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June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
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]]>Previous]]> | ]]>Next]]> | ]]>Back to Breast Cancer Center]]> | Breast cancer- Mastectomy

When you awaken from surgery, you will be in the recovery room. Your breast area will be bandaged and a tube will be in place at the surgical site to drain away any fluid that may accumulate. Your throat may be sore from the tube that was placed in it to carry air to your lungs during surgery. You may also feel a little nauseated and have a dry mouth-common side effects of anesthesia.

You will spend an hour or so in the recovery room. Oxygen will be available in case you need it to ease your breathing. Wires may be taped to your chest to measure your heartbeat. An intravenous (IV) tube will be inserted into a vein in your arm to give fluid, nourishment, or medication after surgery. The IV will probably be removed after you begin to drink and eat.

It's common to feel drowsy for several hours after surgery. You may also feel some discomfort in your breast area. Some women experience numbness, tingling, or pain in the chest, shoulder area, upper arm, or armpit. Others feel pain in the breast that was removed. Doctors are not sure why this "phantom pain" occurs, but it does exist; it's not imaginary. If you are in pain, ask for medication to relieve it.

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