Post mastectomy with expander implant - recovery timescale/returning to work

Hi everyone, I am now 5 weeks post mastectomy, with immediate expander implant reconstruction, and sentinel lymph node biopsy, for high grade DCIS. ‘Luckily’ I do not need any further treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy. I am at that point where I am feeling almost ‘back to normal’ but have still been advised to restrict certain repetitive movements (due to lymph node surgery) and lifting heavy objects etc. Everyone says how well I am doing but I can tell when I have ‘overdone’ things as I feel tired and my reconstructed boob aches.  I am considering returning to work and I just wondered if anyone else was in a similar position or beyond this point and can comment on their recovery and how long it takes. Thank you

After a bit more research on here I have found some reassuring answers on the “Moving Forward” board, Recovering from treatment, “Does implant ever feel normal” 10/01/18.


I am still interested to hear from anyone else but thought this thread might help others in a similar situation.

Hi - I had a right sided mastectomy on 24th September with a tissue expander at the same time - I have been going for weekly ‘fills’ - have had 6 visits/fill’s. A total of 525 mls of saline has been put in. I’m still off work - my doctor has signed me off until after Christmas, so I will look to go back to work early in the new year.

My reconstructed breast is ‘getting there’. It has to be left for 3 months for all the swelling to go down and to ‘settle down’, so in February next year I’m hoping for a date for surgery to have this temporary implant replaced with a permanant one.

I’m not really feeling back to normal yet - in fact I think I’ve forgotten what normal is any more.

I’m on Letrozole and calcium and now been put on alendronic acid (I had a DEXA bone scan done and its showed I have osteoporosis and the Letrozole can make the condition worse so need to take the bisphosphonate drug)

My system is still adjusting to all the new medication - and I’m extremely fatigued (and a bit bad tempered - which isn’t like me really.) so no way do I feel ready to go back to work - hopefully by the New Year I’ll have had a good talk with myself and pull myself together.

Just reading over some of my past posts on this forum I think I can see a change in my personality - I’m not the same positive person I was before all this- so really need to get a grip.?