Many questions and concerns may be running through your mind before undergoing breast reconstruction surgery. How long will the procedure last? What will my reconstructed breasts look like? Will I be in pain afterward? No matter how prepared you are for surgery, you will still have questions for your doctor in the days that follow, and you should make sure to ask them before ever leaving the hospital, experts say.
Over time scars will flatten and fade. You will sometimes be advised to take pain relief before performing the stretches as they may feel uncomfortable. Can I shower Swelling after breast reconstruction surgery? Looking after your drains and wound When you leave hospital follow any instructions you are given about caring for your wound. The swelling may affect your breast, chest wall, shoulder and arm. Isle of Man company number F. If lymphedema does develop, let your doctor know right away. If the seroma restricts your arm movement and prevents you doing your arm exercises, speak to your breast care nurse or surgeon for advice.
Bizarre murders. Possible risks during and after reconstruction surgery
As it tightens, it can start to squeeze the implant, making the breast feel hard. Sometimes these problems are bad enough Swelling after breast reconstruction a second operation is needed to fix them. Log in to post a reply Apr 21, PM judig wrote: Digger, how are you doing now? I'm with you digger This can cause more noticeable scars and a longer recovery time. You want to look and feel evenly balanced. Mar 27, PM Abbey11 wrote:. Mar 27, AM digger wrote:. I know I'm supposed to keep these new breasts supported, but I think I should be able reconstrudtion breathe as well! Ask to see photos of breast reconstructions your surgeon has performed.
After your operation 2.
- Posted on: Mar 26, AM.
- The time it takes you to recover from surgery will depend on the type of reconstruction you have.
- A balanced appearance also known as breast symmetry is the ideal outcome of any breast reconstruction surgery.
Lymphedema is a problem that may occur after cancer surgery when lymph nodes are removed. Lymphedema can occur months or years after treatment. But steps can be taken to help keep it from starting, and to reduce or relieve symptoms.
If left untreated, lymphedema can get worse. Getting treatment right away can lower your risk of infections and complications. The lymphatic system is a network of tiny vessels and small, bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes that carry lymph throughout the body. Lymph is a clear, colorless fluid that contains a few blood cells. It starts in many organs and tissues. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system. It helps protect and maintain the fluid balance of your body by filtering and draining lymph and waste products away from each body region.
The lymphatic system also helps the body fight infection. During surgery for cancer, nearby lymph nodes are often removed. This disrupts the flow of lymph, which can lead to swelling.
This is lymphedema. Lymphedema can affect one or both arm, the head and neck, the belly, the genitals, or the legs. Swelling can worsen and become severe. Skin sores or other problems can develop. Affected areas are also more likely to become infected.
Often during breast cancer treatment , some or all of the lymph nodes under the arm are treated with radiation. The lymph nodes under the arm are also called the axillary lymph nodes. They drain the lymphatic vessels from the upper arms, from most of the breast, and from the chest, neck, and underarm area. When many lymph nodes under the arm have been removed, a woman is at higher risk of lymphedema for the rest of her life. Radiation treatments to the under arm lymph nodes can cause scarring and blockages that further increase the risk of lymphedema.
Lymphedema may occur right after surgery or radiation, or months or even years later. A mild type of lymphedema can occur within a few days after surgery and usually lasts a short time. Lymphedema can also occur about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery or radiation and then go away over time. The most common type of lymphedema is painless and may slowly develop 18 to 24 months or more after surgery.
It does not get better without treatment. Lymphedema can happen any time after surgery or radiation to the lymph nodes. The risk continues for the rest of the person's life. Any swelling should be checked by a healthcare provider right away. There's no way to know who will and won't get lymphedema, but there are things that can be done to help prevent it. Women treated for breast cancer who have good skin care and who exercise after treatment are less likely to develop lymphedema.
Newer types of lymph node surgery have also helped decrease lymphedema risk. But there is no sure way to prevent lymphedema. The main symptom of lymphedema after breast cancer treatment is swelling of the arm on the side where lymph nodes have been removed. The amount of swelling may vary. Some people may have severe swelling edema with the affected arm being several inches larger than the other arm.
Others will have a milder form of edema with the affected arm being slightly larger than the other arm. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your healthcare provider right away. Treatment needs to be started right away to keep lymphedema from getting worse. There are no tests for lymphedema. Instead, your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and give you a physical exam. Imaging tests, measures of volume, blood tests, and other tests may be used to diagnose lymphedema.
Treatment depends on how severe the problem is. Treatment includes ways to help prevent and manage the condition, and may include:. Exercise helps improve lymph drainage. Specific exercises will be advised by your doctor or physical therapist. Wearing a compression sleeve or elastic bandage may help to move fluid, and prevent the buildup of fluid.
