Showering After Breast Reconstruction Surgery
By: Courtney Floyd
Is it ok to shower after breast reconstruction surgery?
Showering after breast reconstruction surgery is the area patients and caregivers have the most questions about, but it’s actually pretty straight forward. Some patients are afraid of showering and worried they shouldn’t get the incision sites wet, but rest assured, showering and keeping the areas clean is the best thing for you.
After the surgery, you will typically be in the hospital for four days. Before you leave, your nurse will assist you in taking a shower and show you the ropes. Once home, you should shower daily. However, it is important to avoid submersion which means no baths, swimming pools or hot tubs until all incisions are healed and your surgeon has given you the all clear. We advise keeping your back towards the shower for about three weeks to avoid direct water pressure on your incisions as well.
Loofahs or washcloths to the incision sites should be avoided and no ointments, oils or lotions should be put on your incisions until instructed by your surgeon or nurse.
Using a mild soap without exfoliates is also important as you do not want to irritate the skin.
Most likely you will have drains in for the first week or two at home and showering can be challenging. By keeping the drains attached to a long necklace or lanyard around your neck while showering you should be able to dodge any pulling or tangling of the drains.
If you have questions or concerns about showering after breast reconstruction surgery, please contact your nurse for clarification.
Do you have any tips to share that made showering after breast reconstruction easier for you? Share in the comments below!