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Breast Cancer Health Center

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Modified Radical Mastectomy

After a Modified Radical Mastectomy

Once your surgery is complete, you will need to stay in the hospital for one or two nights. Thin plastic tubes will be placed in your breast area to drain off any fluid. These drains are attached to small suction devices. The drains will be removed about a week after your surgery. The hospital staff will show you how to care for the tubes until they are removed.

If you are feeling pain after your surgery, your doctor will prescribe pain medication for a week or two. You can usually treat any discomfort that persists after that time with over-the-counter pain relievers.

There is a good chance that you will feel very tired after a modified radical mastectomy. Try to take a break from some of your regular activities and rest during the two weeks following your surgery.

Depending on the size of your tumor and whether the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes, your doctor might recommend that you have radiation after modified radical mastectomy surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.

Keep in mind, not all women can have a modified radical mastectomy, and there are many surgical options for breast cancer. Your doctor will decide which kind of surgery is best for you based on the size of the tumor, its stage (how far it has spread), and its grade (how aggressive it is). Your age and overall health will also be factored into the decision.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on June 28, 2015
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