Breast reconstruction can be an exciting experience for women who have survived breast cancer. This procedure helps restore the appearance and feel of a natural breast, and allows women to regain their confidence and self-esteem after mastectomy. Recovering from breast reconstruction can often take up to several weeks, depending on how you care for yourself following surgery.
Schedule an appointment with Monarch Plastic Surgery to learn more about how breast reconstruction can help you feel more confident and attractive after breast cancer surgery!
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are tips on how to recover safely and comfortably from breast reconstruction surgery.
Communicate with your plastic surgeon
Before your appointment for breast reconstruction surgery, your plastic surgeon will talk to you about aftercare, and provide you with a list of post-op instructions you can take home and consult throughout recovery. Don’t hesitate to consult with your surgeon with any questions or concerns you have about recovery. The better you understand the instructions, the more quickly and safely you can heal from surgery. Breast reconstruction often involves wound and drain care, which is why it’s important that you fully understand post-op care and instructions.
Understand that healing takes time
It’s completely understandable that you might feel anxious and excited about resuming normal daily activities and showing off your new curves after surgery. But keep in mind that healing takes time, and that you must be patient to benefit from the best possible results. Bruising and swelling can take up to eight weeks to go away, while tissues may spend up to two years healing and fading.
Seek your surgeon’s approval before wearing bras
Ask your plastic surgeon when you can go back to wearing regular bras following breast reconstruction. In many cases, you’ll be advised to hold off on wearing bras for several weeks as your breasts and incisions fully heal from surgery. When you can resume wearing bras, consider wireless bras to achieve the best comfort, and to prevent underwire from rubbing against scars.
Hold off on exercise until your surgeon approves
Exercise promotes good blood flow and circulation, and can help maintain the results of breast reconstruction and other cosmetic surgeries. However, resuming your exercise routine too soon after surgery can compromise healing and your final results. Ask your plastic surgeon when you can start exercising again, and try to avoid strenuous physical activity for about six weeks after surgery.
Have realistic expectations about your results
Keep in mind that while breast reconstruction can help restore the feel and look of a natural breast, your new, reconstructed breast will not feel or look exactly the same as a real breast. Having realistic expectations about surgery can help you maintain a positive attitude and state of mind throughout healing, recovery, and beyond. If you’re feeling particularly emotional after having breast reconstruction, ask your plastic surgeon for referrals to support groups or counselors who can help you get back on the path to improved emotional health.
Breast reconstruction can help improve your self-esteem following breast cancer surgery, and restores the look and feel of a natural breast. Schedule an appointment with Monarch Plastic Surgery today for more information about breast surgeries that can help rejuvenate your appearance.