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How to Recover from Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Recovering from breast reconstruction surgery will take some time. Use this guide to help you with the recovery process.


  • TIP: Sexual activity should also be avoided for 3 to 6 weeks after the surgery.
  • Step 1: Aim for a 1- to 2-year recovery. Some women report that it took that long to feel completely healed and back to normal.
  • Step 2: Follow up with your surgeon on a yearly basis to monitor your reconstructed breast. The recovery process is long, but if you follow these tips, you'll be back to yourself in no time!
  • FACT: According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 5.2 million reconstructive surgeries in 2009.
  • Step 3: Restrict yourself from normal activities for about six weeks. Your doctor will let you know of any restriction to strenuous physical activities, exercise, and lifting.
  • Step 4: Talk to a health professional, or other women who have had the procedure if you have a hard time adjusting emotionally.
  • Step 5: Plan for a physical therapist to show you exercises that can help keep your shoulders from getting stiff.
  • Step 6: Let your body rest. You will experience pain, fatigue, and discomfort for a few weeks after surgery so it's best to just relax and enjoy the rest.
  • TIP: Your doctor may prescribe a pain medicine and antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • Step 7: Prepare to stay at the hospital for up to 5 days. Doctors want to make sure there is good blood supply to the skin over the reconstruction.

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