Depending on the surgery you’ve had, you will be in hospital for 1–5 days. After your operation, the nurses will encourage you to start moving around as soon as you can. Your nurse will give you advice about your wound dressings and any drains you may have in.
Your nurse will give you painkillers to manage any pain, and advice and exercises for shoulder or arm stiffness. You may notice some numbness and tingling in your arm. This should improve over time but is sometimes permanent.
At first, the area of the surgery will be swollen and bruised. You will have a scar, but this should fade over time. Having a changed appearance might affect your confidence and body image. Your nurse can support you with this. Some women find that having breast reconstruction helps them feel more confident after surgery. If you don’t have an immediate breast reconstruction, you will be given a soft, lightweight false breast (prosthesis).