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patient education : 14056--Breast Surgery (Dr. Schroen)

Discharge instructions from SAS after breast surgery by Dr. Schroen

Handout File:

PDF document icon PE14056_eng_BreastSurgeryDrShroen.pdf — PDF document, 43 KB (44054 bytes)
  1. document content:


    These instructions will help you take care of yourself at home.



    Start with clear liquids (Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up, ginger ale, apple juice, Kool-Aid), wait five (5) minutes and if you do not feel sick, advance to light diet (Jell-O, soup, crackers, toast) as tolerated. Then progress to regular diet.



    Avoid physical contact, but you may do light work after 48 hours. Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery for 24 hours. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or make any personal or business decisions for 24 hours (because you have anesthetic medications in your system).


    Special Care Needed


    • Your surgical wound in the breast area and/or the axilla will most likely be closed using absorbable sutures and steri-strips.
    • Keep dressing dry and in place for 48 hours.
    • You may shower after 48 hours.
    • No bath until 5-7 days after surgery, or after being checked during follow-up appointment.
    • After 48 hours (unless otherwise instructed) remove your dressing after washing your hands with an antibacterial soap.
    • If you have steri-strips, allow them to stay in place as long as possible. You may trim the edges as they begin to curl. Remove them when they get to less than 1/2 inch long. The steri-strips are made of a fabric material that can get wet in the shower and pat dry with a towel. A hair dryer may also be sued to dry them faster.
    • DO NOT use ointments on your incision unless instructed.
    • After your incision is completely healed, you may massage lotion, aloe or vitamin E into the area daily (DO NOT do this during radiation treatment).
    • Wear bra 24 hours a day for 10 days.



    Usually over the counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen works well, but take prescribed narcotic pain medication as directed if needed.



    Watch for any sign of infection after surgery: fever, chills, increased pain, redness, swelling, or foul smelling discharge from your wound. Call your doctor at the first sign of any infection.


    When to call your doctor

    Call 434-924-9479 and ask for Dr. Schroen or Call 434-924-0000 evenings or weekends and ask for the Surgery Resident on-call for
    Dr. Schroen if: 

    • Separation of the skin
    • A bad odor
    • Increased pain or tenderness not controlled by your medication
    • Fever above 101 degree F
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • No urine output eight (8) hours after surgery
    • Large amount of bleeding or drainage containing pus
    • Vomiting lasting more than four (4) hours


    return appointment

    Please call Dr. Schroen’s office soon for a return appointment to be scheduled 2-3 weeks after surgery. Please return to Dr. Schroen’s clinic for return visit.


    Call 911 if you have chest pain or shortness of breath

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