Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that places implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles. Some women undergo the surgery for cosmetic reasons, while others have it performed to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy, or when undergoing sexual reassignment surgery.
Whatever the reason may be, waiting to see the results of a breast augmentation surgery can evoke a range of feelings from excitement, joy, anxiety and anticipation. The surgery is common but requires a great deal of care and patience in recovery. This guide will give you an idea of what to expect when you arrive back home from the hospital, and how to best take care of yourself.
- Make sure you have someone to look after you. You definitely can’t be alone or walk without assistance for the first 24 hours after surgery! This is because you run the risk of falling or fainting. Even middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks will require the help of a friend or partner. Don’t attempt to go to the bathroom by yourself the first night following a surgery. Try turning your first night back into a sleepover event! Rent a bunch of movies and get your caretaker to bring your favorite snacks.
- Expect a bit of discomfort. This is to be expected after you’ve gone through a pretty hardcore surgery! After your procedure, you’ll likely experience some swelling, bruising and tenderness of your breasts. To help your breasts heal, you’ll be given a surgical bra and supporting bandages. This will also help you feel more comfortable as they protect your wounds and hold your breasts in place.
- Make sure to follow the Dr.’s orders! Your doctor will give you a list of do’s and don’ts following your surgery, including things like: don’t sleep on your stomach or side, don’t run, jump or perform strenuous physical activity, and don’t lift your arms above your head or pull at your breasts to try and see your scars because it may break open your wounds. Since lifting your hands over your head is a no-no, make sure to wear shirts that easily button or a Giftgown with adjustable back snaps, while you recover. Most importantly, take this time to relax, lay back and give yourself some much-needed R&R!
- Don’t get your wound wet. No showers for a while! The first few days after surgery you will need to keep your bandages nice and dry! After a while, you will be able to shower again, but you’ll need to take to completely dry your bandages afterward. Consider investing in some essential oils and organic dry shampoo to keep yourself smelling sweet during this time!
- Keep your surgical bra and compression bandages on. Your surgical bra is specially designed to give your implants the support they need so they don’t fall to the side or downward. No one wants that! Don’t remove them unless you are advised to by your doctor. Once you are given the go-ahead to take your surgical bra off, refrain from wearing push-up or underwire bras for a few weeks because they could irritate or cut into your flesh and cause complications. Your implants will also need time to settle into their proper position, and as a result, bras that change or manipulate the shape and position of your breasts are not recommended. If you want a sexy number that doesn’t have underwire, check out local brands like fortnight or bullyboy lingerie. Otherwise, Jockey has great basics.
- Be extra observant! As we mentioned above, bruising and swelling are common, but you still need to look for signs of complications after a surgery. While spots of blood on your bandages is normal, heavy and prolonged bleeding that soaks right through them is not. Intense swelling of one or more breasts, shortness of breath, chest pain and severe headaches are also cause for concern. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, make sure to get in touch with your doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
- Schedule Follow-ups. Your follow-up appointments are very important to your progress and healing and should not be missed! The point of these visits is to ensure your scars heal properly, your implants settle into the correct position and that you are left with a breast augmentation you are happy with. Unless there are complications, your follow-ups will likely be with a nurse, who will teach you massage techniques that will help your implants settle.
To conclude, healing after any surgery takes plenty of time and some loving care. Healing after a cosmetic procedure has some extra rules and restrictions for aesthetic purposes. Make sure to listen carefully to the professional advice of your doctors and nurses, have friends and family on standby to help the with heavy lifting, and take it easy! You should be feeling -- and looking -- great in no time.
Please note that we are not qualified medical professionals and are simply trying to aggregate information that may be relevant to you at this time - if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, you should speak to your doctor.