The recovery process in case of breast reconstruction surgery involves both physical and emotional aspects. The amount of time it may take to physically recover from the cosmetic surgery will depend on the surgical technique used to perform breast reconstruction.
Flap reconstruction usually requires more recovery time than implant reconstruction because healing will occur in two areas of the body.
Patients can usually expect to achieve full recovery within six weeks after surgery. However, recovery may be prolonged if there are post-surgical complications or if a patient chooses to have another procedure, such as nipple reconstruction.
Board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Farah Naz Khan provides breast reconstruction surgery to patients in Dallas, Texas, and other towns and cities in this part of the nation.
Immediately after the Surgery
Patients who undergo breast reconstruction will feel frequently tired for a few days, and will have soreness in the treated sites after the surgery. Some patients may have to remain in the hospital for one or two days for monitoring their early recovery.
The surgeon will usually insert drain tubes in the incision areas below the skin to remove excess fluid from the surgery site. These drains, along with any stitches, will remain in place for one to two weeks. Some symptoms that patients can expect to encounter during their recovery period include:
- Soreness at surgical site
- Numbness or loss of sensation
The surgeon may prescribe patients medication to help the patient deal with mild to moderate discomfort during the early phase of her breast reconstruction recovery. Following release from the hospital, it is important for patients to follow the surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care. This can ensure a faster, safer recovery.
The surgeon may recommend the following thing for a quicker and safer recovery:
- Avoid strenuous activity such as lifting objects over the head, participating in sports, and engaging in sexual activity for a few days
- Clean all wounds thoroughly
- Change bandages frequently
- Gently massage the skin and scars after wounds have healed
- Wear a firm, supportive bra (avoid underwires)
Depending on which method of breast reconstruction is utilized, patients can expect to have scars in one, or several, of the following areas: breast, nipple, abdomen, navel, back, buttocks, or another area from where tissue was removed to create a breast mound.
Flap reconstruction creates a little more scarring than implant reconstruction, because there are two incision sites involved. Surgical scars will fade over time, but are not likely to disappear entirely.
Restoration of Normal Life
No two breast reconstruction recovery periods are alike, and the patient should gradually return to her normal routine at her own pace. The patient should stay in touch with the surgeon’s office and adhere to all the follow up appointments.
She can slowly begin her daily chores such as housework, shopping, or driving as the incisions heal. Patients who receive flap reconstruction may require a little more downtime because this technique can weaken the arm or abdominal muscles.
For many patients, it may take time to readapt emotionally to having a reconstructed breast. While breast reconstruction can restore her aesthetic appearance, the reconstructed breast will not look or feel exactly the same as the natural breast.
Patients often find it useful to talk to other women who have undergone the same procedure or to a mental health professional. Board certified female plastic surgeon and the compassionate Dr. Farah Naz Khan receives patients from Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction surgery.
To schedule a consultation with Board Certified Dallas Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Farah Khan please call 469-437-5426 or click here to contact us.