Diet and weight management. Eating a healthy diet and controlling body weight is an important part of treatment. Keeping the arm raised. Raising the arm above the level of the heart when possible lets gravity help drain the fluid.
Preventing infection. Your healthcare provider will advise you about how to care for your skin and nails to help prevent problems. Massage therapy. Massage by someone trained in lymphedema treatment can help move fluid out of the swollen area.
Protecting the arm on the side of the surgery is very important after breast surgery. Poor drainage of the lymphatic system can cause that arm to be more at risk of infection and less sensitive to extreme temperature. Be aware of activities that put too much pressure on the affected arm. To protect your arm from injury and infection, make sure to do the following:.
Avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures on the affected arm, such as hot tubs, saunas, and heating pads or ice packs. Clean all cuts with soap and water, and then apply antibacterial ointment and a sterile dressing. Avoid vigorous, repetitive movements against resistance, such as scrubbing, pulling, or pushing with the affected arm.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection, such as redness, pain, heat, increased swelling, or fever.
Talk with your doctor about what you can do to try to prevent lymphedema from happening to you. Make these precautions part of your daily habits and plan to follow them for the rest of your life.
Compare your hands and arms. Look at them in the mirror. Learn what's normal for you so you can notice changes right away.
If lymphedema does develop, let your doctor know right away. There are things you can do to try to keep it from getting worse. But some patients find greater relief with surgical management. Learn more about the outpatient operation that can reroute the venous system. LiveWell after breast cancer is The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center initiative to get breast cancer survivors and their families moving, through fun and easy exercise routines.
Exercise for every level and ability with modifications shown along the way. See more exercises for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Lymphedema is a condition most commonly caused by removal of or damage to lymph nodes during treatment for cancer. Other causes of lymphedema are congenital abnormalities and trauma. What is the lymphatic system?
How Lymphedema Happens During surgery for cancer, nearby lymph nodes are often removed. Types of Lymphedema There are several types of lymphedema: A mild type of lymphedema can occur within a few days after surgery and usually lasts a short time. Can lymphedema be prevented? Symptoms of Lymphedema The main symptom of lymphedema after breast cancer treatment is swelling of the arm on the side where lymph nodes have been removed. Other symptoms of lymphedema may include: Feeling of fullness, heaviness, or tightness in the arm, chest, or armpit area Bra, clothing, or jewelry don't fit as normal Aching or new pain in the arm Trouble bending or moving a joint, such as the fingers, wrist, elbow, or shoulder Swelling in the hand Thickening of or changes in the skin Weakness in the arm If you notice any of these symptoms, see your healthcare provider right away.
How is lymphedema diagnosed? Treatment for Lymphedema Treatment depends on how severe the problem is. Treatment includes ways to help prevent and manage the condition, and may include: Exercise. Preventing Infection and Injury Protecting the arm on the side of the surgery is very important after breast surgery.
To protect your arm from injury and infection, make sure to do the following: Ask for injections and blood draws to be done on the unaffected arm. Ask for all blood pressure tests to be done on the unaffected arm. Don't wear nightgowns or clothing with elastic cuffs or tight bands. Carry your handbag or heavy packages with the unaffected arm. Be very careful and use a clean razor when shaving underarms.
Prevent sunburns and other burns to the affected arm. Wear gloves when gardening and when using strong household cleaners. Clean the skin of the affected arm daily, gently dry well, and apply lotion.
Do approved exercises regularly to improve drainage. Eat a healthy, low-sodium diet.
One of the best ways to make sure that you're as satisfied as possible with your reconstructed breast is to ask your medical team lots of questions about what to expect. There are some specific factors that seem to play a role in a woman's satisfaction with her breast reconstruction results:. Mar 28, AM mizbabygirl4 wrote:. These implants do feel so squishy, like wearing water balloons on one's chest, and it does take some getting used to. I feel like frankenstien
Swelling after breast reconstruction. The week after surgery
She said wait a couple of months and then see what's what. I don't think I'd do any revisions anyway, because I have no desire whatsoever to go through any more surgery, but I guess I just wanted to know what I'd be dealing with permanently. These implants do feel so squishy, like wearing water balloons on one's chest, and it does take some getting used to.
They still feel really, really strange. On an odd note, I did ask what size implants were in both "breasts," and the nurse said she didn't have the OR report back yet, and the sizes would be in there.
I guess it just feels a little disconcerting not to even know what size implants I have in my own body? Are they different sizes? Mar 27, PM Abbey11 wrote:. I was really swollen for a couple of weeks after my exchange. Now, 5 weeks past the exchange, they look much better. I'm a 34C now, I was a D for at least two weeks post exchange. My implants are ccs each side, Mentor, silicone. I don't think that surgeons prepare us well for what we will see after surgery. My advice would be to try not to worry about it for a few more weeks; things might look different then.
