Breast Augmentation Recovery Guide

By on December 1, 2016 under Plastic Surgery

This is Dr. Jonathan D. Hall coming to you from the north shore of Boston. Today I am going to discuss my recommendations for you after your breast augmentation procedure. Every doctor does things a little different. The following is what I have found over the years to work well for my patients, and I am confident my suggestions with work for you.


Be prepared for your surgery: No aspirin/Motrin type drugs known as NSAIDS/fish oil/omega oil for 2 weeks before. Many people are surprised to learn that fish oil pills and omega oil pills can increase your risk of bleeding

No smoking. A single cigarette in the month before surgery doubles your risk of infection. So, if you are a smoker we recommend that you stop for 2 months before and after the procedure. This includes second-hand smoke.

Pick a support person for first day or 2. It is important to have someone stay with you the night after your surgery, and to hero you during your second day. Healing is a process. Prepare for the emotional and physical recovery by reviewing the handout that I have given you describing the emotional & physical reactions that you can expect after surgery. There are typical changes in your emotions and energy level after surgery.

The Surgery

Surgery affects each person differently, but this is a good start to prepare you. I review what you feel and hear from others. The expected swelling and the normal healing process. Don’t forget to put on your Scopolamine patch at bedtime the night before your surgery or in the morning; if your surgery is later in the afternoon. Patients generally place the patch behind their ear. This decreases your chance of nausea. A typical side effect is to have some dryness of the mouth or blurring of the vision- but don’t be overly concerned.

Before your surgery we will pre-warm you in the holding area with a warming blanket. It feels good, like going to the spa, but also decreases the stress of surgery and risk of infection by preventing your body temperature from dropping in the Operating room.  I also will have them give you some Tylenol and Celebrex just before going to the OR. This is part of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery plan (ERAS). And as it sounds, it helps to enhance your recovery after surgery.

A good recovery starts with the surgery. The surgical techniques that I have described in my Thoughtful Patients Guide video blog predictably lead to a 24-hour recovery in most patients. Your mileage may vary as they say, but I recommend my patients pick up some otc Advil to have on hand. I typically will give you a Percocet prescription as well. Percocet is a narcotic. Out of 100 patients, 1 woman will have a lot of pain and need to take her Percocet for a week. 20 women will only take Advil and may even go out to dinner the night of their surgery. And 79 women will take the Percocet and Advil for the first day.

The Plan For The 2nd Day

You will be able to run some light errands, such as visiting the mall or grocery store (if you are not taking narcotics). Expect to run out of energy around mid-day. Be sure to allow time for rest as you recover from the anesthesia. Repeat the Advil every 4 hours as needed. Your breasts will feel tighter and more swollen at the end of the day. After surgery, swelling increases for 3 days and then starts to decrease. It is also normal to notice soreness in the ribs and lower back. The fluid that you accumulate in your tissues after surgery will start to come out in your urine after the 3rd day, and you generally lose the bloated feeling in 5-7 days.

The First 6 Weeks

Through the first six weeks, the main idea is to “rest the breasts” and “protect your incisions” . Even though you feel good, your incisions are weak. So, no straining, heavy lifting, or strenuous activity. If you strain unnecessarily in the first 2-3 weeks, you could get a hematoma.

The most important thing: protect your incisions until they are strong. No underwire bra that can dig into your incision, and no “reaching for the top shelf” that may overly pull against the incision.

In regards to sex, I generally recommend to wait the 6 weeks to be strongly healed. If you do too much too soon you could run the risk of hematoma, scarring, opening of the incision, infection, or the loss of the implant. Although these scenarios are very rare, you don’t want to be the one with a problem that could have been easily avoided!

If you live nearby, I will see you back in a week and change your tapes. For my patients that come from a distance, you can remove your steristrips in a week or two and begin micropore. You will change the tape every week or so for the first 6 weeks.   If you develop a leakage under the tapes, “DANGER You’re Doing TOO MUCH!”. Leave the tapes off and use Aquaphor and gauze pads.

After 6 Weeks

No restrictions except for sun exposure, because scars can darken during the first year if exposed. You can return to wearing an underwire bra. You should also be able to resume normal activities, so long as you are feeling well. It’s important to remember that a good procedure can be undone by a poor recovery, so be conservative until 6 weeks! If you have any other questions, I will be able to address them in our follow up appointments.

If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Hall to discuss a potential breast augmentation procedure, contact us today!

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