Six Tips to Reduce Discomfort after Breast Reconstruction

By Ravi Tandon, M.D. on March 06, 2019

A breast cancer ribbon on a woman's breastsWomen who have undergone a mastectomy as part of their breast cancer treatment may choose to undergo breast reconstruction. Knowing what to expect during breast reconstruction recovery can help patients be well-informed about the process and enjoy a positive experience.

Here, Dr. Ravi Tandon and our Metairie, LA team offer six tips to reduce discomfort after breast reconstruction.

#1: Get Plenty of Rest

When your body is in a state of rest, it can focus on the healing process. This also helps your immune system work properly. Additionally, sufficient rest rejuvenates the body, reduces the risk of injury, and allows you to mentally recharge following your procedure.

Patients will need to take sufficient time off from work to rest and reduce discomfort following breast reconstruction. Be sure to make the necessary arrangements beforehand.

#2: Take Your Pain Medication

Take you pain medication as directed to reduce pain after surgery. Keep in mind that the discomfort will be at its worst for the first two to three days after surgery. After that, it should begin to lessen with each passing day.

#3: Begin Light Exercise When Appropriate.

Light activity can reduce the risk of blood clots after breast reconstruction. At Tandon Plastic Surgery, we recommend light walking as part of the healing and recovery process.

For example, a light walk around the house can be incredibly beneficial. Short walks at a park or on your street encourage healing as well. Whatever you choose, be sure to start slow and clear it with Dr. Tandon first.

#4: Sleep on Your Back

During the first few weeks of recovery, we recommend sleeping on your back. Avoid laying on your stomach or side, as these positions can cause discomfort.

When you are awake, it is also a good idea to prop yourself up on pillows for optimal comfort and elevation.

#5: Properly Maintain Your Surgical Drains

Another way to manage post-operative pain and discomfort is to keep your surgical drains clean. At Tandon Plastic Surgery, we will teach you how to care for your drains.

It is important to thoroughly wash your hands before handling them. A special garment with pockets and pouches may be provided that can help you manage your drains.

In most cases, your drains will be removed after seven to 10 days of healing.

#6: Eat a Well-balanced, Healthy Diet

After your breast reconstruction procedure, it is important to maintain a healthy diet. Proper nourishment can aid your body in necessary healing, reducing the duration of your discomfort after surgery.

In particular, we encourage patients to eat plenty of protein, which can be obtained in lean meats, eggs, peanut butter, cheese, milk, and yogurt.

Consider pre-packaging fresh fruits and vegetables and keeping them in your refrigerator for snacks.

Drink water to help flush out toxins and remain hydrated.

Contact Tandon Plastic Surgery to Learn More

We understand that choosing to undergo breast reconstruction is an extremely personal decision, and we are here to walk with you through every step of the journey. We use the most advanced technologies and methods so patients can enjoy optimal results.

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tandon, call us at 504-455-1000 or contact us online.

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