Breast augmentation after reconstruction is one of those surgeries that you know you’d rather not think about in too much detail but it’s going to be worth it in the long run. If you are considering undergoing this procedure, you’re probably wondering how your breasts are going to look like afterwards and how the skin is going to heal. This article should give you a better idea of what to expect following surgery. Every woman is different, so healing times will vary from person to person. Also, every surgeon is different so the technique that they use during surgery may vary slightly too. It’s important to choose a reputable, experienced surgeon as this is an important and technical procedure.
There are multiple factors that can influence how the skin heals following a breast reconstruction. These include things such as your skin elasticity, your general health before and after surgery, your age, whether you are a smoker, and whether you give your body enough “time off” to heal properly. Always follow the doctors’ orders for what you should and shouldn’t do post-surgery.
Taking care of your wound
Remember to do as the doctor says for taking care of your wound. As you will know, skin can feel itchy when it is healing. It is important not to scratch your wound, not only because of the possibility of tearing it but because it can lead to a bigger scar if you do.
The elasticity of your skin may be a factor in how your skin heals. Skin elasticity varies from person to person, as well as decreases as we get older. In some cases, you may get some small stretch marks around the scar from your mastectomy. The best way to reduce the chances of this happening is to rub the area around the scar and down the length of it with cream or oil daily after it has healed. The surgeon will advise the best way to do this.
How long will my scars take to heal?
Your scars will fade from a deep red over time, to white, or in some cases, imperceptible – like any other scars on your body. This process can take up to 18 months to 2 years until the scar has fully settled. It is only after this amount of time that you will see the full results of your breast reconstruction surgery.
It is recommended to rub vitamin E into the scar to help it look more aesthetically pleasing in the long term. Make sure the wound has healed fully before you do this, of course.
Will it look the same as my breasts before?
Your breasts will not look quite the same as they did before. This is due to the shape, size, and profile of your implants. However, your surgeon can get them as close as possible to your previous breasts if this is your wish. Many women choose to go up a cup size to attain a fuller breast after a mastectomy.
This also depends on whether you have a nipple sparing mastectomy. In a traditional mastectomy, the surgeon removes the nipple and areola, but in some cases, a nipple sparing mastectomy may be performed instead. This will make the breasts look quite a bit more like they did before, as it keeps your nipple and areola. For traditional mastectomies, tissues are grafted from other places on the body to do a nipple reconstruction. They won’t look quite like they did before nor respond in the same way, but they will still look like nipples.
Your new breasts may take some time to get used to. This is very natural and happens to most women. Your breasts have gone through a lot, after all! Make sure that you take the time to really get used to them, and don’t be disheartened if you look in the mirror and wonder, “who is that?”, as after time, this feeling will fade too – much like your scars.