Recovery from breast augmentation surgery is not so hard provided that you know beforehand what to expect and how to take care of yourself during the recovery period.
Recovery From Breast Augmentation Surgery
Take Leave from Work
It is a good idea to take at least two weeks leave from work, because you need this time to heal enough to resume your normal routine.
Since general anesthesia is given for breast augmentation surgery, you will feel drowsy and tired after the surgery. This is absolutely normal and you will feel like this for a day or two. Most patients are allowed to go home two or three hours after the surgery. It is a good idea to let a friend or relative drive you home.
You will also feel pain in your chest area. After two or three days the pain will begin to subside. It usually takes around two weeks for you to feel completely normal. Women who had implants placed under the chest muscle feel more pain than women who had the implants placed above their chest muscle. You will be prescribed some pain killer to relieve your pain. Make sure that you only take the pain killer that has been prescribed by your surgeon.
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One or more plastic drain tubes will be placed in the incision to help remove fluid. The drain pipes are going to stay for a couple of days or one week. The drains will be removed by your surgeon in due time.
You will notice swelling on your new breasts. This is common after breast augmentation surgery and nothing to be worried about. For the first three to five days the swelling will be at its worst. Then it will subside gradually.
In subglandular (above the chest muscle) breast implant insertion, it usually takes around two weeks for swelling to subside considerably. In subpectoral (under the chest muscle) breast implant insertion, it takes around four weeks for the swelling to subside. Overall it will take around at least three months for the swelling to subside completely.
Initially you will notice that your breasts look big and maybe out of shape. This is due to swelling. As the swelling diminishes you will notice that the shape and size of your breasts also change. You will have to wait at least two to three months to get a clear picture of how your new breasts look. Till then you will have to be patient.
In order to reduce swelling and pain, the surgeon will ask you to apply cold compresses on your breasts. You will have to do this for the first two days after surgery. Drinking plenty of water and reducing salt intake will also help reduce swelling.
Post breast augmentation surgery, your breasts will be covered with surgical bandages. Your surgeon will advise you to wear surgical or supportive bra to ensure that your new breasts stay in their position. The supportive bra will also help your skin and breast tissue get accustomed to the weight of the implant.
Taking Care of Incisions and Scars
The incisions should be kept dry and clean at all times. There is no need to apply any ointment or topical arnica lotion on the incisions, because it might cause inflammation.
As the incisions begin to heal they will start to itch. You should avoid scratching them in order to relieve the itch. Scars will form as your incisions begin to heal. Initially the scars will be lumpy, raised and red. Upon complete healing the color of the scars will match your skin.
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You will be advised to use silicone healing sheets once the incisions have started to heal. This will be around three weeks after breast augmentation surgery. You will need to continue using these sheets for at least three months post-surgery.
Finally, remember to avoid exposing the incision site to sun rays for at least a year. This will ensure proper healing of the incisions and that there are very light scars at the end of the recovery period. Loss of Sensitivity and Oversensitivity
Loss of sensation in the nipple and/or breast is quite common immediately following breast augmentation surgery. In majority of the breast augmentation recovery cases, the sensation returns within few weeks or several months. In some cases, it might take even a whole year.
You might also notice that after the surgery, your nipples have become oversensitivity. If this happens, you should apply nursing pads or large Band-Aid on your nipples. Within a week or a month your nipples will regain their normal sensation. Loss of sensation or oversensitivity is usually temporary; however, it can also be permanent.
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You should take complete rest for at least two weeks post your surgery. Avoid doing any hard physical labor, because it might lead to swelling, bleeding and/or irritation. However, this does not mean that you should keep on sleeping the whole day. Start walking around slowly as soon as you are able to. This will help in blood circulation, prevent formation of blood clots and reduce swelling. Normal activities can be resumed after ten or fifteen days.
Many women are able to return to work after a week or so. You should also be able do so provided that your work does not involve any strenuous activities. For proper and complete recovery it is best to avoid strenuous work for at least six weeks. Physical exercises should be avoided for a minimum of four weeks. It is always a good idea to gradually return to your normal life.
Before you go for the surgery, make sure that you have taken a shower and washed your hair also. This is because you will not be able to take a shower or wash your head for a week after the surgery. You will be able to take a shower only after the sutures are removed by the surgeon and the incisions have closed completely.
Immediately after the surgery you will be required to sleep on your back only. Moreover, you will be asked to keep your head and upper back in a raised position when you are sleeping or lying on the bed.
Overall the recovery period post breast augmentation surgery should be fast and problem free, if you take proper care of yourself. You need to stay hydrated and ensure that you eat healthy food after the surgery. Take your medicines on time and make sure that you take plenty of rest. You can have someone stay over at your place to help you recover.
At the end of your recovery period you will be able to see the final outcome of your breast augmentation surgery. If you take proper care of yourself, you will be satisfied with the final outcome.