Follow up care after surgery for DCIS

Your recovery will depend on the type of operation you had. It’s important to follow the advice you’ve been given by your breast care nurse.

Try to get plenty of rest and eat well. Do some light exercise, such as walking, that you can gradually increase. This helps build up your energy. It’s important to carry on with the exercises you were shown in hospital. You may need to avoid lifting or carrying anything heavy for a few weeks. Your nurse will give you more information, as it depends on the type of operation you had.

Some insurance policies give specific time limits for not driving after surgery. Most women are ready to drive about four weeks after their operation. Don’t drive unless you feel in full control of the car.

Outpatient appointment and results

You will be given an appointment for the outpatient clinic to see the surgeon and breast care nurse. They will check that the wound is healing properly. They’ll also tell you about the tissue that was removed during surgery (pathology) and the stage of the cancer.

If you had a wide local excision (WLE), your surgeon will explain whether the margins around the DCIS were clear or whether you need another operation. Sometimes a small area of invasive cancer is found along with the DCIS. Although this can be distressing news, it’s usually very early breast cancer, which can be treated successfully. If invasive cancer is found, you may have to have a second operation to do a sentinel lymph node biopsy if you have not already had one.

The surgeon and breast care nurse will also talk to you about any further treatment you need. This may be radiotherapy or hormonal therapy.

Some women may not need radiotherapy or hormonal therapy. Your breast care nurse will tell you about your follow up. They can explain what to expect after treatment and what you can do to help yourself.

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