Relative needing advice

I have started this topic on behalf of new user Liz
Kind Regards
Breast Cancer Care

Hi there
My mam - in - law is in hospital today having a mastectomy, she’s been told that she’s going to be in for a few days because of the drains, I would just like some advice from anyone who has had a mastectomy as to what kind of help (practically and emotionally) she may need when she comes out of hospital just so I can be as much help as I can.


Hi Liz

When I came out of hospital I still had drains as some of them normally stay in for 10 days or more or until they stop draining, these can be a pain as you have to carry them around with you where ever you go, I couldnt use my right arm properly and I am right handed and sometimes it was painful and you get really tired from the anaesetic, so probably shopping and house work and providing meals might be a good place to start as you are also weak or I know I was…but not everyone is the same without knowing your mum in law I can only speak from my own experience

hope everything goes ok


Hi Liz

I can echo Pam, I have just had a mastectomy and my family are having to run around after me.
The only difference is that my drains were take out after 5 days, once less than 30mls was drained. I think different hospitals have different views.

It may be an emotional roller coaster for your mum in law please don’t take any short temper personally. I think her body will tell her to take it steady, there is the slight possibility she may have fluid build up after the drains are taken out. The nurses will tell her about this, there is no need to panic it is easily remedied.

I hope everything goes well for you all.

Hi Liz

I agree with Pam. There are things you can’t do. I was told to avoid ironing, hoovering, cleaning the bath but to be honest for the first week a bit of dusting and washing a few dishes was about my lot. However, for me the big thing was just having someone to talk to - not about bc. I wasn’t really upset or anything - just company. When you can’t do much or go very far good friends make all the difference. I was lucky. I had loads of people dropping in and it was great. Did limit the time though, as I got tired quite quickly.

God bless.