as oppo to your actual boob op. 5 days isn’t very long after. I can’t help feeling you’re maybe expecting too much? BUT, if, given more time, you AREN’T feeling better, then obviously you need to speak to your team, BCN, etc.  Yeh?

I hope you’re feeling much better sooon, flower.  Delly xx 

I was exhausted for the first 3 weeks and then energy slowly came back still tired now but I thibk it’s stress too waiting on results etx

rest I rested lots and it really helps 


I’ve just joined the forum

I’m exactly 5 days post op too!

Very tired, but i do a lot of walking.

Missing my weightlifting!

Hi @Cat10 

Thanks for your question it has helped me. I’m 10 days post surgery I was  both sides so no side sleeping for a while and have to be careful pushing myself up and opening and closing heavy doors.

I had terrible sickness after surgery and nausea still continues. I had codeine for 2 days with constipation even with lactulose! Managing pain with regular paracetamol now. I’m black and blue and many shades in between. I find doing the exercises especially moving my arms above my head makes the nausea worse and even showering. No infection or fever, so GP prescribed some anti sickness tablets to take up to 3 times a day for 7 days. 24 hours after taking tablets feel less nausea and can eat and drink a bit more. I can only sleep on my back and have to prop myself up a bit to aid getting in and out of bed.

Results on 24 July… then chemotherapy and Herceptin, then radiotherapy with endocrine therapy. That’s the plan but it’s changed a couple of times already so I’m trying to take it one day at a time.

The pain was never mentioned on discharge or in breast clinic. The most I was to,d is not to lift anything heavy for 4 weeks, wear a soft bra 24/7 for 2 weeks and remove dressing after 2 weeks, keeping as dry as possible until then. I was given 7 day pack of codeine with no real explanation apart from take if you need.

On top of all of this I feel shattered, I suffer hot flushes (more of a heat surge!) since stopping HRT, this happens 3 times a night so have disturbed sleep. I rest in the day and try to walk 10/20minutes twice a day, weather dependent. I nap mid afternoon and get up about 10am, so I think I’m resting even but still feel fatigued.

How long after your surgery did you start to feel more normal?

It’s a relief to hear that how I’m feeling is normal… in my second week… dressings removed … sore swollen spot in my armpit. Had to have the coil removed so my body has gone into hormonal meltdown. Hate the bras I have …  my consultant appointment is Thursday so hopefully I get my test results and she can tell me that what I’m feeling is ok. 

Thankfully I’m not expecting to have radiotherapy straight away .

This forum has settled my mind that this is my normal for now and that it will get better 

Sending lots of love to all xx

Hello ,
I’m new to this forum, just had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. Day two feeling very emotional. Feeling like no one actually listens when talking about cancer. It’s very isolating.