Surgery

Please see the outpatient clinic visit section for information about surgery options.

On the day before surgery, a sentinel node scan is obtained by lymphoscintigraphy at Meilahti Hospital.

The patient arrives at the hospital on the morning of the surgery date. The operation is usually performed under general anesthesia. The patient may be discharged on the same day after breast-conserving surgery if she is in satisfactory condition and feels well enough. In this case she needs to be escorted home by an adult who will also stay with her during the first night after surgery. The decision regarding a day-surgery operation is made at the initial outpatient clinic visit. Otherwise the patient usually spends one night after the operation in the hospital.

At the time of discharge the patient receives home care instructions for the operation performed, a certificate for sick leave, any necessary prescriptions, and a follow-up appointment. Contact information for the ward is also provided, along with information about the puncture and wound outpatient clinic, open every weekday morning. The clinic is specifically for patients who have just had surgery and may experience fluid accumulation or wound problems in the surgical area. Sick leave is usually given for 2 to 5 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery, usually at least until the follow-up visit date. A physical therapist provides oral and written instructions.

Wounds are usually stitched with absorbable sutures. The patient may shower normally one day after the operation, but may not go to the sauna, swim, or take a bath before the follow-up appointment.