Reasons You Might Have Cramps That Have Nothing to Do With Your Period

For some women, menstrual cramps are a bother for a few days every month. For others—like those who suffer from conditions like endometriosis or adenomyosis—the pain can be severe, chronic, and even debilitating.
But cramps and abdominal discomfort aren’t always period-related, and you should consider other causes if you have ongoing pelvic pain. That’s especially true if your cramps don’t get better or worse around the same time every month.

Talking to your gynecologist is a good start, but you may also want an evaluation from your primary care physician, a gastroenterologist, a urologist, or a pelvic medicine specialist as well, says Benjamin Brucker, MD, assistant professor of urology and ob-gyn at NYU Langone Health.

“There are several different categories of health problems, such as pelvic-floor issues or bladder issues, that could contribute to a similar type of pain,” says Dr. Brucker. If you suspect your persistent symptoms aren’t related to your monthly cycle, here are some other potential culprits.

Kidney stones:

Kidney stones—hard masses formed in the kidneys from calcium—often cause back or side pain just below the ribs. But if a stone works its way down the urinary tract, it can cause pain in the lower abdomen or even the vagina. An ultrasound or CT scan can help diagnose this common condition, and blood and urine tests may also be required to rule out other problems.

Small kidney stones can usually be passed on their own with the help of over-the-counter pain relievers and plenty of fluids. Doctors may also prescribe medications known as alpha blockers, which help relax the muscles in the urinary tract. Large stones may need to be broken apart with sound-wave technology or removed surgically.

Painful-bladder syndrome:

Technically known as interstitial cystitis, this condition is what doctors call pain in the bladder with no obvious or identifiable cause. “Bladder muscles can contract and spasm the same way the muscles of the uterus can, and they can cause a similar cramping sensation,” says Dr. Brucker. “Sometimes the pain gets worse with bladder filling and better with bladder emptying, but that’s not the case for everyone.”

There’s no diagnostic test for painful-bladder syndrome, and treatment varies depending on a woman’s specific symptoms. One potential therapy include electrical stimulation of the pelvic nerves, a treatment also used for overactive bladder.

A fibroid, cyst, or tumor:

If you’re experiencing unexplained pelvic pain, doctors will often perform imaging tests to look for structural causes—like uterine fibroids, a cyst on the ovaries, or, rarely, a tumor in the reproductive organs. (Ovarian cysts are usually benign, but they can occasionally become cancerous.)

Doctors may also recommend a colonoscopy to make sure you have no polyps—unusual growths that can sometimes progress to cancer—in your bowel tract. Colon polyps and early colon cancer are often symptomless, but doctors still say that belly pain or discomfort that lasts longer than a week should be checked.

Ovarian torsion :

Last year, actress Busy Philipps went to the emergency room after suffering “crazy, excruciating pain” in her lower right side, she posted on social media. Turns out, she had ovarian torsion—when an ovary or a fallopian tube twists around itself, which can cut off blood flow and affect fertility.

The condition accounts for only about 3% of all gynecological conditions, and it’s not caused by anything a woman does, like jumping or twisting her body. (One thing that can raise your risk, however, is having an existing ovarian cyst.) Experts say that anyone with sudden and severe abdominal pain—especially if it’s also associated with vomiting—should get to the emergency room right away and be checked out for this.

Infection:

Some women can immediately recognize the symptoms of a urinary tract infection—like a constant need to pee, and a burning sensation when they go. But sometimes, a UTI can be harder to diagnose, says Sheila Dugan, MD, director of the pelvic and abdominal health program at Rush University Medical Center. UTIs can also cause lower abdominal pain and cramping, especially in older women.

Other types of infections can also cause chronic pelvic pain, including diverticulitis (inflamed pouches in the colon) or infected Skene’s glands—tiny ducts located in the vagina that are sometimes referred to as the female prostate. “When an organ becomes infected, it fills with pus and begins to stretch and stimulate the muscles around it,” explains Dr. Dugan.

An untreated STI:

Untreated sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea can lead to a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease. PID causes structural changes to the reproductive tract—and while it may not trigger any symptoms at first, it can eventually contribute to persistent abdominal pain, fever, abnormal vaginal discharge, pain or bleeding during sex, and infertility or pregnancy complications.

PID can be treated, but if it goes undiagnosed for too long, the damage it causes can be irreversible. It’s estimated that about 2.5 million American women have had PID, and those who have had more sexual partners are at higher risk.

