The Recovery Period
The post operative recovery period at home is usually for a couple of weeks. There are not many precautions to be taken, actually. Most patients are discharged home with the drain tube (the tube which comes out from the arm pit and is connected to a container). Care of the tube is simple, patients are educated about the same. Following are few of the points which patients always wish to know, regarding the recovery period:
Diet: No dietary restrictions as such, except if there are undelying problems lile Diabetes etc. A good balanced diet is perfectly fine. Even an ice cream once in a while is ok!
Activity She can move around the house, can also go down for a walk in the garden. She can wear a 'sling bag' on the shoulder and place the drain in that bag and cover with a thin shawl or something; that way the drain can be hidden from public view. Walking in an open space is always helpful. At home, routine activities can go on, being careful about the drain. The only restriction is - Not to go near the gas - till the drain is not removed. And of course, she is expected to do the shoulder exercises regularly.
Drain care: Explained in detail below.
Pain around site of surgery: Explained in detail below.
Dressing: Breast cancer surgeries are 'clean' surgeries and repeated dressings are not needed. We just call the patient once, about a few days after discharge, to have a look at the wound and ensure it is healing well (once in a while, people do get wound healing issues, especially if diabetic).
Follow up visits: Explained in detail below.
Overall, it is generally a very smooth, almost painless recovery for most patients. In any case, if problems crop up, we are always around to help.