When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can feel like the world has come crashing down. For women who have to undergo a mastectomy, the experience can be even more overwhelming. But with the right information and support, it is possible to recover from mastectomy and regain your sense of self-confidence and femininity. Here are some tips from the experts on how to make the most of your recovery process.
1. Wear Post-Mastectomy Bras
One of the most important things a woman can do after a mastectomy is to wear a good post-mastectomy bra. A post-mastectomy bra provides support and comfort for the breasts, which can be especially helpful in the early stages of recovery. Finding a post-mastectomy bra that fits well and feels comfortable is also important, as this will help make the healing process more comfortable.
Many different types of post-mastectomy bras are available on the market, so it is essential to research and find one that meets your needs. Some women prefer wireless bras, while others prefer bras with built-in prostheses. There are also specialty bras for women who have undergone reconstruction surgery. Whatever type of post-mastectomy bra you choose, make sure you know where to buy a breast prosthesis in Florida and get it fitted by a professional to ensure that you get the best possible fit. The right post-mastectomy bra can make a big difference in your comfort level during the healing process.
2. Use Silicone Gel Sheeting
Silicone gel sheeting is a common treatment for scarring. It is often recommended for people with surgery, such as a mastectomy. Silicone gel sheeting can help to reduce the appearance of scars and make them less noticeable.
There are a few different types of silicone gel sheeting available. Some are adhesive, and some are not. The adhesive sheets are usually easier to use but can be more expensive. Non-adhesive sheets may be less expensive, but they can be more difficult to use.
If you choose to use silicone gel sheeting, it is crucial to follow the instructions carefully. Make sure to clean the skin before applying the sheeting, and ensure it is in place correctly. It is also important to replace the sheeting as directed by your doctor or therapist.
3. Don’t Skip Physical Therapy
Remembering surgery is the first step in recovering from a mastectomy is important. The following physical therapy is essential to restoring strength and range of motion to the affected arm and shoulder. Many women try to skip this step, thinking they can get by with just a little bit of at-home therapy. Unfortunately, this often leads to further problems down the road.
Physical therapy after a mastectomy is not only about rebuilding muscle tissue. It’s also about retraining the muscles to do their job properly. This takes time and patience, and it’s best done in a professional setting with the guidance of a physical therapist specializing in post-mastectomy care.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
Rest is essential for healing in all cases, but especially after surgery. When resting, your body can focus on repairing the damage done during the operation. This is why doctors usually tell their patients to take things easy for a few weeks after surgery – resting is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth recovery.
So if you’ve had surgery, get plenty of rest. That means going to bed early and taking naps whenever possible. If you are having trouble sleeping following your surgery, there are a few things you can do to make things easier:
- Make sure your room is dark and quiet
- use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones if necessary
- Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime
- Talk to your doctor about taking sleeping pills or using relaxation techniques if needed
5. Care for Your Post-Mastectomy Drain Properly
After a mastectomy, you will likely have a drain in your chest to help remove any excess fluid. It is essential to care for this drain properly so that you can heal quickly and without complications. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
- Keep the area around the drain clean and dry. This means washing your hands thoroughly before touching them and changing your dressings as directed by your doctor.
- Change the drainage bag when it becomes full. You will be given specific instructions on how often to do this, typically every 6-8 hours. Be sure to wear gloves when changing the bag, and dispose of the old bag in a safe manner
- Apply pressure to the area around the drain if you experience any pain or swelling. This can help relieve discomfort and speed up the healing
- Care for Your Post-Mastectomy Drain Properly
- Be sure to check the drain site for any redness, discharge, or other signs of infection. If you notice any of these, be sure to contact your doctor right away
6. Get Some Exercise
In addition to the other tips listed here, getting some exercise is one of the most important things you can do to help your body recover from surgery and radiation. Exercise helps improve circulation, which in turn helps reduce swelling and inflammation. It also helps strengthen your immune system, which can be weakened by cancer treatment.
Most doctors recommend a moderate level of exercise for cancer patients. This means 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. You don’t need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment – there are plenty of activities you can do right at home. Make sure to start slowly and build up gradually so as not to overtax your body.
7. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating nutritious foods will help your body heal and rebuild. A healthy diet also helps reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. There are many ways to eat healthily, and finding what works best for you is crucial.
Everyone should follow some basic guidelines when eating healthily. Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Choose lean protein sources such as fish or poultry instead of red meat, and limit processed foods, sugary foods, and drinks. It is also essential to drink plenty of water each day.
These are just a few things you can do to help your body recover from a mastectomy. It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and listen to your body – it will tell you what it needs. You will be on the road to recovery with a little care and attention.