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11 Tips for Empowering Mastectomy Recovery

11 Tips for Empowering Mastectomy Recovery
Linda Guerrera

Just the thought of mastectomy surgery can send your thoughts spiraling. You may be feeling lost and overwhelmed. Let us help you make recovery after mastectomy quicker and easier.  

Post-Mastectomy Care 

Mastectomy recovery can be a challenge. It’s not just about healing physically. The emotional aspect can be just as, if not more, difficult. Mental and physical well-being are equally important and go hand in hand in breast cancer surgery healing, and having the right support and self-care plan is important. 

1. Educate Yourself

Knowledge is power. The more you know about the procedure and mastectomy care, the more you can empower yourself. Your healthcare team is there to answer any questions you may have. Use this resource! They can provide you with answers to your specific questions and concerns. Understanding the procedure and any potential side effects will give you the knowledge and proper expectations that will go a long way in your healing.   

2. Set Realistic Goals

Mastectomy recovery is a gradual process. This is the time to be kind to yourself and understand that everyone heals differently. You may experience ups and downs in both physical and emotional recovery, and it is important to know that you may have good moments and times when you aren’t feeling so great.  Being aware of this will help you know that it’s all part of the healing process. If today isn’t such a great day, there is always tomorrow...and tomorrow will be better!  

3. Create a Support System

The people around you are a critical part of your emotional and physical recovery from mastectomy surgery. Having a supportive network of friends, family, and healthcare professionals is an important part of the healing process. Communicate with them! Let them know how you are feeling both physically and emotionally. You can also find support on the internet! There are many online groups dedicated to breast cancer support. Learning the experiences, setbacks, and triumphs of others will help you realize that you are not alone on this journey.  

4. Plan Ahead

Before surgery, make sure that you have a comfortable place to recover. Create an organized space where important items are within easy reach. You may want to prepare a few meals and freeze them so when you are home. There is one less thing to think about. While you are recovering, plan some things for the future. Having goals and something to look forward to will make healing easier.   

5. Embrace Self-Care

Remember that this is a time to focus on yourself. Proper nutrition is essential to mastectomy recovery. Make sure that you stay hydrated and get enough rest as well. Also, don’t forget that stress management is an important part of healing. Look into ways to manage stress with techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, etc.  

6. Manage Pain

Pain management is a vital part of mastectomy recovery. The better your body feels in body, the better you will feel emotionally, which means you will feel better overall. Your healthcare team is there to discuss pain management. There are many medications and techniques available that can relieve pain and discomfort. Discuss options with your healthcare provider, who can recommend medicines or other methods to alleviate post-surgery pain and discomfort.   

7. Physical Activity

Talk to your doctor about when you can start to reintroduce light physical activity into your daily routine. Not only is physical activity good for emotional and physical healing, but gentle exercises like walking and stretching can also prevent stiffness and improve circulation.  

8. Body Image

Love your body! Talk to a healthcare provider who specializes in body image issues. Explore your options for prosthetic bras and breast forms. If you are considering reconstruction surgery, ask your doctor or support group for recommendations from breast reconstruction surgeons. Anything that makes you feel more comfortable is a way toward complete healing.   

9. Scar Care

You can minimize scarring from breast cancer surgery in several ways. Ask your healthcare team about silicone gel sheets or creams. Some of these products are specifically designed for breast surgeries. Important note: Never expose scars to direct sunlight during the healing process.  

10. Mental Health Support

A mastectomy can be emotionally draining and challenging. Find support from a counselor, therapist, or support group. Your mental health is vital to your recovery. Getting help with any emotional struggles will make recovery easier and quicker.   

11. Stay Positive

During this time, it is super important to stay positive. Do things that you love to do! Listen to music, pain, and binge-watch your favorite sitcom. Whatever it is that makes you smile, do that! Remember to celebrate every victory, big and small. Every forward step is a step closer to recovery.   

Remember that everyone heals differently, and everyone’s recovery journey is unique. Give yourself the time you need to recover physically and emotionally. Talk to your healthcare team; that’s what they’re there for! Be patient and kind to yourself. Remember, mastectomy is a lifesaving surgery. Embrace your healing and live your best life! 

Products That Can Help With Mastectomy Care



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HPFY Linda Guerrera

Linda Guerrera

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Linda Guerrera has been the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You since 2022. A recipient of the New York State Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Work in Radio, she spent over ...

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