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Things That Help you Recover More Quickly

Get Well Soon

Helping you make a speedy recovery after a mastectomy

Things that will help you recover more quickly

Eat healthily

A healthy balanced diet containing a variety of foods, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, will help to ensure that your body has all of the nutrients it needs to heal.

Stop smoking

By not smoking – even if it’s just for the time that you’re recovering – you immediately start to improve your circulation and your breathing – not to mention a whole list of other benefits to the heart and lungs.

Family and friends

Family and friends can give you two important things:

  • Practical help with the tasks you might temporarily be unable to do while you recover – such as driving, cleaning, the weekly shop or lifting heavier items. 
  • Emotional support – it’s important to talk to your family and friends about how you feel. Sharing your concerns with close friends and family can help your recovery.

Keep a routine

Get up at your normal time in the morning, get dressed and move about. If you get tired, rest later.


You will have been given information about shoulder exercises before your operation – these will stop your shoulder getting stiff. It is important to continue these at home for as long as you are advised. It’s possible that some patients may also need to receive additional outpatient physiotherapy follow-up.

Preventing blood clots

Measures to prevent clots in the leg need to be taken following mastectomy, sometimes continuing for up to 6 weeks. A range of options is available and your surgeon will advise on what is best for you. A TED stocking is often used following the operation, either above or below the knee.

Build up gradually

Have a go at doing some of the things you’d normally do, but build up gradually. Obviously, everyone recovers at a different speed, so listen to what your body is telling you.

As you build up your activities, you may feel more tired than normal. If so, stop and rest until your strength returns. If you feel pain, you have probably just overdone it a little. Ease back and then gradually increase again. If you are concerned, consult your GP or your breast care nurse.

If you live alone and don’t have family or friends living close by, organise support in advance – if possible, have family or friends come to stay with you for the first couple of weeks after surgery


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