Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Blog

From breastfeeding to being diagnosed with breast cancer and then back to breastfeeding. This is an account of my experiences.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Recovering from Breast Reconstruction Surgery

The surgery lasted four hours, that was the best case scenario.  I didn't realize that I would not be able to eat or drink for another 24 hours after the surgery.  This is a precaution in case I needed to head back into surgery.  I am tired and not interested in the pain medications they are offering.  I don't notice much difference in my pain, which is little, but I am hypersensitive to everything.  With the morphine, I am regularly startled by the things going on around me.

Day 2 
I am allowed a liquid only diet.  I still feel quite nauseous from the anesthesia.  It comes and goes though.  I have a local anesthetic pain pump for my leg incision which I guess is working ok.  My breast area is numb and pretty comfortable.  I feel some discomfort in the muscle at times.  One of the sore spots I keep noticing is at my sternum.  The doctor needed to cut a bit of my rib at the sternum in order to connect the blood vessel.  I have a broken rib and it feels broken.  I don't like the narcotics and have requested only Tylenol.  I am able to walk around and get to the bathroom ok.  

Day 3 
Finally some food!  I still feel bits of nausea, but food helps.  I have been ok'd to add Ibuprofen alternating with Tylenol.  Passing the 48 hour window of recovery means the flap is probably going to be just fine.  The doppler checks are spaced out and it looks like I will be leaving tomorrow on schedule.
Day 15 post op

Day 4-10

I am healing and walking around the block and feeling well.  From time to time I feel exhausted and need to rest.  My surgical areas are healing well, though I still need the three drains though.  On day 10, it's time for Herceptin again and it goes well.

Day 16

Had my "2 week follow-up" at the plastic surgeon's office.  It is still recommended that I restrict my lifting another week or so.  I can move from no bra to wearing a stretchy bra with no cup.  They still recommend keeping the donor area of my thigh wrapped in an ace bandage for compression for another one to two weeks.  There are more sensations coming back to the breast area and I have a hard spot above.  Physical Therapy would be a good idea down the road.  At home I walk twice around my neighborhood totaling 1.2 miles.  My gait is normal, the pace is getting faster, almost normal.  My daily schedule is getting more normal as well.  I can go to my appointment, the library, visit a friend and no longer need an afternoon nap.

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