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Packing a breast wound


Re: Packing a breast wound

Hi dorfy


Thanks for your post.


It sounds like you’re having a difficult time with wound healing.


Unfortunately, it’s not possible to say how often a breast wound should be packed as recommendations vary depending on the type of dressing being used.


There are dressings that are specifically designed to help control smell and excessive leakage.  As you say this is a problem it may be worth discussing this further with your breast care nurse. 


Some hospitals have a tissue viability nurse (a nurse who has further training in managing more challenging wounds) and if one is not already involved in your care, a referral can be made.  It may be that a different type of dressing would help manage this better for you.


With regard to possible infection, I wonder if a recent wound swab has been taken to confirm there is no infection.

It is normal to have some pain but this should be able to be controlled with painkillers. Do speak with your breast care nurse/GP if the pain is not well controlled.


I don’t know what information you have had around other factors which can affect wound healing. It is important to eat well as a healthy, balanced diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to help support wound healing.


If you do smoke, this can also delay would healing. It can help if you’re able to cut down smoking for a few after the surgery.


It may also be worth discussing with your surgeon/breast care nurse (if you haven’t already) what arm/shoulder exercises you should be doing right now.  Although it’s important to maintain movement and good circulation to the area, some surgeons may recommend a reduced routine or temporarily stopping them to help healing.


Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open. 


Please be aware that we will be closed on Monday 26 August due to the bank holiday.


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Care Nurse


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Packing a breast wound

How often to pack? My surgeon is packing it every 5 days which I think is to long, it smells and it’s leaking n they keep saying it’s not red so it’s not infected but it’s so painful