A pelvic-floor injury

“The vagina and the pelvic floor are made up of lots of muscles, and you can get cramps and tightness in those muscles just like any other muscle in the body,” says Dr. Brucker. “If you sleep funny and you have a stiff neck, it’s really obvious the next day. But if you have a stiff pelvic-floor muscle, it’s more internal and the symptoms can be more vague.”

If a muscle in the pelvic floor becomes too tight, the nerves around it can become irritated and cause cramp-like pains. This can happen as a result of exercise, old orthopedic injuries that didn’t heal properly, chronic constipation, or even sex. “And sometimes those muscle don’t become sore for a few days after the initial trauma, so it’s hard to figure out what the potential cause is,” Dr. Brucker says.

Sexual assault or domestic violence:

“There’s also a big association between tight pelvic-floor muscles and domestic violence or sexual assault,” says Dr. Brucker. “It’s very common for women who have been abused to hold a lot of tension in this area and have difficulty relaxing those muscles—which can cause physical symptoms and also make exams and intimate relations more painful, as well.”

Physical therapists trained in pelvic-floor medicine can often help women with tight pelvic-floor muscles. “It’s not just doing kegal exercises, which involves contracting and ‘uptraining’ to tighten the muscles,” says Dr. Brucker. “There’s also a lot of ‘downtraining’ to relax and stretch those muscles out.” Women with a history of abuse may also benefit from psychological counseling, as well.

Gas:

It’s no secret that extra air in the digestive tract can cause bloating and cramping, and this often occurs after eating gas-producing foods like cauliflower, beans, and broccoli. Some people also suffer from chronic bloating, which may have to do with a bowel disorder, a food intolerance, or even the way they breathe.
“When you have chronic bloating, the air pushes forward and stretches your abdominal wall and makes it hurt,” says Dr. Dugan. That can lead to shallow breathing, which can cause further tightening of the abdominal muscles—forming a vicious cycle that keeps getting worse.

Food poisoning or stomach flu:

These causes of stomach cramps tend to be fairly obvious, since they comes on quickly and are often accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea in addition to pain. In many cases, food poisoning is caused by bacteria—such as salmonella, E. coli, or campylobacter—that’s lurking in undercooked meat or contaminated produce.
Similar symptoms can also be caused by a virus (like norovirus) that’s picked up from contaminated food or from another person who’s infected. This is often referred to as stomach flu, although it’s entirely different from the seasonal influenza virus.

A previous surgery :


If you’ve had any type of abdominal surgery in the past and are now experiencing unexplained stomach cramps, it’s possible that scars from your procedure are playing a role. “Scar tissue can get stuck to layers of tissue underneath and can cause pain in the belly,” says Dr. Dugan.

Scar tissue that causes pain or interferes with organ function is also known as an abdominal adhesion. Occasionally, these adhesions can block the intestines and require additional surgery.

Resources:
https://www.health.com/pain/causes-of-stomach-cramps

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An Ayurvedic Drink Is An Excellent Remedy For Indigestion

Nobody likes the queasy and disturbing feeling that comes with indigestion and a heavy stomach.
You hardly feel like eating or drinking anything, and are never in the mood to leave your house. In such time, Ayurveda advises that you eat light and clean sattvik food to make sure your digestive tracts get ample rest.


Ayurveda also suggests handful of herbs and spices that can help manage indigestion naturally and enable healthy and smooth digestion. Jeera or cumin is one such potent herb that is known to heal a variety of your tummy woes.
Watch: Diet Soda Could Be Wrecking Your Gut Health (Cooking Light)

Cumin is known to be as one of the oldest spices on earth. In her book, “Flavour of Spice”, Marryam H. Reshii writes that the spice is native to the Mediterranean basin, “It has been around for centuries. In fact, there is evidence that cumin was in use in parts of the world over 5,000 years ago. Cumin seeds were excavated at a site in Syria and have been dated to 2000 BCE”.

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A glass of jeera water has been used as a fool-proof remedy to treat digestive issues. The experts say that it is thymol, a compound present in cumin, which stimulates the enzymes that enable better secretion of digestive juices.

Cumin is known to be as one of the oldest spices on earth:

According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, cumin is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. “It helps fortify digestive tract, relieving nausea, bloating and constipation”, notes the book. Ayurveda expert Dr. Ashutosh Gautam also agrees. According to him, “Jeera water helps get rid of acidity and bloating, and provides relief from indigestion. It acts as a painkiller and is especially beneficial in curing stomach ache and abdominal pain.” Cumin water helps stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes and accelerates the digestion process, thus helping you fight gut issues.

