Breast cancer treatment, also known as a mastectomy, consists of either partial or complete removal of one or both breasts. Soon after this procedure, breast reconstruction is done for minimizing the psychological impact of this treatment.
All thanks to breast reconstructive surgery, women can regain their self-confidence and feel good during the whole recovery process. But for someone who is new to breast reconstruction treatment or considering it in the future, it’s hard to imagine what all they have to deal with during this surgical journey.
Therefore, we are here to help you understand what to expect when undergoing breast reconstruction surgery. This will give you a clear idea about the recovery process and the risks associated with it.
Just like other surgical procedures, breast reconstruction also has certain issues. While these problems are not common for everyone, some potential risks that some women may face are:
Possibility of Capsular Contracture Formation
Another common risk associated with breast implantation is the formation of capsular contracture. This means that a scar (also known as a capsule) can form beside the soft implant. As the implant will become tight, it starts to squeeze your implant and make the breast hard. To treat capsular contracture, sometimes doctors recommend surgery to remove the scar tissue or to replace the implant.
Potential Risks for Women Who Smoke
The use of tobacco can narrow down your blood vessels while reducing the proper supply of oxygen and nutrients to breast tissues. Due to this, there can be problems while healing after the surgery. It may further cause some deeper scars that take a longer time for recovery. Due to these problems, sometimes a patient may require a second surgery to fix it. Therefore, doctors recommend patients quit smoking for a few months before the surgery for reducing any potential risk.
What to Expect After Reconstructive Surgery
You must know that after the reconstructive surgery you’ll feel tired for at least a week or two weeks. Your doctor will prescribe you some medicines for controlling discomfort and pain.
According to the type of surgery you’ve undergone, you will be discharged from the hospital in a few days or after a week. A patient is usually discharged with one or more drain, which is a small tube that is inserted in a wound for removing excess fluid from the surgical site. Your doctor will tell you when to remove the drain from a site carefully.
Time to get back to normal
While some women can get back to their regular activities in six to eight weeks, some may require more recovery time. If implants are inserted without flaps, the time required for recovery is shorter. Most women can start to get back to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks. If implants are used without flaps, your recovery time may be shorter.
It is important to have a good understanding of breast reconstructive treatment beforehand. This way, you’ll be mentally prepared to face the challenges and problems during your surgery and recovery time. However, if you have any queries or doubts about this treatment, do consult your doctor before the surgery.