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Published on: 04 Mar 2017 by adrianchase
Just like any other surgery, mastectomy has several risks
associated with it. Your surgeon should discuss these, and the likelihood of
them occurring, with you before your operation, and you should also be given
the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the operation
itself or the risks involved. This article will mainly deal with the measures
of caution of mastectomy.
You will experience side effects after the surgery; these
are mostly unavoidable. For example, you will have a scar at the site of
incision, and although this will be permanent, it should fade over time.
Correct aftercare will help to minimize the appearance of the scar, so if you
have any concerns about the wound and its healing, speak to your breast care
nurse or your GP. http://wikijournals.my-free.website There will also be swelling and bruising around the chest and
upper arm area, which will settle with time. You may experience numbness and
tingling in your upper arm due to the nerves in the area being damaged. Physiotherapy
exercises can help with this.
Breast Cancer MastectomyIf the lymph nodes under your arm
have been removed in the same operation, then there is a chance that fluid may
build up in your arm. This is called lymphoedema, and may require further treatment
as a caution of mastectomy.
Complications are extremely uncommon with mastectomy
operations, but they can occur and your surgeon should discuss these with you.
The main complication you should be aware of is Infection. If the wound site is
not correctly looked after, then infections can develop. This means that the
site will take longer to heal and the scarring is more noticeable. You may also
need antibiotics to treat the infection. Make sure you follow all of the
aftercare instructions you are given, and keep the wound as clean and dry as
possible. If it starts to look red, ooze fluid, or swell up, speak to your GP
or breast care nurse immediately.
Fluid can build up under the scar tissue. If this fluid is
blood, it is known as a haematoma. If it is a clear fluid, it is a seroma. Both
can be drained by your doctor by simply inserting a needle and removing the
fluid, which usually resolves the problem. Some haematomas and seromas will
resolve on their own without any intervention.
Scars can also cause problems after surgery. Scar tissue can
feel stiff, leading to pressure and even pain around the affected area. There
are a number of approaches you can try, such as physiotherapy, which will
encourage the tissue to move more easily. Ointments and creams can be used to
soften the scar tissue and help to relieve the pain. If the scarring is
particularly troublesome, your doctor may recommend that it is surgically
removed, although this is rare.
Speak to your surgeon before your operation to discuss the
risks associated with mastectomy. They should be happy to do this, and provide
more information about some other cautions of mastectomy.