Would you go on holiday a day after a lumpectomy?

Hello everyone,

I’m having a lumpectomy and a sentinel node biopsy in a little more than a week.

The holiday in question is a mini-break (3 nights) in a B&B in Dorset. I booked this ages ago, to have something to look forward to once chemo would be over. I had expected to wait at least 4-6 weeks after the end of chemo to have surgery, but since then I’ve had the date confirmed as 4th November - just 3 weeks after my last chemo session and a day before I’m supposed to go on holiday.

What would you do? I can postpone the holiday at no cost, and go some other time, but I also think it could be a great way to convalesce.

I would really appreciate your thoughts and advice on this!


Personally, I’d postpone. I’ve had three lumpectomies over the years, and I can’t say I’ve felt like doing anything straight afterwards! I’d suggest that you’ll need time to recuperate from just the general anaesthetic, and if they take lymph nodes then you’re likely to have restricted arm movements for several weeks.

You’ll know yourself best, but if you can postpone easily then I wonder if you won’t enjoy the trip more when you’re a bit more recovered.


Personal choice I guess but I had full lymph removal so came home with a drain so home was best for me.

We are all different.


Hi  Spoutnik…good name!

Personally I wouldn’t …I have had 4 lots of surgery over the years and even with a WLE and no lymph node removal I still ended up with a drain on 2 occasions when I wasn’t expecting one.
Also my pain medication also gave me terrible constipation and I couldn’t have been anywhere but home.

My consultant stressed the need to take into consideration that surgery lowers the immune system therefore making Covid more of a risk ( my last surgery was May this year).

But we are definately all different…so no right or wrong…good luck with whatever you decide.


Hi Spoutnik, I love it that you are so positive and forward looking. My own experience is that I had a drain in after my lumpectomy which needed some management, including visits by a nurse to change the bag and check on drainage. Also, I was extremely tired although elated that the lump had gone. My surgeon went over the after effects of the surgery including what she called rest and respite from the trauma of surgery and advised at least three days bed rest to get rid of the anaesthetic, ensure the drain was functioning properly and stitches stayed in place. Unfortunately mine didn’t and I needed GP intervention at the incision point. You didn’t say wether you have been advised that you will have a drain or not . It was five days before the drain was removed and physical exercises had to start. My advice would be to wait a week until everything is stabilised then enjoy yourself. Good luck with it all. :four_leaf_clover:

Hi Spoutnik,

Personal decision…but for me (one lumpectomy and SNB, followed by 2 reductions on the big side) I wouldn’t want to be anywhere apart from at home for a couple of weeks after the op. It takes a while for our bodies to recover from anaesthetic, plus you want to avoid any risks of infection while recovering. Its also probably easier to get the right post op diet at home - after all 3 op’s I had more protein than I would usually eat - at every meal and was told my healing was extremely good.

Also - if you don’t feel up to being away and doing stuff will you enjoy it anyway? I’d say save until you have recovered more.

XX Seabreeze