Cosmetic Surgery Tips

1 week post op breast augmentation pain

It’s been a week since your breast augmentation surgery, and you’re probably feeling pretty sore. The good news is that the pain will go away, but it can take some time for your body to adjust.

Here are some tips for easing your pain and helping your recovery:

-Take it easy on yourself for a few days. You’ve just had a major surgery, so don’t feel bad about taking it easy! Your body needs time to heal.

-Get plenty of rest during this time. Resting will help you recover from surgery more quickly than if you’re trying to do everything under the sun.

-Drink plenty of water—at least eight glasses per day—to help flush out any medications or other substances that could be causing discomfort in your chest area.

If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery process, please feel free to reach out to our office at [phone number].

1 week post op breast augmentation pain

Breast implants recovery stages and the issue of pain

The breast implants recovery stages involve some pain, although it is generally “manageable” with the right pain management treatment. The first 2-3 days require the vast majority of medications, particularly those used to control post-op discomfort.

Instead of relying solely on narcotics to control pain during the first few days of recovery, some surgeons recommend pain pumps or pain injections for additional comfort.

Pain pumps resemble a small balloon that carries numbing medications, which slowly “drip” through a catheter and into the breast area for 2-3 days when pain management system is the most needed.

However, some plastic surgery experts prefer pain injections (e.g., Exparel) at the very end of surgery. Pain medications whose effects can last up to 14 hours are directly injected into the implant pocket without the “inconvenience” of carrying pain pumps.

About 3-7 days after surgery most patients are off their strong pain medications, particularly narcotics. Ideally these drugs should be discontinued once postop discomfort becomes more “manageable” or more tolerable since their prolonged use is linked to constipation, lethargy, and even longer recovery.

Should the patients wish to continue their pain medications after 5-7 days, most are advised to shift to non-narcotics such as Tylenol.

Instead of actual pain, some patients have more “issue” about the tightness and cramping that may not just affect the breast area, but the shoulders, neck, and back as well. These symptoms are generally controlled by muscle relaxants such as Valium, although these should not be taken together with painkillers—at least taken one hour apart—to avoid lethargy and drowsiness.

Most patients can return to their desk-job work 5-7 days after surgery, although it remains in their best interest to avoid rigorous workout, particularly if it involves the upper extremity, for at least three weeks. Nevertheless, light exercise such as 3-5 short walks throughout the day is highly ideal to improve healing.

While pain in the breast area generally dissipates just after a few days, it is not uncommon to experience some level of pain in the back and shoulders. Doctors attribute this to the sudden change in the body mass, and possibly the patient’s tendency to hunch forward her shoulders to “protect” her breasts. However, light stretching and postural awareness are usually enough to address these issues.

The breast implants recovery stages may differ from patient to patient, thus it is critical to stick to one’s doctor’s specific recommendations.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

how long do incisions hurt after breast augmentation


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Initial recovery from breast augmentation is relatively short, lasting three to five days for most women. During this time, swelling, tenderness, and even some pain can be expected, though there are several safe and effective ways to improve comfort while you are recovering.

Depending on factors unique to your body, ibuprofen may be sufficient for dealing with postoperative breast augmentation discomfort. If more pain relief is needed, we can offer prescription pain medications as appropriate. Most women are able to discontinue pain medications after the first few days.

You can help reduce discomfort by taking time to rest after your surgery. Carve out space at home where you can relax and plan on settling in for a bit. Outside of several short walks throughout the day to keep circulation flowing, it is best to minimize activities during your first week of recovery from breast augmentation. Find books, binge-worthy shows, and other relaxing ways to spend this time.

What is “Normal” Pain After Breast Augmentation?

Woman Holding Breast in Pain

Tenderness or soreness around the incisions is possible after breast augmentation. Remember to keep incisions dry and clean to help prevent infection and irritation during this time. If your incisions were placed around the nipple, some loss of nipple sensitivity is possible as well. This, like pain, generally resolves on its own over the course of several weeks.

Tightness in the chest is common following breast augmentation. Skin and tissue will need to adjust to the implant, which may result in some mild discomfort. As with pain around the incisions, this should resolve on its own as you continue to recover.

When to Contact Our Office

You will return to our office for follow-up visits after your breast augmentation procedure. During these visits, we can address any concerns or questions about your recovery to help improve your comfort. If you experience sudden, sharp, or lasting pain, please call our office right away for an evaluation. While rare, some breast augmentation complications can result in significant discomfort. The sooner these issues are addressed, the sooner comfort can be restored.

What Are Some Signs of Infection Following Breast Augmentation?

Infection after breast augmentation can result in serious pain and may even impact results. Signs of infection following breast implant placement include:

  • Puss or discharge from incisions
  • Substantial swelling
  • Increased pain or tenderness
  • Redness around incisions or throughout the breasts
  • Fever

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you contact us right away. Infection can cause both physical and aesthetic complications and needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.

What are my post-operative instructions? • Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.

• Get plenty of rest and follow balanced diet. • Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more raw fruit to your diet, and be sure to increase fluid intake. • Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin unless approved by your surgeon. • No alcohol for 3 weeks as it causes fluid retention

• If you are taking vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated. • Do not smoke, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications. What should my activity level be? • Start walking as soon as possible, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. • Do not drive until you have full range of motion with your arms

. • Refrain from vigorous activity for 6 weeks. • Restrict excessive use of arms for at least 5-7 days.

• No lifting above the head for 2 weeks. • Refrain from physical contact with breasts for 6 weeks.

• Body contact sports should be avoided for 6-8 weeks. • Employment can be resumed in 14 days. How do I take care of my incision? • Expect some mild drainage onto the steri-strips covering the incisions. UMHS Plastic Surgery (734) 998-6022 – 1 –

• If your incision was closed with steri-strips, they will generally start to fall off in 10-14 days. You may trim loose ends, but do not remove adherent strips.

• If your incision was closed with skin glue, it will slowly flake off over the first couple of weeks. • Keep incisions clean and inspect daily for signs of infection. • No tub soaking while sutures or drains are in place.

• You may pad the incisions with gauze for comfort. • Wear garments as directed by surgeon.

• Do not wear underwire bra unless instructed by your surgeon. • Refrain from sleeping on your stomach for 8 weeks. Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.

• Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater). How should I expect to feel? • You are likely to feel tired for a few days, but you should be up and around in 4-5 days.

• Maximum discomfort will occur in the first few days after surgery. • You may experience some numbness of nipples and operative areas.

• You may experience a burning sensation in your nipples for about 2 weeks. • You may experience temporary soreness, tightness, swelling and bruising as well as some discomfort in the incision area. • Your breasts may be sensitive to stimulation for a few weeks. What will it look like? • Most of the discoloration and swelling will subside in 4-6 weeks.

• Scars may be red and angry looking for 6 months. In time, these usually soften and fade. Talk to your surgeon about when to start scar massage (typically 3-4 weeks after surgery).

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