Post Op Instructions for Breast Reconstruction
Plastic Surgery Instructions (Breast Reconstruction):
-Ok to shower 48 hrs after surgery.
-Leave all tapes and steri strips in place.
-Ok to change gauze pads (4×4’s) and ABD pads as they become soiled.
-Do Not apply a heating pad or ice to your surgical sites. After surgery you will have decreased sensation and heat/ice can result in a burn/frost bite without you feeling it.
-You may have some mild oozing from the incisions for the first few days. This is normal and slows over time.
-If one breast becomes significantly larger than the other one or you have dramatically increased pain in one breast you need to notify your surgeon. You may have developed a hematoma that needs drained.
-Strip your drains at least 3 times per day. If you use a small amount of soap/water or hand sanitizer it makes the process easier.
-Record the individual drain output daily. Bring the record to your follow up appointment.
-When showering you can hold your drains, pin them to a belt around your waist, attach
them to a lanyard or string around your neck, or a partner/family member can hold them. Do whatever is easiest for you.
-Wear your surgical bra at all times except when showering.
-You can wash you surgical bra in the washing machine if it gets dirty.
-If you had a nipple sparing procedure avoid any direct or excessive pressure on the nipple.
-Move your arms as usual. You may gently move your arms over your head and maintain their full range of motion. You may comb and blow dry your hair, brush your teeth, etc.
-You should try to sleep/rest with your head and chest slightly elevated above the level of your lower body to help decrease swelling for the first few days after surgery. This can be accomplished with a few pillows.
-No heavy lifting (>10lbs) for one week.
-No strenuous physical activity until cleared by Dr. DePerro.
-Take your pain medication with food. This can be with as little as a few crackers. This will help prevent nausea.
-Smoking causes multiple wound healing complications. It is very important that you do not smoke and you are not around people that smoke for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Second hand smoke is just as harmful as if you were to smoke.
-Be sure to walk at least 300 yards daily. This can be broken up in multiple short trips. It is OK and recommended that you walk more than the minimum of 300 yards. This will help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT’s/Blood Clots) and Pulmonary Embolisms (PE’s).