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lumpectomy recovery time?

laurissa's picture
laurissa
Posts: 773
Joined: Sep 2009

My lumpectomy and lymph node removal will be coming up soon. Whats the usual recovery time before returning to work? I drive a bus.

cindycflynn's picture
cindycflynn
Posts: 1133
Joined: Oct 2009

I was only off 2 weeks for my lumpectomy and sentinal lymph node biopsy, but I have a couple of factors which may be different from yours - A. they only removed 1 lymph node, and B. I work in an office.

It could be up to 6 weeks, but I would definitely recommend asking your surgeon about this one.

Is the date set for your surgery?

Victoria63
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

I went back to work on the following Monday, however, I sit at a desk most of the day. The pain was minimal witht he exception of some nerve pain as the area was numb for the first week or so and as feeling started to come back it was a little painful.
You doctor will tell you for sure how long you sould say out but I would think it whoudl still be aminimal time.
Best of luck to you.

BunnyJane's picture
BunnyJane
Posts: 212
Joined: Jul 2009

I returned to work the day following my lumpectomy and lymph node (2) removal. I have a desk job, so it was pretty easy to do. I think that your job is far more demanding, so I think that you will need about a week or more, but would ask your Doctor and make sure that he/she understands the physical demands of your job. Good luck with your surgery.

BunnyJane's picture
BunnyJane
Posts: 212
Joined: Jul 2009

I returned to work the day following my lumpectomy and lymph node (2) removal. I have a desk job, so it was pretty easy to do. I think that your job is far more demanding, so I think that you will need about a week or more, but would ask your Doctor and make sure that he/she understands the physical demands of your job. Good luck with your surgery.

LadyParvati's picture
LadyParvati
Posts: 328
Joined: Oct 2009

Laurissa,

My doctor said I could not drive for two weeks after the surgery; it turns out that time period is based on our state law about driving after major surgery. So you might want to check on whether your state has any law restricting driving after major surgery.

As for when you will _feel_ like driving, that's a different question. It's going to depend upon how many lymph nodes are removed and how you react to the surgery. Everybody is different. I avoided taking any of the hydrocodone, as it makes me crazy, but I've also heard it can actually slow healing. I took only ibuprofen for pain. I also did the exercises they gave me religiously; I actually began doing them as soon as I awoke from the surgery. I believe that doing the exercises helped promote faster healing, as I was completely mobile and had full range of motion with no pain several days before my two-week post-surgical checkup. But as I said, everybody is different--we all react differently to the drugs, the way your surgeon finds he/she must cut you can be just enough different to cause different pain levels, and the way your body reacts to the trauma of surgery will be different, so my experience may not be anything like yours.

Hang in there--I hope the surgery goes well!

Sandy

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Laurissa,
From MY EXPERIENCE.......and mine alone......
I think it depends on your pain level and the amount of pain meds you will need...Personally, I had no problem at all with my lumpectomy........Surgery was at 1:00 and I was home on the couch by 4:15......BUT BUT BUT.......everyone is different......I only had 3 lymph nodes removed.....big difference if they have to remove more, from what my surgeon said..if they remove enough to where I'd had to have a drain, I would have been kept overnight, according to my surgeon......I lucked out! My pain was minimal....was given strong pain meds and I took them "religiously" from when I got home until the next afternoon, after that I took Advil. I was sore, mostly from the sentinel noded removal......that bothered me far more then the surgical incision on my breast and continued to do so for about 3-4 weeks ....lumpectomy was in May and it is still a bit tender...the node incision.......I also had no sutures what so ever......everything was "GLUED" which I loved, no suture removal and minimal scarring. My surgery was on a Wednesday and I was allowed to shower on Friday..I drove on Saturday. No one told me not to! But I would, if possible, if I were you, take at least a couple of weeks to recoup, as it takes a while for the anesthesia to get out of your system and you will feel somewhat weak........The nurse in the recovery room told me to take deep slow breaths and release it for the next few days following the surgery.......it helps to get the anesthesia out of your system.......and I also started raising my arm above my head the evening of surgery and continued doing so for about a week......Also, drink as much fluids that you can tolerate, again helps to flush your system.

Again, everyone is different, with different circumstances, size of tumor, incision size, location of incision and of course the sentinel biopsy excision..... I hope you have as easy a time as I did.......IF I can help in any way please don't hesitate, and all the other women will, I'm sure, share their experiences....
I wish you the very best.......keep us posted!
Peace be with you...
Nancy

GrandmaJ's picture
GrandmaJ
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2009

Wow...I can't imagine going to work the day after surgery, even though I have a desk job. I was home for four weeks...of course I could have gone back after two, but had a lot of sick time accrued and it was right around Christmas, so I opted to stay home until Jan 4.

I had lumpectomy and 8 lymph nodes removed and everything was "glued". I did not come home with drains, but I did develop some swelling after first week and had to have some fluid drained from the node site. Then, again, I had my chemo first before surgery so I was still recuperating from the effects of that.

I think it also depends on your age...I'm in my 60's so I was tired and truly enjoyed my recuperation time at home.

Judy

New Flower
Posts: 3914
Joined: Aug 2009

You definitely need to talk to your doctor. The doc probably does not know how many he/she will be able to remove until they open your armpit. As far as I understand your situation your surgeon will try to remove as many as possible. You will have limited range of motion after the surgery. Your surgeon will tell you when to start exercises. As a bus driver you definitely will need time off.
Good luck with your surgery

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