1. You can expect to stay in hospital overnight following surgery. Some patients who undergo reconstruction may need to stay 2 days.
2. You will have a surgical bra or binder in place immediately following surgery
3. You can expect to have 1–2 drains in incision area after surgery. This drain serves as a suction device to remove fluid that accumulates under the skin.
4. You can expect to go home with the drain(s). Your nurse will teach you how to empty the drain(s) prior to discharge. If your drainage falls to 30cc or less in 24hrs for 2 consecutive days, call the office. If it is over the weekend, call the office on Monday morning. The drain will be removed in the office.
5. You cannot take a shower until drain is removed. If dressing is directly over drain site, do not remove dressing as this is keeping drain in place.
6. You will need to keep dry dressing over incision until staples/sutures are removed. You will usually need to follow-up in office 7–10 days post-op depending on amount of drainage. If surgical dressing utilized causes skin irritation or blistering from tape, please remove and apply new dry dressing (panty liners or sanitary napkins work well for this placing pad side down over incision).
7. Do not need to lift anything heavier than 5–10 pounds with the affected side.
8. You will be instructed in various arm exercises upon your first follow up visit to the office to help restore your arm’s normal range of motion.
9. You can generally expect path report back in 3 days. Your doctor will discuss this with you in greater detail upon your return visit to the office.
10. Call the office for any fever above 101 degrees, redness, drainage from incision, or increased swelling around incision. If fluid accumulates under skin after drain is removed, you will need to come back into office to let your physician drain the fluid.
11. If you choose to have a prosthesis, you will be given a prescription to be fitted usually 4 to 6 weeks from the time of your mastectomy.
12. Various support groups are available for those patients that are interested; please ask the nurse for information.