How Long Does It Take To Get Over Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Breast reconstruction surgery may take around 6 to 8 weeks of time for complete recovery and get back to normal life. Some may take a lesser amount of time. By the 8th week, it is possible for patients to get back to normal activities and work life.
What Happens During The Period Of Recovery From Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
The recovery process after breast reconstruction surgery includes some changes which the patient gradually has to get used to-
Tiredness: The patient may have a feeling of tiredness or soreness for a week or two after the surgery. If the patient undergoes a flap procedure, the tiredness might stay for a longer period of time because of two surgical wounds. Medicines will be given to control the pain.
Patient Discharge: The patient might be able to go home within few days of the surgery depending upon the type of operation taken place.
Draining: There might be a possibility of discharge with one or more drains in place. A drain basically is a small tube placed in the wound to remove extra fluid from the surgery site as it heals.
Fluid Draining: In most of the cases, the fluid drains into a hollow ball and the patient is taught how to empty the ball in the hospital.
Drain Care: The instructions given by the doctor is to be followed with respect to wound and drain care.
What are the Possible Risks Present After The Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
The potential risks after the breast reconstruction surgery may be varied. Some of them include:
- Absence of or changes in the sensation of nipple or breast.
- Death of tissue of a part of tissue flap, skin or fat.
- Loss of muscle strength.
- Changes in the arm on the side of the reconstructed breast.
- Problem of uneven breasts.
- Need for immediate special surgeries to fix problems that come up accordingly.
What are the Precautions to Take After Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Breast reconstruction surgery is a major operation and few important things are to be kept in mind while the recovery process is going on. They involve-
Comfortable Inner Wear: It is important to ask the doctor when to go back to wearing regular bras. It is also important to know and understand the type of bra that might be comfortable to wear. In most cases, underwired bra might be uncomfortable during the time of healing from the surgery.
Exercising: The surgeon should be consulted with respect to when to start with stretching exercises and normal activities. This is because different reconstruction surgeries require different precautionary techniques. It may be a basic rule to refrain from strenuous exercises, sexual activities and heavy activities for 4-6 weeks after the surgery.
Support Group: It may happen so that women might take some time to emotionally adjust once they have had their breasts reconstructed. It might take time to get used to the reconstructed breasts. Talking to other women who have gone through the same surgery might be beneficial. If need be, a mental health professional might be sought.
MRI Scan: In case the patient has got silicone implants, regular MRI scans need to be done to ensure that they are not leaking. This is because leakage of silicone implants may occur without any possible symptoms.
The doctor should be consulted immediately in case of observed swelling, limps or pain. The doctor should also be informed in case of leakage from breasts or armpits. In fact, any form of symptoms that the patient might notice should be informed to the doctor as soon as possible.