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Taking Care of Yourself

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
 
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Taking Care of Yourself

Previous | Next | Back to Breast Cancer Center | Breast cancer- Mastectomy

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.

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