What it is:

Reconstruction of the breasts after treatment for breast cancer

Women who have undergone a partial or complete mastectomy or a lumpectomy for treatment of breast cancer

* 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)


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

** Depending on the type and timing of reconstruction, an overnight stay may or may not be necessary

Average is 2 to 6 weeks (similar to the recovery period for women who have not had breast reconstruction)

  • 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


  • 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