If you've undergone a mastectomy, and are planning breast reconstructive surgery, it's time to prepare yourself. Not just for the surgery, but for the entire process. You're going to need time to heal after the surgery, but you'll also need some time before the surgery as well. Here are four steps you can take to help you prepare for your reconstructive surgery.
Choose Your Own Time
Now that you're planning your reconstructive surgery, remember that this surgery is about you. You're not on a time limit. The best way to prepare for your surgery is to choose your own time. Whether you've recently undergone your mastectomy, or it's been a while since you had the surgery performed, it's up to you to choose the time for your reconstructive surgery. When you're comfortable, and ready for the procedure, you'll have an easier time with the recovery process.
Reach Out to Others
While you're preparing for your reconstructive surgery, use this time to reach out to others who've been in your shoes. Join a support group for others who have undergone mastectomies, and breast reconstructive surgery. The other support group members will be able to provide you with a wealth of information regarding the procedure and the recovery. Not only that, but you'll have people that you can talk to, who will understand what you're going through, because they've been through it too.
Ask Plenty of Questions
You're going to have plenty of questions for your medical team. Don't keep them bottled up inside you. Instead, be prepared to ask those questions at each one of your visits. Use a journal to write down every question you can think of. When you go to your appointments, bring the journal with you. As you ask your questions, write the answers down in your journal. This will allow you to go over the information when you get home. Writing it all down will allow you to refer back to the information whenever you need it.
Prep Your Bathroom
You're going to be sore when you get home from the hospital. Not only that, but you won't be able to lift your arms much, or put any weight on them. To make your recovery easier, use this time to prep your bathroom. You're going to need a safety bar next to your toilet. The safety bar will give you something to grab hold of when you sit down, or get up from the toilet. You'll also need a shower chair, and an adjustable shower sprayer. That way, you can sit down to shower once the doctor gives you the go-ahead.