American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Breast Reconstruction

Know Your Post-Mastectomy Options

Breast reconstruction is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy.

Breast reconstruction recovery

Following your breast reconstruction surgery for flap techniques and/or the insertion of a breast implant, gauze or bandages may be applied to your incisions.

An elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the reconstructed breast. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.

You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • Will there be drains? For how long?
  • When can I bathe or shower?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Healing will continue for several weeks while swelling decreases and breast shape/position improve. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.


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