Mastectomy Recovery–Making It Smoother!

Mastectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removal of the whole breast or both breasts (double mastectomy) usually as part of a breast cancer treatment. It is generally a safe operation but can be mentally traumatic for the patient who is faced with the loss of an important part of the body. It can affect the woman’s confidence to a great extent.

Post-surgery, the mastectomy recovery period is crucial. Not only do you have to deal with pain and discomfort, but also have to cope with negative thoughts and fears of an uncertain future. A lot of determination is required for acceptance and the willingness to take life head-on. Your approach is key in this matter.

Before mastectomy surgery

The best way to be able to handle all that comes with the breast cancer surgery is to do your homework before you go for the procedure. This will help in making your recovery smoother and quicker. It would be advisable to prepare a list of all what you may require once you are back from the hospital and make your purchases beforehand.

The primary changes in a woman’s life soon after breast cancer surgery would be in the clothes she wears. She will discover that dressing up normally is not possible in the first few weeks of surgery and hence, will need to get an alternative wardrobe ready. And for that, she will want to get some shopping done in advance.

Post-operative care for mastectomy

Healing time is different for different women. Generally, complete healing may take four to six weeks after which you can wear breast prosthesis but, you should be able to move around and resume some of the normal activities sooner than this. For this you need to have clothes that are easy to put on and comfortable because the surgical site will be a bit sore. And more importantly, you will be carrying drains which are bulky and unmanageable.

The first task at hand, before going in for surgery, is to purchase clothing to take care of the drains. You do not have to wear these under the dresses you have been wearing pre-surgery because the drains are likely to stick out under your outfit and this will make you conscious.

Managing drain tubes after mastectomy

There are many elegant and versatile breast cancer recovery camisoles in the market which have been designed specially to accommodate the drains. They have pockets sewn into carry the drains and an added advantage is that there are also pockets to carry post mastectomy breast forms. Soon after breast cancer surgery, it may be okay to wear soft, fiber-filled breast forms which can be slipped into the pockets.

An example of such a camisole is the Softee Roo Prosthetic Camisole. Another one is the Nearly Me After Surgery camisole which features hidden individual pockets and drainage pouch. The Wear Ease New Dawn camisole has inner elastic which allows repositioning of the pouches as per needs. An added advantage here is that once the tubes are removed, the pouches can be taken off. Mastectomy patients advise going for high neckline dresses so that if there are any scars they will not show up and make you feel ill at ease.

Buying clothes after mastectomy

Most feasible and practical is to opt for outfits which are loose fitting and have front open design or are slip-ons. Since after breast cancer surgery, there will be restricted mobility and you will find it difficult to lift the arms therefore, front buttons would be convenient. During the cold weather, a button-down vest will come in handy. It will keep you warm and at the same time, cover up your healing chest adequately. And try to avoid dresses with large armholes, especially if you have had the lymph nodes removed and that area is still scarred.

The Amoena Valetta T-shirt features a built-in shelf bra and has a round neckline that takes care of modesty, yet provides a fashionable and stylish look. The exclusive Amoena rhinestone detail on the sleeve adds feminine flair.

Your nightwear, too, would be best comfortable and loose fitting. There are a number of such designs in the market which are meant as mastectomy recovery nightwear. The pink lace gown from Still You is apt for sleepwear or loungewear. It is lightweight, comfortable and with a soft elastic band for after-surgery comfort. The high waist Compression Capri from Wear Ease is ideal for daily wear providing immediate relief from swelling due to lymphedema and postmastectomy recovery.

Taking yourself outside your comfort zone is never easy. It is painful and traumatizing but the willpower and determination to meet all challenges can extend this zone.

 

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