Maybe you’ve made the decision to have breast augmentation surgery, or maybe you just want to know more about what you can expect if you have it. Whatever your reason, The Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas is here to help. In this blog, we will talk you through the most common things you can expect when recovering from breast augmentation surgery. If you have any more questions, want more information, or are ready to plan your surgery, call our office to make an appointment with one of our professional staff members.
Breast augmentation surgery is very common. In 2013 alone, surgeons performed the procedure nearly 300,000 times. Most commonly, the procedure is performed in a surgical center like ours in San Antonio, and there is rarely a need for a hospital stay or even a hospital visit. Preparation is simple, and most patients only require a simple blood test and possible changes of medication, for those taking any. A baseline mammogram may also be recommended depending on the patient’s age and circumstances. The surgery itself only takes one to two hours, on average, and you will be able to head home that same day, with your doctor’s approval.
Post-surgical recovery is very important. Your doctor will go over any recovery methods that are specific to you, based on factors including your procedure, the type of implant, and any particular health concerns that you may have. Full recovery can take a few weeks, especially for those who perform daily strenuous activities, but most of the work is done in the days immediately following breast augmentation.
Your body will need time to properly heal from breast augmentation surgery. Though you will likely be able to go back to work in a week or so, the first few days of recovery are vital. You will experience some discomfort from the surgery, and it’s important to know how to deal with it. The most common complaints are pain, tight skin, and general discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, should help with pain and discomfort. If you have more pain than seems normal, your doctor might prescribe something stronger for the first few days.
In order to cut down on swelling and to help the everything heal properly, you may be asked to wear a special kind of bra for added support. Some patients may be advised not to wear a bra of any kind. Your doctor will determine which method is best for you. In the case of a surgical support bra, think sports bra — the two are very similar in look and feel.
You will be advised to limit your physical activity in order to decrease the likelihood of pain, bruising, swelling and other potential complications. For the first few days after your procedure, rest is vital. You may be advised to stay in bed, either resting comfortably on your back or possibly in an elevated position to reduce strain in the chest area. This period will help your body recover and prevent you from taxing your skin and muscles too soon. It’s very important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for rest and how much physical activity you can attempt in order to prevent interfering with the body’s healing process.
While you will likely be able to return to work or your normal daily routine within a week, any strenuous activity must be avoided — especially any activity that uses chest and shoulder muscles. It may take several weeks before you are allowed to do anything extremely active. If you are extremely active, have a job that requires a lot of movement, or participate in hobbies that use chest, shoulder, and upper back muscles, advise your doctor. He or she will work with you to create a timeline for both optimal performance and optimal healing.
Some patients will have other post-surgery recovery concerns, such as drainage tubes (generally only for a day or two) or post-surgery medications (such as those for nausea, severe pain, and to protect against infection). All of these are common, and your surgeon will know the best way to deal with them to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.
We hope this information is helpful to you, whether you’ve already scheduled your surgery or if you are still considering if it’s the right thing for you. Please call our office with any additional questions you have about breast augmentation surgery, any other cosmetic procedures or concerns you may have. At the Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas, we are here for you. Call today.