Cosmetic Surgery Tips

2 years after breast reduction

2 years after breast reduction, I can’t believe how much has changed.

I’m not just talking about the fact that I can now fit into clothes that are actually fashionable (which is a big deal, since my style and body type didn’t exactly mesh well before).

No, what’s really changed is the way I feel about myself. Before having my breasts reduced, I was constantly anxious about how other people perceived me—especially men. But now? It’s like they don’t even see me anymore!

Seriously! The first time it happened, I was walking down the street with a friend when she asked me if there was something wrong because I looked so sad. And all I could say was “no.” It wasn’t until later that night when we were at dinner that she realized what had happened: everyone around us had been looking past us at each other instead of at us! And we hadn’t even noticed! It was so strange! But it felt amazing.

It wasn’t just strangers either; it was also friends who’d known me for years but never really saw me before. They’d always tell me how pretty or funny or smart or whatever else my personality traits were supposed to be

2 years after breast reduction

Recovering From Your Surgery Breast Augmentation Recovery

At Jones Plastic Surgery, we have learned that the aesthetics of a woman’s breast can greatly affect her confidence and body image, and experience and evidence have shown Breast Augmentation to be a very effective method for addressing this.  In addition, breast Augmentation is a procedure with a history of very high satisfaction with a very low complication rate and usually an easy recovery.

Despite the above, many women are fearful of the recovery process from Breast Augmentation.  As a result, we feel it is extremely important to not only employ advanced techniques in a state of the art facility, but also thoroughly educate patients of what to expect and how to care for themselves both before and after surgery.  This comprehensive approach aids to make recovery from breast augmentation as easy as possible with as little risk as possible.

Prior to Surgery

At Jones Plastic Surgery in Oklahoma City, OK, we feel the recovery process from breast augmentation begins prior to surgery. This process begins with proper nutrition at this time and stopping medications or supplements that can be harmful.  Our common recommendations to help prepare you for surgery include:

  • taking Vitamin A, C, and Zinc supplements to aid in future healing
  • stopping smoking and all nicotine products that can interfere with healing
  • stopping weight loss medications as they can interfere with anesthesia and healing
  • eating a nutritious diet with adequate calories and protein to enhance healing
  • stopping blood thinners such as aspirin and ibuprofen (as possible) to limit bleeding
  • stopping birth control or estrogen supplementation to limit the risk of blood clots
  • discussing all medical conditions with Dr. Jones and staff so they can be managed appropriately prior to surgery or the surgical plan adjusted as needed
  • stopping any muscle building of the pectoralis muscles (if planning on a submuscular technique)
  • stopping many herbals and supplements as many of their effects on healing and anesthesia are unknown (discuss with staff)

Immediately After Surgery

At Jones Plastic Surgery, you will undergo your breast augmentation procedure in a fully accredited surgical facility.  will employ advanced techniques with optimal results, limited risk, and rapid recovery a focus.  Immediately afterwards, you will be transported to our recovery room where your recovery process will begin.  Here you will remain for an average of one hour while you are monitored by a Registered Nurse.  When you have passed protocol for discharge, you will be allowed to go home or to where you have chosen to recover for the night of surgery (within 30 minutes of our facility).  You must be with a responsible adult at all times.

Common experiences for the night of surgery:

  • Many patients have the feeling of a ‘tight’ chest/breasts
  • the breasts commonly look high and small
  • Pain varies, but is usually very manageable and more of a soreness/tightness for most
  • It is common to hear or feel fluid and/or air around the implants
  • You will be wearing a post-surgical compression bra and will have gauze covering your incisions
  • You will commonly take an oral antibiotic and oral pain pills
  • Most patients will begin icing their breasts (20 minutes every couple hours)
  • Most patients will begin anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen)
  • Most patients will begin gentle upper breast massage
  • You are encouraged to be up and around as you feel able, but DO NOT OVER DO IT.  

Many patients feel perfectly fine and normal almost immediately other than some tightness or soreness.  Some go out to dinner, etc.  (of course this varies)

Early Recovery from Breast Augmentation

At Jones Plastic Surgery, Dr. Jones sees all breast augmentation patients the day after surgery.  During this visit, he will answer any questions you have, as well as examine you.  He will also review your instructions for care, as well as limitations of activity.

