After a mastectomy or breast reconstruction from a plastic surgeon, you will experience challenges in embracing your new body and your new “normal.” Although every woman’s experience is different, these five tips can help you prepare for your recovery
- Mastectomy recovery products
Post-surgery mastectomy bras can help with any discomfort and support your surgical drain tube sites through the healing process, even helping prevent blood clots post op and lymphedema cancer cell complications. These bras are also gentle during radiation therapy or any other breast conserving surgery
When looking for different types of mastectomy bras, it is essential to shop for comfort, and there are a few features to look for in particular.
Look for bras that feature adjustable straps and closures to help give you a better fit. Wide bands beneath the breasts and across the shoulders help keep the bra in place without digging into sensitive surgical sites.
Seamless bras are also a good choice, as they are better for sensitive skin, especially around incisions. Natural fibers and breathable fabrics provide comfort and ventilation, and it is best always to avoid underwire during recovery.
Finding a good compression bra before your surgery is an essential part of your post surgical healing. They offer coverage to the back, breasts, and underarm tissues and help prevent swelling as you heal.
Compression bras also prevent the skin from shifting around your stitches, and the consistent pressure on these parts of the breast reduces puckering around scar tissue after the removal of the breast tissue.
- General comfort
After a nipple sparing mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, prophylactic mastectomy, or any other breast surgery, sleeping laying flat can be uncomfortable, and it is best to always sleep with your torso elevated to promote healing. Having a recliner at home during this time will be very helpful.
Another way to increase your comfort is surrounding yourself with support pillows while you rest, and a weighted blanket can afford added comfort.
Before your surgery, put together a basket of things you may need and place it beside your chair or resting area. This can include extra blankets or pillows, water bottles, a phone, journal, a book, snacks, or other things to keep you busy while you heal.
- Meals for after a mastectomy
Cooking may be a difficult chore for the first week or so after your surgery.
Pre-made meals, like fruit salads and vegetable trays with dip, can help ensure you are eating healthy foods. Making meals and freezing or placing them in the refrigerator is another way to ensure you have good food without too much effort, and it is best to stock up with at least two weeks worth of food and meals for after your surgery.
- Stretching and exercising
It can take eight weeks or more to regain full movement of your arms and shoulders following mastectomy removing surgery, and there are specific exercises you can do to help strengthen these muscles with and without drain tubes after receiving the go-ahead from your doctor
- Working with your fitter post-mastectomy
Your fitter can support you through every step of your recovery and provide you with the products you need to make it as comfortable as possible.
Building a personal relationship and becoming comfortable with your fitter is important. They can help you navigate the various post-surgery mastectomy bras for sale from different brands and retailers and assist you in finding compression wear as well as breast forms and mastectomy bras and other wear for other occasions.
Most importantly, your fitter will help you find the right fit for your mastectomy wear, an important part of mitigating potential issues with back and neck pain.
The period following a mastectomy can be trying, but keep in mind that you will feel better again, and your body will amaze you with its ability to heal and progress after a mastectomy.