I didn't have implants, just a simple mastectomy and a year and a half later a tram reconstruction. I can tell you from the mastectomy point of view, that you are going to have to rebuild your arm movement, rotation, and strength. You are a good candidate to understand just what that's going to take. It will come back. Even with ripping out my lymph nodes and going without a breast and then putting it back, I've come back to just about normal each time. I still have some numbness in my armpit and along the underside of my arm. Occassionally I'll have a twinge of pain in my rib cage under that arm that will take my breath away for a moment, but I think that's more related to the addition of the stomach muscle up there. Other than that, I'm good as gold. You'll be under restrictions for a couple of weeks with picking up stuff, but after that, it's pretty much up to you to slowly regain what was lost. It will come back, though. And since you know how some of that works, you should be able to regain most of your strength pretty quickly. I used a trainer at the YMCA to help me get the full stretch going and some strength. I did that 4 months after reconstruction once they cleared me to do my own thing.
Best of luck on the surgeries.
You need to talk this out in detail with your breast specialist. you would be referred to a physical therapist too most probably so that you are taught certain breast exercises and breast massage.
Let us know if you have any doubts and follow up with your doctor regularly after the surgery.
Keep us posted.
I had the same procedure and post-op wasn okay. The expander works better if put in place while you do the mastectomy. You will be giving pain pills and they work well, but don;t take them too long. They will constipate you and you could become depressed. I felt numbness under and behind my arm and it does go away. Just do your exercises. Sometimes the arm is still numb, but I baby it. I will not lift anything over 12lbs. since I don't want any permanent swelling to occur. I would fill the expander every 3 weeks after Chemo. to about 60cc. I had no pain while doing this. Can't wait for reconstruction and to put all this behind me. It is a slow process and I promise you that LIFE GOES ON. Good luck and God Bless, Kelly49