What Type of Activities Should I Avoid After Bilateral Masectomies with Expanders Placed at the Same Time?

I am in my third week of recovery from bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. The expanders were inserted immediately and 200cc's to start out with. I had an additional 100cc's and do not want any more fills. I am expected to return to work after five weeks recovery. My job is production where I am using my arms and chest muscles to pull and lift 30lbs of elastomer off the mill and onto the table. In addition, I will be reaching and using my arms constantly. When can I do my job in full.

Doctor Answers 6

When to return to work after placement of expanders for breast reconstruction

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should be determined by your surgeon and not random opinions of other doctors.  Your doctor is the one who has to sign your release to return to work and its his/her opinion that matters the most.  If you know you cannot do the duties of your position, you must let your doctor know.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

6 weeks

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Your job requires a lot of manual labor especially with your arms.  Returning back to heavy lifting can result in significant amounts of pain and also possibly bleeding.  In general, I would wait at least 6 weeks before returning back to your job.  

Activity after Tissue Expander Reconstruction

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The best person to answer your question is your plastic surgeon. After bilateral mastectomy and tissue expander placement, I generally recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks.  Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Acitivity and expanders

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I would say for my patients if they are completely healed can go back to heavy lifting after about 6-8 weeks.  But, I would check with your doctor.

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

Activity after expander reconstruction

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When you can return to your normal activities after expander reconstruction is something you should discuss with your plastic surgeon, before you begin. She knows you, how you are healing, and what activities you are returning too. In general,though, patients can start to resume their activities once they have healed well and the drains are out. For patients without complications, this usually occurs in 2-3 weeks after surgery. Patients may need time and help in returning to their previous level of activity, however. Physical therapy can often be quite helpful for some patients.

M. Susann Bedford, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Resuming Activity after Breast Reconstruction?

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Congratulations on the successful breast reconstruction thus far. It sounds like your plastic surgeon is taking good care of you and should be your resource when it comes to  resumption of postoperative activity.  Remember, that he is ultimately responsible for your care.

 Best wishes  for a long-term outcome that you are very pleased with.

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.