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How to Prepare for Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

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If you are preparing for breast reconstruction surgery, you will want to do as much as possible to mentally and physically prepare yourself. This includes making sure that you have all of the information you need about the surgery itself and also about the recovery process. 

This blog post will discuss everything you need to know to prepare for the treatment of breast diseases and breast reconstruction. In addition, we will cover topics such as what to expect during surgery, how long the recovery process takes, and what type of post-operative care is required.

What is Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

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Breast reconstruction surgery is a plastic surgery performed to restore the shape and appearance of the breast after a mastectomy (breast removal). This surgery aims to create a natural-looking breast that matches the other breast’s size, shape, and symmetry.

There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery: implant-based and autologous (using your tissue).

Implant-based reconstruction uses breast implants to create a new breast mound. The implant can be placed underneath the chest muscle (submuscular) or on top (sub glandular).

Autologous reconstruction uses your skin, fat, and muscle to create a new breast mound. The most common type of autologous reconstruction is the pedicled TRAM flap, which uses skin, fat, and muscle from your lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast.

What to Expect During Surgery

Breast reconstruction surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day. The surgery typically takes two to three hours, although this will depend on the type of reconstruction being performed.

Before the surgery begins, you will be given general anaesthesia to keep you asleep during the procedure. Once you are asleep, your surgeon will make an incision where the new breast mound will be created.

If you have implant-based reconstruction, the surgeon will create a pocket for the implant and then insert the implant into this pocket. If you have autologous reconstruction, the surgeon will use your skin, fat, and muscle to create a new breast mound.

Once the new breast mound has been created, the incisions will be closed with stitches or surgical tape. Drains may also be placed under your skin to help remove any excess fluid that may build up.

What to Expect After Surgery

After breast reconstruction surgery, you will likely feel some pain and discomfort. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help you manage this pain. You will also have drains to help remove excess fluid from your body.

Most people stay in the hospital for one to two nights after surgery. You will be given instructions on how to care for your drains and incisions before you are discharged.

It is important to rest and take it easy for the first few weeks after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting. You will likely have follow-up appointments with your surgeon to check your progress and remove your drains.

The recovery process takes time, but most people feel better after four to six weeks. It can take several months for the incisions to heal fully and the swelling to go down.

It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions during recovery to ensure that you heal properly and avoid complications.

Post-Operative Care

After breast reconstruction surgery, it is important to take good care of your incisions and drains. This includes cleaning the incisions daily and keeping them dry. You will also need to empty your drains and record the amount of drainage each day.

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions and drains. It is important to follow these carefully to see that all problems are addressed accordingly.

It is also important to attend all your follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These appointments are important to check your progress and remove your drains.

Most people take four to six weeks off work to recover from surgery. However, you may need more time off if you have a physically demanding job.

It is important to listen to your body during recovery and take it easy. Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least four to six weeks.

The recovery process takes time, but most people feel better after four to six weeks. It can take several months for the incisions to heal fully and the swelling to go down.

It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions during recovery to ensure that you heal properly and avoid complications.

The Maintenance Phase

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Once your incisions have healed, and the swelling has gone down, you will enter the maintenance phase of recovery. This is a lifelong commitment to taking care of your reconstructed breasts.

It is important to attend all your follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These appointments are important to check your progress and ensure that your reconstruction is healing properly.

You will also need to perform self-exams of your breasts regularly. This is important to check for any changes or problems. If you notice anything unusual, be sure to contact your surgeon.

It is also important to wear a supportive bra during the day and at night. This will help support your breasts and prevent them from sagging.

You will need to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting to prevent problems with your reconstruction. It would be best if you also avoid exposure to the sun and ultraviolet light.

The maintenance phase of recovery is a lifelong commitment. Following your surgeon’s instructions and attending all your follow-up appointments is important. This will help ensure that your reconstruction heals properly and lasts many years.

Possible Health Risks

Breast reconstruction surgery is a major operation. As with any surgery, there are some risks involved.

The commonest complications after surgery include infection and poor wound healing. Still, these are usually minor and can be treated with antibiotics or other medications.

Serious complications are rare but can include blood clots, which can be life-threatening. Therefore, you must contact your surgeon immediately if you experience any signs of a blood clot, such as pain, swelling, or redness in your leg. Other rare but serious complications can include nipple necrosis.

The Bottom Line

Breast reconstruction surgery is a complex and personal decision. Therefore, it is important to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options and decide if reconstruction is right for you.

Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.

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