Before You Explant
Prepared patients are the best patients
Getting ready for your explant surgery can be an exciting but stressful time. Planning ahead before the procedure can help you experience a smoother surgery and lead to an easier recovery period. The information below does not replace the advice of your explant surgeon but can provide you with helpful reminders about what to expect and how to be better prepared.
Some explant patients need to see other specialists (e.g. anesthesiologist, Cardiologist or breast nurse) before explant surgery. Others are asked to have lab tests, or to take part in research. If any of these apply to you, your explant surgeon, family doctor, or hospital will make arrangements and let you know.
Your surgeon may ask that you have a MRI or breast X-rays prior to surgery in order to identify any abnormality with your implants and so the surgeon has a preoperative image of your breast tissue. Mammogram is not advised due to increased risk of implant rupture.
You will usually be asked to not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery and to bring loose clothing, including a tight-fitting sports/compression bra without underwire, to wear after surgery. If you are going home the same day as the surgery, you will need to plan for someone to drive you home.
Your surgeon should discuss with you the extent of surgery, the estimated time it will take and how they plan to treat for pain and nausea.
Make personal arrangements
Make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from your explant surgery as well as a friend or relative to stay with you for the first 24 hours after your explant surgery.
If you have small children, you may want to make arrangements for their care as well. Prepare extra food ahead of time and have plenty of fluids and crackers available. Minimize your responsibilities at work and at home so that you can have a few extra days to recover.
Make sure any prescription medications have been filled and are in a convenient location. Ask your physician when you can resume driving a car, having sex and exercising.
The list of things you will need to bring with you on the day of your surgery is short. Generally, patients should have their identification and a small bag to carry medications and paperwork.
What to do if you are not feeling well before surgery
In the week before your surgery, contact your surgeon’s office at once if you:
- Are not feeling well
- Have a cough, cold or fever
- Have a scratch, pimple or open area on the skin around the surgical area
- Have had a recent infection, including dental (teeth or mouth), bladder, or skin infection
Planning for recovery
To plan for recovery, you will need the following information from your explant surgeon before your explant surgery:
- How long will I be in hospital?
- Is there any equipment or supplies that I need to buy before my explant surgery? If yes where can I get them?
- What limits will there be on my physical activities after explant surgery?
- What limits will I have on lifting after explant surgery?
- How long will I need to be off work?
- How long before I can drive a car?
Checklist for your explant surgery:
You can use the following checklist to ensure you have done everything you need to do to prepare for your explant surgery and recovery. Cross off the items that do not apply to you. This is not a complete list, just a guideline.
- Pre-op physical with family doctor completed (if required)
- Appointment(s) with specialists (if required)
- Blood work, breast ultrasound/MRI and other tests completed (if required)
- Pre-admission Clinic contacted/attended (if required)
- Restrictions after surgery known and arrangements made
- Equipment/supplies rented or purchased (if required)
- Escort and ride to and from the hospital arranged
- Overnight companion arranged (for the first 24 to 48 hours)
- Home help arranged
- Private or semi-private room requested (overnight stay)
- Skin preparation completed (if required)
- Food and fluid restrictions followed
- Bowel preparation completed (if required)
- Medication restrictions followed (if required)
- Smoking/eating and skin restrictions followed
- Overnight bag with personal items packed
- Meals prepared and frozen in advance at home
- Front opening clothing on hand to wear
Be sure that you are informed of all possible risks and complications involved with the breast Explantation/Capsulectomy. So make sure you ask the plastic surgeon to outline everything for you, this includes all possible risks and all the possible complications that may occur.