The Road To Recovery
Resuming Normal Activities
Mastectomy and/or breast reconstruction is a major surgery, and time is needed to completely heal and recovery before you can expect to return to your regular activities! You can usually resume normal activities about six weeks after your breast reconstruction surgery. Always check with your Surgeon before starting physical activities and exercises.
Going Back To Work
Most patients take at least six to eight weeks before returning to work. Some women take longer to recover; check with your employer and/or Human Resources Department about the time you can expect to take off to recover from surgery. As a breast cancer survivor, you have certain rights as a patient. Be sure to advocate for yourself and to let your workplace know what you are going through.
Normally you can return to work when:
- You are comfortably physically, mentally and emotionally to perform your expected job activities.
- You have the physical, mental, and emotional stamina to complete a day's work.
- Check with your Surgeon before returning to work. Your Surgeon's office can complete the necessary forms for your employer or disability benefits.
Ask your Surgeon regarding when you can safely resume sexual activity. Generally, women may resume sexual activity six to eight weeks after Surgery or when they feel comfortable.
Intimacy is unique to every woman. Many women have different opinions for when they are ready to become intimate again. Some women have found that their partners go through a grieving process as well. You may want to communicate your feelings and fears to your partner to improve their understanding of the situation.
A common concern may be physical appearance or discomfort following surgery. Many partners are concerned with doing or saying the wrong thing.
During mastectomy surgery, the nerve supplying erotic sensation to the breast and nipple is removed. Therefore, pleasure you may have previously experienced from nipple stimulation may be affected permanently. On the other hand, breast reconstruction can enhance a woman's feeling of completeness and attractiveness, providing greater enjoyment during sexual activity.