A healthy digestion is also linked with weight loss. In case of poor digestion, the body is not able to absorb and assimilate nutrients properly, which further hampers the elimination of waste from the body. This may lead to slowing down of the metabolic rate, which makes it more difficult to burn calories properly.

How To Make Jeera Water at Home :

To make jeera water at home, all you need to do is to boil a few seeds of jeera (cumin) in water. Allow the solution to cool and drink it early in the morning on an empty stomach.
Try this natural Ayurvedic, low-cal beverage and say bye-bye to indigestion.
Related: 24 Ways to Shrink Your Belly in 24 Hours (Eat This, Not That!)

Source: NDTV

Tricks to manage pain

Rhythmically tapping a part of the body that is away from the area of the pain confuses the brain.

There is a myth that we use only 10 per cent of our brain, but actually we use most of our brain almost all the time. It functions tirelessly, 24 hours a day, whether we are awake or asleep. It performs complicated sequential actions, some physical (those performed by an expert juggler), some mental (complex mathematics) and coordinates thinking and movement. All activities, conscious and subconscious, performed by humans are under the centralised control of the brain.

With advancing age, brain cells die, leading to loss of function, physical prowess and memory. The good news is that neurogenesis — the formation of new neurons — also occurs. It occurs naturally rapidly in children but reduces in adult life.

It really slows down in older people unless active efforts are made to form and maintain new connections. This can be done by learning new skills — such as dancing, a different language or a musical instrument.

Adults tend to accelerate the rate of destruction of brain cells with inappropriate lifestyle habits such as smoking, uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension, or working with volatile aromatic compounds such as glue. Of all the lifestyle poisons, controlled alcohol consumption — not more than one “small” drink a day for women and two for men — is the least harmful.

Incidentally, it is possible to control some subconscious brain functions, such as the perception of pain, by tricking the neurons. All of us feel pain at some point of time. If it is an episode of acute pain, it can be tackled with medication but chronic pain is a different story. Arthritis and other painful diseases can take over our lives, preventing efficient functioning. Although pain arises in specific areas of the body, it is processed and felt in the brain. And it is possible to trick the brain into thinking that the pain has disappeared or lessened.

Here’s how:

Apply ice for 5-10 minutes to the area of pain. Then rhythmically tap a part of the body that is on the side opposite or away from the area of the pain. The conflicting signals confuse the brain and there is an “override”. The pain reduces in intensity. The dose of painkillers can also gradually be reduced.

Listening to music lessens the perception of pain as the auditory sensory signals override that generated by the pain. Meditation and repeating mantras also helps.

People sometimes have an uncontrollable itch in a part of the body. If there is no discolouration or swelling, it may be a kind of neurogenic itch . That too responds to ice packs, followed by rubbing the opposite side of the body. This manoeuvre is even more efficient if it is done seated in front of a mirror.

Insomnia — the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep — is the plague of the 21st century. It aggravates a plethora of diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, and contributes to weight gain. In addition to exercising in the evening (only until 7pm), going to bed at the same time every day in a darkened room with no plugged-in electronic devices and drinking a glass of warm milk before bed, you could try the 4-7-8 method.

Place the tip of the tongue behind the two front teeth, exhale completely through the mouth while making a sound for a count of eight. Inhale through the nose for a count of four and then hold your breath for a count of seven.Repeat three times. This works miracles, without the aid of addictive sleeping medication. Sweet dreams!

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata India)

Neuroblastoma

Description:
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body.

Neuroblastoma most commonly arises in and around the adrenal glands, which have similar origins to nerve cells and sit atop the kidneys. However, neuroblastoma can also develop in other areas of the abdomen and in the chest, neck and near the spine, where groups of nerve cells exist.

Neuroblastoma most commonly affects children age 5 or younger, though it may rarely occur in older children.

Some forms of neuroblastoma go away on their own, while others may require multiple treatments. Your child’s neuroblastoma treatment options will depend on several factors.

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Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma vary depending on what part of the body is affected.

Neuroblastoma in the abdomen — the most common form — may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • A mass under the skin that isn’t tender when touched
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation

Neuroblastoma in the chest may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Changes to the eyes, including drooping eyelids and unequal pupil size

Other signs and symptoms that may indicate neuroblastoma include:

  • Lumps of tissue under the skin
  • Eyeballs that seem to protrude from the sockets (proptosis)
  • Dark circles, similar to bruises, around the eyes
  • Back pain
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bone pain

Causes:
The cause of neuroblastoma is not well understood. The great majority of cases are sporadic and nonfamilial. About 1–2% of cases run in families and have been linked to specific gene mutations.

