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post-mastectomy/reconstruction

chaoslevert
chaoslevert Member Posts: 1

I am about to get a preventative double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. There is a small chance they will decide to put in an expander rather than do the immediate construction, but they won't know this until the time of surgery. I have a couple questions about this.

1) Is there a big difference in recovery time/pain, etc between the 2 types of surgery?

2) I am having it done in Boston and staying the week with my dad before driving 4 hours home. As long as I have a seatbelt pillow, can I assume that I will be able to do the drive 6-7 days post-op?

Comments

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,990

    Here's the link to the surgery thread. You will not be able to drive until you are off pain meds.

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/91/topics...


  • You may also find it difficult to turn your head to check behind you to change lanes or back-up. That type of head/neck movement pulls on the chest muscles, which is something you don't want to do.

  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404

    Chaos leverage, I don't think I would have been able to drive before I had my drains out. Maybe it depends on where they are, but one of mine really limited my arm movement. Anything that moved my elbow away from my torso in any direction more than a couple inches pulled on the drain. Also, jostling is still bothersome. I walk with my elbow hugging the drain site tightly. Hitting a bump in the road is not pleasant. I am 15 days post single masectomy. I had the second drain removed yesterday and I am a new woman!

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    Unfortunately, you can't assume you'll be able to drive. You might be able to, but a lot of people can't and there's no way to know in advance. In addition to what others said, another concern with driving is needing to make sudden movements. You may not be physically capable of making a unplanned sharp jerk to the left or right to avoid hitting another car or obstacle. And even a minor fender bender, or just having to slam on the brakes, could really screw up your still-healing incisions, and your drains.

    You'll probably want to find someone to drive you, or be prepared to stay a few weeks if necessary.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,990

    Good advice from everyone. Best thing to do is ask your doctor since they are all different. Mine didn't want me to drive until after the post op - two weeks. I had a double mastectomy with two drains - but conveniently towards the front & not the sides. I drove my son to the airport so he could go home after 10 days. But the airport is relatively close and we went at an hour there was no traffic. Still risky since interior incisions take a fair amount of time to heal.