Phase 8 of Your Breast Augmentation Journey: Post-Op and Recovery
Next Day Post Op
You are likely going to be feeling some discomfort, some excitement, and the need to rest!
Typically, the day after a breast augmentation procedure most patients find their breasts are hard, swollen and high. Keep in mind, implants can sometimes sit higher than you might expect. This is normal, especially on the first day after your procedure.
Incisions may look wrinkled and thick; however, over time they will heal and become barely visible.
Some standard post-op guidelines:
– No bra for a full month
– No heavy lifting, pushing, pulling. Basically, no activity of any kind
– You should not leave the house or drive
– You may shower, dress, eat, and go to the washroom – however if you need assistance from your care giver please ask
– You are encouraged to use your arms carefully, but shouldn’t do anything outside of self-care
– Remain on your back when you sleep until after your next visit
One Week Post Op
Within one week of the procedure, you will come back for a visit and consult with our post-op nurse. In this session, you will be taught how to massage your breasts to encourage the implants to soften and to help minimize the appearance of scars.
– You will be advised to massage your breasts 10 times a day for five minutes each. This works out to almost once an hour while awake.
– Massaging can be performed with or without a shirt
– You may leave the house and drive
– You may get groceries and run errands – but no heavy lifting and absolutely no gym
– You might still have trouble raising your arms over your head but this is okay and continued massage can help increase mobility
– You may now sleep on your side
Two weeks Post Op
The implants should be settling and feel much softer. The incisions are slowly beginning to become less visible. Pain should be minimal and you should be able to move around freely.
– The carmen binder is worn at night only
– At the one month mark, you may start wearing a bra
– Still no heavy lifting or intense gym activity
– Breast massage will continue until the doctor notifies you to stop
– You must start sleeping on your chest to continue to soften the breasts
– You will also lie on your chest on a hard floor for ten minutes, once a day, until your doctor advises you to stop
These are standard and general guidelines that can help make your recovery process as effective as possible. As every patient is different, it’s also important to listen to the specific instructions your doctor gives to you and to follow them closely.
Managing Emotions After Surgery
Recovery isn’t purely physical; there’s an emotional element as well. The majority of patients complete their recovery feeling on top of the world – they report increased confidence and they love their new look. However, getting to that stage is a process that involves ups and downs. This is not designed to instill fear in you, but rather to reassure you that this is totally normal and a healthy part of the process.
The first week or so may be a bit shocking to your system. You will feel discomfort and swelling (which usually peaks about 3-5 days after surgery). It’s normal during this phase to be concerned something is wrong and to question why you ever wanted breast augmentation done. Just remember, you can reach out to the clinic for support and assurance that your symptoms are normal. Be gentle with yourself during this time. Most importantly, remember that in the end this will all be worth it and you will feel better, emotionally and physically, each day.
There may be uncertainty about the end result and concerns about how you will look in clothing. Again, this is all normal and you can talk to your nurse if you have specific questions post-op.
At some point, usually about a month after the breast augmentation procedure, you realize that you look differently than you did a few weeks ago. Sometimes this is a little jarring and can cause tension internally. But we always see women come around and fall in love with the results. While everything is still swollen and higher than usual, you don’t look the same as you will after everything has settled. Expect some fluctuation between being thrilled and being uncertain. Keep hanging in there and remember it takes time to heal and accept the new you.
You will likely reach a point where you’ve got your energy back but you’re still restricted in terms of activity. You may feel antsy, frustrated, bored and irritable. Again, it’s normal! Get into a fresh TV series or movie, learn a new language, get to that pile of books you’ve been waiting to read. Catch up on correspondence – via email or old fashioned letters!
Focus on what you can do and not what you can’t! You can likely do walks of up to 30 minutes after the first week, so enjoy that time in the fresh air.
After your routine gets back to normal, you can concentrate on enjoying your new look!
Don’t forget, you are probably going to want to shop for some new clothes and accessories to show off your new figure. Some women notice necklaces lay differently on their chest. Other women are anxious to try new styles of tops and shirts. Go out and have some fun (once the Dr says it’s ok!)
The last thing you want to remember is to be very clear on what maintenance is required and what to do if there is a problem. Have that conversation with your surgical team and note all important information. Make sure you understand the warranty on the implants and what the doctor offers if there are problems. It will likely be smooth sailing, but you need to be informed.