Discharge Instructions for Prophylactic Mastectomy

Discharge Instructions for Prophylactic Mastectomy

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Discharge Instructions for Prophylactic Mastectomy

Prophylactic mastectomy is the surgical removal of 1 or both breasts in an effort to prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer. There are several reasons women choose this surgery. You talked to your doctor about these reasons before your surgery. Here's what you need to do at home following this surgery.


  • Ask your friends or family to help with chores and errands while you recover.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds to avoid straining your incisions.

  • Don’t push a vacuum or do other strenuous housework until the doctor says it’s OK.

  • Do the range-of-motion exercises that you learned in the hospital.


Other Home Care

  • Take pain relievers as directed.

  • Check your incision daily for signs of redness, swelling, or separation of the skin.

  •  Follow your doctor's instructions about bathing or showering, as long as your incision isn’t draining, swelling, or red:

    • Wash your incision gently with mild soap and warm water, if your doctor says it's OK. 

    • Keep your incision clean and dry.

    • Don’t soak in a tub, hot tub, or pool until your doctor says it’s OK.

  • Check your temperature every day for 1 week after your surgery.

  • Return to your diet as you feel able. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

  • Make an appointment to talk to someone about reconstructive surgery or breast prostheses.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your doctor.


When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Fever above 100.4 °F (38°C) or chills

  • Drainage from your incision

  • Swelling around your incision

  • Increasing pain in or around your incision

  • Swelling in your arm or hand on the surgery side