Recovery time varies but it can take a few weeks to fully recover from surgery

Recovery time after breast surgery varies from person to person and depends on the extent of your surgery and your personal circumstances. It may take a few weeks to fully recover.

If you are having breast conserving surgery, you may be able to go home on the day of your operation. For other types of surgery, you may have to stay in hospital for a few days. Your hospital stay and recovery time are likely to be longer if you are having immediate breast reconstruction.

It is normal to feel tired at first after your operation, and you will be advised to avoid driving and lifting heavy objects for a few weeks.

When you’re discharged from hospital your breast care team will give you information about what to expect during your recovery, including how to take care of your wound, the follow up care you will receive and any side effects you may experience. They will also give you a programme of arm and shoulder exercises to help with your recovery.

If there is anything you don’t understand, ask your breast care team.

Need more information?

Breast Cancer Care has information on exercises to perform after your surgery.


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Breast Cancer Now’s health information is produced following best practice guidelines developed by the Patient Information Forum. 

Find out more about how we develop our health information and the Patient Information Forum.