The hardest part is over. Your surgeon has completed his work and you’re in recovery after breast surgery. It’s now time to let your body heal to ensure you have the best possible outcome post-surgery. By following these top tips for recovery after breast surgery, you’ll ensure you have the best chance of long-lasting results and natural-looking breast implant results.
The more you rest directly after your breast augmentation surgery, generally the quicker your body will heal. It’s important to minimize movement for the first couple of weeks to conserve energy and heal.
Avoid Strenuous Activity
Strenuous activity, heavy lifting, intense housework and vigorous exercise can result in complications post-surgery and should be avoided. Limit activity to those movements that can be done without pain and, most importantly, listen to your body.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Much of the healing process is psychological and not just physical. It’s important to keep an optimistic and positive attitude during recovery. Expectations may need to be adjusted, as perfection in any cosmetic surgery is unrealistic. Lean on family and friends for emotional support during the oftentimes emotional recovery phase.
Be Diligent with Exercises Prescribed by Your Surgeon
Many breast surgery patients are instructed to massage their breast implants for the first 2 to 4 weeks post-surgery. It is important to follow these exercises, as they stop scar tissue from contracting around your implants, reducing movement.
Smoking can affect the rate at which your body heals post-surgery. If you stop smoking during recovery, your blood is able to carry greater levels of oxygen to the tissues that are healing. The lack of carbon monoxide in your blood also reduces the likelihood of complications when recovering after surgery.
Sleep on Your Back
It’s important to avoid any pressure on your breasts during the recovery phase. If you sleep on your back, the chance of implants being moved or damaged is reduced significantly. It may take some time to adjust to sleeping on your back, but it is the sleeping position with the lowest risk of damage to your implants.
Watch Your Diet
Ensure you have a variety of healthy food at home to provide your body with the energy and strength to heal after surgery. Also make sure you drink lots of water to avoid becoming dehydrated. Avoid alcohol for the first month, as it can interact with your medication and slow down the body’s healing process.
Avoid Long Baths
You can shower, but you must ensure your wounds and dressings remain dry. Do not take a bath for at least 2 weeks. If your wound or dressing does become wet, you can gently use a hairdryer to dry it, but always on the lowest setting.
Attend All Post-Op Appointments with Your Surgeon
Post-op appointments are extremely important so that your surgeon can monitor your recovery progress, which will minimize the likelihood of complications in the future. Also, don’t be afraid to contact your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns. It’s also important that you are aligned with your surgeon in regards to your recovery timetable and commencement of exercise routines.
Advise Your Doctor of Any Potentially Serious Symptoms
If during the recovery phase, you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s important to contact your doctor immediately:
- Fatigue/low energy
- Shortness of breath
- Cognitive dysfunction (“brain fog” or memory loss)
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Increasing redness around the wounds
- Increasing pain
Dr. Michael Yunaev is an oncoplastic breast, general and cosmetic surgeon and is the principal doctor at the Breast & Body Clinic. Dr. Yunaev is a highly trained surgeon with extensive experience and a passion for treatment of all aspects of breast surgery and general surgery.