December 28, 2007, Newsletter Issue #50: Recovering After Breast Reconstruction

Tip of the Week

Breast reconstruction is not a simple procedure and as a result recovery from this procedure is not extremely easy. A hospital stay may be required after a breast reconstruction procedure and may be approximately 2-5 days depending on the complexity of the procedure as well as other factors such as the strength of the patient. During the first week or two after the procedure the patient will likely experience some pain, discomfort, swelling and bruising. However, this pain will likely be manageable with prescribed medications. The patient will also require a drain to allow excess fluid to drain away from the procedure site but these drains will likely be removed after approximately 1.5 weeks. Stitches are also usually removed after approximately 1.5 weeks.

Breast reconstruction patients may feel well enough to engage in mild exercise such as brief walks after a week or two but should follow the surgeonís advice regarding more strenuous activities, overhead lifting or sexual activities. In most cases these activities will be prohibited for 3-6 weeks. After approximately six weeks most breast reconstruction patients will be fully recovered although in some cases swelling may persist for a longer period of time.

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