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POST SURGERY

You will need to see your surgeon 7-10 days after your operation. An appointment will be arranged for you.  At this appointment your surgeon will provide your pathology results and recommend a treatment plan. The nurses/surgeon will check your breast wound and if required change your dressings.

A patient sometimes needs further treatment following surgery for cancer. This is decided when the results of specimens taken at the operation have been fully analysed.

There are several types of treatment available, all of which will be discussed with the patient when they consult the radiologist and/or oncologist.

The treatment chosen will be the most appropriate to reduce, as much as possible, the chances of any further problems.

You choose what time you want to leave hospital after surgery. This is usually a few hours after surgery when you are comfortable, have eaten, drunk, passed urine and walked safely. You must leave with an adult.

Before you leave your ward nurse will explain what you need to know or do. They will give advice about any medicines prescribed.

If required you will also see

  • A breast care nurse.
  • A physio who will teach you shoulder and arm exercises. You will be given an exercise information book to take home.

If required please follow the exercise program advised/ in the exercise book.

The best exercise is getting back to your normal daily routine and activities as quickly as possible: washing, dressing, brushing your hair etc, preparing light food etc

Heavy lifting (shopping etc) and use of gym/weights should be avoided for at least a 7-10 days

You can drive a car when you feel comfortable and safe to perform an emergency stop.

Please make sure you have pain relief tablets at home (paracetamol (Panadol) and Ibuprofen are usually enough). These can be bought very cheaply from your local pharmacy.

If required the hospital can provide stronger pain relief tablets to take home. They will invoice you or your insurer/sponsor.

Stronger pain tablets (EG co-codamol) may cause constipation so take precautions!

Please take your usual medicines as prescribed.

A bra is for your comfort: it is not essential to wear or buy a surgery bra

M&S has a good range of post-surgery bras if you want one.  Sports bras that fasten at the front can be supportive but buy a bigger size than usual. 

Wear bra’s and clothes that are comfortable and loose – button up shirts are good because you don’t need to lift your arms above your head.

The dressing covering your surgery wound should not be disturbed or changed until the appointment with your surgeon.

Please keep the wound dressing as dry as possible. If it gets wet in the bath or shower, air dry or use a hairdryer on the WARM (not hot) setting

Please avoid perfume, talcum powder and body lotion around the wound until it is sufficiently healed. This will usually take 3-4 weeks.

Wound infection:
Infection is not common after straightforward breast surgery but changes to look out for include:

  • Wound area/breast/armpit becoming very red or hot to touch
  • Swelling that makes the skin tight, shiny and stretched
  • Fluid that leaks beyond the dressing.

Sometime a wound infection can make you feel unwell with shivering shaking and a raised temperature.  Infections may require antibiotics.

It is normal to experience bruising, colour and sensation changes.

Bleeding:
Bleeding is not common but can happen after surgery: either at 24-48hrs or around day 10.  Bleeding is associated with sudden pain and extreme swelling of the breast or armpit area with blood escaping from the wound. It is never life threatening but can be very uncomfortable and may require a second operation to remove the blood clot.

If you think you have an emergency please ring our Nurses at 108 Harley Street:

0207 563 1234

Monday to Thursday: 0800-1800hrs
Monday to Friday:  0800-1730hrs

Your ward at Harley Street Clinic (0)2079357700 or Portland Hospital:

Monday to Friday/weekend: 1730-0800hrs 

If it is not an emergency but you are worried/want advice a please ring our Nurses:

0207 563 1234

Monday to Thursday: 0800-1800hrs
Monday to Friday:  0800-1730hrs

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