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Wide Excision/Mastectomy

Mater Private Hospital Springfield

Mater Health Services has a strong history, providing exceptional care to the Queensland community for more than 100 years. This tradition of care has been continued with the establishment of Mater Private Hospital Springfield. 

Mater Private Hospital Springfield is an innovative, unique and contemporary hospital with a total of 80 beds, four digitally integrated operating theatres, a day surgery unit and a state-of-the-art cancer care centre featuring a linear accelerator and 15 medical oncology treatment bays. Mater Private Hospital Springfield also offers a range of medical and surgical services including: General Medicine; Medical Oncology; Rehabilitation; Respiratory; Ear, Nose and Throat; Gastroenterology; General Surgery; Gynaecology; Ophthalmology; Oral and Maxillofacial; Orthopaedics; Plastics and Urology. 

All rooms and facilities are equipped with the latest technology and have been designed with the family in mind, with a fold out bed in each room so family and friends can stay overnight. Integrated room controls allow patients to control temperature, blinds and lighting for optimal comfort. 

Mater is committed to caring for the Greater Springfield community and as it continues to grow our services will grow with it.

For more information about Mater Private Hospital Springfield, please call 07 3098 3900.

Our Mission

In the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, Mater Health Services offers compassionate service to the sick and needy, promotes an holistic approach to health care in response to changing community needs and fosters highs standards in health related education and research.

Following the example of Christ the healer, we commit ourselves to offering these services to all without discrimination.

Our Values

  • Mercy: the spirit of responding to one another
  • Dignity: the spirit of humanity, respecting the worth of each person
  • Care: the spirit of compassion
  • Commitment: the spirit of integrity
  • Quality: the spirit of professionalism

At Mater Private Hospital Springfield, we understand that having an operation can be a very stressful experience. This booklet aims to alleviate some of your concerns, in keeping with our Mission to offer compassionate, quality care that promotes dignity whilst responding to patients' needs. It explains the general day to day events that may occur during your visit and the things to expect following your discharge.

Each person may require different treatments. This is intended as a guide only.

If you have any questions about your treatment please ask your doctor or nurse.

Our pastoral care team offers a caring support network to all patients. The dedicated members of this team may visit you during your stay and are available at your request to discuss any anxieties or problems that you may have.

Our expectations

Prior to discharge:

  1. You will be able to maintain an adequate oral intake
  2. You will understand how to manage your wound and drain
  3. Your pain will be controlled with oral analgesia (pain mediation)
  4. You will be mobilising to the same level as you were prior to your admission
  5. On discharge you may be supported by a community nurse
  6. You will have an understanding of ongoing exercise program and activity precautions.

Things to do before you come to hospital

  • It is important for you to bring x-rays and any medications that you take. Your medications need to be in their labelled containers or Webster pack.
  • If you are taking any blood thinning or arthritis medications please follow instructions provided by your specialist, as sometimes it is important that these medications be stopped in preparation for your surgery.
  • Please follow the fasting instructions provided to you by your doctor.
  • It is important for you to shower then dress into clean clothes prior to coming into hospital. No skin products are to be used following your shower. (e.g. deodorant, perfume, body lotion, powder).
  • As Mater Private Hospital Springfield is unable to accept liability for losses it is highly recommended that you leave your valuables at home for safety and security purposes. Please bring essential items only.

You can expect to be going home the day following your surgery at a convenient time to you.

Before your operation

  • On your arrival to the hospital please check in with our friendly front reception staff in the main foyer on level 2 of the hospital. When you check in staff will confirm your details, assist you to complete any required paperwork and direct you to the appropriate patient care area.
  • The assessment form completed by you will be reviewed and your health team will plan for your individualised care while in hospital and any support you may require after discharge. Your nurse will also check that your consent form has been signed.
  • Your nurse will discuss with you any concerns that you may have about your surgery and needs that you may have when you are discharged.
  • It is an Infection Control requirement at Mater that, if you have transferred from another health care facility or you have a history of previous colonisation of multi-resistant organisms, nasal, wound and perianal swabs need to be taken.
  • The medications you brought to hospital will be placed in the medication cupboard in your room. Please remember these are to be returned to you when you leave the hospital. Please inform the nurse admitting you if you have been taking any blood thinning or arthritis medications prior to your admission, as these may have needed to be stopped before your operation day. It is usual for you to continue taking your other prescribed medications.
  • It is important that you begin your 'breathing and leg exercises' following your operation.