On this visit:

  • you will view your breasts without a bra and the tape (steri strips) covering your incisions. Dr. Jones will answer any questions about your breasts and recovery.
  • Dr. Jones will review with you the care of your dressings and incisions
  • you may shower 48 hrs after surgery and then pat the strips dry and take a blow dryer to them on the cool setting to assure dryness.  Then place clean gauze between the bra and tape.
  • Dr. Jones will also teach you the massages for your breasts usually 3 massages performed 3 times a day, 10 reps each, to begin on postoperative day 3 (see video)
  • Dr. Jones will also review your limitations at this point:
  • do not work up a sweat or get your heart rate or blood pressure up for the next 2-3 weeks (until further notified)
  • limit any activity or motion that will stress your chest muscles or incisions (ex. reaching high above your head or behind you)
  • do not lift greater than 10 lbs (Dr. Jones will teach you how to lift/hold your ‘little ones’.
  • do not operate machinery (including a vehicle) until you have finished taking narcotics and you feel you can operate the machinery safely and appropriately
  • wear a soft, stretchy bra similar to your postop bra that does not irritate your incisions

Common experience at this point:

  • many patients are able to stop narcotic pain pills in the next day or two and take only Ibuprofen and Tylenol (not ALL patients, which is normal and ok)
  • breasts are commonly tight and high (can take 2-3 months to soften and settle-varies)
  • very common to have tingling pain and numbness at this point (usually resolves)
  • many patients resume normal leisurely activity
  • minor differences in breast swelling and shape are very normal at this time
  • patients are commonly concerned that breasts look small
  • a small amount of blood on the dressings happens on occasion and is ok
  • bruising does not usually occur, but does in some patients and is usually ok
  • some patients will experience shooting pain from nerves stretching
  • dry skin can be very normal from the stretching and surgical solutions

2-3 Weeks after Surgery

By this time, most patients are feeling back to normal and are ‘itching’ to do more. At this visit, Dr. Jones will again examine you and answer any questions you may have.  He will also review your massages and check to see how your implants are beginning to move.  As before, you will also review you instructions for care and limitations of activity.

On this visit:

  • examine breasts for softness, implant position, mobility, etc.
  • will remove dressings and examine incisions and review incision care-if any
  • may commonly be able to begin using scar creams at this time
  • will review breast massages
  • will again review activity restrictions
  • you may commonly resume low impact exercise at this time.  This includes a stationary bicycle, walking, low impact leg exercises, an elliptical without using the arms, etc.  You may work up a sweat and get your heart rate and blood pressure up, but no jogging, running, pectoralis exercises or any exercises that will stress your incisions.  Still be careful lifting greater than 10 lbs.
  • will review the type of bra you can wear (commonly still a soft, stretchy bra, but with more options like a bralette or spaghetti strap cami, etc. as directed by Dr. Jones)
  • answer any questions

Common experience at 2-3 weeks after breast augmentation:

  • Many patients will be pain free at this time and will have a hard time limiting their activity (but it is very important to still be careful)
  • Some patients can still feel that their breasts are small and tight and high (or boxy)
  • pain or soreness can still be common – especially shooting pains on occasion or point tenderness
  • feeling or hearing fluid can still be very normal
  • numbness can still be very normal
  • some patient’s dressings fall off on their own at this time.  Please notify Dr. Jones if this occurs.  This is very normal, but we want to know so we can asses your incision asap
  • noticeable swelling has usually mostly resolved

6 Weeks after Surgery

By 6 weeks after surgery, most patients are more than ready to do whatever they are allowed.  Many patients have settled and softened as much as they would like and are just wondering if they have any more restrictions and what bras they can wear to maintain their result.  Some still need to settle and soften more, which is very normal.  As with your other visits, Dr. Jones will examine you closely and answer all questions and review your restrictions.

