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What happens if you use your arm too much post mastectomy

I just had mastectomy with TE/implant based reconstruction on my dominant side and I'm finding it hard not to use the arm for stuff like mousing on the computer. I am not doing any heavy lifting but I get bored and am on my computer a lot. I'm curious what happens if I use the arm too much. Thanks! And can't wait to get the drains out….



  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 162

    Hi @saf1234. How are you feeling? I hope you are doing well. I remember my plastic surgeon telling me that the more I’m using my arm, the more fluid my body would produce and it would mean the drain would have to stay in longer. The drains tell on us if we are doing more than we should be!! But he okayed me using my computer as long as my arm was adequately supported on my desk.

    You can certainly ask your PS, but I would think you are fine using your computer, maybe just not for long durations.

    It was a bit hard to gauge what was overdoing it because I had no pain, I was all numb, so I had to be extra careful. Normally we might expect twinges of pain to clue us in but all sensations are so distorted after this type of surgery. Mine was my dominant arm too. He really didn’t want me raising my arm up and out, he suggested I get a sling to remind me to keep my elbow tucked in.

    Are you noticing any extra swelling under your arm, in your armpit? That happened when I tried doing too much in the beginning. That and extra drain output. I know it’s hard not to freely use your arm, especially if you feel fine and have no discomfort … but please be careful!! There’s a lot of tissue healing that’s happening and also your body will be regenerating blood supply to the skin. Take care!!

  • saf1234
    saf1234 Member Posts: 5

    Thanks Needs! That is really helpful. I do have the expectable drain output for the number of days in post op but no areas of fluid collection. I appreciate your suggestion to talk to the PS! I am feeling overall well - just the drains are a little uncomfortable so yeah, I'm eager to get them out!