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Breast Surgery - What to Expect Post-Operation

Things to take note of after breast/axilla surgery:

  1. Drowsiness/nausea – This is from the general anaesthesia, and you will recover from it by the next day. If warranted, medications for nausea/vomiting can be given if needed.
  2. Pain is usually tolerable and can be relieved with oral analgesia.
  3. Drain – If there is a drain from the operation, the nurses will advise you on drain care and you can return home with the drain. It will be removed a few days later in the clinic when the drain amount is low.
  4. Food – There is no specific dietary restriction, and we advise a healthy balanced diet as much as possible.
  5. If on blood thinning medications, you can restart these medications when advised by your doctor.
  6. A medical certificate will be issued which will excuse you from work. However, during this period, you should still be able to carry on with your activities of daily living and non-manual work, if you so wish, unless instructed otherwise.
  7. Avoid rubbing or scratching the wound. Non-strenuous exercise is possible after the operation, with the intensity adjusted to your physical fitness and comfort. We advise doing arm exercises, if prescribed by the physiotherapist.
  8. Wound care – We advise keeping the wound dry for the next few days post-operation. The wound is usually covered with a waterproof dressing or a layer of glue, which allows you to have a shower after the operation. Should you encounter any issues with your wound or dressing, please call the Breast Centre for advice.
  9. A bra can be worn after the operation and we advise using a bra with good support. In some cases of breast surgery, a special bra may be needed as advised by your doctor.
  10. There is usually an appointment to see the doctor 2-3 weeks post-operation. Prior to this, in some cases, there may be an appointment in a week’s time for our nursing staff to check your wound. Further treatment may be needed depending on the result of the removed breast/axilla specimen.

Finally, we wish you a speedy recovery!

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