Most patients say that the surgery is not painful. The main discomfort can be backache from lying in one position for a long time. Once you are up and about this goes.
Can I have visitors when I am in hospital?
For the first few days it is advisable to keep visitors to a minimum as you will feel tired and the risk of cross infection is increased if you have a constant stream of guests.
What garments will I need to bring with me into hospital?
You will need slippers, dressing gown, button up nightdresses (not pyjamas) preferably short sleeved and cotton if possible. Men’s short sleeved shirts work very well. Large knickers (Bridget Jones style!) are comfortable and buy a size bigger to accommodate the abdominal binder if you are having a DIEP reconstruction.
What bra should I bring to hospital with me?
You may need a good supporting bra with wide straps, non wired and no lace if the hospital is not providing a support garment. There are bras on the market that are sold as ‘post surgery’ bras. Marks and Spencer sell them or look on the internet there are lots of sites. One size larger around the chest is a good idea to allow for any swelling, for example if you are normally 36D bring in a 38D to allow for any post operative swelling. Another good idea is to buy a bra extension, usually available form a haberdashers. This will extend the bra a little more if required. This will help until the swelling goes down.
When will I be able to wear a bra?
Usually about 5-6 days after surgery. This is worn day and night for 8 weeks. This provides support for the new breast mound and helps to mould it into shape.
Can I take a bath after surgery?
It is better to take a shower rather than a bath. Do not soak in the bath or go swimming until the wounds are completely healed. Baths are actually not all that hygienic for wounds so shower instead.
What exercise can I do?
For the first two to three weeks at least you need to avoid stretching or rubbing of your wounds. As a guide gentle exercise like walking is recommended during the first 7-10 days. This can be built up to more moderate exercise on the advice of your surgeon or physiotherapist. You should be around 90% fit after 2 months.
Should I avoid the sun?
Yes, sun should be avoided on new scars for 6-12 months. The scars will be very sensitive to the sun so cover up or use a complete sun block.
When will I be able to lift my children?
Usually 6-8 weeks after surgery. You should be around 90% fit after about 2 months.
When will I be able to drive?
About 6 weeks after surgery.
How long will I be off work?
It depends on the sort of job you do, but a general rule 8-12 weeks.