How long is recovery from breast surgery?

Recovery time after breast surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery and the individual patient. Generally, recovery from breast cancer surgery can take several weeks to several months.

  • For a lumpectomy, recovery time is usually shorter, with most patients able to return to normal activities within a few days to a week.
  • There may be some discomfort, swelling, and/or tenderness in the breast for a few weeks after surgery, but these symptoms can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
  • For a mastectomy, recovery time is generally longer, with most patients taking 4-6 weeks off work to recover.
  • There may be a pain, swelling, and/or discomfort in the breast and underarm area, as well as fatigue and emotional issues.
  • Most patients need to wear a surgical bra for a few weeks after the surgery, and it is also important to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for several weeks.
  • For a sentinel lymph node biopsy, recovery time is similar to that of a lumpectomy, since it is done before or during a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.
  • It is important to note that recovery time can vary depending on individual factors such as the extent of the surgery, the patient's overall health, and the patient's ability to follow the post-operative care instructions provided by the surgeon.
  • It is always best to consult with your surgeon and follow their post-operative instructions to ensure a smooth recovery.

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