Breathing and circulation exercises after your operation

The following exercises help prevent complications such as chest infections and blood clots in your legs. You should do these every hour that you are awake and while on bed rest.

Breathing exercises: Take five long and slow deep breaths. Each breath should be deeper than the previous breath. Think about getting the air to the very bottom of your lungs.

Circulation exercises: Firmly move your ankles up and down to stretch and contract your calf muscles.

  • You will have an identification armband applied. This will stay on for the duration of your stay for identification and safety reasons.
  • Your nurse will take a set of baseline observations (temperature, pulse, blood pressure) and weigh you.
  • The operation site will be checked prior to surgery. You will be asked to dress into a theatre gown with some paper pants.
  • You will be measured for anti-embolic stockings (TEDS) and compression sleeves (SCDs) and will need to have these put on prior to going to theatre. These assist with blood flow through your legs and decrease the risk of blood clot formation while you have decreased mobility.
  • You may be ordered medication before surgery.
  • Your surgeon and breast care nurse will visit with you prior to surgery.
  • Before you leave for theatre a pre-operative check list will be completed with you by your nurse. This check-list will be repeated in the operating reception area. Apart from your wedding band, no jewellery or metal is to be worn to theatre.
  • At the appropriate time you will be escorted to the operating suite.

After your operation

You will stay in the recovery room within the theatre suite after the operation while you waken from the anaesthetic before returning to your room in the post-operative unit.

Your nurse will take frequent observations of your vital signs (for example, pulse) and dressings/drains for several hours after the surgery. These will become less frequent as you recover but remain regular until you leave hospital. It is important that your blood pressure is not taken on your operated side.

You will be resting in bed immediately after your surgery. When you are ready to get out of bed for the first time following your surgery it is important that you have assistance.

About four hours after you return to the ward, your nurse will assist you to have a wash. You may have small amounts of water or ice to suck, then progress from fluids to a normal diet as tolerated.

The drip (IV) is necessary to maintain your fluid intake. This will be removed when you are tolerating adequate amounts of oral fluids.

If you have had lymph nodes removed, you may have a drain in place under your arm. Your under-arm drain will remain in place until the amount of drainage decreases sufficiently for it to be removed. The length of time this drain remains in varies from person to person. It is possible that you will be going home with the drain still in. If this is the case the nursing staff will give you the necessary education to allow you to confidently manage the drain at home. An additional booklet that demonstrates a step by step guide to manage the drain will also be given to you. You will also have a second drain in place at the wound site. This drain may be or may not be removed before you go home.

Your physiotherapist will visit either on the day of surgery or the day following surgery to explain exercises that will help with your post-operative recovery and provide you with additional information to follow.

If you have had a sentinel lymph node biopsy at the time of your surgery (wide excision), do not be alarmed if your skin colour, urine and bowel movements have a bluish tinge. This is due to the blue dye that is used during the operation.

The day you go home

You will be ready to go home when:

  • you are mobilising to manage your needs at home
  • you are eating and drinking normally
  • your pain is controlled with oral medication
  • you have received education regarding your postoperative arm exercises/physiotherapy
  • you have received explanations regarding your postoperative care by your Breast Care Nurse
  • you have received your post-operative appointments
  • your discharge plan has been completed.

What to expect

Pain management

You can expect some discomfort from your wound. It may be necessary to take some simple oral analgesia as prescribed by your doctor. You will find that you will need this analgesia for the first week after your operations. After this time you may have some discomfort/pain but may not need analgesia. Your pain should continue to decrease over the following week.

Wound Management

Your wound may be slightly red, raised and you may have some bruising. This is part of the normal healing process and should subside within two to three weeks of your operation. Up until three months following surgery, your wound may become thickened. This is part of the normal healing process.

Exercises

You can expect some restrictions in the range of movement on your operated side. Please continue the exercises the physiotherapist gave to you. You can expect to have full shoulder movement by six weeks. If you have any problems with your exercises, please contact your 

Nutrition and rest

You may feel tired for a few days. Remember, you have had an operation so get plenty of rest, a good nutritious diet and adequate fluids. You can increase your daily activity as you feel stronger. After a few days at home, start walking short distances (five to ten minutes) twice a day.

Drain and dressing

You may be discharged from hospital to home with a drain in place. Your Breast Care Nurse will provide you with education to care for your drain and dressing.

