Care After Surgery

Recovery following breast surgery is different for every patient. Following your surgery, you will be seen back in clinic at the Nightingale Centre after approximately two weeks for the results.
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Your results will have been discussed at a Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (MDT) prior to your appointment, to discuss whether additional treatments are necessary.

This meeting is attended by Breast Surgeons, Radiologists, Pathologists, Breast Care Nurses and Oncologists (from the Christie Hospital) who will agree on a management plan specifically for you.

At your results appointment you will find out if further surgery is necessary and what additional treatments are recommended. If you require radiotherapy or chemotherapy, our team will be in contact with staff at The Christie hospital and your GP to make sure you are getting the best and most joined-up cancer treatment possible. You will still come to MFT for after-care following treatment.

If you have a hormone sensitive breast cancer (a breast cancer that is oestrogen receptor (ER) positive), anti-hormone tablet therapy will be discussed with you. The type of tablet that you are offered will differ depending on whether you have gone through the menopause or ‘the change’ or not. If you are still pre-menopausal – having periods – the drug Tamoxifen will be discussed with you. If you are post-menopausal a medication called an Aromatase Inhibitor will be discussed (Letrozole, Anastrazole, Exemestane) as well as Tamoxifen, the possible side effects of both medications will be explained to you by your surgeon and breast care nurse.

Follow-up usually consists of mammograms once a year for 5 years to your remaining breast tissue. If you have had a mastectomy the other breast will be examined, after 5 years you can be discharged back to having mammograms with the NHS Breast Screening Programme. If you have had bilateral mastectomy (both breasts removed), mammograms will not be necessary. If you are still younger than the lower age limit of the National Breast Screening Programme at the end of this 5-year time frame you will continue to receive mammograms from the hospital until you are screening age.

You will have access to your breast care nurse at any point at all times during your follow-up and we encourage you to contact them with any worries or questions you may have. Our nurses will there for you to answer your concerns and support you in dealing with the psychological effects of breast surgery. They can also provide a link to the Breast Prosthetic Service, which can assess you after your surgery if you have had a mastectomy with no reconstruction and give individualised advice about wearing your prosthesis and correctly fitting bras if needed.