How to Make Breast Reconstruction Recovery Easier

After a woman has had the shocking diagnosis of breast cancer, she must not only deal with her health but deal with her ongoing life, as well. She will most likely partake in treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and the removal of all or part of one or both breasts.

The medical name for the surgery to remove an entire breast is a mastectomy. If only a portion is removed the medical term is a lumpectomy. The whole ordeal of learning that you have a life threatening disease is traumatic enough, but to lose a breast surely magnifies the crisis. In order for a woman to feel and look more like her original feminine self, breast reconstruction surgery can be an emotional life saver.

There are times when this operation can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy. It can also be done several months later. Or, at times a woman’s personal preference is to not have the repair surgery done at all; as she would rather live with her post-mastectomy state.

The procedure of reconstructive surgery will typically begin with a process where expansion of the area is done, in order to make enough space for some type of implant. The type of implant that is used may be one filled with a silicone substance or a saline solution.

There is also a procedure, which is termed autologous, where tissue from the patient’s own body can be used. Whatever material is used, the goal is to recreate the lost fullness and volume. An additional part of the reconstruction is the repositioning of a woman’s nipple and areola into the proper spot on the newly repaired breast. A tattooing process may also help this nipple area appear more natural.

During the recovery period, a woman may feel weary and also be experiencing pain. She will be instructed to curtail strenuous physical activity and heavy lifting. She needs to be sure to rest in order to build up her strength again, as well as to eat a healthy diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and plenty of lean protein. Her physician will prescribe pain medication which will greatly help her to feel better in the early days as she progresses down the healing path.

There are often drainage tubes in place to reduce the excess fluid that builds up in the area. These will be removed when the fluid issue has been alleviated. Stitches will need to be removed, as well, when the incisions have healed satisfactorily. There will be scarring, but this will fade over time.

It may take from six months to a year to feel great again, but every day will be a step toward improvement. A support group of women who’ve undergone this type of procedure can often be helpful. The recovering woman must be sure to keep her spirits up by going for walks, seeing entertaining movies, listening to music, and visiting with friends.

After undergoing breast reconstruction, Kingwood patients are recommended to rest in order to build up strength again. Learn all about the recovery period here,