How Long Does It Take For The Swelling To Go Down After Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Following breast reconstruction surgery, the body will naturally swell as part of the healing process. Although swelling can sometimes be uncomfortable, it is an important part of the body’s natural recovery.
What causes swelling after surgery?
Regardless of the type of surgery, swelling is a normal part of the healing process. When trauma occurs to the body (which includes surgery) the cells in the body release chemicals which temporarily affect the way blood vessels in the affected area absorb. This causes white blood cells, fluids, and other natural healing chemicals in the body to collect in the traumatized area which causes swelling.
How long does swelling typically last after breast reconstruction surgery?
Every healing journey is different, but most patients will see the majority of their swelling diminish after about two to three weeks. However, slight swelling or a feeling of tightness can last for a few months. In some cases, light inflammation can last for up to a year, but is typically hardly noticeable and only occurs after strenuous activity.
When should patients worry about post-surgery swelling?
If swelling is accompanied by redness, a fever, is warm to the touch, or becomes painful, patients should call their healthcare team right away. Doctors will monitor swelling closely following surgery. If chronic swelling becomes a concern, a referral for physical therapy may be necessary.
Regardless of the type of breast cancer surgery performed, swelling is a normal part of the healing process. For women opting for implant reconstruction, swelling should be expected in and around the breast area. Women choosing flap-based reconstruction options can expect to have swelling in and around the donor site as well as the newly reconstructed breast.
It is a great honor to be part of a team with such a rich tradition of excellent patient care, shares Dr. Andrew Gassman, the newest surgeon to join the PRMA team. Years and years of procedure fine tuning with individualized care means our patients truly benefit from both efficiency and experience.