Before I dive in to the post-op risks, wound care and meds, it is important to note that these instructions were particular to MY surgery, MY medical history and are not intended to be advice for anyone. MY Procedures immediately after bilateral mastectomy:
Left Breast Reconstruction with Expander (1st stage) – First stage reconstruction of left breast with insertion of an expander under the left chest wall skin and muscles. RNFA. I-Flow Pain Pump. O/N.
Right Breast (this is the breast that has breast cancer) Reconstruction with Expander (1st stage) – First stage reconstruction of right breast with insertion of an expander under the left chest wall skin and muscles. RNFA. I-Flow Pain Pump. O/N.
Prior to Surgery:
- NO SMOKING!! No respectable Plastic Surgeon will commence with plastic surgery of this type (perhaps of any type) if you are a smoker. Smoking restricts blood flow and could cause necrosis of the tissue at the healing site. — I stopped smoking one month before my surgery. Oh, this includes kicking the habit of any nicotine replacement therapy too since nicotine has the same constrictive effect on the blood vessels and could cause necrosis. I used Chantix for 5 days then went cold turkey.
- Multivitamins and Vitamin C – take your vitamins twice per day to improve your general health. Take Vitamin C, 500mg, twice daily to promote healing.
- DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR IBUPROFEN for two weeks prior to surgery, review the list of drugs containing aspirin and ibuprofen carefully. Such drugs can cause bleeding problems during and after surgery. Use medication containing acetaminophen instead.
- LIMIT VITAMIN E: Stop taking two weeks prior to surgery.
- Fill the Prescriptions you have been prescribed BEFORE the day of surgery.
- Cleansing: Three nights before surgery and each following night prior to surgery, shower and wash the surgical areas (from collar bone to below breast crease with Betadine Scrub for FIVE MINUTES.) Repeat this cleansing on morning of surgery.
- No eating or drinking anything after 12:00 midnight, this includes water!
- Do Not Wear any moisturizers, creams, lotions, deodorant or makeup the day of surgery.
- Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing,DO NOT WEAR ANYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO PULL OVER YOUR HEAD. Leave hairpins, wigs and jewelry at home.