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Sunday, 5 January 2014

Recommended Treatments For After a Double Mastectomy

After removal of both breasts due to a double mastectomy, either because of cancer or risk of cancer, doctors tending to the patient sometimes try to reconstruct the breasts to reduce the level of scars and left over disfigured tissues. Physical and emotional changes that accompany a double mastectomy can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the need of the patient and her condition.

Follow Up Treatment

A woman who has had both her breasts removed will take some time to recover. The first significant thing to treat right after the operation would be the surgery site. Care should be taken to properly dress the wounds and clean the bandages covering the surgery site. Accumulation of blood and fluid at the site of the wounds is a common occurrence post a double mastectomy. Necessary steps have to be taken for drainage of fluids from the surgery area when it is healing. The amount of drained fluid needs to be measured and reported to the doctor for checking for irregularities. The treatment at this time also includes proper administration of drugs to control the pain and aid in recuperation of the patient. The caregiver needs to have an eye for detail and has to promptly inform the doctor at the first signs of any infection at the wound area. Some patients might feel numb in the arm area, close to the chest due to damaged nerves. Her arm might swell up due to lymph nodes removal, and this needs to be treated with therapy. It will be necessary for the patient to restrict her movements and avoid certain private clothing on the breasts. The patient will be required to wear surgical stockings in order to keep leg and foot blood clots at bay. In case of cleaning or showering, care has to be taken to keep the area dry.

Psychological Treatment

A constant feeling of depression, loss and helplessness accompanies any kind of mastectomy recovery. As the breast symbolizes feminine traits and the nurturing capability of the woman, many patients feel they lose their identity as a woman because of surgery. Psychotherapy and regular counseling sessions or even group therapy with other patients can help restore confidence in herself as she feels less isolated and more complete, helping her regain her former life.

Breast Prostheses and Reconstruction

To give the patient the look of a full-breasted woman, doctors might advise the use of breast prostheses or recommend going for breast reconstruction surgery. With the former, the patient can enjoy the feel of natural breasts on her chest in a painless method in which an artificial breastlike attachment made of either fiber, foam or gel in any shape, size or color can be custom fitted to her undergarments. Sometimes the patient can go for a breast reconstruction surgery, in which a cosmetic surgeon might rebuild the breasts from remaining tissue, either immediately after the mastectomy procedure or long afterward.

Post Healing Care

When the surgery site heals and the wound area is dry, the patient should start to massage the area with oil or cream every day. This will help keep the breast skin tender and also help prevent the formation of a tough fiberlike coat on the area. After many weeks post surgery, the surgeon might advise the patient to wear a bra for support. While in some cases a firm one needs to be worn all the time, in other cases, the patient might be asked to use a normal one only during the day.

Related Post:
Easy Mastectomy Recovery Tips
Double Mastectomy Surgery Recovery

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