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Lumpectomy Recovery
Ise
20 Posts

I have my lumpectomy this Tuesday. What is the recovery like? My surgeon simply said everyone is different, which I totally understand but didn't give me an approximate range and couldn't say anything regarding pain or restrictions. He didn't mention any exercises either but I keep reading about them here.

I have a root canal infection that I need to get taken care of after the surgery so I'm trying to figure out when to book it. I'm also wondering if I need to get someone in to help with my 4 and 6 year old in case they are sick or need to stay home. Just wanted to make sure I'm prepared. Any insight would be great! Thanks!!

7 Replies
samie
8 Posts

@Ise Your surgeon is right that everyone is different. Are you also having lymph nodes removed? My surgeon had said I would be good in a couple of weeks. I found it took me longer than that and there were days I was okay to do things around the house and other days I was too tired to do anything. Remember you need to heal and it is surgery.
I think you should plan to have help for the kids and if you find you are recovering quickly and don't need it you can always change that. I think for me, I just wanted to be prepared so had my sis come help out with the kids (mine are older), had meals planned for a couple of weeks and cleaning and laundry taken care of. As I regained strength, i did what I could/wanted to.

They gave me stretches to do after the surgery (at discharge) and I found that even at my follow up appointment the surgeon didn't say much about what I should do to maintain my range of motion and strength. There are some great videos on some of the cancer sites websites too. I ended up booking physiotherapy appointments, that's helped a lot. I also booked a couple of sessions with my massage therapist - I found i had a lot of stiffness in my neck and shoulders and pain in the other shoulder (likely was compensating for the diminished strength).

I hope that helps. I think in terms of your root canal infection, you may have to factor in how bad your pain is with that too and whether it is something that can wait or needs to be done sooner. If I had to do dental work after, I would have planned for it maybe week 3-4???

@Ise for your recovery, it depends on what was done during your surgery. My lumpectomy was the removal of a 1 cm tumor. Then I had a mastectomy/expander surgery which also include the removal of lymph nodes and a 2.5 cm tumor. Both were day surgeries and the lumpectomy I believe I took 3 days off work to recover. The mastectomy/expander surgery was 4 to 6 weeks off and it included exercises to regain movements in my arm due to the lymph node removal.

Essjay
2156 Posts

@Ise - I had 10 days off work, and it took about 7 to get over the anaesthetic for me. I did have an allergy to codeine which I also had to get over.

As for exercise, I had strict instructions from my surgeon. I was allowed back in the gym to walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical without arms after 2 weeks. A week later I could use my arms, and two weeks later I was allowed to lift weights. I walked my dog using a waist belt for a couple of weeks so she didn’t pull my arm with.

The mobility exercises are really important as when you have radiation you will need to get your arms over your head to hold a bar to hold you in position.

How are you feeling today?

Heres a link to the brochure I had with the exercises in it


Tan65
36 Posts

@Ise I had a lumpectomy last summer to remove a 2.5 cm tumour-no lymph nodes. I took all that week off work and worked half days the next week. I was mainly just so tired! There was minimal pain. I slept most of four days following surgery-just felt like a really bad hangover. I would not have been able to cope with little kids. Take any help you can get for the first week for sure and don't put yourself through a root canal for at least another month.

Essjay
2156 Posts

@Ise how are you doing? Hope everything went well and you are doing ok. Essjay.

Ise
20 Posts

@Essjay Surgery went well. No one told me otherwise. I'm still tired and my arm is a bit stiff. I'm not sure if it's from the stitches or the dressing at this point. I did get the exercises book before surgery. I will see how it goes. I think they removed 3 lymph nodes as well. I have a follow-up appointment with the surgeon in 3 weeks to review pathology. My son who is 4 has the stomach flu so I'm trying to stay away from him when I can. Luckily my daughter is okay so far. My root canal pain was gone after surgery but came back yesterday. I just realized it could have just been the anaethesia and pain killers that temporarily took the pain away. I'm still debating on when to set up that appointment. I may try to book it in a couple weeks as I would like to get it done this year. I also have physio and massage lined up in 3 weeks time. Then I get a break as radiation doesn't start until the new year.

Ise
20 Posts

@Tan65
Thanks! I honestly didn't know that I would be so tired from the anaesthesia!

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