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What Can I Expect During Recovery from a Mastectomy?

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After any procedure, especially a mastectomy or breast reconstruction, there is a cascade of things that have to happen to ensure optimal healing and outcomes. After surgery, there is a time spent in the recovery room, then one or two days in the hospital. During this time, there can be swelling, pain, or discomfort at the operative site. 

In order to restore a level of comfort, close attention is paid to appropriate pain care, nutrition, and wound care. After being discharged from the hospital, there are drains that help remove fluid, which are removed within the first week. Following that there is a transition off pain and anti-inflammatory medication. Usually within two to four weeks, the patient is almost back to normal, and at four to six weeks, a return to full activity, such as exercise. 

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