My mastectomy and reconstruction (expander) was done on a Friday Oct 8 in 1993...so I'm sure things have changed quite a bit. But, I came home from the hospital on Sunday Oct 10 with the help of my husband. I still had drainage tubes in that he helped with. As stated below, the main restriction was with weight. You cannot pick up or carry much...I believe it was about 5 lbs. At least for the first couple of weeks.
I was a fairly healthy person and my recovery went very well. I know it's not the same for everyone. Every case and every person is different.
I had a double mastectomy/reconstruction in 1993... my first battle with breast cancer. My doctor's were absolutely wonderful. My recovery from the surgery actually went really well. The reconstruction went good but was a pretty slow process. I had 'expanders' put in and the tissue was slowly expanded until ready for the implants. Of course, that was 19 yrs ago so I'm sure things have changed! I was working in an office full time and was out of work for 6 weeks. But, I did not have radiation or chemo that time. The cancer was non invasive.
In 2001 I had my second battle with another non invasive (different cancer though) cancer. Removed the cancer and had chemo and reconstruction. It wasn't easy but with the support and love of family and friends and the strength from God my recovery went well that time too! I feel very blessed to be where I am today!