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AFTER TISSUE EXPANDER BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERYPURE Cosmetic Center

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Your mind and your body need plenty of rest to recover after surgery. You will feel tired more easily and you will not have your full level of energy for the first 6 weeks after surgery. This is normal. You will be bruised and swollen after surgery. Bruising gets better in about 2 weeks. Much of the swelling improves in 6 weeks, but you will continue to have some swelling for 3 months after surgery.

  • Wear a soft sports bra or a surgical bra day and night for 4 weeks. The bra does NOT need to be tight – it should be comfortable and snug to provide support. After 4 weeks, you are typically released to remove the bra for sleep but will still wear it during the day.
  • You may want to purchase one or two extra bras to have on hand at home. You should look for a sports bra that hooks or zips in the front (not one that has to be pulled overhead), with no underwires, a wide band on the bottom and soft, comfortable material. Look for a size where the lower band fits comfortably; generally the cups will fit accordingly after surgery. Some brands that have worked well are Avia (sold at WalMart), TekGear (sold at Kohl’s), Fruit of the Loom, Jockey, and SheFit.
  • During the initial week post surgery, we recommend you sleep in a raised position, at about a 30 degree incline. Consider sleeping in a recliner or using several pillows beneath your knees and behind your back to elevate your upper body. This precaution is aimed at minimizing the chances of rolling onto your breasts while sleeping.
  • Sponge bathe only while drains are in place. Please do not get the breast incisions or drain sites wet. Once the drains are removed, which is typically 10-14 days after surgery, then you may shower. No bath, jacuzzis, steams, or swimming until after 6 weeks, when the incision has healed.
  • Drain care: the drain tubing should be “stripped” 3-4 times daily to prevent clotting. This involves holding the end closest to the skin in place so it does not pull, and with the other hand, squeeze the tubing and pull downwards towards the drain bulb. Using a lubricant like soap or Vaseline is helpful to glide along the tubing. Once the tubing is stripped, open the bulb and empty into the measuring cup provided to you. Record the amount and discard the fluid in the toilet and flush. It is normal to see clotted, chunky material in the drain fluid. If clotted material is in the drain bulb and does not come out with emptying, do not try to get it out. Never insert anything into the drain bulb or tubing. It is also normal for drainage color to change from red to light red to yellow over time. If it looks cloudy or milky, please call us at 978-800-1680.
  • Be sure to finish all antibiotics.
  • All dressings over the incision and drain sites will be changed at your visits with Dr. Lee. There are no dressing changes to do at home.
  • We typically begin filling the expander 1-2 weeks after surgery and once a week from there. This is a simple office procedure that is well tolerated by most women.
  • It is normal for the expander to feel firm to the touch under the breast skin. The implant will feel much softer and more comfortable.
  • Keep your arms at your side and avoid large stretching and reaching motions for the first 2 weeks.
  • Do not lift/push/pull anything more than 2 lbs for 2 weeks.

Activity Timeline:

  • Week 1: walking around the house (walking is the best way to prevent blood clots. Try to get up and walk for 10-15 minutes at a time, 3-4 times/day)
  • Week 2: light short walks around the neighborhood is okay
  • Week 3: light jogging on a treadmill or use of an exercise bike is okay
  • Week 4: light weights for lower body is okay
  • Week 5: light weights for arms is okay
  • Week 6: Resume all normal activities including light chest exercises

Your beauty is a symphony. Don’t trust it to anyone less than a true performer and a master at his craft. Boston and Chelmsford plastic surgeon, Dr. Dave Lee brings the virtuosity of a concert pianist and the artistry of a renowned plastic surgeon to each procedure. Schedule a consultation today to discover why patients across New England are singing the praises of Dr. Lee and his staff at PURE Cosmetic Center.

Boston: 400 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02215

Chelmsford: 15 Village Square, Chelmsford, MA 01824

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Boston: (617) 766-5049 Chelmsford: (978) 800-1680