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Recovery after Breast Augmentation Surgery
What kind of recovery should I expect after my Breast Augmentation Surgery?
Day-of-Surgery – Breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient procedure. After an hour or two in the recovery room, you will be able to go home in the company of a friend or family member. When you wake up from your procedure, you will be in the recovery room and will be wearing a soft surgical bra or a sports bra.
Sleeping – During the first week after breast augmentation surgery, try to sleep on your back. This ensures that the breast implants are in a perfect position during the initial healing process.
Painkillers – You’re likely to feel sore for a few days, but you should be up and around in 24 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by the prescribed painkillers.
Showering – Remove your dressing, sponges, and gauze pads on the third post-operative day. You may now take a shower. After showering, simply pat your incisions dry and replace your surgical bra, a sports bra, or feel free to wear no bra at all. It is important not to wear a bra with underwire initially, because this may prevent your breasts from assuming their natural shape.
First Post-op Visit – Dr. Agha prefers to see you on Day 5 for your first post-operative visit. You may also experience a burning sensation in your nipples for about two weeks, but this will subside as bruising fades.The skin of your breasts may become shiny. This is a result of the swelling that occurs after surgery. Within a few weeks, the edema and swelling will subside, and the skin will look more normal.It is quite common for the two breasts to heal differently. One may swell more, one may feel more uncomfortable, or the shapes may differ initially. After complete healing, they should look remarkably similar and natural.Swelling in your breasts may take three to five weeks to subside.
Driving – You may drive when driving does not cause pain. This usually occurs in 7-10 days if your car has power steering. It is not safe to drive a car within 24 hours of taking pain medication, as your reflexes and alertness may be altered.It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing.Infrequently, you may hear and feel “sloshing” in your breast after augmentation surgery. This is the trapped air in the space around the implant and the natural fluid that accumulates after an operation. It will all be absorbed by the body within a few weeks.
Activities – During the first week after surgery, you want to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure. This could cause bleeding at the operative site, which could result in a hematoma (collection of blood). Walking is an excellent form of exercise, especially during the first week. During the second week, cardiovascular activities, such as riding a stationary bicycle or brisk walking, can be initiated. Running at this point may be premature. Avoid exercises which directly stress the area of your surgery for a full four weeks. Avoid heavy lifting, contact sports, and jogging for up to six weeks. Six weeks after surgery, you will be nearing your pre-operative level. Avoid stressing the surgical area has to maximize healing and minimize scarring. During the early phase of healing, you must avoid irritation around the operative site, as this can worsen swelling and fluid accumulation. This could cause the development of a seroma (fluid collection) or cause problems with the wound (dehiscence or opening of the suture line, or widening of the scar).
Work – You should be able to return to work within a few days, depending on the level of activity required.
Massaging – Dr. Agha recommends early breast massages after the first week. Breast massages reduce the potential for capsular contracture. During your post-operative visits, Dr. Agha will teach you the proper technique for massaging the implants.
Scarring – Every person’s body is different, and many factors contribute to scar healing. Your scars will be firm and pink for about six weeks. Non-smokers and those who follow the Enhanced Recovery Nutritional Supplements routine have a better chance of having rapid healing and thinner scars. Expect to wait at least nine months before your scars lighten in color and become as flat as the rest of your skin. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 at all times when in the sunshine.
Follow-ups – Regular check-ups protect against complications.
Sensation – Regeneration of the sensory nerves is accompanied by tingling, burning, or shooting pains. As the nerves regenerate, the nipples commonly become hypersensitive. This will subside with time. You may find that gentle massaging helps. If however, this is accompanied by swelling or redness, infection, or bleeding, then you will need to see Dr. Agha at the office.
Mammogram – Routine mammograms should be continued after breast augmentation for women who are in the appropriate age group, although the mammographic technician should use a special technique to assure that you get a reliable reading.
Emergencies – Some discomfort is expected following your surgery. However, be sure to tell us if:
There is an increase in swelling, pain, redness, drainage, or bleeding in the surgical area.
You develop fever, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or a general ill feeling.
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heartbeats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
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