Cosmetic Surgery Tips

3 days after breast augmentation

It’s been three days since my breast augmentation surgery, and I feel great!

The first day was a little rough—I was sore and tired and had to take it easy. But by the end of the day, I could start moving around more and getting used to my new body.

The second day was better than the first. I felt more energized, and it was easier for me to move around.

Today is Wednesday, and I’m feeling great! Today I got up early, went for a run, did some yoga poses on my own at home (yoga ball is helpful), and ate a healthy breakfast with lots of fruit. Then I went back to bed for a nap until 11:00 am when the kids woke up from their naps. That got me through most of the day without having to rush around like crazy or make any big decisions about what we should do with our time together as a family.

I’m excited about going back to work next week!

3 days after breast augmentation

What to Expect 3 Days after Breast Augmentation

What to Expect 3 Days after Breast Augmentation

Knowing what to expect after a breast augmentation procedure reduces stress during the recovery process. At Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology, we strive to educate our patients prior to their procedures so that they can go into the surgery and through recovery fully informed and with realistic expectations.

Breast augmentation surgery is performed in an outpatient setting, and patients are sent home on the same day so long as no complications arise. Comprehensive instructions for after care will be sent with each patient. The first couple of days at home can be the most uncomfortable. A few days after the breast augmentation procedure, the desired results are visible, but patients may continue to experience some soreness, swelling and pain. These should soon begin to subside. Pain management medication should be used as needed for any continued discomfort. Patients should remember that their breasts will remain sensitive to physical contact and jarring movements.

For any incisions that were closed with sutures that do not absorb, the sutures will be taken out at a follow up appointment. In addition, any drainage tubes that were inserted after the breast augmentation surgery will be removed. Patients should keep their incisions cleaned and only apply ointment to avoid any infection.

For up to two weeks after surgery, the breasts should be supported by wearing a supportive bra around the clock. The breast implants take time to settle into position. Heavy lifting and strenuous activities should be avoided during the first week of recovery. Normal activities can be resumed as directed by the doctor.

Patients should rest as much as possible during the healing process and listen to their bodies to have a smooth recovery. Should any patient feel significant warmth in their breasts or continued redness on their breasts, they should seek medical attention. These are signs of an infection that requires treatment. In addition, patients should seek medical attention should they feel shortness of breath or chest pain.

What to Expect After Breast Augmentation Surgery

With all the research and planning leading to your decision to get “new breasts,” you may not have thought about what comes after breast augmentation surgery – other than your fabulous new breasts (and possibly a new wardrobe).

But surgery, no matter how safe or simple, requires recovery. So what should you expect in the days and weeks following your breast augmentation surgery?

After Breast Augmentation: The First Day

Breast augmentation surgery is an outpatient surgery, most frequently performed under general anesthesia. The surgery typically lasts between one and two hours. After surgery, you will spend another one to two hours in recovery to insure you are comfortable, any nausea is under control, and you are adequately awake and alert before you are discharged. You won’t be allowed to drive so be sure you’ve arranged for someone to take you home.

Your incisions will be covered by a small amount of gauze, and a post-operative bra will have been put on you after surgery. will provide instructions on how to care for your incisions that day and in the coming weeks. Follow these instructions precisely for the best healing and minimal scarring. Most patients will be given a prescription for narcotic pain medications to get you through the first few days.

Your task this first day is simply to rest. It may seem like surgery was “done to you,” but the minute an incision was made for your breast augmentation, your body became an active participant. It immediately got to work to help you heal from the process. So rest and let it do its thing.

After Breast Augmentation: The First Week

Again, your body is hard at work healing your surgical incisions. You should use this week to rest and eat well so your body can recover. Plan on taking at least a few days off from work to relax at home. Avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting. If you educate yourself on what to expect after surgery and prepare a little ahead of time, you won’t be caught off guard or be tempted to overdo it.

During breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon makes incisions in skin and muscle. This will cause discomfort, especially in the first few days. You may find that certain movements, particularly pushing and pulling with your arms, make the pain worse. You will be given an adequate supply of pain medication for the first three to five days. Don’t be afraid to use this medication as your surgeon has prescribed it to stay ahead of your pain rather than letting it build up. During this first week let your body heal by using your pain medication and avoiding lifting, pushing, or pulling.

