After breast cancer surgery

After the operation, you usually wake up in the recovery room before moving back to your ward. Find out:

  • what to expect immediately afterwards
  • problems that might happen in the few days or weeks afterwards
  • exercises you need to do to help with your recovery
  • how to cope with possible problems

What happens after breast surgery?

What happens after surgery depends on the type of operation you have had. After your operation you go to the recovery room after a general anaesthetic. Find out what happens after having surgery including how you may feel, when you can go home, and your follow up appointments.

Breast forms (prosthesis) after breast cancer surgery

A breast prosthesis is an artificial breast shape that sits inside your bra to replace all or part of your breast after having breast surgery. Find out about the different types and other information.

Exercises after a mastectomy or breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy)

After breast cancer surgery your physiotherapist or breast care nurse will ask you to do regular arm and shoulder exercises. Find out when you usually start them and other information. 

Possible problems after mastectomy

Possible complications after surgery to remove the breast include infection, bleeding, and shoulder stiffness. Find out what to look out for and when to contact your healthcare team.

Possible problems after breast conserving surgery

Possible complications after breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) include infection, bleeding, and shoulder stiffness.

Life after breast cancer surgery

You may find it difficult to adjust to changes after your breast cancer surgery. There is help and support available.

Last reviewed: 
07 Jul 2023
Next review due: 
07 Jul 2026