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Post-mastectomy treatments usually include periodic post-operative appointments with the surgeon to evaluate the recovery progress and the overall results of the procedure. If the mastectomy was performed as a treatment method for cancer, as opposed to a preventive measure, the post-mastectomy treatment regimen may also include a battery of tests to determine whether or not the mastectomy completely eliminated the cancer cells.
A breast reconstruction surgery may also be considered a post-mastectomy treatment option. Many patients who undergo a mastectomy also have a breast reconstruction procedure performed at the same time. This saves the patient the shock of having to see themselves after the breast tissue has been removed. However, it is not always possible for the patient to have the breast reconstruction immediately. This may be because of other health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. In these cases, the patient may have to rectify other health concerns before undergoing a breast reconstruction procedure. Patients may also not be eligible for immediate breast reconstruction surgery if the mastectomy did not remove all of the cancer cells. Finally, some patients may simply opt out of having breast reconstruction surgery performed immediately because they want to focus exclusively on the cancer treatments.
Treatment for lymphedema may be necessary after a mastectomy. The lymph nodes under the arm are often removed during a mastectomy. This may result in lymphedema or swelling of the arm. Treatment for lymphedema may include exercise, bandages, the use of an arm pump and diet.