Summer Fun After Breast Reconstruction
By: Courtney Floyd
Summer weather makes for a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the sun. With summer in full swing it is important to consider how this season’s activities can affect your breast reconstruction.
Being by the pool or on the beach is a great way to enjoy summer weather. Before stressing about those dreaded bathing suits, remember most women are self-conscious in a bathing suit whether they have had breast cancer or not! Look around next time you go out to the beach or pool—there are short, fat, skinny, and tall bodies everywhere—and we are all beautiful. Enjoy and embrace this warm season and be confident in your body.
If you have recently had breast reconstruction surgery it is important not to go swimming until your incisions are completely healed. Submerging your wounds in water can delay the healing process and increase your chances of getting an infection. If you are unsure about your wounds, follow up with your nurse before taking a dip.
Sunscreen is also very important any time you are out in the sun. A little sun exposure can be healthy for you, but overexposure can cause burning, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Make sure you use a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from burning while spending time outdoors. If you have any visible scarring, be sure to take extra care to eliminate sun exposure to those areas. Too much sun on a fresh scar can affect healing and may limit how well the scar will fade over time. If you are currently undergoing radiation treatment it is important to ask your doctor whether using sunscreen will irritate your radiated skin.
Breast reconstruction does not have to put your summer plans on hold. Enjoy the weather, celebrate your victory over breast cancer, and remember your new body is beautiful!