Getting breast implants is a serious matter, even if it is mainly an elective surgery. It requires enough preparation to ensure that you get a safe procedure with successful results. Behind every good one is a team of professionals who took all the necessary efforts to create an outcome that is suitable and satisfying to the patient. But at the end of that chain is the client’s responsibility to herself – and that is to take care of the healing stage. So, for those who wish to embark on this journey, here’s your easy-to-digest recovery guide after breast augmetation.
Moments after surgery
Breast augmentation is generally performed under general anaesthetic, which typically lasts about an hour or two. Waking up after this procedure would have you experiencing some amount of pain and discomfort. This is due to the effects of the anaesthetic starting to wane. You will also feel a little groggy after being under anaesthesia.
If your implants were placed under the muscle, you will initially feel some tightness and pressure. The stitched incisions will have a gauze taped over it, while the breasts will be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a bra support to assist the healing process.
It is normal for the breasts to feel hard and you may experience some discomfort or painful twinges which could persist for a few weeks. Some may also notice their nipples to be hypersensitive or none at all, but this is expected and will resolve over time. If the intensity of the pain increases, if you catch a fever, or notice smelly discharges from the surgical site over the next few days, notify your surgeon right away.
You may still be all out of sorts during the first 24 hours post-surgery, which is why you need someone to drive you home after your procedure. Aside from being too groggy to manage any mechanical chore, your surgical site should not have undue stress during the first few days.
Following your surgery, it is important that you follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions properly, especially on the matter of your medications. By protocol, surgeons would prescribe pain medications to manage the discomfort after surgery. If you think that you need more than what was prescribed, take this up with your surgeon so that your pain can be carefully assessed.
On the subject of medications, it should come into consideration when you come in for consultation because some post-op drugs may interact with any medicine or supplements that you are already taking. Chances are it could result in adverse reactions, complications (e.g. bleeding), and prolonged healing. So, be sure that you disclose anything that you are regularly taking beforehand.
Surgery, or any trauma to our body for that matter, increases our demand for nutrients so that our system heals. It helps that you increase your protein intake with egg whites, fish, beans, lean meats, nuts and quality protein shakes. Adding in a variety of complex carbohydrates such as steamed vegetables and low glycemic fruits can also provide you with antioxidants which are necessary as your body recovers.
Avoid alcohol at least a month before surgery and even after surgery because having this in your system might delay your healing. Aside from this, there are generally no restrictions in diet, but it does help to choose healthily. Should you have any concerns, always ask your doctor to be on the safe side.
The stitches are generally taken out ten days after surgery. It is only until then that you are able to get full-body showers and baths. Some surgeons, however, allow their patients to wait 48 hours before showering but bathing remains to be put off for a couple of weeks. A surgeon’s advice may slightly vary on this matter, but be sure that you follow your specific instructions.
You may start to do some duties as long as these don’t require any heavy lifting, intense walking, or running. Three weeks after surgery, lower body workout, or low impact exercises, at the gym may be allowed such as leg exercises or through a stationary bike. Only you will know when it is too much for you, so, if you feel any discomfort or pain stop immediately and revert to something less strenuous.
Upper body workout can already be resumed 6-8 weeks after surgery as the pain and swelling should have subsided by this time. Your usual walking or running routine may be resumed, but always listen to your body. If you are an athlete, or if there is a need for you to do workouts, discuss this matter ahead with your surgeon so you will be advised on a suitable exercise regimen.
It is common to be worried about scarring following breast enlargement surgery, but this actually heals with time. Typically, the surgeon makes the incisions along the fold of the breasts (inframammary), around the areola (periareolar), through the areola and around the nipple (transareolar), or through the belly button (transumbilical). These sites make incisions inconspicuous and easy to conceal.
Proper wound care can also prevent scarring as prolonged healing increases the chances of developing scars. It is also safe to inquire your surgeon of any scar reducing ointment that can help improve the healing. On top of these, nutrition is also key in promoting better healing which means less scar formation.
Post-operative appointments are expected after surgery. Do follow up on the schedule as this is an opportunity to have the surgeon monitor your progress, and also for you to discuss any concerns. Some even require patients to come back a year into recovery to see how your implants have settled in.
It is common for patients to heal differently. In most cases, patients can already return to work within a week after surgery, that is if they don’t have strenuous jobs. Any heavy lifting is advised 3-4 weeks after the procedure. It would still be best to discuss your activities with your surgeon so you can be advised according to your situation.
It is still possible for you to experience breast-related problems even with breast implants. Having these require certain techniques for you to look out for certain abnormalities. Know your breasts better and see what’s your new normal. You can perform a self-breast examination every month, a regular examination with your surgeon, or have it checked along with your OB visit.
In conclusion, it is important that you give your body enough time to heal after breast augmentation surgery. Recovery is not exclusive only to the immediate post-operative phase but before and even a few months after the procedure.
Breast implants can last years, but it also requires careful attention to ensure that it does last long.
Are you planning on getting one soon? Come and be advised by a well-qualified cosmetic surgeon who is certified and experienced in performing breast augmentation in Sydney. Book an appointment with Dr. Daood today and let’s see how we can make your dream curve possible!