Breast Reconstruction Surgery: What To Expect After The Procedure

As a female, losing your breasts due to cancer can be one of the most life-changing experiences. Thankfully, modern medicine has found ways to help women who have had to have their breasts removed by mastectomy after breast cancer and you have many options for reconstructive surgery. This is a surgical procedure in which an implant is used to give you back your natural female shape. If you are scheduled for breast reconstructive surgery, it is wise to prepare for what will come after the surgery concludes. Take a look at these common questions about preparing for the recovery process after breast reconstruction and the answers you will want to know. 

How will you feel after the breast reconstruction surgery?

Once the surgery is over and you are sent home, you will feel very tired and sore. You will likely be instructed to spend your time recuperating in the bed or at rest, and you probably will not feel up to doing much else. Because of this, it is a good idea to have someone around who can help you out with your daily personal needs, such as getting back and forth to the restroom and preparing meals. 

What is a surgical drain and how do you handle it?

After a serious surgery, it is not uncommon for a surgical drain line to be inserted at the site that is responsible for draining away excess fluids while your body heals from the procedure. After breast reconstruction surgery, you will likely have a drain in place that leads to an external container. This container will have to be emptied of fluids throughout the day for several days after your surgery. Before you leave the hospital, the doctors or nursing staff will show you how to properly accomplish this. When you go back in for a followup appointment, if the excess fluid production has subsided, the drain will be removed. 

Is it true you can emotionally reject the new breasts?

It is true that some women have a hard time accepting the new breasts as their own after the surgery has been completed, and this is sometimes referred to as emotional rejection by medical professionals. Even though you may feel temporarily unhappy with your new breasts, you will eventually start to feel these feelings subside as your mind accepts the new change. It can be helpful to talk openly with other women who have dealt with breast cancer in support groups in your area.