Breast Reconstruction Recovery

Following your mastectomy reconstruction gauze or bandages will be placed on your incisions, and an elastic bandage or support bra will need to be worn to support the reconstructed breast and reduce swelling. A temporary drain may be placed under the skin to draw off excess fluid and blood. This will be removed at a later consultation, along with any non-dissolving stitches.

You can expect some pain, swelling and bruising for about two or three weeks after your breast cancer reconstruction and some patients may feel numbness and tightness in the affected areas. Most scars will fade over time.

Feeling fatigued for a few weeks after a breast reconstruction is normal. You should be able to return to most activities within six weeks, although vigorous activities such as running should be avoided for a while longer. Depending on how physical your work is, you should be able to return to work within two to six weeks of a breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

It is important to know the warning signs of infection, which can complicate your recovery after breast reconstruction. These include:

  • Unusual (pussy) or unexpected drainage.
  • Worsening redness around the incision site.
  • The incision feels hot to the touch.
  • Pain that becomes worse or does not go away.
  • Swelling and hardening of tissue at the incision site.

    Need medical advice?

    Schedule an appointment for the same day or within 48 hours with an urgent GP referral.

    GP referral is required for all appointments except for mammogram screening.

    Call us on 0800 78 62 75
    or 09 520 0389


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