How Long Will I Be Out Of Work After DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction is a major surgery that requires planning, support, and 4-6 weeks of recovery time. The exact length of time off work after a DIEP flap will depend on several factors, including your age, overall health, and type of job. More physical jobs require more time off than sedentary/desk jobs. Patients who have sedentary jobs, or who work from home, may be able to resume working as early as 3-4 weeks after surgery, especially if a part-time arrangement is an option.
It’s important to have a family member or close friend available to help with everyday chores, especially around the house, like vacuuming, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and meal prep.
Talk with your surgeon about what activities are possible during the first few weeks after surgery, so you can plan accordingly. You can find a detailed list of what to expect weekly throughout your recovery here.
When Should I Expect to Return to Work?
If possible, plan on returning gradually rather than all at once. It is common for patients to feel they get tired more quickly so going back part-time at first can be a good idea. Your surgical team should also provide you with the guidelines you need to gradually get back to normal at work.
How Can I Make Going Back to Work After Surgery Easier?
Here are some tips to help make your transition from post-op recovery to employee as pain-free as possible:
Make sure you are completely healed: Going back to work too soon after surgery can cause health problems. Even if you feel restless, make sure to not go back to work until your surgeon gives you permission.
Discuss your needs with your boss: Communicate your concerns and let them know if you need flexible work hours or a work-from-home environment during the initial weeks.
Be patient with yourself: Recovering from surgery is difficult. There will be a learning curve as you get readjusted to being back at work. Be patient with yourself and your coworkers.
Achieving a Full Recovery from DIEP Flap Reconstruction Takes Time
It’s important for you not only physically but emotionally to take all the time you need to heal. You will need support from friends and family during your recovery, so make sure they know how to support you during the healing process.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
At PRMA, we know that deciding to have breast reconstruction is a big step. We want you to feel informed, supported, and confident throughout the whole process. If you would like to learn more and review your options with one of our breast reconstruction specialists, please feel free to request your consultation today.
“Set realistic, attainable goals after your surgery. Your body is going to feel different now than it did before surgery. If you are doing it simply to lose weight or get back into a certain dress or pant size you may be setting yourself up for failure. Reset your compass.”