Before the procedure:
- The oncologist advises medical tests such as x-rays, CT-scan and other biochemistry reports to study and understand the state of cancer present.
- The doctor takes into consideration the size and location of the tumour, the number of tumours present and the extent of their margins.
- The doctor also looks for other general conditions such as age, family history, Allergies before taking the patient for surgery.
- A week prior to the surgery, blood-thinning medications such as aspirin are withdrawn.
- The patient will be prepared for the surgery by the caregivers in the hospital.
During the Procedure:
- The oncologist makes an incision at the accurate area after making the relevant marks on how the surgery should be done.
- Based on where the tumour is lodged, the surgeon may go in for partial mastectomy, a total or modified radical mastectomy procedure.
- After the tumour is removed, the surgeon stitches up the incision after which dressing is done.
- The surgery may take more than 2 hours.
After the procedure:
- The patient will be kept in the intensive care unit for the first 48 hours. Once the condition has improved, he is shifted to a normal ward.
- The stay in the hospital will be about 1 week to 10 days.
- The patient will be encouraged to walk and do his routine activities.
- Antibiotics are given for the sutures to heal faster.
- The treatment may be accompanied by radiotherapy and chemotherapy as per the patient condition.
- Any fluid accumulation near the surgical area will be drained by needle aspiration.
- Strenuous activity should be avoided during the first three months.
- A Physiotherapist is required to assist to regain shoulder motion.
Precautions after the surgery:
- Do not remove the dressing or stitches. If the dressing falls off, do not attempt to replace them.
- Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting and vigorous exercise until the stitches are removed.
- Avoid taking a bath until the surgical site is completely healed.
- Removal of lymph nodes may affect the lymphatic fluid drainage from your arm, neck and chest on the affected side and cause swelling, so raise the arm above the elbow level to drain the lymph.
- If you notice any swelling, redness or warmth in the treated area, immediately inform your doctor.
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