In addition, your breasts will look swollen and feel tight. This typically worsens over the first 2-3 days, stabilizes and then starts to go down between the 1st and 2nd week after surgery. Most of the swelling will be gone by 2 months. You may also feel a squishing sensation or hear a squeaking sound coming from your breasts during that first week. This is completely normal. It’s due to a small amount of fluid around the implant that is typically absorbed by the body during the first week.

Once you start feeling less discomfort, your doctor will likely have you switch to an over-the-counter pain medication like Motrin.

After Breast Augmentation: The First Month

Toward the end of that first week, you should start to feel more like yourself again. Your surgeon will probably clear you to drive and get back to work soon

However, if your job is physical or requires much lifting, you may need a longer period of time before returning to your full workload. You may be tempted to push this, but remember that it is better to be cautious so you can avoid complications and your body can heal beautifully.

During this time, don’t use any bra with underwire. Use the soft undergarments recommended by your surgeon. You don’t want to do anything that will interfere with healing. Tight, ill-fitting, and underwire bras can do just that.

Toward the end of the month, your surgeon will let you know when it is okay to begin low impact exercise. You should be able to build up to your normal routine slowly in the weeks that follow.

After Breast Augmentation: The First Year

By the end of the first month, the swelling becomes less noticeable and the incisions should be healed. However, a small amount of swelling will remain for several months. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hold off on spending a lot of money on new bras or swimsuits until 2 months after surgery. Bras can be expensive and you don’t want to invest in something that won’t fit the same way in a matter of months.

In addition, scars will continue to change throughout the next year and a half. In fact, you may find that your scars look worse before they look better. Know that it can take 12 to 18 months for scars to take on their final appearance. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s regimen for caring for your incisions and scars to minimize their appearance and get the best results.

It’s also important to note that it may take a good part of this first year before your new breasts feel like your breasts. At first they may feel unfamiliar and foreign, but over the coming months they will gradually become part of your body image.

The year following your surgery is a year of healing and change for your new breasts. Preparing yourself ahead of time for what to expect during this “transition” year is important. Equally important is a plastic surgeon you feel comfortable calling if things aren’t going as you expect.

things to avoid after breast augmentation

What Should You Avoid After a Breast Augmentation?

Breast Augmentation

If you’re planning to undergo breast augmentation, congratulations. This is one of the most exciting procedures available to women who want to add or restore feminine curves. And Dustin C. Derrick, MD, the lead plastic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth, TX, specializes in procedures like breast enhancement and mommy makeovers. You can therefore trust you’re in great hands before, during, and after your surgery.

What Should You Avoid After a Breast Augmentation?

After your body experiences a dramatic change, such as that brought by surgery, it needs time to recover. This is why you must take the appropriate time to heal. Equally important, you must also follow the post-op guidelines we provide. These will largely be tailored to suit your individual needs, but some suggestions are universal.

For instance, one of the first recommendations we’ll make is that you refrain from smoking. It’s best to quit one month before surgery, as the chemicals contained in cigarettes can negatively impact your ability to heal and surgery results. Nicotine in particular can put you at risk for infection and damage the capillaries near your surgical wounds. This effect impedes blood flow. If you’ve ever needed a reason to quit smoking, your surgery may provide just that.

Don’t Wear an Underwire Bra

You’ll need to wear a surgical or sports bra after surgery for three to four weeks. The support provided by these garments can keep your breasts in place and help you sleep more comfortably. An underwire bra, on the other hand, can irritate your incisions and prevent implants from properly settling.

With this in mind, you should also delay shopping for new undergarments. You might be tempted to invest in a few lush bras, but you won’t know your new cup size until your breasts ease into their final, more natural position. We recommend that you simply rest and enjoy taking some time for yourself. You’ll have plenty of time to shop for new bras after you’ve recovered.

Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach or Side

The position in which you sleep can greatly impact the appearance of your breast augmentation. This is why it’s crucial you sleep on your back for a short time after surgery. Your body should also be elevated, particularly while you sleep. This enhances circulation, reduces fluid buildup, and keeps the breasts in a more natural position during healing.

