After Your Breast Reconstruction: What to Expect

Choosing to undergo breast reconstruction surgery is a brave decision that has been proven to significantly decrease, if not eliminate your chances of breast cancer. The point of a reconstructive surgery is to regain the feeling and appearance of breasts for women who have gone through a mastectomy. There are two main options for reconstruction; implant surgery and free flap surgery, or an autologous breast reconstruction. If you chose to have an immediate reconstructive surgery following your mastectomy, the surgery will take about an hour longer, and your recovery time in the hospital will be more delayed. If you separated the two surgeries, recovery from a reconstruction can be an outpatient procedure where the patient is able to return to the comfort of their home on the same day they were admitted. If you’re in need of an incredible doctor to perform a breast reconstruction in Houston, look no further than the team at the Breast Health Institute of Houston.

Settling at Home

Once you have been discharged and have returned home, make sure someone is with you or has agreed to check in on you often throughout the coming weeks. Recovery is a slow and patient process that will require the help of others for tasks you are too sore or weak to do yourself. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest in your first few days at home. It is very important that you remember everything your surgeon told you about how best to recovery. Breast reconstruction patients in Houston have found it beneficial to keep a small list detailing recovery reminders with them through their time resting at home. Your doctors will have prescribed you pain management solutions for you to recover comfortably, so be sure to administer the medication as frequently as instructed. Do not ever exceed the prescribed dosage without talking with your doctor first to see if you need an adjustment in the amount.

Beyond the physical pain of reconstructive surgery, there is a mental pain that many patients experience. During your recovery time, it is natural to want to see how different your breasts look. Depending on the type of surgery you chose, the change could be substantial. Try not to dwell heavily on the way your body used to look, but instead try to commend yourself for being a fighter and a cancer survivor.

Continuing the Journey

After you have had plenty of time to heal and have begun to pick up more of your daily routines, your doctor will prescribe a physical therapy schedule. Your duration and frequency will depend on how substantial the reconstruction was, and whether you are resuming chemotherapy treatments. Physical therapy is a wonderful way for breast reconstructive Houston patients to regain mobility and strength while slowly learning how to perform daily tasks without causing injury to themselves. Because the sessions are monitored by medical professionals, the workouts are helpful, and the risk of injury is exponentially lower than if the patient was to try exercising on her own.

After about six weeks of recovery, most patients can return to work and their daily lives with little to no pain. At this stage of the reconstructive process, patients again begin to deal with the reality that their bodies have been through a significant change. It’s important in these moments to stay positive and remember that your body is incredibly strong. Once you’ve passed the three-month mark, you can begin talking to your surgeon about a nipple reconstruction. This surgery is completely optional, but if it will help you adjust to your new body, many patients have felt that it helps them. After a year of dedicated, patient recovery, your frequent doctor checkups will end, and your breasts will be very close to their final appearance. Congratulations on your incredible journey!

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