Breast Reconstruction: The Day of Surgery
Your breast reconstruction surgeon will give you clear instructions on what to expect and how to prepare for your day of surgery. In this article we explain what a typical surgery day entails, but each surgery will be different as it is tailored specifically to each patient’s unique needs.
Getting Ready for Breast Reconstruction Surgery
You should have quit smoking before your mastectomy. But if you did not, it is imperative that you do not smoke before or after your breast reconstruction surgery. Smoking can delay healing, increase the risk of blood clots, and cause more noticeable scars.
Make sure you follow the instructions your surgeon gave you on eating and drinking prior to surgery.
As with any surgery, allow plenty of time for traffic and unexpected delays and try to arrive early.
How Long Breast Reconstruction Surgery Takes
Once you are admitted, preparations for breast reconstruction surgery may take up to 2 hours or more, including receiving anesthesia.
The length of surgery will depend upon many factors including the type and technique of surgery, as well as anything unexpected the surgeon may encounter along the way. Typically, once surgery begins, the reconstruction can take anywhere from one to six hours.
Your surgeon will give you a general idea of the length of time for your surgery. However, your family should not worry if the surgery takes longer. Dr. Ali will take as much time as necessary to sculpt and position a beautiful new bust line for you.
After breast reconstruction surgery, patients typically spend from two to three hours in recovery before being transferred to their hospital room.
After Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Most patients get IV fluids for one or two days. Patients may also have a urinary catheter in place overnight, until they can walk to the bathroom the next day.
As the anesthetic wears off, any pain is managed with fairly strong prescription medications. Typically patients also have drains inserted at their incision sites.
Patients are typically encouraged to move their arms, but should not engage in any forceful activity such as pulling themselves up out of bed, or lifting anything heavy.
The day after surgery, patients can usually get up with the help of a nurse, and sit in a chair beside the bed. By the second day after breast reconstruction surgery most patients are up and walking without help.
The length of the patient’s hospital stay will depend upon the type of reconstruction and how well they are recovering. The average hospital stay is only 1 to 2 days with implants. More complex surgical procedures may sometimes require a longer stay of up to 5 days.
Top Birmingham, MI Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Dr. Ali is a caring and compassionate Birmingham, Mi area board certified plastic surgeon who has helped countless women reclaim their bodies after cancer with breast reconstruction surgery. He will offer you a free consultation to answer your questions and offer you understanding advice about your breast reconstruction surgery options.
If you are battling – or have battled – breast cancer, you are not alone. We are here to help you determine what you want to do, so you can move forward with your best life.