Mastectomy Recovery: Week 5-6

Woman looks at her mastectomy recovery scars in the mirror


Week 1 |  Week 2 | Week 3 |  Week 4 |  Weeks 5-6 

Hello! It’s ME!

Pain- Now that we have arrived at the end of your acute post-operative healing period you are hopefully no longer requiring pain medication or if you are it is only as needed. Experiences that are normal during this time are sensations of nerve activity. During a mastectomy many sensory nerves to the chest area are removed. Sensory nerves (unlike motor nerves) regenerate to some degree. You may note sharp shooting “zingers” or sudden sharp pains that go away as quickly as they come on. These are very common and will decrease in intensity and frequency as time passes.


Mobility- By week 5-6 your arm mobility should be nearing a recognisable baseline. Don’t get frustrated if this is taking longer than anticipated. Sometimes the process of regaining range of motion takes more time, but rest assured your surgical and physical therapy teams will take the time necessary to return your mobility to a functional baseline. Ask your physical therapist about what you can add to your daily routine at home to help expedite this process.  


Hygiene- The end of your acute mastectomy recovery period brings a long awaited reintroduction between you and your hygiene routine. By weeks 5-6 all aspects of hygiene should be back on the table. Showering, bathing, lathering, shaving, and scrubbing are now possible. Ahhh the power of a good shower! 


Sleep- At weeks 5-6 the option for side sleeping returns. Hooray! Never did you think this day would come. While the recliner and surgical wedge have been fine placeholders, you are likely able to resume the coveted side sleeping position with the help and support of slow position changes and ample pillows for support. Do not transition to stomach sleeping without clearance from your surgical team.  


Energy- There is a point between weeks 5 and 6 when you wake up in the morning and begin your day and notice at one point or another that you have completed a few routine tasks without the sensation of exhaustion creeping in. Your energy levels are returning to baseline. 


Activity- Easing back into your normal physical routines is what these two weeks are all about. There will be movements/motions that don’t feel good, and that’s ok. Slow down, modify as needed and try those challenging movements again next week. This will be a work in progress.


Fuel- By weeks 5-6 the bulk of your healing is complete and your body is no longer desperate for such focused fuel. However, maintaining a healthy and well balanced lifestyle has now been established! Why not keep the health train rolling from here on out? As always, continuing to be mindful of hydration is never a bad idea.   


Pro tip- It takes only 21 days to establish a new habit. Use these past few weeks as a springboard to launch you forward in maintaining some of the good habits that were formed during your recovery.  

Self Care- You just recovered from a major mind/body altering surgery and ROCKED IT! Do something that brings you absolute joy and overflows your cup. You deserve it!  

Boundaries- Welcome back to your normal life! You can take it from here, sister :) 


Week 1 |  Week 2 | Week 3 |  Week 4 |  Weeks 5-6  

Mastectomy Gifts

Mastectomy Recovery Gift Box

The Mastectomy Recovery Gift Box provides the most comprehensive and helpful collection of recovery products for anyone planning to undergo mastectomy surgery, with or without breast reconstruction.

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Mastectomy Gifts

Mastectomy Pillow

Our mastectomy recovery pillow is a gift designed to shield your loved on's sensitive surgical sites from pressure and reduce pain, particularly from seatbelts. Features soft cushioning and a handy pocket for essentials, aiding to return to daily activities and follow-up visits with ease.

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Mastectomy Gifts

Drain Holders

Help your loved ones manage surgical drains following a mastectomy with our adjustable drain holding belt, capable of securing up to four surgical drains along with a separate shower drain holder to use while bathing.

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