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Post-operative recovery after breast reconstruction using implants

As there is no transfer of tissue or muscle from other areas of the body, the recovery time after breast reconstruction surgery using implants is significantly shorter than for other types of breast reconstruction. You will probably spend around 1–4 days in hospital.

After breast reconstruction using implants:

  • you will experience some discomfort or pain and tightness in the chest area (there are many pain-relief options available to help manage this
  • excess blood and fluid will be drained from the reconstructed breast using tubes inserted under the skin to prevent excessive swelling; the tubes will usually be removed 2–5 days after surgery. This may mean going home with drains still in place. A member of your healthcare team will explain how to look after the drains. The drains will be removed by a healthcare professional when they have stopped draining fluid.
  • you may need to wear a support bra or bandage to help reduce swelling and support your reconstructed breast(s).

Healing may take several weeks as the swelling goes down. As with any surgery, postoperative recovery will take longer if you have any complications. The recovery period will depend on how serious any complications are and the treatment needed.

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