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Back to Work After Surgery??

momgoose Member Posts: 71

Hi all. My double mastectomy with reconstruction is scheduled for a week from today (1/4). I currently work full-time from home for a hospital system doing desk work that is completely not physical other than some typing/mouse usage. I have had several other surgeries (4 minimally invasive back surgeries, although one included a spinal fusion with rods and screws) and a robot-assisted lap partial hysterectomy. I recovered very quickly and relatively easily from both, but this surgery is definitely full-on invasive! My question is, do you think two and half weeks of complete rest will be enough to return to desk work at home? I can take as many breaks as I want/need (my boss and team are very supportive) and I don't have to look presentable, LOL. I can wear my robe or pjs if need be.

Has anyone else had any experience with the timeline of going back to work at a desk job following this surgery? Am I being unrealistic? Thanks in advance,



  • rrobin0200
    rrobin0200 Member Posts: 80

    At 2.5 weeks post, I still had a total of 4 drains in. Those drains were so hindering and were such a nuisance. As long as you don’t have to lift your arms, and can take as many breaks as needed, i *think* you’ll be okay. Make sure to run it by your doctor. Only you will be able to make this decision about going back to work based off of how you feel. I can say that for me, 2.5 weeks post, I definitely wasn’t feeling like a champ, but, typing would have been okay for me for a few hours. I’m glad you have such a supportive boss! Keep your boss informed as to how you’re feeling throughout the day(s), so if you begin to fatigue, it won’t be so hard dropping down to only a few hours a day.. or none at all until you feel back to normal. Best of luck!

  • momgoose
    momgoose Member Posts: 71


    Thanks for weighing in on this topic. I just have no idea how tough this recovery will be. I've never been unable to fully use my arms, so this is making me nervous. I know if I needed more time off, I could take it, I just don't want to if I don't really need to either. I appreciate the insight.


  • brinkofeternity
    brinkofeternity Member Posts: 181

    What type of reconstruction are you having? I had DIEP flap and recovery from that was tough as I had drains for my abdomen too. Sitting at a desk and using a computer was fine for me though, as I didn't need to lift my arms above my shoulder.

  • kotchaj
    kotchaj Member Posts: 212

    Hi Momgoose,

    I had a single modified mastectomy and went back to work after 3 weeks with drains still in. The drains are the most annoying part and were actually the most painful for me during the healing process.

    I work at a desk job at a junior college and I was tired that first week, but did okay working. I think we are all different and my surgeon and oncologist were worried about me going back, but were finally okay with it. I think working from home and being able to take breaks when needed should be good. See you how feel.

  • lillyishere
    lillyishere Member Posts: 773

    I had DMX with 4 drains that took almost 3 weeks to get them out. They are annoying but the concern I had was the anesthesia I was under for the 4 hr surgery. My surgeon recommended taking 6 weeks out of work however, I took 4 weeks. I was ok to go in person however, I would get tired fast. I started the surgery on top shape and didn't have any other surgeries of medical problems other the BC. If you feel comfortable with your job and doesn't require much thinking and making decistions, I would start at 3 weeks after surgery.