Recovering After Breast Reconstruction Surgery
After reconstructive breast surgery it is normal to feel fatigued for several weeks. Patients are very sore after the procedure and may have increased pain with lifting or movement of the arms. Patients are able to return to most activities within six weeks, but vigorous activity, especially those that produce a bouncing movement, such as running, may take slightly longer. Patients are typically able to return to an active sex life at that time as well.
An important point to be noted is that treatments for cancer can delay healing and increase fatigue. If a patient is receiving therapies for cancer, the recovery from reconstruction surgery may be prolonged as the side effects of both chemotherapy and radiation can include fatigue, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Some women choose immediate reconstruction simply because they don’t expect to feel well enough for reconstructive surgery in the months immediately following the mastectomy.
Many support groups are available, both online and in cities across the country, to help patients cope with the changes caused by breast cancer. These support groups give patients the opportunity to interact with others who have shared their experience and can provide friendship in addition to support and guidance.