10 Common Breast Reconstruction Surgery Questions Answered

It's not uncommon to have a number of questions about breast reconstruction before your procedure.

While your surgeon will take you through all of the information you need to know during your consultation, it can be difficult to take all of that information in when you're stressed about your surgery.

To help you better prepare for your surgery, here are answers to 10 of the most common questions about breast reconstruction.

Answers to Top Breast Reconstruction Surgery Questions

1.) Is it going to be possible to shower after my surgery?
It's always better to wait at least 48 hours before you shower. Once you do shower, use warm soapy water and don't be worried if it comes into contact with your incisions or your drains. Your surgeon will include these kinds of details when taking you through your breast reconstruction surgery information.

2.) How soon will I be able to wear a normal bra again?
Most patients will wear a compression bra for the first month to six weeks. Thereafter, your surgeon will let you know what types of bras you can start wearing again.

3.) How long will the drains need to stay in place?
Drains are essential because they help remove any excess fluid that could affect your healing process. Drains are used in almost all reconstructive surgeries but how many drains will be required and when they'll be removed is dependent on the type of surgery and how your body reacts to it.

4.) Should I really be massaging the area?
Massage is known to reduce the appearance of scars and prevent scar tissue from forming. If shaped implants or expanders were used to complete your surgery, massaging is not a good idea. Your surgeon will advise you on this.

5.) When can I expect to see the final results of my reconstructive surgery?
Everyone will have a slightly different recovery but on average, all swelling will have subsided after three to six months, which is when you will have a better idea of the size and shape of your breasts. Patients who are receiving radiation therapy may experience a longer recovery.

6.) Is there anything I can do to help my scars fade?
If you want your scars to fade naturally, you can expect to wait at least two years before you'll see a noticeable difference. However, there are products such as silicone gel sheets that can help with scar reduction.

7.) How long will my implants last?
The warranty period on most breast implants is 8 - 10 years but in many cases, patients can expect to enjoy their implants for up to 15 years, provided there are no complications such as capsular contracture.

8.) When will feeling return to my breast/s?
The reality is that most patients need to wait several years before they experience sensation again. Breast reconstruction surgery causes many changes, which is why realistic expectations and emotional preparation are essential before surgery.

9.) Will a second procedure be necessary?
There are cases where a second surgery is necessary to achieve the desired result. Your surgeon will discuss this during your consultation.

10.) Will mammograms and self-breast exams still be possible?
Since there is no tissue left in the breast, a mammogram isn't really necessary, unless there is still a healthy breast remaining. Either way, mammograms and self-breast exams are still possible.

While surgery is an intimidating process, with the right information and the help of a reputable surgeon, you can expect a smooth recovery.

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