Yes, you'll receive a copy on discharge, if you lose it it will be available on Dr Revesz’s web site and in your e-mailed packet as well. The OR nursing staff (or hospital nurses if you're hospitalized) will review the instructions with you and make sure you understand them prior to discharge. [click here to download the Postoperative Instructions
Will I receive a prescription for pain medication after surgery?
Yes. You will receive a prescription for narcotic pain medications upon discharge. If you have a preferred pain medication that you know it works for you please let Dr Revesz know ahead of time so she can write the appropriate prescription. If you're only having a lumpectomy at the end of the operation we'll inject a long-acting local anesthetic into the wound that lasts 4-5 hours. We will also wrap the chest with a wide elastic bandage and this provides excellent support. Generally if the breast doesn't move it doesn't hurt. Many patients report only using Tylenol or ibuprofen after their lumpectomy surgery.
What about drain care?
If you have a mastectomy or an axillary dissection you will go home with drains (small plastic tubes which collect excess fluid from under the skin). The nursing staff will teach you how to empty the collection bottle (2-3 times/day), keep track of the drainage (provide tally sheet) and strip the drain to prevent obstruction. The drains generally stay in for 10-14 days (drainage needs to be <30cc/24 hours) and either Dr. Revesz and her team or the Plastic Surgery team (if you have immediate reconstruction) will remove them when appropriate.
Who will notify me of the final pathology results and when?
Dr. Revesz will personally call you with the results when they become available (usually 4-5 days after surgery). She will review them with you over the phone and then discuss them in greater detail during your postoperative clinic visit.
How long does it take for the incision(s) to heal and what are my restrictions?
The wound continues to heal and change for about a year. However, you can shower the day after surgery, perform normal daily activities the following day and submerge the incision (pool or tub) in about one-and-a-half weeks. If you have immediate reconstruction the plastic surgeon may have further restrictions. You may drive when you can react to an emergency situation and are no longer taking narcotic medications.
When will I see Dr. Revesz for the first postoperative follow-up visit?
You will generally see her 1-2 weeks after surgery. You can schedule this appointment prior to your surgery. We will check the wound for healing and review any pathology results.
When do I see the Medical Oncologist and Radiation Oncologist?
If you need additional therapy (chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or radiation) after surgery, this will usually start 3-6 weeks after surgery. If you have a Medical or Radiation Oncologist whom you would like to see we'll make sure they get the appropriate records. If you don't have one in mind we will help you choose one and facilitate scheduling an appointment. You can start making these appointments prior to your surgery but allow at least one week for the return of all results prior to making these appointments.