​​​​​​​​​​After Your Operation

​​​​On this page, you can read all about what to expect during your hospital stay. Or, just click on one of the links below, to get the answer you want right now.

Wh​at will happen right after my operation?
  • You will wake up in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)​ and stay there for 1 to 2 hours​.
  • Once you are ready to leave the PACU, you will be moved to the Breast Restoration and Plastic Surgery Inpatient Unit at Toronto General Hospital or Short Term Care Unit – 18B​ at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
  • ​You will be attached to some or all of these tubes:
    • IV – We usually take the IV out as soon as you can tolerate an oral diet.
    • Oxygen – Oxygen helps you breathe. This will be delivered through nasal prongs.
    • Jackson Pratt drain(s) (JP) – Placed at your surgical site to drain fluid.
  • The nurses will give you a medication through the IV (antibiotics, anti-nausea).
  • ​You will have dressings on your surgical incisions.
How will I feel after my operation?​
  • Initially after your operation, you may feel drowsy and tired.
  • You may experience some pain at your surgical sites and/or nausea; we will manage your symptoms with medications.
  • ​You may feel some tightness in your chest.
How can I take care of myself after my operation?
  • After breast reconstruction surgery, it is normal to feel stiff in your back, chest, shoulders and arms.
  • It is important to do range of motion exercises and walk post-operatively to encourage circulation.
  • At home, you will be able to do light activities of daily living (e.g., walking, toileting, getting dressed, personal hygiene)
  • ​We will send a referral to the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to arrange for a nurse within your community to help you to take care of the drain.
How long will I stay in the hospital?

​You can expect to be discharged the same day of your operation or the next day. Your health care team will talk to you about your stay once you're out of the PACU.

Download a printable version of the:
Functional rehab booklet after breast reconstruction ​​​
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