Breast Reconstruction – Post-operative Instructions

Instructions on discharge

  • On the day of discharge the drains will be removed.

TRAM flap:

  • Panty-girdle to be worn day and night for the first 2 weeks and just during the daytime for next the 3 months. Bikini and other panties are OK for holidays and the odd special occasion. Sports bra to be worn only when instructed at the dressing clinic.

ELD flap:

  • Sports bra to be worn day and night for the first 2 weeks and just during the daytime for next 3 months.
  • TED stockings to be worn for 2 weeks.
  • Discharge with standard painkillers.

Dressing clinic

  • Appointment approximately 1 week after surgery when a lighter dressing will be applied.
  • Usually 1 or 2 dressings after this when the wound will still need to be kept dry.

Activities

  • The first 2 weeks – minimal activities eg walking to the toilet, having meals and washing up.
  • 3-6 weeks normal daily activities including driving etc.
  • TRAM flap – 6 weeks onwards can start sporting activities but no abdominal exercises for 6 months.
  • ELD flap – 6 weeks onwards can start sporting activities.

General scar care for first 3 months

  • Micropore tape to the scars – once well healed – for at least three months.
  • The micropore tape is to stay on for showering and baths and simply patted dry and not to be changed until it is very loose and almost falling off by itself. Frequent removal of the micropore tape can irritate the scar.
  • Moisturise scar after first 3 months.
  • TRAM flap – moisturise the breast and the rest of the abdominal skin and umbilical scar with active stretching of the umbilical scar to prevent shrinkage of the scar from about the 3rd week onwards.
  • ELD flap – moisturise the breast and back skin from about the 3rd week onwards.

Special instructions

  • TRAM flap – walk slightly bent and sleep slightly sitting with a pillow under the knees for the first 2 weeks. After the first 2 weeks patients should start to straighten up completely both when standing and sleeping.

IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY PROBLEMS OR HAVE ANY QUERIES FOLLOWING YOUR SURGERY PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE WARD.

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