Mar 28, AM mizbabygirl4 wrote:. But they look VERY different than the expanders. I have the gummy bear implants, teardrop shaped, so I no longer have shelf boobs, but it seems almost too subtle at the top and very full at the bottom.
From above, they seem not that impressive. But I'll know better once I get rid of the drains and bandages. Mar 28, AM jo-w wrote:. I had the exchage on the 26th and although i went from cc to cc, they look smaller-or more smooshed bc there is not much at the top-cleavage looks worse flatter than what i had with expanders, but maybe it will look different in a couple days.
It seems he glued the gauze to my incision also and i had to leave a large piece stuck to it. Every time i pulled it, it started bleeding, so it's just stuck there. I thought i would look better, not worse I feel like frankenstien Mar 28, PM digger wrote:. I've got that "flat at the top" and more "full on the bottom" look with the implants as well much more so with the gummy bear.
It still really bugs me that I don't even know what size implants I have. I'll call the PS office again on Monday. Thanks for the info about the swelling in the beginning. I really hope that's what is happening. I'm going to need to go out tomorrow to buy yet another sports bra, because even the big one I have on now just feels too constricted. I know I'm supposed to keep these new breasts supported, but I think I should be able to breathe as well!
I'm sorry you feel like yours are "smooshed. I know I read on here somewhere about "fluffing. Also, the scarring really does fade after a while. After 4 months, my mx scar had really faded, but of course, now it's right back where it started as the exchange went through the same scar.
Apr 21, PM judig wrote:. I have an expander in at the moment and that breast is very square and high compared to the 'healthy' breast. Like you, I will get a boost on the 'healthy' breast during the exchange and I'm wondering how even they will be afterwards. Apr 21, PM mhm wrote:. I have the opposite problem Smoking can delay healing in any surgery.
This can cause more noticeable scars and a longer recovery time. Sometimes these problems are bad enough that a second operation is needed to fix them. You may be asked to quit smoking a few weeks or months before surgery to reduce these risks. This can be hard to do, so ask your doctor for help. Your doctor will give you medicines to help control pain and other discomfort. Depending on the type of surgery you have, you will most likely be able to go home from the hospital within a few days.
You may be discharged with one or more drains in place. The doctor will decide when the drains can be safely removed depending on how much fluid is collecting each day.
Also be sure to ask what kind of support garments you should wear. If you have any concerns or questions, ask someone on your cancer care team. Most women can start to get back to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks. If implants are used without flaps, your recovery time may be shorter.
Some things to keep in mind:. Women who have had a mastectomy to treat breast cancer generally do not need routine screening mammograms on the side that was affected by cancer although they still need them on the other breast.
Still, if an area of concern is found during a physical exam, a diagnostic mammogram may be done. Ultrasound or MRI may also be used to look at the area closely.
10 mostly asked questions after breast reconstruction surgery | CTCA
A balanced appearance also known as breast symmetry is the ideal outcome of any breast reconstruction surgery. You want to look and feel evenly balanced. Plastic surgeons are constantly refining breast reconstruction techniques and timing to ensure that the results are pleasing — both physically and emotionally.
Your new breast or breasts may not live up to your expectations for size, position, angle, or balance. They may not be as soft or feel as natural as you thought they would. You probably won't have any sensation in a breast that's been reconstructed with an implant and little sensation in a breast that's had autologous reconstruction.
One of the best ways to make sure that you're as satisfied as possible with your reconstructed breast is to ask your medical team lots of questions about what to expect. This is important even before your first mastectomy incision, because the placement and "design" of that incision can impact your reconstructive results.
Ask to see photos of breast reconstructions your surgeon has performed. You can also ask your surgeon for the names of women who have had the same type of procedure you're considering. You might find it helpful to talk to another woman about her decision process, her doctors, and her satisfaction with the results. There are some specific factors that seem to play a role in a woman's satisfaction with her breast reconstruction results:.
If you're not as satisfied as you thought you would be with your reconstructed breast, talk to your surgeon and other members of your medical team. There may be steps that you and your team can take to improve the look and feel of the reconstruction. Learn more about corrective breast reconstruction. Watch the videos below to learn about two women who decided to have corrective breast reconstruction after they had complications from their initial surgeries.
Caren was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided to have double mastectomy with implant reconstruction. She wanted B-cup sized breasts but her surgeon gave her D-cup sized implants. Complications and additional surgeries left her feeling disfigured and impacted her ability to exercise, date, and feel good about herself. Then, she found Dr. They gave me back my life. Peggy struggled to accept her new body after a double mastectomy with implant reconstruction.
When one of her implants ruptured, she underwent a surgical revision with DIEP flaps, nipple reconstruction, and 3D nipple tattooing. Peggy said this corrective procedure dramatically improved her body confidence.
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