On this visit:

  • examine breasts for softness, implant position, mobility, etc.
  • will again examine incisions and review incision care-if any
  • will review breast massages (commonly reduce massages at this visit)
  • will again review activity restrictions
  • you may usually resume all activity at this time, but pectoralis muscle exercises are discouraged for patients with submuscular silicone breast implants
  • will review the type of bra you can wear (may be able to wear more supportive bras at this time depending upon implant position)
  • answer any questions

3 Months after Surgery

By 3 months after surgery most patients feel completely normal and ‘recovered’. Most patients implants have settled completely (or almost completely) and are in a good position.  There are usually no activity restrictions and many patients have been exercising for over a month.  This visit is commonly a review of how things have gone and education for the future.

On this visit:

  • examine breasts for softness, implant position, mobility, etc.
  • will again examine incisions and review incision care-if any
  • will review breast massages (commonly reduce massages again at this visit and educate for lifetime implant care)
  • will again review activity recommendations
  • some patients are discouraged from pectoralis building exercises depending upon their body type and implant position
  • will review the type of bra you should wear and if you should sleep in a bra
  • answer any questions
  • will commonly take postop photos, which are emailed upon request
  • will schedule one year postop visit, or others as necessary
Breast Implant Illness: One Month Post Op Update - Diary of a Fit Mommy

One Year Postop

For most patients, one year after surgery is very similar to three months postop.  The breasts are commonly soft and most patients are very comfortable with them by now.  Many women state that their breasts now feel ‘like their own’ and they have settled into what bras they like, etc.  By now most incisions have faded nicely and any swelling that may have been present still at three months is gone.  This visit is a good time to review the care of implants going forward and to answer any questions.  It is possible to still have numbness and tingling at this time and this may still improve. 

What to expect after your breast augmentation surgery

Small or large, round or narrow, side set, teardrop or asymmetrical, breasts come in any number of shapes and sizes. But for those who aren’t happy with the breasts they were naturally dealt, breast augmentation has long offered an opportunity to change them.

As one of the most consistently popular cosmetic procedures of recent decades, breast augmentation has come a long way since the experimental surgeries of the early 20th century and since the advent of breast implants in 1961. The operation is among the most recognizable examples of plastic surgery and has come to play a pivotal role in shaping the cultural understanding of the space for many years. Yet, even as roughly 200,000 Americans underwent breast augmentation in 2020 alone, confusion persists around its recovery process, and many patients remain unsure of what to expect after the procedure.

How long does recovery take following breast augmentation?

While recovery time can greatly differ depending on the specifics of your procedure, your health, and after-care, there is a general timeline that often rings true for breast augmentation.

“Depending on the technique used, recovery can be three weeks (with subglandular augmentation, my preference) or three months (with submuscular technique, which is much more painful and involves cutting your pectoralis major muscles and stretching them over an implant),” explains Karen Horton, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Francisco and ASPS member.

What Type of Bra is Best After Breast Augmentation? |

Is there anything you should avoid before surgery to minimize recovery time?

Contrary to popular belief, recovery actually starts before you even have your breast augmentation. Although patients aren’t at all limited in their physical activity in the days and weeks leading up to the surgery, there are certain medications and supplements that should be avoided.

“The main offenders for increasing bleeding and bruising with surgery are anti-inflammatories,” Dr. Horton says, referring to aspirin, ibuprofen, and the like. There are also a number of vitamins and supplements, like vitamin E, fish oil, ginkgo biloba, and garlic, that you should avoid for two weeks before (and after) surgery. “In concentrated forms, they can increase bleeding in some studies.”

What is the first week of recovery like?

As with any surgery, breast augmentation carries different points of recovery in the days, weeks, and months that follow. Immediately following the operation, rest and icing will be top priority.

“Ice is your best friend in terms of keeping swelling down and helping to control the pain, and that’s the process I do with my patients now,” says Anureet Bajaj, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and an ASPS member.

Drains can significantly speed up recovery time, as they remove wound fluid rather than forcing the body to absorb it, but in most breast augmentation surgeries, they are not needed.

“After a breast augmentation, most women don’t have any drains, and the incisions are all healed,” says Dr. Bajaj. “So, theoretically, there shouldn’t be a whole lot to deal with.” The one thing that may come up, however, is itchiness around the incisions during the first 24 to 48 hours.

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