Adhering to your surgeon’s advices during the recovery phase substantially reduces the probabilities of less-than-desirable aesthetical outcomes. Practicing certain restrains can markedly diminish bodily complications arising from complacency. If the advices that your surgeon dished out had simply flown right over your head, fret not.
We have you covered with a brief summary of post-op care instructions – Absolutely comprehensible without the medical jargons!
Let’s begin with post-procedure instructions for the first 7 days:
The Essentials: Medications
As the anesthetic effects gradually subside, common side effects such as nausea and vomiting will kick in. it may occur within the first few hours or days post procedure. Do religiously take the prescribed dosage of anti-nausea medication once every 6 hours or as per the surgeon’s indications, to suppress the post-op symptoms. No alcohol should be ingested while on medication.
For pain relief, cold compresses will be effective in alleviating the discomfort. This helps to relieve pain and swelling. If inadequate, consume the prescribed pain relief medication, or purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Antibiotics medication that prevents infection would have been prescribed, so do be mindful to complete the entire course of medication. No alcohol should be ingested while on medication, as this is known to exacerbate the risk of complications. Better be safe than sorry!
Stay indoors and limit your movements around the house. Especially during the first couple of days, do seek assistance to use the bathroom if needed. As far as possible, you must not lift heavy weights. In fact, do not even attempt to lift anything at all, if possible. Strenuous activities can break open the incision, causing bleeding.
Sleep promotes tissue development as it rejuvenates the body’s ability to repair and recover, while the lack of rest inhibits recovery. A relaxing bedtime routine is highly recommended for a restful slumber. For a few subsequent weeks, sleep on your back rather than the sides or on your stomach.
A supportive bra, such as a comfortable sports bra, must be worn during sleep. This is to prevent the implants from slipping to one side.
Know What’s Normal
There is no cause for concern if implants may seem displaced, uneven, stiff, or swelling. It may require a month for the implants to begin settling, while the entire process in its entirety can fall between 3 and 6 months too. Despite the proclivity to expect a sudden overhaul, patience and proper aftercare ensures a smooth healing process. Although their initial appearances may not be as you had envisioned, note that
there is no standard timeline to the recovery process.
Maintaining Personal Hygiene: Showering Instructions for the First Week
Do not remove the dressings over the incisions during the first 36 hours post-op. Hence, you may shower only 36 hours after surgery. Gently pat dry with a soft towel after showering, and avoid hot tubs, jacuzzi, and pools for the first month.
For showering, do remove the bra and gauze, but DO NOT remove the steri-strips which cover the incisions. It is perfectly okay to get the incisions wet with mild soap. A hairdryer on low-setting can be utilized to completely dry the wounds and dressings.
During the recovery phase, putting on a special breast augmentation recovery bra aids in healing as it is ergonomically designed support the new implants. Else, wear an underwire bra or push-up bra with support and lift, for at least the first 6 weeks after surgery.
After the first week…
Post-procedure after the first 7 days, avoid active participation of activities, such as heavy lifting, exercising, and swimming. Exercising may begin after the first month, while steadily increasing the intensity.
Ultimately, most women are satisfied with the appearance of their breasts after the first 6 weeks. There exists no fixed window upon which the breast is expected to settle completely. Without a doubt, heeding your doctor’s advice and essentially keeping to a nutritious dietary routine expedite healing.
After the first month…
Now that you have completed the initial phase of healing, it is time that you may perform upper-body workouts at low intensity if it does not induce pain or soreness. Otherwise, cease immediately and try again in another few days.
Keep your scars well-covered under the sun to minimize exposure. It is normal that a scar turns reddish or purplish over its healing process. Normal bras can be worn at this time, unless the wire is rubbing against your incision. As the nerves heal, you may experience tingling sensations or increased sensitivity. Nevertheless, the implants gradually settle to give a natural look. In fact, the implants may take 6 months to settle into position.
You may undergo mammograms during period, as per your physician’s recommendations.
Remember, the route to recovery is a marathon. Stay strong and monitor your progress, it will be worth every inch of effort!
Post-procedure: Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below!
“When can I take my bra off?”
It is highly recommended that the bra is worn throughout the entire day, around-the-clock. For 6 weeks, a sports bra with no under wire should be worn, till you are medically cleared to start wearing a regular bra.
“When will my implants settle?”
The implants may require 3 months to settle. An observable transformation may take place within a month, while the implants gradually become more tender, mobile, and positioned just behind the nipple.
“How long do I have to wear the surgical bra? When can I buy regular bras?”
A surgical bra must be worn around the clock for 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure. Till swelling has subsided and implants have settled, patients should refrain from purchasing new bras for better accuracy in sizing.
“My nipples or scars feel numb or hypersensitive – is this normal?”
Numbness and tingling sensations can be normal. These hypersensitivities usually subside within 3 to 6 months
“When can I lay on my stomach?”
Prop your head up on two to three pillows to enhance blood circulation, hence reducing swelling. Do not lay on your stomach until your doctor has assessed that you have adequately recovered to do so.
“How soon can I return to work after my surgery?”
Some women may resume desk-bound or light work activities a few days after the procedure. However, take leave from work if it involves moderate to strenuous physical exertions. Attend the follow-up appointments diligently so that your doctors can track your healing progress.
“When can I wear an under-wire bra?”
Generally, to hedge against displacement of the implants, a sports bra can achieve gentle compression that helps to alleviate swelling. If an underwire bra irritates the site of incision, do avoid until at least a month after surgery.
“When can I start exercising?”
During the first week, focus on recuperating with plenty of rest. Subsequently, your doctor may recommend low-impact exercises. After 6 weeks, you may be medically cleared to perform regular exercise routines.
“When can I go swimming/ take bath?”
Other than regular showers, tub baths and swimming is not recommended during the first 6 weeks.
“How long will I stay swollen/ bruised?”
Depending on the type of surgery performed, bruising and swelling can develop during the first 6 months. Combining a healthy diet with an exercise routine can inhibit these occurrences.