While the recovery after any surgery can be physically and emotionally intense, these feelings can intensify almost exponentially for women who are healing after reconstructive breast surgery. Here are a few tips to help keep your breast reconstruction recovery as stress-free as possible.
Have Some Help
They say that no (wo)man is an island, and that’s certainly true for anyone recovering from surgery. Don’t be embarrassed to plan for a little extra support during this time, particularly in the early days after your breast reconstruction. This might mean hiring a babysitter to watch the kids, rescheduling important work tasks or asking your husband to take a few vacation days so you have someone around to help out.
Take It Easy
Simply healing takes far more energy than many of us realize, so more than anything else, your body just needs to rest and relax after surgery. I advise my patients to stock up on their favorite take-out menus and plan to watch several titles in their Netflix queue during the first week or two after surgery. While some mild activity, like walking, can be beneficial, it’s critical not to push yourself too quickly, as doing so could actually interfere with your progress.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
Finally, no matter what advice you may read online or hear from friends and family, it’s important for you to follow your surgeon’s post-op orders to the letter. He or she has far more firsthand knowledge about what you can expect during the recovery process, and you should trust that your recovery instructions are issued with your health as a top priority.