Preparing for Breast Reconstruction

By Ravi Tandon, M.D. on January 28, 2019

A woman measuring her bustline/chestKnowing what to expect is essential for preparing yourself for anything in life. Given how important breast reconstruction can be, it’s crucial for patients to know what to expect before, during, and after their surgery. That’s why Dr. Ravi Tandon provides detailed pre-op and post-op instructions for breast reconstruction surgery patients.

Below we would like to cover some basics about breast reconstruction preparation. During your visit to our New Orleans, LA area cosmetic and reconstructive surgery center, we can go over these matters in much greater detail.

Discuss the Procedure with Your Surgeon

Make sure you speak with your surgeon about the breast reconstruction technique that will be used, whether it will be performed at the time of mastectomy or afterward, and what risks and benefits are associated with the surgery. You should also ask about time off from work, restrictions on physical activity, and any other matters that are on your mind.

Quit Smoking and the Use of Tobacco Products

Smoking and the use of tobacco products slows down healing time and increases your risk of post-surgical infection. Be sure to stop using tobacco products at least a month leading into surgery. This may be a great excuse to finally kick the habit for good.

Abstain from Alcoholic Beverages

Like tobacco products, alcoholic beverages can similarly have a negative impact on your recovery. Avoid alcohol for at least two to three weeks before surgery, and continue to avoid alcohol for a few weeks after your surgery.

Avoid Select Medications and Supplements

In addition to avoiding tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, certain drugs and supplements can have a negative impact on recovery. Be sure to stop taking any aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, and select herbal supplements before surgery as these can have a negative effect on clotting and healing.

Pick Up Groceries and Fill Prescriptions

Rather than rush after surgery to get pain reliever and groceries, be sure to take care of this ahead of time. Stock up on food and obtain any medications prescribed or recommended by your surgeon ahead of time so you can focus on rest.

Run Errands and Clean Up Around the Home

In addition to groceries, consider simple things you can do around the home to make healing more comfortable. Clean up your room and main living areas, do your laundry, change your bedsheets, and even consider what books or movies you’d like to catch up on while healing. You’d be surprised how much time this will save.

Arrange for Transportation

Breast reconstruction patients will need someone to get them to and from the surgical location safely. This is a common sense precaution to make sure patients are accompanied and have someone there to help them get home to recuperate just fine.

Have Someone to Help After Surgery

As you are healing from surgery, it helps to have someone there with you. They can help you get out of bed tp go to the restroom, aid in meal preparation, and help monitor your recovery situation. The moral support alone is crucial.

Discuss Your Emotional Concerns

On the note of moral support, be sure to speak with trusted loved ones and your surgeon about how you’re feeling heading into surgery. If you’re anxious or depressed or frightened, speaking with someone can help ease these feelings, or give you space to process them. Whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone, and it’s normal.

Follow Pre-op Diet Instructions

Patients are often asked to follow a pre-op diet, which helps with recovery and avoids complications. Be sure to follow these dietary recommendations to the letter.

Follow Pre-op Showering Instructions

The night before surgery and possibly the morning of surgery, patients are usually given specific instructions on showering. This will often include the proper soap to use to help reduce infection risk.

What to Wear to Your Breast Reconstruction

On the day of your surgery, be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Do not wear any makeup, lotion, or perfume, and be sure to leave any jewelry at home. The focus should be on relaxation and simplicity as you head into surgery.

Learn More About Breast Reconstruction Surgery

To learn more about breast reconstruction surgery and how it can help you following a battle with cancer or recovering from an injury, contact an experience cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon. We at Tandon Plastic Surgery are here to help. You can reach our Metairie office by phone at (504) 455-1000.

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