What to Expect during Your Breast Reconstruction Recovery
Breast reconstruction surgery is often performed for women recovering from breast cancer who have undergone a partial, single, or double mastectomy. At South Texas Plastic Surgery, Dr. Brian F. Burns can perform breast reconstruction using the patient’s natural tissue or with implants to rebuild a natural-looking bust line and restore your confidence. Breast reconstruction recovery depends on the type and extent of work done at our San Antonio, TX, practice, but in most cases, your recovery will take about six to eight weeks. If you undergo breast reconstruction surgery immediately following a mastectomy, the recovery may take an additional two to three weeks.
Quality Care from a Doctor You Can Trust
As a board-certified surgeon with over 25 years of experience, Dr. Burns is committed to providing his patients the highest quality of care throughout their entire health journey. Choosing to undergo a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery is a very big decision and should not be taken lightly. To help put you at ease, he will meet with you to explain what to expect throughout every step of the process, addressing any questions or concerns you may have. Dr. Burns will also provide you with detailed postoperative care instructions to follow at home to ensure a smooth and optimal recovery.
Achieving a Successful Recovery with Optimal Results
Your treatment and recovery will vary based on your exact needs, the type of surgery performed, and your response to surgery. Implant-based breast reconstruction typically has a shorter recovery time than flap reconstruction, but your recovery process can include:
- Week 1: After the surgery, you will be placed in a postoperative room where Dr. Burns and our staff can closely monitor your initial recovery for the first few days. If you have undergone a flap procedure, you can expect to stay in the hospital for at least five to six days. For an implant placement procedure, you could only be in the hospital for one to two days. For the first week, you may experience some swelling, bruising, and pain, but your compression garment and medications will assist with any discomfort.
- Weeks 2 to 3: During this time, you may feel tired and experience some soreness and bruising. Be sure to follow your postoperative instructions carefully on how to care for the surgical site and manage your pain. You will also be expected to visit Dr. Burns for follow-up appointments so he can remove any drains, sutures, and ensure your incisions are healing properly. If you notice any signs of infection, such as fever, redness, or excessive swelling, contact our offices immediately.
At South Texas Plastic Surgery, we are committed to providing you the care you deserve throughout your entire breast reconstruction recovery.
- Weeks 4 to 5: As you continue to heal, your doctor will give you gentle stretching exercises to perform, but activity should be limited. It is also vital that you do not lift anything overhead until you have been authorized to do so.
- Weeks 6 to 8: In most cases, normal activity can be resumed six to eight weeks following surgery. Although you will see an immediate difference in your bust line, it may take up to a year for final results to be visible. You can also undergo additional procedures, such as nipple reconstruction and further breast implant surgery for overall enhancement.
Understand Your Recovery Timeline
At South Texas Plastic Surgery, we are committed to providing you the care you deserve throughout your entire breast reconstruction recovery. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Burns, contact our practice today.