Is breast reconstruction painful?
Women opt for reconstructing their breasts because to reshape or reform one or both of their breasts. The doctor performs this after lumpectomy or mastectomy. A surgeon carries out mastectomy to treat breast cancer by removing the entire breast. However, a lumpectomy treats a tumor by removing a small portion of the breast.
Moreover, the type of breast reconstruction suitable for you depends on several factors, such as:
- Skin flap surgery: This surgery helps when you want to use tissue from another part of the body.
- Implant: This method uses saline or silicone for carrying out the surgery.
Pain after breast reconstruction surgery
After the breast reconstruction, many women feel pain and soreness for about a week and sometimes 2. Moreover, the pain you go through after flap surgery is longer in comparison. Also, other than pain, you experience different types of risk as well. They are:
- Swelling and pain in the wound area
- Infection in the surgical area
- Problem with anesthesia
- Wound recovery problem
Additional complications that are rare but can occur are:
- Reduce the strength of muscle from where the surgeon extracts the tissue.
- The difference in nipple or breast sensation.
- Uneven breast
- You will require different surgery if complications occur.
- Risk like leakage, scar tissue, rupture, or movement.
Recovery after breast reconstruction
Breast reconstruction comes under significant surgery. You can expect to spend a couple of days in the hospital if you have gone through both flap and implant reconstruction. Many people need more than one operation to reconstruct the breast correctly.
When recovering from both of the surgery, you will not perform a daily activity for two weeks. Furthermore, your mental health may require a longer time to recover as you have lost one or both breasts. Many people need drainage tubes and stitches after the surgery.
Some things to keep in mind:
- After reconstruction, you may not feel normal breast ever again. However, some feelings may come back over some time.
- Bruising and swelling needs time up to 8 weeks. So, it would be best if you were patient in the process.
- The scars never go away completely, but they may heal up to some extent in one to two years.
- Ask your doctor from before that when can you start wearing regular bras. Also, discuss with him the suitable type of bra that you can wear.
- Follow the instruction of your surgeon about the schedule of your stretching exercise. And when can you resume your normal activities. This period usually varies on the type of surgery you had. Your doctor may prohibit you from performing heavy work like strenuous sports, overhead lifting, and sexual activities. So, check with the surgeon when you can continue these activities.
So if you are thinking of reconstructing your breast, you will have to be patient while recovering. The pain can last for a few weeks, but you will recover soon. Furthermore, if you experience any other complications, make sure to consult your doctor.