How Long Is Recovery After Breast Reconstruction?

breast-cancer-month-womenWhen discussing breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, many patients are concerned with how long they’ll be in recovery after their procedure. To help you better understand what to expect, our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Neil J. Zemmel, spends time during the consultation process to explain your post-operative timeline, as well as answer any questions you may have.

The recovery is a crucial period that requires an adequate amount of rest and following your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. While the specific details of your recovery will vary based on the specific reconstructive procedure you undergo, it can take up to eight weeks for bruising and swelling to subside. In general, reconstruction using breast implants often entails a shorter and less painful recovery, while an autologous or flap reconstruction, which uses your own body tissue, typically requires a more extensive recovery period.

Dr. Zemmel will perform physical examinations during each follow-up visit to monitor your healing progress–for both the reconstructed breast and donor site. It is important you follow the provided instructions to ensure everything goes smoothly. While you may become anxious to return to your daily routine, you should refrain from strenuous activities and overhead lifting for about two to four weeks.

To learn more about the recovery following breast reconstruction surgery, and how soon you can expect to feel like yourself again, please contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery to schedule a consultation.