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Female Recovery from Breast Surgery

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RECOVERY FOLLOWING BREAST SURGERY FOR FEMALE PATIENTS PATIENT INFORMATION Recovery involves healing both on a physical and emotional level The time this takes varies from patient to patient This leaflet provides some information about short term elements that may develop after Breast Surgery Bruising and Haematoma Following Breast Surgery bruising is quite common It can be mild to moderate depending on the individual This is nothing to worry about and will eventually disappear Occasionally blood collects within the tissues surrounding the wound causing swelling discomfort and hardness These symptoms should be reported to your Breast Care Nurse Swelling Swelling is extremely common after breast surgery It may a ect the breast chest wall and sometimes the shoulder and arm This is all part of the healing process and swelling should lessen considerably 6 8 weeks after surgery Wearing a supportive non wired bra can help if experience discomfort or a feeling of heaviness Sometimes wearing it both day and night can boost comfort levels Pain Some pain is likely following the operation In the initial time following the operation it is advisable to

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take painkillers regularly as prescribed Your doctor or nurse will be best placed to advise you Pain and discomfort in the armpit and arm are even more likely if the lymph glands have been removed Some people can experience post operative discomfort for up to three months This is the normal wound healing process If ongoing problems are experienced please inform your Consultant or breast care nurse so that the pain can be assessed and treated appropriately Seroma Fluid can collect under the arm or along the mastectomy scarline This collection of fluid is known as a seroma and may be reabsorbed by the body in time However if it causes discomfort or is persistent it may become necessary to aspirate or draw o fluid using a small needle and syringe This can be performed in the Breast Care Centre In some cases the fluid may re accumulate and require more than one aspiration If this occurs please contact the breast care nurses Wound Infection Wound infections can develop any time after surgery until the wound has healed Wound healing typically takes 2 3 weeks The following are symptoms which may indicate a wound infection

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The wound feels tender swollen or warm to the touch Redness in the area Discharge from the wound Feeling generally unwell with fever If any of the above symptoms are experienced please contact your Consultant or breast care nurse Sometimes a course of antibiotics may be required These should quickly resolve the infection and any associated discomfort

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Loss of Altered Sensation Following an operation it is normal to experience change in sensation to the area This is caused by trauma to the nerves during surgery which can lead to a variety of symptoms including Loss of reduced sensation numbness Coldness in the area Sensitivity to touch or pressure Burning or tingling sensation These symptoms will improve or completely resolve approximately three months after surgery Very rarely some patients are left with some permanent change in sensation to the area If you have any concerns or queries please contact the Consultant or breast care nurse in our Breast Care Centre on 01 293 8686

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Version 2 01 2023 Beacon Hospital Sandyford Dublin 18 D18 AK68 Tel 01 293 6600 www beaconhospital ie

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