Occasionally, neuroblastoma may be due to a mutation inherited from a person’s parents. Environmental factors have not been found to be involved. Diagnosis is based on a tissue biopsy. Occasionally it may be found in a baby by ultrasound during pregnancy. At diagnosis, the cancer has usually already spread. The cancer is divided into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups based on a child’s age, cancer stage, and what the cancer looks like.

Cancer cells grow and multiply out of control. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor).

Neuroblastoma begins in neuroblasts — immature nerve cells that a fetus makes as part of its development process.

As the fetus matures, neuroblasts eventually turn into nerve cells and fibers and the cells that make up the adrenal glands. Most neuroblasts mature by birth, though a small number of immature neuroblasts can be found in newborns. In most cases, these neuroblasts mature or disappear. Others, however, form a tumor — a neuroblastoma.

It isn’t clear what causes the initial genetic mutation that leads to neuroblastoma.

Risk factors:

Children with a family history of neuroblastoma may be more likely to develop the disease. Yet, familial neuroblastoma is thought to comprise a very small number of neuroblastoma cases. In most cases of neuroblastoma, a cause is never identified.

Diagnosis:

Tests and procedures used to diagnose neuroblastoma include:

Physical exam. Your child’s doctor conducts a physical exam to check out any signs and symptoms. The doctor will ask you questions about your child’s habits and behaviors.

  • Urine and blood tests. These may indicate the cause of any signs and symptoms your child is experiencing. Urine tests may be used to check for high levels of certain chemicals that result from the neuroblastoma cells producing excess catecholamines.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests may reveal a mass that can indicate a tumor. Imaging tests may include an X-ray, ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), among others.
  • Removing a sample of tissue for testing. If a mass is found, your child’s doctor may want to remove a sample of the tissue for laboratory testing (biopsy). Specialized tests on the tissue sample can reveal what types of cells are involved in the tumor and specific genetic characteristics of the cancer cells. This information helps your child’s doctor devise an individualized treatment plan.
  • Removing a sample of bone marrow for testing. Your child may also undergo bone marrow biopsy and bone marrow aspiration procedures to see if neuroblastoma has spread to the bone marrow — the spongy material inside the largest bones where blood cells are formed. In order to remove bone marrow for testing, a needle is inserted into your child’s hipbone or lower back to draw out the marrow.

Staging:

Once neuroblastoma is diagnosed, your child’s doctor may order further testing to determine the extent of the cancer and whether it has spread to distant organs — a process called staging. Knowing the cancer’s stage helps the doctor decide what treatment is most appropriate.

Imaging tests used to stage cancer include X-rays, bone scans, and CT, MRI and MIBG scans, among others.

The stages of neuroblastoma are indicated by Roman numerals that range from 0 to IV, with the lowest stages indicating cancer that is limited to one area. By stage IV, the cancer is considered advanced and has spread to other areas of the body.

Treatment:

When the lesion is localized, it is generally curable. However, long-term survival for children with advanced disease older than 18 months of age is poor despite aggressive multimodal therapy (intensive chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, differentiation agent isotretinoin also called 13-cis-retinoic acid, and frequently immunotherapy with anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody therapy).

Biologic and genetic characteristics have been identified, which, when added to classic clinical staging, has allowed patient assignment to risk groups for planning treatment intensity. These criteria include the age of the patient, extent of disease spread, microscopic appearance, and genetic features including DNA ploidy and N-myc oncogene amplification (N-myc regulates microRNAs , into low, intermediate, and high risk disease. A recent biology study (COG ANBL00B1) analyzed 2687 neuroblastoma patients and the spectrum of risk assignment was determined: 37% of neuroblastoma cases are low risk, 18% are intermediate risk, and 45% are high risk. (There is some evidence that the high- and low-risk types are caused by different mechanisms, and are not merely two different degrees of expression of the same mechanism.)

The therapies for these different risk categories are very different.

  • Low-risk disease can frequently be observed without any treatment at all or cured with surgery alone.
  • Intermediate-risk disease is treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
  • High-risk neuroblastoma is treated with intensive chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, bone marrow / hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, biological-based therapy with 13-cis-retinoic acid (isotretinoin or Accutane) and antibody therapy usually administered with the cytokines GM-CSF and IL-2.

