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Mastectomy

5 REPLIES 5
Strawberry
Member

Re: Mastectomy

Hi Charina

 

I had a left mastectomy, removal of sentinal lymph node and DIEP reconstruction last November.  I was able to carry light objects in left hand after  8 weeks and heavier items by 12 weeks. Because I had a large abdominal wound I avoided heavy lifitng with right arm for a few weeks.   I found that my left arm was less flexible after the operation but the physio exercises did help ease it and by 12 weeks I had full mobility and no pain.  You will be advised by a physio probably before the operation and definaitley afterwards and also given a leaflet with suggested exercises; I still do the stretching exercises as my left armpit area can get a bit tighter if I dont.  Take as much advice as you can from the professionals and if you can find a massage therapist who specialises in helping with scar tissue then you could try that. 

 

The most important thing is to look after yourself and to ask other people for help, although I thought that perhaps I would be back working after 2/3 weeks it did take longer and looking back I would say listen to your body and if in doubt think about how you would advise somebody else in your position.  

 

All the very best for the operation and recovery.

 

 

Lauramitchell3
Member

Re: Mastectomy

Hi Im 31 and just had a mastectomy on my right breast and had 37 lymph nodes removed. I had this 3 weeks ago. And my right arm is still sore still a little numb. My advice keep doing your physio to help that arm mine is coming along great still hurts but every day I can lift it that little bit higher. X
Evie-S
Community Champion

Re: Mastectomy

Hi Charina

Can I just check whether you are having the nodes removed at the same time as your mastectomy as that will make a bit of a difference in the advice you will be given.

 

I had a right side mastectomy and nodes removed at the same time just over a year ago. I was warned not to lift heavy objects at all in the future and not to grip things for long periods of time - as both of these things can increase your risk of lymphoedema. However it does seem that different surgeons/consultants advise different things so do speak to your team about how to limit your risk of lymphoedema. I let others lift heavy suitcases for me but I do lift shopping bags. I was told not to carry heavy shopping bags for any length of time but to and from the car is fine (I hope). I also understand that it depends what your body was used to lifting before the op, so you may well find that you are fine to carry on lifting patients as that is what your body was used to lifting. I hope that makes some sense.

 

Happy to answer anything else, but I would chat to your team about your specific circumstances.

Wishing you all the best for your operation and recovery.

Evie xx

 

 

Feenix
Member

Re: Mastectomy

Hi Charina

I had a mx 3 weeks ago. I’m back driving, doing normal housework stuff, good range of movement, keeping up with exercises, just not lifting anything heavy yet. I’m not working but if I was, in my old job... paed nurse, I probably would have expected to be off for at least a couple of months. You might look at a phased return to work when you are ready to go back... get occupational health involvement? Xx

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Mastectomy

Hi Charina, I had a left sided mastectomy in November 17 and was off work for a month afterwards.  I'd say heavy lifting is a no no for some time but you can get on with light weight activities fairly quickly.  Here's my blog with lots of tips on how I coped http://Lifeafterlola.com

im pretty much back to normal now except for some numbness in the armpit and slight stiffness/pulling when I raise my arm to 10 o'clock position.  Xxx

Charina _sil
Member

Mastectomy

I am 48 year old a physical therapist by profession. I am going to undergo a mastectomy on my right breast leaving the lymph nodes out next month and I am just worried about the outcome. How long will the recovery be and will the surgery affect the strength on my right arm. Will I be able to handle lifting heavy patients to walk or transfer as part of therapy? Will I be effective as a therapist since I am the breadwinner in my family. Just need some input on what to expect. Thanks