Long term follow up plan

At each appointment a clinical examination will be performed. If you have noticed any swelling of your arm or breast, notify your breast care nurse via 3163 7342 or mobile via 0435 656 675.

tests  
Follow-up period Frequency of follow-up visits

mammogram

yearly

ultrasound

yearly if diagnostic mammogram was negative < 35 years

first year

three monthly

second to fifth years

six monthly

fifth year

yearly (you may be discharged back to breast screening or your local GP at this time)

It is important to notify your doctor if:

  • your wound becomes red, inflamed or discharge increases
  • you develop a fever (temperature above 38 degrees Celsius)
  • you have pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia.

Support Groups

There are many programs and support groups that offer support for women with breast cancer.

It is very important to share your concerns with your surgeon, Breast Care Nurse and treatment team.

Information about the following programs is available from your Breast Care Nurse. All programs are free.

Stretch exercise program

The stretch exercise program runs over eight weeks offering a choice of day and evening sessions. It is designed specifically for post-surgery women with breast cancer to improve their range of motion and strength. There is a group discussion and information session. This program is available at The Wesley in Brisbane, at the Gold Coast and on the North Coast.

Please contact Choices for confirmation of specific events, times and dates. Bookings are essential for all programs and events as it assists with catering and in the event of cancellation. Usually a reminder is sent out. Generally, no programs have been scheduled during school holidays and public holidays.

For further information, contact Choices via 07 3232 6548, 07 3232 7064, 07 3232 7596 or 07 3232 7092

Look Good...Feel Better Program

This workshop is available to men and women with cancer. In a relaxed and friendly workshop environment you will learn how to manage the visual changes that may occur to your skin as a result of treatment. It also includes wig and turban demonstrations.

Workshops last for approximately two hours and you are welcome to bring a support person. This program runs nationally. To register for this program contact your Breast Care Nurse or phone 1800 650 960. Alternatively if you have access to the internet, visit their website: www.lgfb.org.au

Young Women's Network

Providing information and support for younger women with breast cancer.

Meetings are held monthly. Conducted by Cancer Council Queensland.

Statewide telephone contact and mailing services available.

Contact Cancer Council Queensland via 13 11 20, email (general enquiries) info@cancerqld.org.au email (assistance) helpline@cancerqld.org.au or visit their website www.cancerqld.org.au

Breast Cancer Matters

This is an educational and support program for women and their families. The program is designed to:

  • provide an understanding about breast cancer
  • discuss breast cancer treatments
  • provide stress management options
  • boost self-image and relationships

It also provides women an opportunity to share experiences. This program is conducted regularly by Cancer Council Queensland and other centres.

YWCA Encore Program

Encore is an exercise program designed specifically for women who have experienced mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction surgery at any time in their lives. Based around floor and pool exercises and relaxation techniques, it is safe, fun and therapeutic. This program is available at a number of delegated venues.

For more information contact the YWCA National Manager via 1800 305 150 or visit their website: www.ywcaencore.org.au

Redlands Breast Cancer Support Group

The Breast Cancer Support Service is a national service coordinated by the state and territory cancer organisations which aim to provide practical and emotional support to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Contact Redlands Breast Cancer Support Group via 3286 6025 or mobile 0437 729 188.

Counselling services

Contact Cancer Council Queensland via 13 11 20 for further information between Monday to Fridays from 8 am to 8 pm. Both a telephone service and a face to face counselling service is available to you.

Useful websites

For you

Cancer Council Queensland—http://www.cancerqld.org.au/

National Breast Cancer Centre—www.nbcc.org.au

Oncolink—www.oncolink.upenn.edu

National Cancer Institute—http://www.cancer.gov/

New South Wales Cancer Council—www.nswcc.org.au

For partners

Cancer Australia—http://canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/cancer-types/breast-cancer/awareness/awareness-campaigns/boys-do-cry

Helping teenagers

CanTeen—https://nowwhat.org.au/my-parent-has-cancer/about-my-parents-cancer/

Young children

"What's happening to my mummy" book available from the Breast Care Unit or Cancer Council Queensland by phoning 13 11 20.

Chicks in pink

Mater chicks in pink makes a real difference for women with breast cancer both by providing for immediate needs of women undergoing treatment at Mater and by contributing to research to find better treatments. Visit their website for further information.

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-480014
Last modified 15/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 26/7/2015
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