Breast Reconstruction

Overview

Breast reconstruction can be an important part of the overall care plan for women affected by breast cancer. Typically, breast reconstruction takes place soon after a mastectomy, and in some cases, lumpectomy. However, breast reconstruction can also be done years after a mastectomy. During reconstruction, a breast shape is created using an artiicial implant (implant reconstruction), a flap of tissue from another place on the body (autologous reconstruction), or both. It’s important to know that while breast reconstruction rebuilds the shape of the breast, it doesn’t restore sensation to the breast or nipple. Over time, the skin over the reconstructed breast can become more sensitive to touch.

Anesthesia

Anesthesia may be general, regional (spinal), and/or intravenous sedation in combination with local anesthesia in the area being treated.

Surgery Duration

The surgical procedure takes place over an average period of 90-120 minutes. If necessary, this period may be extended. However, the surgical procedure time should not be confused with the amount of time the patient will be in the operating room. That amount of time will also include the administering of anesthesia and postoperative recovery.

Hospitalization Period

Under normal circumstances, the hospitalization period is approximately 1 day.

Postoperative Care

Wear the post-op bra 24/7 for 30 days following surgery. Strenuous activity, exercise and lifting of objects over 5 lbs should be avoided for a month. Additionally, there should be no raising of the arms overhead during this period. Showering is allowed 48 hours after the procedure. No tub soaking, entering a swimming pool, hot tub, or body of water while drains are in place and for 2 weeks following surgery.

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