Reconstruction of the breasts after treatment for breast cancer
Who is a candidate?
Women who have undergone a partial or complete mastectomy or a lumpectomy for treatment of breast cancer
Average length of procedure?
* 1 to 4 hours, depending on the type of surgery performed (Reconstruction with implants typically takes 1 hour, while reconstruction using skin and fat taken from another area of the body takes longer)
Type of anesthesia?
When is breast reconstruction done?
Breast reconstruction can be done at the same time as a mastectomy or lumpectomy; it also can be done months or years after breast cancer treatment is complete
Will you need to stay in hospital overnight?
** Depending on the type and timing of reconstruction, an overnight stay may or may not be necessary
How long will you need to take off from work/school?
Average is 2 to 6 weeks (similar to the recovery period for women who have not had breast reconstruction)
What types of restrictions are there after surgery?**
Return immediately to non-strenuous activities which do not raise your heart rate or blood pressure, and won’t result in breaking into a sweat
Resume strenuous activities in 2 weeks
Is the procedure covered by insurance?
If drainage tubes are inserted, they are usually removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery
You may shower 48 hours after surgery
There are often no stitches to remove
* Times may vary since each case is unique
** Check with your health care provider about your specific restrictions
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Questions about a procedure, or looking for more information?