How Much Pain Should Someone Expect from Breast Reconstruction After Partial Breast Resection?

Are there preferred surgical techniques that are used to help minimize the pain? What kind of medication is used to minimize the amount of pain after breast reconstruction surgery following cancer partial breast resection?

Doctor Answers 4

Pain after partial mastectomy

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This is a tough question to answer because everybody's pain tolerance is different.

Some discomfort is associated with lumpectomy and/or partial mastectomy. However, this pain is usually tolerable and well-controled with oral pain medication.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Oncoplastic techniques for breast reconstruction

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It  may be difficult to predict discomfort following breast surgery.  It is important, however, to understand your options for both treatment of the cancer as well as reconstruction.  For some women undergoing lumpectomy (perhaps as many as 30%), there may be concerns with the cosmetic appearance of the breast following lumpectomy with radiation.  Plastic surgeons may be able to work with the breast surgeons to reposition the tissue of the breast either at the time of lumpectomy (or shortly thereafter) to reduce this risk.

Loren Schechter, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Breast reconstruction

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It is very difficult to assess your extent of pain after srugery for a few reasons.  1)  I do  not know what type of surgery you will have, 2) what is your normal pain threshold like.  In general, most patients have some discomfort during the first week after surgery that in most cases responds very well to oral pain medications.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Reconstruction Pain and Recovery

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Anytime a patient is undergoing a partial or complete mastectomy secondary to breast cancer, there is a certain level of pain and discomfort.  However, this varies from patient to patient depending on their pain tolerance.  Depending on what type of breast reconstruction is being performed, this may or may not add any additional pain.  If the reconstruction simply entails reshaping the existing breast tissue to replace the tissue deficit, then often there is no additional pain.  If their is a tissue expander, implant, or some type of additional tissue brought in to reconstruct the breast ( a TRAM, latissmus, or DIEP flap), then there is generally more pain and discomfort.  However, even with extensive flap reconstructions, most women are doing pretty well after 3-4 days.  I hope this hleps.

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.