With current treatments, patients with low and intermediate risk disease have an excellent prognosis with cure rates above 90% for low risk and 70–90% for intermediate risk. In contrast, therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma the past two decades resulted in cures only about 30% of the time. The addition of antibody therapy has raised survival rates for high-risk disease significantly. In March 2009 an early analysis of a Children’s Oncology Group (COG) study with 226 high-risk patients showed that two years after stem cell transplant 66% of the group randomized to receive ch14.18 antibody with GM-CSF and IL-2 were alive and disease-free compared to only 46% in the group that did not receive the antibody. The randomization was stopped so all patients enrolling on the trial will receive the antibody therapy.

Chemotherapy agents used in combination have been found to be effective against neuroblastoma. Agents commonly used in induction and for stem cell transplant conditioning are platinum compounds (cisplatin, carboplatin), alkylating agents (cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, melphalan), topoisomerase II inhibitor (etoposide), anthracycline antibiotics (doxorubicin) and vinca alkaloids (vincristine). Some newer regimens include topoisomerase I inhibitors (topotecan and irinotecan) in induction which have been found to be effective against recurrent disease.

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Effective Treatment for Neuroblastoma

NEW HOPE FOR CHILDREN WITH HIGH-RISK NEUROBLASTOMA

Child’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Responds to Nutrition

Prognosis:
Between 20% and 50% of high-risk cases do not respond adequately to induction high-dose chemotherapy and are progressive or refractory. Relapse after completion of frontline therapy is also common. Further treatment is available in phase I and phase II clinical trials that test new agents and combinations of agents against neuroblastoma, but the outcome remains very poor for relapsed high-risk disease.

Most long-term survivors alive today had low or intermediate risk disease and milder courses of treatment compared to high-risk disease. The majority of survivors have long-term effects from the treatment. Survivors of intermediate and high-risk treatment often experience hearing loss. Growth reduction, thyroid function disorders, learning difficulties, and greater risk of secondary cancers affect survivors of high-risk disease. An estimated two of three survivors of childhood cancer will ultimately develop at least one chronic and sometimes life-threatening health problem within 20 to 30 years after the cancer diagnosis.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroblastoma
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neuroblastoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20351017

Mastectomy

Description:
A mastectomy is surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer.

For those with early-stage breast cancer, a mastectomy may be one treatment option. Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy), in which only the tumor is removed from the breast, may be another option.

Deciding between a mastectomy and lumpectomy can be difficult. Both procedures are equally effective for preventing a recurrence of breast cancer. But a lumpectomy isn’t an option for everyone with breast cancer, and others prefer to undergo a mastectomy.

Both mastectomy and lumpectomy are referred to as “local therapies” for breast cancer, targeting the area of the tumor, as opposed to systemic therapies, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or immunotherapy.

Traditionally, in the case of breast cancer, the whole breast was removed. Currently, the decision to do the mastectomy is based on various factors, including breast size, the number of lesions, biologic aggressiveness of a breast cancer, the availability of adjuvant radiation, and the willingness of the patient to accept higher rates of tumor recurrences after lumpectomy and radiation. Outcome studies comparing mastectomy to lumpectomy with radiation have suggested that routine radical mastectomy surgeries will not always prevent later distant secondary tumors arising from micro-metastases prior to discovery, diagnosis, and operation.

Newer mastectomy techniques can preserve breast skin and allow for a more natural breast appearance following the procedure. This is also known as skin-sparing mastectomy.

Surgery to restore shape to your breast — called breast reconstruction — may be done at the same time as your mastectomy or during a second operation at a later date.

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Types:
Currently, there are several surgical approaches to mastectomy, and the type that a person decides to undergo (or whether she or he will decide instead to have a lumpectomy) depends on factors such as the size, location, and behavior of the tumor (if one is present), whether or not the surgery is prophylactic, and whether the person intends to undergo reconstructive surgery.

* Simple mastectomy (or “total mastectomy”): In this procedure, the entire breast tissue is removed, but axillary contents are undisturbed. Sometimes the “sentinel lymph node”—that is, the first axillary lymph node that the metastasizing cancer cells would be expected to drain into—is removed.

* Modified radical mastectomy: The entire breast tissue is removed along with the axillary contents (fatty tissue and lymph nodes). In contrast to a radical mastectomy, the pectoral muscles are spared. This type of mastectomy is used to examine the lymph nodes because this helps to identify whether the cancer cells have spread beyond the breasts.

* Radical mastectomy (or “Halsted mastectomy”): First performed in 1882, this procedure involves removing the entire breast, the axillary lymph nodes, and the pectoralis major and minor muscles behind the breast.

