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What to expect after Mastectomy/reconstruction

I'm scheduled for Mastectomy/reconstruction Monday, May 15th. I'm getting more and more nervous as the day gets closer. I have been told TRex arms for the first few weeks and not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. MY PS has a whole list of do's and dont's along with a list of medicines and when and how to take them. I just can't imagine what it will be like to not move my arms beyond 90 degrees. My husband and my kids will help with the day to day, and my mom is committed to coming everyday to help with everything else. I'm not even sure what I'm asking, I'm just rambling and nervous. What is recovery like? Pain? How do I comb or wash my hair? No real shower for 2-3 weeks? How do you put clothes on? I know I'm not alone and my family and friends are so supportive, but I literally don't get how this will work. Any wisdom, kind words or suggestions would be really appreciated. I'm so glad this forum exists, reading all of the threads has been so helpful.


  • snm
    snm Member Posts: 24

    I just posted "Tips for Bilateral Mastectomy with Immediate Tissue Expander". I provided details of my journey with bilateral mastectomy with immediate tissue expander placement. Please take a look as I think it will help you get an idea of what to expect, but please keep in mind that everyone's experiences are a different variation.

    Best regards,

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 6,966

    Hi @dlattimore22,

    We're sure you'll get some more helpful responses here soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share this page from our site on Mastectomy: What to Expect.

    In addition, there's a super helpful thread here on preparing for mastectomy:

    We hope this helps!

    —The Mods

  • bennybear
    bennybear Member Posts: 244

    wishing you luck, I’m two weeks out. Make sure that you have button up shirts and pjs or nightshirts. That will really help. Your doctor will telling about showering. I’ve been able to since 48 hours, but carefully.
    I wash my hair in the kitchen sink, and my husband has been very helpful.
    all the best!

  • lotusconnie1999
    lotusconnie1999 Member Posts: 39

    dlattimore, Best of luck to your surgery and recovery! I will be thinking of you!


  • lotusconnie1999
    lotusconnie1999 Member Posts: 39

    Thinking of you are you doing? Best wishes.


  • dlattimore22
    dlattimore22 Member Posts: 6

    Surgery went well, so relived to have it out me. Preliminary pathology is negative in nodes. I'm sore, but pain is not too bad. Thank you for checking on me.

  • lotusconnie1999
    lotusconnie1999 Member Posts: 39

    Great news dlattimore! I am very happy for you!!!