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At Home

When to Call Your Surgeon


You may need to see a member of your healthcare team before your next planned appointment. Some of the reasons are more urgent than others.


Call the number your surgeon gave you at any time (including evenings, weekends, or holidays) if you have:

  • Sudden increased pain, redness, bruising, or swelling around your incision(s) or drain site.
  • Ongoing bright red bloody discharge from your drain.
  • Drainage from your drain that smells bad or is creamy in color.
  • Chills or a fever (temperature above 38 °C/100.4 °F).
  • Bright red bleeding from your incision and the bleeding doesn’t stop after you put pressure using a clean cloth or gauze.
  • Your incision has completely opened.


Call your surgeon during business hours to set up an appointment if you notice:

  • More redness or swelling around your incision(s) or drain site.
  • You have a seroma and it’s causing you pain.
  • Any new drainage from your incision(s).
  • Your incision is opening.
  • You have a skin reaction to the surgical tapes.

What’s common after surgery

You don’t need to call your surgeon or family doctor if you notice:

  • Bruising on the skin of the breast and armpit without swelling.
  • A bit of redness right around your drain site.
  • A closed incision with a bit of drainage.
  • A stitch that you can see or feel at the end(s) of your incision.
  • Firmness without bruising where you had a lump removed (lumpectomy).​​​​

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