* Skin-sparing mastectomy: In this surgery, the breast tissue is removed through a conservative incision made around the areola (the dark part surrounding the nipple).

* Nipple-sparing/subcutaneous mastectomy: Breast tissue is removed, but the nipple-areola complex is preserved. This procedure was historically done only prophylactically or with mastectomy for the benign disease over the fear of increased cancer development in retained areolar ductal tissue. Recent series suggest that it may be an oncologically sound procedure for tumors not in the subareolar position.

* Extended Radical Mastectomy: Radical mastectomy with intrapleural en bloc resection of internal mammary lymph node by sternal splitting.

* Prophylactic mastectomy: This procedure is used as a preventative measure against breast cancer. The surgery is aimed to remove all breast tissue that could potentially develop into breast cancer.

Risks Factors:

Risks of a mastectomy include:

* Bleeding
* Infection
* Pain
* Swelling (lymphedema) in your arm if you have an axillary node dissection
* Formation of hard scar tissue at the surgical site
* Shoulder pain and stiffness
* Numbness, particularly under your arm, from lymph node removal
Buildup of blood in the surgical site (hematoma)

Before surgery:
Before the operation, everyone will meet with the surgeon a few days before the surgery or even the day before, however, a much longer period is very beneficial since it allows the patient for a more objective weighing of the options. Although there is some urgency in timing the surgery, the patient needs some time after the initial shock of hearing the cancer verdict; otherwise, she may later regret her decision. The extent and specific details regarding the mastectomy will be discussed along with the person’s medical history.

Of extreme importance will be the woman’s decision whether the entire breast is to be removed, or only a part of it – and that is usually much more a personal choice than a medical assessment. The medical viewpoint stresses the statistical fact of much stronger chances for cure and survival when the breast is removed completely, even when the size of the cancer is small. From the personal viewpoint, the perspective of not having the breast is very painful and difficult to accept. At this point the support of the family and of good friends can make the difference between life and death, since it is easier for friends to present the after-the-surgery future in the “matter of fact” way, thus facilitating the reasonable decision. The dilemma of the vital importance will be weighing the aesthetics and pride, against the chances of curing and surviving, which are much better when the breast is removed 100% completely. During these considerations, very painful indeed, one needs to realize that a woman’s flat chest without breasts, even without nipples, does not look bad at all, nothing to feel embarrassed of, or to be ashamed by; it looks just neutral – much better than a partly removed, disfigured breast. Since the surgery is unavoidable, for people open to see the problem in this way, the choice becomes easier.

Before the surgery the person will have time to ask any questions regarding the procedure at this time and after everything is addressed a consent form is signed. Information about not eating or drinking anything beforehand will be gone over as well. The person will also meet with the anesthesiologist or the health professional who is going to be giving the anesthesia the day of the operation.[2][citation needed]

Recent research has indicated that mammograms should not be done with any increased frequency than normal procedure in people undergoing breast surgery, including breast augmentation, mastopexy, and breast reduction.[12]

During surgery:
The day of the operation the person will have an IV line started, which will be used to give medicine. Since this is an extensive procedure the person will be hooked up to an EKG machine and also have a blood pressure cuff to monitor vitals and the heart rhythm throughout the whole surgery. The anesthesia will be given, which will result in the person going to sleep. The timing of the surgery all depends on the extent and what type of mastectomy the person will be having.

After surgery:
When the procedure is complete the patient will be taken to a recovery room where they are monitored until they wake up and their vital signs remain stable. It is normal for people that have mastectomies to remain in the hospitals for 1 to 2 nights and they are released to go home if they are doing well. The decision for discharge should be made by the doctor based on the person’s overall health at the time. The person is dressed with a bandage over the surgery site that is wrapped around the chest snugly. It is common to have drains coming from the incision site to help remove blood and lymph to initiate the healing process. Patients may have to be taught to empty, care, and measure the fluid from the drains. Measuring the fluids will help identify any problems the doctors need to be aware of. Patients should be taught the effects of the surgery, such as regular activity may be altered. There is a possibility that pain, numbness, or tingling in the chest and arm could continue long after the surgery has been done. It is recommended that patients see their surgeon 7–14 days after the surgery, during this time the doctor will explain the results and talk about further treatment if needed such as radiation and chemotherapy. The doctor might refer the patient to a plastic surgeon if she showed interest in breast reconstruction surgery.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastectomy
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mastectomy/about/pac-20394670