Breast reconstruction is a complex plastic surgery procedure that may involve breast implants as well as fat transfer to restore the breasts. As with other cosmetic surgery procedures, the recovery in case of breast reconstruction may vary from one patient to another, depending on several factors.
An experienced cosmetic surgeon will discuss various aspects of the procedure, including the recovery process, at the time of initial consultation. Dr. Hisham Seify is a board certified plastic surgeon providing breast reconstruction to patients in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and nearby locations.
Breast reconstruction may involve surgical insertion of breast implants along with a flap procedure. This will make the recovery relatively longer compared to a case where flaps are not used. The patient will experience soreness in the treated areas for about a week after the plastic surgery. This period may be longer in case of flap procedures. The surgeon will prescribe pain medications to keep the patient comfortable in the first few days.
Breast reconstruction may be performed as an outpatient procedure, but this will depend on the type and extent of surgery performed. In some cases, the cosmetic surgeon may require the patient to stay overnight at the hospital facility. At the time of discharge, the surgeon may place one or more drains beneath the skin to remove excess blood and fluid from the treated areas while the healing process goes on.
As an experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Seify makes sure that every patient receives clear instructions on wound and drain care. He will also advise regarding the specific support garments that should be worn during the recovery period. Patients in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and other areas have an opportunity to consult with Dr. Seify for breast reconstruction.
Things to Remember
The patient should keep in the mind the following key issues during the recovery period:
- Breast reconstruction may not restore the normal or natural feeling and sensitivity of the breast. However, over a period of time, the sensation may improve.
- Bruising and swelling will disappear in about two months.
- Full healing of the tissue and the fading of scars may take several months.
- The surgeon will advise the patient on what type of bra to wear after the procedure. In case of discomfort with the bra, the patient should consult the surgeon again.
- The patient should follow the surgeon’s advice on when to resume regular activities and stretching exercises. The instructions may be different for different patients because of the varying types of reconstruction.
- Vigorous sports activities, overhead lifting, and other activities that put strain on the treated areas should be avoided for about four to six weeks.
- Emotional adjustment is an important part of recovery in case of breast reconstruction. The patient should enlist the emotional support of family and friends to go through the process.
The patient should get in touch with the surgeon immediately if she notices any abnormal signs such as excessive swelling, acute pain, lumps, or fluid discharge from the breast.
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