Mastectomy scar

What to Expect Before, During, and After Your Mastectomy

Second To Nature Specializes in Mastectomy Education and Prosthetics

Explaining what to expect before, during, and after your mastectomy is our blog topic this month. We specialize in mastectomy education at Second To Nature, so it’s important to us to explain the mastectomy process. Pre-mastectomy, you’ll likely have NPO orders, including no aspirin. Post-mastectomy, you can expect to learn pain management skills and consider prosthetic options.



Pre-Mastectomy, Doctors Usually Order “NPO,” Including OTC Aspirin

Pre-mastectomy, your doctor will probably issue “NPO” orders, which generally includes no aspirin. NPO is an abbreviation for the Latin term “Nil per os.” When you see NPO, it means “nothing by mouth;” no food or liquid, except enough water to swallow necessary medications. If you take a prescription blood-thinning medication, you can’t take it pre-mastectomy. However, if you don’t take a blood-thinning prescription, the doctor will probably include “no aspirin” as a preemptive NPO order.



Why Would a Doctor Say No Aspirin as an NPO Order?

Including “no aspirin” in an NPO order is a safety measure. During surgery, doctors don’t want to risk too much blood leaving the body. Aspirin is a natural blood-thinning medication. Adding “no aspirin” to a pre-mastectomy NPO order reduces the risk of a patient bleeding out during surgery.



Choose from a Double, Skin-Sparing, or a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

In March of 2022, we explained the various breast cancer surgery options, plus lumpectomy and mastectomy pros and cons. Generally, patients only need one breast removed in a mastectomy. However, many women decide to get a double mastectomy to save their other breast from a recurrence. Mastectomy variations include skin-sparing and nipple-sparing surgeries.



Post-Mastectomy Involves Pain Management and Pondering Prosthetics

After, or post-mastectomy, you can expect to be in some pain, and therefore you’ll need to develop pain management skills. Pain management simply means assessing your level of discomfort, and taking medication as needed. Most doctors suggest taking medication on a regular schedule as part of your pain management regimen. Eventually, your pain management abilities should strengthen, and you’ll need less medication to manage your pain. Besides pain management, you may need to consider prosthetics post-mastectomy.



Achieve Torso Symmetry Post-Mastectomy with a Custom Prosthetic

In November of 2022, we blogged about custom post-mastectomy options available in the MyShape collection by ABC prosthetics. ABC’s MyShape post-mastectomy prosthetics have material that molds shapers and balancers to a post-mastectomy patient’s torso area. For example, ABC’s RFS Amandasil™ silicone back molds to the surgical topography of a post-mastectomy patient’s chest wall.



To find out more about custom breast prosthesis, contact Second To Nature in Roanoke, VA, by calling (540) 366-2711. Receive updates when you like us on Facebook and follow us. We’re also happy to talk more about what to expect before, during, and after your mastectomy.