Flap Reconstruction Recovery

When you leave the operating room, you will be transported to the recovery room. You will be awake and aware. You will spend the first night in the recovery room. The only reason to keep you here is for the level of close monitoring that can occur there. The first night you will be obtaining fluids through an intravenous line (IV). Special stockings connected to a pneumatic pump will be placed on your legs so that you don't get a blood clot. These will be removed when you begin to walk. The hospital bed will be flexed. This will take the tension off the abdominal incision.

In the operating room, long acting nerve blocks will be performed. This will eliminate the need for pain pumps and narcotic medications. Nonetheless, if you still experience some pain and discomfort, pain medications will be given for you to take by mouth.

Your IV will be removed once you are able to drink enough fluids. When you are ready, you will be given solid food to eat. Caffeinated beverages, such as soda and coffee, are allowed but hydration with water is encouraged. Most women may also experience constipation due to the pain medication, anesthesia, and limited activity. Once your return to your regular daily diet and activity level, this problem should resolve. Adequate hydration and a high fiber diet will help with constipation.

Patients will typically be discharged from the hospital and go home on the second or third day following surgery. While you are going home, activity restrictions will be in place to ensure that the breast reconstruction is not injured. Detailed discharge instructions will be provided.

Flap Reconstruction Post-Op

In an effort to make you more comfortable with discharge home and to answer any questions you may have, Dr. Tanna has prepared an instructional sheet for you. However, you may call the office at 516-531-2111 at any time with additional questions or concerns.


Sleep on your back for the first two weeks after surgery.


  • You may take sponge baths following discharge. Pat dry. We will instruct you to shower once you have drains removed from your breasts in the office.
  • Do not take a bath or submerge yourself in water.
  • You will have special adhesive glue or tape over the incisions. Do not take these off.

Pain Control and Prescriptions:

  • A prescription for pain medication will be sent to your pharmacy. Take this pain medication as prescribed as needed for moderate to severe pain. For less severe pain, you may take over the counter Tylenol (acetaminophen), instead of the prescribed pain medication.
  • Your prescription pain medication may contain acetaminophen. For example, Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) contains 325mg of Tylenol. Do not exceed 4000 mg of Tylenol (acetaminophen) from all sources in a 24 hour period.
  • Narcotic pain medication can be constipating, so drink plenty of water and non-caffeinated beverages to help with regular bowel movements. It is important not to strain to have a bowel movement. Any straining can jeopardize your safety and recovery.
  • You may be prescribed another pain medication, Toradol/ketorolac. Take this medication as prescribed for pain.
  • Take an over the counter baby aspirin (81mg) daily for 3 weeks.
  • Please do not drive while taking narcotic pain medication

Call the Office:

Do not hesitate to call the office with any concerns or questions. A doctor is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day. Please notify us immediately at 516-531-2111 if:

  • You have increased swelling, pain, or color change in the breast.
  • One breast becomes suddenly significantly larger than the other breast.
  • You have a sudden increase in swelling of the abdomen.
  • You have redness develop around the incisions.
  • You have a fever greater than 101 F.
  • You develop sudden increase in pain.
  • You develop drainage, spreading redness or foul odor
  • You have any questions.

Post-Op Instructions

Print Instructions

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