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Dos and Don'ts After a Breast Cancer Surgery

02 Nov, 2023

Blog author iconHealthtrip

Breast cancer surgery is a critical step in the treatment of breast cancer. Whether you've had a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, the post-operative period is a crucial phase in your recovery. This blog will guide you through the dos and don'ts after a breast cancer surgery to help ensure a smooth and successful recovery.


1. Follow Medical Advice Religiously:

  • Listen to your healthcare team. They will provide specific instructions for your recovery, including wound care, pain management, and when to resume daily activities.

2. Rest and Allow Your Body to Heal:

  • Give your body the time it needs to recover. Rest is essential, so don't rush back into your regular routine.

3. Gentle Arm and Shoulder Exercises:

  • After a mastectomy, gently perform prescribed arm and shoulder exercises to maintain mobility and prevent stiffness. Your healthcare team will guide you on this.

4. Maintain Good Nutrition:

  • A well-balanced diet is crucial for your recovery. Ensure you are getting the necessary nutrients to support your healing process.

5. Wound Care:

  • Keep your surgical site clean and follow your healthcare provider's wound care instructions to prevent infection.

6. Manage Pain Appropriately:

  • Take pain medications as prescribed and discuss any concerns about pain management with your healthcare team.

7. Wear a Supportive Bra:

  • Invest in a comfortable, supportive post-surgery bra that will provide stability and comfort for your surgical site.

8. Emotional Support:

  • Seek emotional support from friends, family, or support groups. Dealing with breast cancer can be emotionally challenging, and having a support network is crucial.


1. Avoid Heavy Lifting:

  • Do not engage in heavy lifting or strenuous activities until your healthcare team clears you to do so. This can strain your surgical site.

2. Don't Rush Back to Work:

  • Allow yourself the necessary time off from work to recover. Returning too soon can hamper the healing process.

3. Avoid Hot Tubs and Swimming Pools:

  • Stay away from hot tubs and swimming pools until your surgical wounds are fully healed and your healthcare team gives the green light.

4. Skip Smoking and Alcohol:

  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as they can hinder your body's ability to heal.

5. Avoid Tight Clothing:

  • Tight clothing, especially around the surgical area, can irritate your wounds. Opt for loose, comfortable clothing.

6. Don't Skip Follow-Up Appointments:

  • Attend all follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your progress and address any concerns promptly.

7. Avoid Self-Diagnosis:

  • If you experience any unusual symptoms or side effects, consult your healthcare team rather than self-diagnosing or seeking medical advice from non-professionals.

8. Emotional Isolation:

  • Don't isolate yourself emotionally. Reach out for support when needed, and consider joining support groups to connect with others who have gone through similar experiences.

Breast cancer surgery is a challenging experience, but by adhering to these dos and don'ts, you can optimize your recovery and improve your overall well-being. Remember that your healthcare team is your best resource for guidance and support during this time. Your dedication to self-care and your willingness to seek help when necessary will be instrumental in your journey towards a healthy and fulfilling life after breast cancer surgery.

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The timing for resuming normal activities varies depending on the type of surgery and individual healing. Your healthcare team will provide guidance.