After having a mastectomy, bruising and swelling is pretty common. Finding ways to reduce discomfort and speed up the healing process is crucial during the weeks following your procedure. Ice can be one of the best avenues to do this.
Ice helps to:
- Reduce swelling
- Soothe pain by numbing the area
- Slow the flow of fluids in the area
- Increase mobility in areas like armpit
How does cold therapy work?
Cold therapy is the act of using ice or cold compresses on your body to activate it's natural response to cold. When the body is cold, your blood vessels constrict which reduces swelling. It's like turning on your body's natural anti-swell system! While it may be a little uncomfortable feeling at first, after a few minutes a cold compress can also help to numb pain.
How do I use cold therapy at home?
To apply your ice pack, it's suggested to:
- Apply regularly in the days following your procedure. Be sure to check with your medical staff first to make sure there are no concerns.
- Leave ice on for 20 min windows when swelling or pain is at it's worst.
- Always put a cloth or paper towel between the ice pack and your skin to prevent damage to the skin. We love our ice pack bra for this!
We recommend finding a garment that can hold your ice packs for you after your procedure if possible. This will allow for the constant application of cold therapy to the areas that need it most. We love the ice pack bra included with the Brobe Recovery Robe for this purpose (in addition to many others!). It has pockets specifically designed to hold gel ice packs in place during recovery so you can get hands-free relief.
We hope this quick tip helps make your recovery a little more seamless. Good luck!