Breast reconstruction is a procedure that has helped millions of women regain their confidence and self-esteem after a mastectomy. If you are contemplating breast reconstruction, you are sure to have questions about the procedure, including what to expect after surgery.
Breast reconstruction recreates the form and shape of the breast after a mastectomy (breast removal surgery). Surgery to rebuild the breasts can be done with implants or your own tissue (autologous reconstruction).
What to Expect After Breast Reconstruction
After your breast reconstruction surgery at El Paso Cosmetic Surgery, our dedicated team will be there to help you with recovery, so that you can get back to your usual activities quickly.
Most patients recover well after breast reconstruction and have few side effects. Below are some of the post-surgical issues to be aware of.
Pain and Discomfort
Some degree of pain is usual after breast reconstruction, but medication is prescribed to ease any discomfort. You may also feel tired and sore in the first few weeks after breast reconstruction.
Swelling and Bruising
There is generally some swelling and bruising after surgery which can take up to 8 weeks to resolve.
You may be required to wear a surgical bra for 4-6 weeks after surgery. A surgical bra provides support for the breast and helps with healing.
Small tubes or surgical drains are used to remove extra fluid during the recovery process. Before your procedure, our surgeons will let you know how long you can expect these to stay in place.
You can take walks and engage in non-strenuous activities after breast reconstruction, but you should avoid strenuous activities for 4-6 weeks.
Recovery time after breast reconstruction varies depending on the type of surgery performed. Each patient’s recovery is unique, but breast reconstruction with implants typically requires a shorter recovery time than breast reconstruction using natural tissue. Most women can return to work after two weeks. However, it is essential to listen to your body and take the time needed to heal fully.
You may need help with everyday activities such as bathing and dressing for several days as your arms and shoulders will be stiff and sore.
Closely following the post-op instructions we provide will ensure that you heal well after breast reconstruction and achieve the best possible results.
Getting a cancer diagnosis and losing one or both of your breasts can be traumatic. However, reconstructive surgery can provide psychosocial benefits and improve your overall quality of life.
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