My Top Favorite Things to Promote Breast Surgery Recovery


My Top Favorite Things to Promote Breast Surgery Recovery

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My Top Favorite Things to Promote Breast Surgery Recovery

I thought it might be helpful to share with you my list of my top favorite things to promote breast surgery recovery.  I have personally tried all of these and found that they worked wonderfully well.

In the Hospital

Whether you are recovering from mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction surgery, there will be incisions to heal.  The body requires protein to heal properly and if you’re a vegetarian, that can pose a problem.

If you can, have a friend bring you some homemade soups, salads,  stews made with fresh organic ingredients while you’re in the hospital mending because that would be much better than the processed food most hospitals serve.

1.  Protein – since you probably won’t be able to get organic meat in the hospital (or if you’re a vegetarian), your best bet is to have a good quality protein powder that you can mix into juices or soups.

2.  Arnica – you can take this in homeopathic pills, a cream or a gel but it’s great stuff for limiting surgical bruising and pain.  Don’t miss out on this one!  This is the one I used.

3.  Transfer Factors – Because of the fact that your immune system is clearly not operating as well as it could be it only makes sense to rebuild it as quickly as possible and I have found few things that work better than Transfer Factors.  You are relying upon your immune system to be your best defense against cancer and if it is not operating at optimal levels, you could be leaving the door wide open for a recurrence.  Transfer Factors will not only help you rebuild your immune system, they also help the body repair itself.  This is the one I recommend.

4.  Essential oils – to promote the healing process, decrease pain and the chances of infection, limit bruising and increase oxygenation to the healing incisions.  I used PanAway, a remarkable essential oil blend of helichrysum and wintergreen.  Since your incisions will be covered, just apply the essential oil to the areas you can access – the oil will migrate where it is needed.  Just be aware – some nurses might frown on this (I did this by myself in the bathroom!).

Healing at Home

5.  Sleep – once you’re home it will be easier to get some rest!  Sleep is the absolute best way for your body to heal itself.  Don’t feel guilty about getting some extra sleep – you need it right now.

6.  Continue 1, 3 and 4 above – in addition to PanAway, try Lavender and Frankincense for their superior skin healing qualities.  Lavender also helps you to relax and promotes deeper sleep.

7.  Keep stress levels down –  too much stress can slow down the healing process.  Keep stress levels down by taking time out to meditate.  If you can learn to visualize your body healing itself, it will happen that much quicker.

8.  Bromelain – an enzyme found in the stems of pineapples, useful for reducing post-op swelling. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and boosts the immune system to reduce pain, bruising, and tenderness. It is a natural supplement that works the same way as Ibuprofen, the well-known over-the-counter drug, the only difference being that bromelain will not harm your liver.

9. Flaxseed – just 1-2 tbsp of freshly ground flaxseed per day can help reduce your risk for cancer recurrence, fight the effects of inflammation, help your body repair itself, is full of fiber which will help you detox and minerals. For more information, check out this article: 9 Fantastic Benefits of Flaxseed

Reducing Scar Tissue Adhesions

I had the latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction so had a sizable scar on the left side of my back just under my shoulder blade.  I had a friend massage cypress and wintergreen essential oils around the edges of the scar (while it was healing) and into the incision itself after it had healed.  Cypress increases circulation and wintergreen is a natural anti-inflammatory and decreases pain.

After about 8 weeks post-op, I had my massage therapist do some cross-fiber massage over the scar to reduce adhesions which could limit my range of movement.  I still get that done 8 years later because adhesions tend to cause trouble even this far down the track.  Gentle stretching of the arm above the head (yoga is wonderful) also helps quite a bit.  I created a video to show others how to do the massage procedure.

The important thing post surgery is to stay positive and relaxed, and let nature run its course.  Remember, your body is adept at self-healing.  It knows how to repair itself.  All you have to do is give it the proper nutrition, minimize stress, get plenty of rest, and promote good circulation.

I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.  

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9 thoughts on “My Top Favorite Things to Promote Breast Surgery Recovery

  1. Hi Marnie, reading your Surgery Recovery suggestions and have a question abt. the Bromelain; I have some old stuff (been in freezer to keep fresh) called TumorX brand ; Bromelain Enzyme, 1000 mg.; Bromelain @ 2400 GDU. Dist. by VHME. Also it expired 5/2010. My husband was using this years ago. Is this something I can still use even though it has been in freezer for couple of yrs and expired? Ive been posting my LD Flap issues on the forum discussion board. Also, What is a good credible online store to purchase the cypress & wintergreen oils. My back is on fire in the middle most all day and pain meds and Ibuprophen dont help much. I think I have fluid build up around my LD scars, but PS says its edema, and will go away “it takes time” is PS favorite words. Thanks, Jeri

    1. Hi Jeri! Nice to hear from you! I suspect the stuff in your freezer “might” be okay, but really bromelain is not expensive – I’d suggest going to your health food shop and getting a fresh bottle, that way you know you’re getting the best product that will work quickly. The cypress and wintergreen essential oils are available from me! Here’s the link to my on-line shop: . Click on “product line” and then “essential oils” to be taken to the page where cypress and wintergreen are. I highly recommend them – in fact I just grabbed some wintergreen and spread it on my neck for a sore neck (too much time at the computer!)! I can totally relate to your issues of back being on fire. I’d recommend peppermint (anti-inflammatory), cypress (to increase circulation) and wintergreen (for pain relief) – very soothing. And massage – get someone to rub them in for you, the power of touch is an amazing thing. Let me know how else I can help you. Have you signed up for my free newsletters? Full of all my best stuff! Sending you lots of love and healing today.

  2. I am thankful for your testimony and sharing your experience. I have a question about pineapple, how do use the stem? Do you consume in a shake?

  3. Hi ,
    Just curious , where did you apply the panaway EO? On the stitches them selves or just on the breasts? Also, how long after the surgery did you wait to apply ? Any other oils other than the ones you comment on that you found helped ? Any to diffuse ?

    1. Denise,
      I applied the PanAway almost immediately after surgery – within a couple of hours – just close to the bandages, not in the open wound. I knew it would travel where it needed to go. From memory, I also used lavender. I also found arnica to be extremely helpful. Diffuse any that you enjoy – they almost all have anti-inflammatory properties and will assist the healing process.
      I hope this info helps!
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

  4. It was really nice how you mentioned that after the breast surgery, it’s good to get some extra rest and sleep because those were essential in promoting the healing of the body. I will recommend that to my aunt because she was planning to undergo lumpectomy next month. I was not aware of what it was, but I have heard that it’s can contribute to breast cancer, or it was breast cancer itself. Anyway, I really want to help her, and this was the only thing that I can think of. Thanks for sharing the info. I appreciate it.

    1. Julius,
      You are quite welcome. If your aunt would like to subscribe to my newsletters, she can do that from any page of my website, there’s a sign-up form over on the far right-hand side of every page.
      Warmest regards,

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