Some of the following tips can be taken into consideration in order to get a quick recovery from lumpectomy.
- Firstly, lumpectomy, just like any other surgical procedure leaves the patient very weak and tired. So, a good rest can help recover from this state of fatigue and weakness.
- Taking pain medications as prescribed by the physician can help reduce the pain considerably and allow the patient to feel much more at ease.
- Since the patient is not allowed to take a bath before the drains and staples are removed, she can go in for sponge baths, which will make her feel quite refreshed.
- Sports bras that give good support to the breasts should be used both during the day as well as in the night for a few days. This will restrict the movement and aid in reducing the pain. In case of larger breasts, the patient should avoid lying on the side which is operated, rather she should turn to the other side and use a pillow or cushion to give support to the operated breast.
- Instructions of the doctor regarding exercising should be followed diligently in order to keep the arms and shoulders in motion. This will help in quick recovery.
Steps Taken Post Surgery
Follow-up visits: Post surgery, the patient and her doctor should plan up the follow-up visits, which usually start 10 to 15 days later. Not only is the healing process monitored in these meetings but also discussions on the lab tests and their necessary remedies are done.
Radiation therapy: This is a standard follow-up treatment after about one month following lumpectomy. This therapy is given in order to completely eradicate any cancer cells that may have been missed out during lumpectomy. Typically, the patient is given this therapy for about six weeks after surgery. This is a daily therapy in which each session lasts for nearly 30 minutes and it does not cause any kind of pain. Some women who may have had small tumors are given local breast radiation twice daily for about five days.
Tissue sampling results: As soon as the results of the tissue sampling arrive, the doctor is able to determine whether a further surgery is required or not. If the tests show that the patient has clear margins then there is no need for any more surgeries. However, if the tests happen to reveal that the patient has positive margins, which means that the caner has spread to the other tissues as well, then there is need for another surgery. This is when the re-excision lumpectomy is carried out. Simply, re-excision means to surgically reopen the site of lumpectomy and remove a larger layer of tissues to ensure that the cancer is completely removed. If the tests show that the cancer has spread to the lymph area then the doctors go in for a chemotherapy, tamoxifen or hormone therapy.
If you have any complications while at home, call your doctor immediately.