Planning before surgery
Breast augmentation is outpatient surgery, under general anesthesia. You will have received post-op instructions before surgery which will remind you to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you for at least the first night.
Also before surgery, you will be instructed to fill prescriptions for pain mediation and antibiotics; and you should preplan your work and social activities to allow sufficient time to heal.
You may choose not to return home immediately, and will be discharged to a hotel or spa where a specially trained medical professional will monitor your health and keep you comfortable; or you will stay in the hospital overnight. All of these considerations will be discussed prior to surgery.
After care and recovery
Immediately after breast surgery, you will be taken to recovery where you will wake from anesthesia to find your breasts wrapped in a gauze dressing and elastic bandage, or a support bra. This will help to minimize swelling and provide support while your new breasts heal.
Augmentation surgery stretches breast tissue and muscles, so you can expect to experience some pain within the first 48 hours after surgery. Acute pain will be managed with medication, and typically diminishes every day. Your new breasts will feel tight and be sensitive. The skin may be red and itchy, and it will be difficult to raise your arms. There may be some bruising and swelling that will resolve quickly. Your chest may feel stiff and sore for up to 5 days. Soreness and swelling can last for several weeks.
It is vital that you to follow post-op care instructions including monitoring your breast implants after surgery. You will receive detailed instructions on how to care for drains, if any, normal symptoms you will experience, and potential signs of complications. In addition, you will receive information on wearing your compression garments, taking antibiotics and the level of activity that is safe for you as you heal. You will be expected to walk a little every few hours to prevent blood clots in your legs. Under no circumstances can you resume smoking cigarettes because it affects your body’s ability to heal, and can compromise your results.
Week one post-surgery
During the first week, all surgical dressings will be removed and you may be instructed to wear a support bra around the clock. You may be instructed on how to care for your incisions. You may have some external sutures that will be removed within a week after surgery. It is very important to avoid lifting, pulling, or pushing, and twisting that causes pain or discomfort.
Weeks two through six
For at least the first few weeks it is important to avoid excessive physical activity. Be gentle with yourself. Slowly resume your physical activity as instructed. When and how to resume your normal activities will be determined by your incision, and location of the implants, above or below the pectoral muscle.
Also, we expect you to schedule regular periodic exams at our office to monitor your implants.
Dr. Powell will recommend that you schedule routine mammograms and will help you locate a radiologist who is familiar with breast implants and x-ray imaging to help detect and track changes in your breast tissue. Usually this means taking additional mammogram views.
This is a general overview and instructions can vary. Please follow Dr. Powell’s instructions carefully.
You have made a considerable investment in yourself that can boost your self-esteem and confidence. While we can control the success of the procedure, you are responsible to take care of yourself so that you can achieve the successful results that will improve your quality of life. Learn to love your new breasts!