With any kind of breast reconstructive surgery it isn’t only about the procedure itself, but also about navigating the entire healing process after. Any kind of invasive surgery requires conscientious aftercare to ensure that you get the best results possible. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind during your healing process; this could mean the difference between complications and a painless recovery.
Breast reconstruction of any kind will result in incisions on or around your breasts. It is recommended that you wear a surgical bra a week after the surgery to provide comfortable support. You will have bandages that will be need changed to ensure that no infections set in.
After surgery, drainage tubes will be placed near the surgical area to drain residual fluids. These work to decrease swelling and promote healing. A support bra will be given to hold the drains in place. Make sure that you keep the tubes and bra on for as long as specified by your doctor – they reduce the chance of infection and promote faster healing.
It’s important to ask your doctor whether you can shower 24 or 48 hours after your surgery. Once you’re given the go ahead, wash your incision with a mild soap and rinse well with water. You can leave the incision uncovered or cover it with a gauze dressing. It is not advised that you apply any deodorants, lotions or perfumes on or near the incision.
Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate pain medication for you to take at home. As surgery will cause you to be much less active than you normally would be, ensure that you drink plenty of fluids, eat a diet rich in fibre and take some slow strolls.
Having a healthy diet goes without saying. After a procedure like this, your body needs all the help that it can get. Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals will allow your system to heal faster and scar less. This will also reduce your time in bed and the time in which your movement will be restricted.
Scar tissue that will form around the incisions may prevent movement during the healing process. You will be taught some arm and shoulder exercises to slowly coax your body into comfort. Speak to your surgeon about what is best for you and ease yourself into it.
Once your body is healed completely, you may have some scars from the incision. Ensure that they are well moisturised, use sunblock and massage them once a day. This will help improve the appearance of scars and soften the skin for more freedom of movement.
Follow up care
The importance of post-operative visits cannot be overstated. Pathology reports and inspections are vital in ensuring that your body is healing as it should, that there are no complications and that all of your concerns and questions are answered.
Over and above all of these steps that you should take to promote your wellbeing, your peace of mind is also important after any operation. Speak to your doctor today and encourage a convenient and quick recovery.