The return to normal activities is generally slow after breast reconstruction and takes about 4-6 weeks. Participation in exercise may take slightly longer.
In most cases, the wound care at home is minimal and one is taught how to look after the drain.
The majority of women will complain of numbness around the chest and upper arm area after surgery. This numbness is minor and may recover in a few cases. In the majority of women, the numbness is a permanent symptom
The surgical scars
may be obvious. In time the scars do fade. To prevent the scars from becoming dark, one should avoid the sun and wear a sunscreen.
Immediately after surgery, there may be a discrepancy between the reconstructed breast and the normal breast. Over the following 2-4 months, the reconstructed breast will appear similar in size and shape.
All women who undergo reconstructive breast surgery are followed up by their surgeon. Regular check ups are common for those with implants.
The devices will be filled with saline at the end of 7-10 days after surgery. The filling of the implants is done gradually every week and may require 5-10 office visits
Once the wounds have healed, it is recommended that you also examine your breast regularly. Breast examination and annual mammograms are vital if the reconstruction was done after a mastectomy for breast cancer.
One has to know that having a breast reconstruction will not affect your treatment for breast cancer. If recurrence of the breast cancer occurs, it will be treated in the same way as before.
The area of medial coverage for breast reconstructive surgery is still surrounded by controversy. The surgery is expensive and one must discuss the issue with your medical carrier to determine what exactly is covered. The majority of insurance carriers will allow a single reconstructive surgery if it is done following a mastectomy.
There is a federal law
that entitles all women who have had mastectomy for breast cancer to be covered for the first breast reconstructive surgery. However, multiple operations and follow up consultations may not always be covered.
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