If you are planning to get breast reconstruction, you should know what to expect during and after the procedure. Preparation is vital before undergoing any surgery. Talk to the surgeon about the surgical process and potential side effects.
Remember that the procedure may differ from one patient to the next. Consultation before the surgery is the best time to get information, but you may still have questions after the session. For that, here are FAQs on breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.
What Will Your Breasts Look Like After Surgery?
All women want to know what their breasts will look like after reconstruction following a mastectomy. During the consultation, the surgeon will talk to you about reconstruction techniques, breast size, and other factors that affect appearance. There are different types of implants, and your choice will determine the final look.
How Long Will the Implants Last?
Modern implants last longer than those in the past. Gel implants can last a lifetime, but most patients require additional surgery after 10 to 15 years. The subsequent operation is an opportunity to change or revise the implants. Patients can choose to change their implants for different reasons that may not have anything to do with implant issues.
How Long Will the Drains Remain?
After breast reconstruction, small tubes are inserted in the incision to remove extra fluid during recovery. The drains are used in reconstruction procedures, but various factors will determine the number of drains used. The surgeon will determine when they will be removed, depending on how the recovery goes.
Will You Need to Wear a Surgical Bra?
The decision to wear a surgical bra after the procedure depends on the surgery type and the surgeon's preference. Some patients require a compression bra round-the-clock for four to six weeks after surgery. Other patients are advised not to wear bras, especially underwire bras, for six weeks after surgery. You can expect some numbness for months after the reconstruction.
When Will the Breast Swelling Subside?
Each patient's recovery process depends on various factors, such as the patient's health. It can take three to six months for reconstructed breasts to get to the final size and shape. For some women, it takes even longer, especially those who undergo radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Damaged tissue can make it difficult for tissue to heal.
Will the Scars Go Away Completely?
A good surgeon will try to conceal incisions, but the truth is that scars from breast reconstruction will always be there. They will fade over time and may not be too visible in a year or two. Some products can help reduce the appearance of scars, but they do not get rid of scars. Scar visibility also depends on the individual and factors such as skin tone.
Breast reconstruction may require more than one surgery to complete the process. Follow-up surgery may be necessary to ensure symmetry. After the surgery, you will receive postoperative instructions to help with recovery. The instructions include caring for drains and incisions, how soon to take showers, and when to start exercising.
For more FAQs on breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, visit Handal Plastic Surgery at our Boca Raton, Florida office. Call 561-220-6360 to schedule an appointment today.