If you are about to have breast reconstruction surgery, then you might be a bit apprehensive. You may be wondering what you can expect after the surgery. The fact is, recovery will take some time. However, knowing how to handle yourself during recovery is one of the major steps towards getting through it as painlessly as possible. Here are some strategies for dealing with two of the most common concerns after surgery.
Showering After Surgery
It is perfectly safe to bathe and shower the day after you have had breast reconstruction surgery. Make sure you have someone on hand to help you in case you feel dizzy in the bathroom. You can use a shower chair for sitting when you feel weak. If you don't have one handy, then you can create one by covering an outdoor chair with a garbage bag.
Here are is a step by step guide to showering safely:
- Take everything off
- Remove the dressings that are covering your incisions
- Sit down on the shower chair
- Gently use an antimicrobial foamy soap on the site of the incision and around the stitches.
- Get out of the shower and dry off gently.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the site of the incision.
- Cover the incision site with non-adhering dressings.
- Put on some loose-fitting clothes
How To Handle Swelling
You may find that you are a bit puffy after surgery. Try not to worry about this too much because swelling is normal, with time swelling will go away. In the meantime, here are some steps you can use to keep swelling down:
- Decrease your intake of salty foods especially at night.
- Try to do some light exercise such as walking.
- Avoid diuretics
You may be wondering why you should avoid diuretics. The fact is, diuretics may have been designed to decrease the amount of water and salt expelled from the body but they are not useful in this case. This is because the swelling of the reconstructed area is just a natural side-effect of the procedure. Taking diuretics, in this case, will only cause dehydration which could slow your healing time.
Breast reconstruction surgery can take a toll on the body. It can take a while before you feel like yourself again, so you must be patient. If you use the tips given above to deal with showering and swelling you should be well on your way to a comfortable recovery. For more information, contact your local breast reconstruction surgeon.