Recovering from Breast Reconstruction Surgery
This Las Vegas cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedure is about helping women who have lost a breast to cancer to get their lives back on track while enjoying a very natural appearance. Dr. Cambeiro detailsbreast reconstruction recovery for each of his patients so that they can make informed decisions for their health and happiness.
- You are likely to feel tired and sore for a week or two after breast reconstruction. Most of your discomfort will be controlled by medication prescribed by Dr. Cambeiro.
- Depending on the extent of your breast reconstruction surgery, you will probably be released from the hospital in two to five days. Many breast reconstruction options require a surgical drain to remove excess fluids from surgical sites immediately following the operation, but these are removed within the first week or two after breast implant surgery. Most stitches are removed in a week to ten days.
- You should not drive until you have normal return of daily activity and are off all narcotic medications.
- You should avoid strenuous activities such as bending, lifting, and sports for about three weeks. Drinking alcohol can lead to fluid retention and delays recovery.
- During the first 24 hours your assigned caretaker will assist you in getting up to the bathroom, taking medications, and eating and drinking. During the first 12-24 hours you will stay on a liquid diet and advance yourself as tolerated.
- You will probably feel tired and sore for a few days following your breast reconstruction surgery, but you will be up and about in 24-48 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication.
- Antibiotics are continued for five days after the procedure to lower the risk of infection.
- You should be up and walking on the morning following your breast implant surgery, and a light solid diet begun to the point of tolerance.
- If you have a temperature over 99.5 degrees, chills or sweats, a markedly different degree of swelling between sides , and/or increasing rather than decreasing pain—call the office immediately!
- You should be able to return to work within a few days to week, depending on the level of activity required for your job.
- Dr. Cambeiro will let you know when a good time is to start up your exercises and normal activities.
- Showering is not permitted until all drains are removed.
Final Result of Breast Reconstruction
- It may take you up to six weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and breast reconstruction or from a flap reconstruction alone.
- If breast implants are used without flaps and reconstruction is done apart from the mastectomy, your recovery time may be less.
- Breast reconstruction cannot restore normal sensation to your breast, but in time, some feeling may return.
- Most scars will fade substantially over time, though it may take as long as one to two years, but they will never disappear entirely. The better the quality of your overall reconstruction, the less distracting you will find those scars.
- Follow Dr. Cambeiro's advice on when to begin stretching exercises and normal activities. As a general rule, you will want to refrain from any overhead lifting, strenuous sports, and sexual activity for three to six weeks following reconstruction.
- Chances are your reconstructed breast may feel firmer and look rounder or flatter than your natural breast. It may not have the same contour as your breast before mastectomy, nor will it exactly match your opposite breast. But these differences will be apparent only to you. For most mastectomy patients, breast reconstruction dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life following surgery.
If you are considering breast reconstruction, Las Vegas plastic surgeon Dr. Cambeiro invites you to request a complimentary consultation or give our office a call at (702) 734-4100 for confidential and informative answers to all your questions. If you prefer, you can send us an email using our discreet online form.