The average recovery time following a mastectomy is a few weeks, although the time frame extends further if a patient has had reconstruction, notes Breastcancer.org. A patient without reconstruction typically stays in the hospital after surgery for no more than three days.
Although recovery time is a few weeks, patients experience the effects of a mastectomy for several months after the surgery, according to Breastcancer.org. For example, phantom pain or phantom sensations are common as nerves grow back. Medications like ibuprofen and opioids help with this pain. Fatigue for a few months is also common, and patients should continue doing arm exercises to keep their arms limber.