Breast Augmentation Recovery Tips
Making the decision to get breast augmentation surgery can be difficult. You may ask yourself, “how much will it cost?” or “what are the risks?” But a big question people often ask is centered around what to expect after breast augmentation.
If you live alone, it’s important to know if you can care for yourself or if you will need help. It’s also important to know what other women experience in terms of pain and discomfort.
Different surgery techniques lead to different levels of pain (for instance, implants under the musculature are reported to be much more painful).
Here are some handy tips to help you decide.
Prepping your home life before surgery
Lifting your arms above waist level is going to be uncomfortable for a couple of weeks. Look around your house, pay attention to the activities you do that cause you to lift your arms and try to modify them. Put toilet paper, cups and bowls, shampoo and conditioner, and other things on a lower shelf or even on the floor.
Wash your hair really well and don’t add products to it before surgery. You will want that wash to last as long as possible, especially if you don’t have someone helping you. Product attracts dirt and oil. So go au naturel! Dry shampoo might be good to have as well, even though you have to raise your arms to apply it. At least it only takes a second and you can do it from your bed.
Put everything you might need on a table by your bed. The TV or Apple or Roku remote, your medications (ask your doc to prescribe them before the surgery), a good book, your phone and computer, and anything else should be really close.
Get your house really clean. Wash your sheets, vacuum and dust. Do all your laundry. You will feel pretty useless for at least a few days after the surgery, so do yourself a favor and make sure at least your home environment is clean.
If you have a pet, make sure you get someone to care for it. You won’t be able to walk your dog or lift that heavy bag of cat food. If you can find a neighbor or teenager who can help you out for a couple bucks, it will save you a lot of stress. You don’t want to feel like you are neglecting your beloved pet on top of the pain of recovery.
Make sure the right clothing is available. T-shirts that go over your head might be difficult to put on, so make sure you have zip-up hoodies or button-up shirts to wear. Also, a stack of sweatpants might be awesome too. Hey, we all love an excuse to wear sweats all day!
How your body might react after breast surgery
Your breasts will be tight and probably look a little strange to you. Some women report that their nipples point down or that their breasts look high and unnatural directly after surgery. But they settle as the breast heals. The tissue has been through some trauma, so there is a significant amount of swelling. As the swelling goes down, you will begin to see what your breasts really look like after the surgery. They will soften (although they will never be as soft as natural tissue!) and fall to a more anatomically correct position.
Scarring is a major concern for many women, but it shouldn’t be. A good surgeon knows how to place the scar so that it’s not noticeable, and how to incise in a way that the scar will heal to be almost invisible. Whether the incision is under the armpit, in the crease, or around the areola, it’s unlikely that anyone will notice the resulting scar, including you.
You should expect to be in pain or discomfort for about three to six days, but some women report less or more. Two weeks is the standard limit for physical activity that raises the blood pressure, and six weeks is the limit for major exercise activities.
Many women report that bras become less comfortable, they are itchy or don’t fit as well, so shop around and find the right fit. Underwire bras are a common culprit, and with your new implants you may not need an underwire anymore for support.
If you can get help, do it. Call your mom or sister or best friend and see if they can come spend an hour or so a day with you. Even if they are just making you a bowl of soup or feeding your goldfish or putting your hair in a ponytail for you, a little support goes a long way to helping you feel better.
The general anesthesia for the surgery often slows or even stops the bowels. Then, to make matters worse, pain killers are known for causing constipation. Go into surgery with as empty a stomach as possible, drink a lot of water afterward, and take some good stool softeners every day.
Breast augmentation recovery can be different for everyone, but doing these things should cover all or most of your bases when it comes to a complete and comfortable recovery. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, but with the right surgeon and all the information, you have everything you need to make the best choice.
Have more questions about breast augmentation?
Dr. Finkel has answers. Schedule your consultation with the surgeon.