Best Ways to Recover From Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation surgery can leave you feeling like you got hit by a car. You may feel pain, fatigue and weakness. How do you deal with the recovery and the side effects of pain medication? Here are tips on how to recover from surgery:
1. Choose a great caregiver
A great caregiver is key for a speedy recovery. Your caregiver can be a spouse, friend, family member, or someone you trust to be helpful and reliable during your recovery. You can also hire a caregiver if needed which can be referred to by your surgeon.
Your caregiver will need to be with you starting at the beginning of your procedure to ensure you have a safe ride home, since you will not be capable of driving yourself after surgery. Following the procedure, you may need a caregiver for at least 5 days, and if you have small children, as long as six weeks, since you cannot do any heavy lifting during that time. It is recommended that you don’t lift anything over 30 pounds for the first month following your breast augmentation procedure, but always listen to the post-op advice from your surgeon.
2. Follow the proper procedure to change your bandages
Your surgeon may give you written instructions on how to change your bandages and clean your incisions. It’s important to follow these instructions to prevent infection and minimize scarring. If your surgeon didn’t give you specific instructions, here are some guidelines:
- Change your bandages daily.
- When you remove your bandages, wipe off blood with a clean wipe and apply antibiotic cream.
- When your incisions are closed, apply a scar cream twice daily. Your surgeon can recommend a cream.
3. Always wear your support bra
The support bands and bras are an essential part of your recovery. They may feel uncomfortable, but they keep your breasts supported. If you do not wear your supportive bra, your stitches may tear or your incisions may open. You may also be at risk of infection since there will be less airflow underneath your breasts and sweat can be trapped against the incision. Supportive bras also help to compresses your breasts to prevent swelling. You might find it easier to wear a supportive bra with frontal closure or zipper since your arm lifting movements will be limited for the first few days after surgery.
4. Shower or bathe carefully
You may take a shower 24 hours after your surgery. Before you shower, remove your supportive bra. Wrap your bandages with plastic wrap to prevent them from getting wet. If your bandages do get wet, remove them immediately after your shower and put on fresh bandages. When showering, be sure to raise and lower your arms slowly. Never raise your arms above your head during the healing process. Lifting your arms above your head can cause the implants to shift out of the pocket before it is healed properly which can create a need for a correction surgery in the future.
After your shower, immediately put on your supportive bra. You may not take a bath for two weeks after surgery.
5. Do easy chores
If you have a family and a house to take care of, ask your caregiver to do major tasks such as mopping and taking out the garbage. After your surgery, the last thing you want is to have to lug a big mop bucket around. Complete chores that are easy, like dusting or wiping counters. Ask your caregiver to put away heavy plates. If needed, get a lightweight or handheld vacuum to clean up quick messes.
6. Eat for recovery
During your recovery, you need food that is full of vitamins and protein to speed your recovery. You also need food that is easy to prepare. Here are some tips:
- Eat ginger chews when you’re experiencing post-surgery nausea.
- Before surgery, prepare frozen meals and casseroles that you can pop in the oven or slow cooker.
- Prepare salads or sandwiches.
- Keep healthy snacks at hand if you don’t have an appetite or the energy to cook. Ideas include carrots and hummus, whole grain crackers and cheese or peanut butter with celery sticks.
You must take good care of yourself after surgery and follow your surgeon’s instructions. If you need more tips and information about recovery, contact your plastic surgeon.