What's the Average Recovery Time of Breast Reconstruction for a Mastectomy?

Doctor Answers 15

Recovery time after breast reconstruction for a mastectomy

Recovery time after breast reconstruction after a mastectomy depends on the reconstruction technique.

1. For implant base breast reconstruction - stage 1 involves placement of a tissue expander and alloderm after mastectomy - Normally the patient stays in the hospital for 1 to 2 days for this stage1. All the surgical sites should heal and the drains removed by week 3. Patient should be able to return to work by week 3 to 4. Stage 2 involves removal of tissue expander and placement of permanent implant. This surgery is outpatient which means you could go home the same day.
2. For autologous tissue breast reconstruction i.e. free TRAM, DIEP, and SGAP flaps, the surgery usually takes about 8 to 10 hours depending on one or 2 sides. After the surgery, the patient stays in the hospital for 5 days. You should feel fully recovered by week 3-4. All subsequent touch up surgeries are outpatient.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

436 N Bedord Drive
Beverly Hills , CA 90210

Breast Reconstruction

This varies a lot depending on what procedures have been done before, and whether any complications have been present in the area.  Four to six weeks and out to 8 weeks is not uncommon to have activities altered due to surgery and recovery.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

360 Rose Ave
Danville, CA 94526

Recovery Time for Breast Reconstruction

The amount of time required for recovery for breast reconstruction is going to vary greatly depending on the type of breast reconstruction.  I tell all of my patients it is going to take 9 months to a year from the initial mastectomy until the final reconstruction is complete.   Patients can return to work within 2-3 weeks of each operation, but for some types of reconstruction there can be several stages.   Talk to your boar certified plastic surgeon to determine which type of reconstruction is best for you and the recovery associated with that type of reconstruction.

Christopher T. Maloney Jr., MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

3170 N Swan Rd
Tucson, AZ 85712

Recovery Time after Breast Reconstruction

The answer to this question is not straight-forward and has so many variables. Whether the reconstruction is done at the same time as the mastectomy or later is one thing to take into consideration. The second is the type of reconstruction, implants versus your own tissue. In general, however, you can anticipate about six weeks before life is close to being back to normal. Even at six weeks you may still be undergoing weekly doctor's visits, but you will be feeling much better and have resumed much of your normal life. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon what your recovery will look like based on the reconstruction you choose to undergo. Best of luck.

Kendall Roehl, MD
Webster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

575 E Medical Center Blvd
Webster, TX 77598

What is The Average Time for Recovery After Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy?

The Recovery time after Mastectomy is primarily dependent upon the type of reconstructive procedure performed.  If a flap procedure is done the recovery will be much longer.  Currently there is a trend for many women choosing the single stage reconstruction because of the following benefits: 
1.One stage
2.Over night stay in hospital only
3.improved cosmetic result
4. Acceptable scarring
5.Faster recovery and return to active lifestyle.
I have found after 600 breast reconstructions that most patients want to return to their active life style as soon as possible and for that reason they choose the single stage procedure.  The average recovery time after a single stage procedure is 2 to 4 weeks.  

Joseph Rucker, MD, FACS
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

3221 Stein Blvd
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Recovery time for breast reconstruction

Recovery time will vary on which breast reconstruction procedure you opt for.  Implant-based reconstruction is the simplest and least painful procedure, along with the least recuperation time.  Typically, most women are doing most things within 2-3 wks.  Flap-based procedures are more complex and require procedures performed on 2 different areas of your body.  Depending on which flap procedure was performed, recuperation time varies from 4-8 weeks.  Usually, I recommend a 6 week recovery time for breast reconstruction, with most women being able to get back to work earlier if they so choose.  

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

8900 E. Raintree Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Breast Reconstruction Recovery

Recovery depends on the options you chose.    We provide tissue or implant reconstruction.    The rate limiting factors are body habitus, cancer stage, and patient preference.    Implant reconstruction involves a 1 week recovery, whereas tissue (DIEP/TRAM/GAP) recovery is about 2-3 weeks.   It is important to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon with a special interest in breast cancer reconstruction, who is experienced in providing all these options to you.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

9200 Pinecroft
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Breast reconstruction recovery

Recovery from breast reconstruction really varies depending upon the typw of procedure you had done.  A tissue expander insertion recovery(1-2 wks) is alot easier than a TRAM or Free Flap like a (DIEP or free TRAM)( 2-3 wks).

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

1049 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10028

What's the Average Recovery Time of Breast Reconstruction for a Mastectomy?

Dr Rand is correct. Recovery depends upon which reconstructive option is used in your case. The longer the surgery time the longer the recovery on average. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

6330 Manor Lane
Miami, FL 33143

It will depend on the type of reconstruction

You will have faster recovery with tissue expander and implant reconstruction. The concern with the implant breast reconstruction is the quality of the breast reconstruction and capsular contracture.I offer my patient DIEP flap and the recovery is about 10 days.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

3901 Veterans Blvd
Metairie, LA 70002

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.