What Should You Know Before a Mastectomy?

· November 2, 2016
It is important that you are well educated about mastectomy as it can cause physical pain, result in complications and lead to breast reconstruction.

Sometimes cases of breast cancer will result in a mastectomy. It’s not the first choice, but occasionally it is the only option that could save your life.

To understand this procedure a little better, it’s important to learn what the surgical removal of part or all of the breast entails.

It’s easy to write it down or read it, but going through the entire process is extremely difficult. 

That’s why it’s important that you change the way you think about this form of breast cancer treatment. You need to understand that having a mastectomy is a big life change.

Recently, even some women who have just been diagnosed with breast cancer have chosen to have this operation in a preventative manner.

Although this is not a terrible choice, it’s a very personal decision. It may not even be required if you don’t have a family history or a genetic mutation that increases your risk.

These are the things you should know before having a mastectomy.

1. It is physically different for every woman

Some people may experience more pain than others. Depending on your body, you might find that your recovery time takes longer than the norm, which is 12 weeks.

In the end it is your body that decides when you’ll be able to return to your normal routine, whether it’s sooner or later than you had hoped.

This is something that you can prepare for: have someone to help you after your mastectomy. It’s important to be sure you’ll have someone by your side.

The first two weeks after surgery will be very complicated. It will affect your mobility for even simple things, like opening a bottle of water or combing your hair.

This is the time when you’ll start to worry about the pain that your mastectomy will cause. You should know that some women don’t experience terrible pain. In fact, some of them feel nothing after their surgery.

Others have a sensation of pressure and nothing else.

2. A mastectomy can have complications

A mastectomy is a surgery just like any other, so it’s important that you mentally prepare yourself for any complications associated with your body or your health.

Some women don’t feel like the surgery was a big deal, while others are greatly inconvenienced by it.

One impact is that your breathing may become shallow due to the pain. In addition, you might develop pneumonia due to a lack of filtration in your lungs. You must take care of yourself in the days following surgery as this is when you run the greatest risk of infection.

Another consequence is constipation. This usually results from not understanding the effects of anesthesia and the narcotics that you will be prescribed for pain.

These drugs can cause you to spend a night in the emergency room because you haven’t had a bowel movement for five days.

It’s important to talk with your doctor to get suggestions for what to do to prevent this. A diet that’s high in fiber can be helpful.

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3. Breast reconstruction is an option

The subject of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is a sensitive issue that is unique to the needs of each woman.

Some women choose not to have reconstruction because of personal reasons, while others believe that they need to be at peace with their new body.

While having breasts is associated with beauty, some women suffer during the process of reconstruction. Others who had very large breasts may feel freed from back pain and choose not to reconstruct them.

Regardless, you must analyze your personal needs before deciding whether to go to through the reconstruction process.

Talk about your concerns and don’t be afraid of your mastectomy

Having a mastectomy is a very important step that you take in life, so you should neither fear it nor take it lightly.

Talk to your doctor and if you agree that it’s necessary, make sure that you completely understand everything that this procedure means.