Four Things to Expect During Your Breast Surgery Recovery
Whether you’re having breast cancer reconstruction or breast augmentation, you’re likely to experience four common factors in your recovery. Let’s take a closer look at the typical stages of recovery once you’ve undergone surgery.
Regardless of the type of surgery you have, you should expect to feel at least a little sore. How much soreness you experience will vary depending on how involved your procedure is, though even localized procedures such as a breast augmentation come with some discomfort afterward. In the days right after your procedure, you’ll usually be prescribed a course of pain medication, which will be tapered down to ibuprofen or Tylenol as you return to normal. It’s not unusual to experience some mild discomfort for up to six weeks after surgery, but it varies from case to case. As part of the post-op consultation, we’ll discuss how long it will take you to get back on your feet. This way, you’ll know generally what to expect as you recover.
Based on the type of operation you’ve undergone, there will likely be some restrictions on your activity. When we operate on breasts, the muscle and skin can often become disturbed. This necessitates a break from vigorous activity for a few weeks after your procedure. Your downtime could range from three to eight weeks, but I’ve found the average is between four and six weeks. Within three weeks of your surgery, you should be able to take moderate walks, but I’ll strongly advise you to avoid weightlifting, moving furniture or generally lifting more than 20 pounds until you’re about six weeks removed from your operation.
There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll simply be tired after an operation. This partly comes from being administered anesthesia, but other factors come into play. For one, you’ve probably worried about the procedure beforehand, which takes a toll on your mental and physical strength. Also, your body is pooling its resources to help you heal, which requires a lot of energy. Rest assured, this fatigue usually subsides after three weeks.
Naturally, there will be a couple of follow-up appointments after surgery. If you’ve had drains placed, we will remove them anywhere between a day to two weeks after surgery. If you’ve been given stitches, we’ll likely remove them one to three weeks later, depending on where they are on your body. After that, I like to see you roughly three months later for an additional follow-up. I do this to ensure that everything is healing as it should. Most of my breast surgery patients then see me once a year thereafter, or sooner if needed.
As you can see, each type of breast surgery is unique, and so is its associated recovery. Because everyone is different, I will walk you through what to expect as you start on the road to recovery. After you’ve had your operation, we will tailor a set of instructions specific to you and your procedure so that you can get back to the most important things – and people – in your life.
Ready for a consultation? Contact Dr. Timothy Janiga today to learn about your surgical options.