Recovering from Breast Reconstruction
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An elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the reconstructed breast. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
There are many pain management options to reduce your discomfort and pain after surgery. Discuss these options with your surgeon. Many surgeons may use a multi-pronged approach to managing your pain and may use a combination of local anesthetics, pain pumps, and anti-inflammatories, in addition to more traditional narcotic pain medications. The use of multiple modalities helps to reduce your need for narcotics and the unwanted side effects of these medications.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Will there be drains? For how long?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases and breast shape and position improve. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
When you go home
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately.
Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no
guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure
and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician's instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical
incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will
give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.