Once you are home, you should continue to exercise until you
have regained the full use of your arm. As you increase your
exercise and daily activities, be careful not to overdo. Take clues
from your body; rest before you become overly tired.
To keep your skin soft and to promote healing, you may want to
massage your incision gently with cocoa butter or vitamin E cream.
As time goes by and the incision begins to heal, the redness,
bruising, and swelling will disappear. As you are healing, be sure
to watch for any signs of infection such as swelling, inflammation,
tenderness, or drainage. If you see any of these signs or develop a
fever, call your doctor.
Although each woman recovers from a mastectomy at her own rate,
you will probably discover that within 2 to 3 weeks after surgery
you will be doing most of the things you have always done. Within
about 6 weeks you will be able to resume your normal activities.
Over time the numbness under your arm will decrease, but total
feeling may not return for a long time.