Recovering after a Mastectomy

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    Check with your physician about bathing restrictions during the post-operative period. If you are not permitted to shower while the drains are in place, you may consider using dry shampoo, having a family member or friend wash your hair for you in the sink, or making an appointment for a hair wash and blow dry at a local salon. A sponge bath while sitting at the sink or just using baby wipes may be the best option for cleansing your body without breaking the rules. Lotions, powders, and deodorants...Read More
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    Occupational and physical therapists love to talk about bed mobility with their patients. And if you think about it, moving in bed is an important skill to learn after any type of surgery. Getting in and out of bed can be really difficult during the first few days after mastectomy surgery for breast cancer. Your shoulders, chest, and abdominal muscles may be sore. If you have had a flap procedure, the donor site will be sore as well. One thing you should know is that hospital beds are not made for...Read More
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    Challenges that many women have reported early in the postoperative period after a mastectomy for breast cancer include difficulties reaching for things, getting in and out of bed, getting comfortable in bed, wiping themselves in the bathroom, changing hospital gowns, and pushing the IV pole. One thing you should know is that almost all hospitals have some type of rehabilitation department. These departments are usually made up of occupational and physical therapists who specialize in helping people...Read More

Meet the Expert!

Amy Curran Baker

Amy Curran Baker, MA, OTR/L, has over 13 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist, including treating adult populations at all stages of post-surgical recovery. Ms. Baker became interested in mastectomy/reconstruction care in 2008 after helping her sister Linda recover from a prophylactic mastectomy. Less than two months later, Ms. Baker was diagnosed with breast cancer herself and underwent a mastectomy with reconstruction. Ms. Baker is an active breast cancer awareness advocate having participated...

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