Sleeping while you’re elevated can also assist with mobility. You need some upper body strength to get out of bed. But after surgery, we strongly recommend you not use your arm or chest muscles (more on this in a moment). Sleeping upright can keep you from needing these muscles, and many patients sleep in recliners or against a stack of pillows to help them stay in the proper position.

Maximize Your Surgery Results

Sleeping on your stomach or side can apply pressure to your implants and incisions during the recovery process. Rest assured you can return to your normal sleep habits soon enough. In fact, you’ll likely be cleared to return to side sleeping while wearing a supportive bra within just two weeks. Sleeping on your stomach, however, is off the table until a member of our staff gives the go-ahead.

Don’t Take Aspirin

Unless your medical doctor has suggested otherwise, it’s generally not a good idea to take aspirin during your breast augmentation recovery. Aspirin disrupts the normal aggregation of platelets, which can lead to prolonged or abnormal bleeding after your procedure. Additional reasons to skip aspirin as you recover include:

  • Anemia
  • Nausea
  • Potential interactions with prescription medicines

If you were advised by a doctor to take aspirin every day for your heart, you’ll need medical clearance to stop this regimen before surgery. You should never stop prescribed aspirin therapy without your doctor’s guidance. Doing so may increase your risk for a cardiovascular event.

Don’t Take Medications Unless Prescribed

The first two weeks of your recovery are generally the most important. It is for this reason that you must be cautious with the medications you take. The best rule of thumb is incredibly simple: only take those medications prescribed by our office or your doctor. This protocol ensures you don’t take any medications that might interfere with your healing.

Don’t Shower

We know what you’re thinking: showering is a part of good hygiene. But for at least 48 hours, you must avoid this common practice. Incisions need about two days to completely close. Getting incisions wet too soon after surgery can cause them to re-open, interfere with the healing process, and even lead to infections. Once you’re outside of the 48-hour window, you can gently wash your breasts – but don’t scrub or rub the treated areas.

Don’t Swim

Getting into a pool, lake, or ocean can expose your incisions to bacteria, meaning you may be vulnerable to infection. We therefore recommend you resist swimming for a bit and simply relax poolside or walk along the beach. You should likewise avoid jacuzzies and hot tubs to further protect your incisions.

Don’t Sit in the Sun

As you’re outside enjoying nature, you should not expose yourself to the sun. Ultraviolet rays can, again, interfere with the way your incisions heal. Even after you receive clearance to go swimming, you should use caution in the sun. The same is true for tanning beds. Avoid them until we give the necessary approval. Or, better yet, make a conscious decision to stay out of the sun and tanning beds from this point forward.

Don’t Engage in Strenuous Activities

This recommendation is important enough that we’ll likely repeat it a few times. All strenuous activities, especially exercise, must be avoided for about a month. You can and should go walking during this time to encourage strong blood flow throughout your body. But other exercises are off the table.

We’ll likely clear you to engage in lower body exercises after your first month of healing. Then, gradually, you can start to again incorporate upper body exercises.

Don’t Lift Heavy Objects

Most surgeries require that you not lift heavy objects for a while. Breast augmentation is no exception. After your procedure, you won’t be able to carry groceries, pets, or even your child for at least a few weeks. This promotes rapid, healthy healing and beautiful results.

As long as you’re watching what you lift, it’s also important you not raise your arms above your head. This means no reaching for objects or lifting your arms to get into a shirt. With this in mind, you should plan to wear button- or zip-up shirts for a brief time.

Don’t Drink Alcohol

A small amount of alcohol is, for most people, absolutely fine. But you can hasten your recovery by abstaining for a couple of weeks. Alcohol is known to inhibit healing by:

  • Impeding the immune system
  • Contributing to dehydration
  • Increasing the risk of bleeding

Don’t Get Steamy in the Bedroom

It’s best to delay intercourse for a brief time after surgery. You and your partner may want to try, but we recommend you wait. If you do decide to be intimate, you need to wear a sports or surgery bra and avoid placing pressure on your breasts.

Don’t Eat the Wrong Foods

A diet low in protein and vitamin C can put you at greater risk for post-operative complications. Your body needs these nutrients to heal, and vitamin C is crucial to collagen formation. You should therefore choose wholesome foods during your recovery like:

  • Leafy greens like kale and spinach
  • Red and yellow peppers
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Tomatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Seafood

If you cannot enjoy a diet rich in these nutrients for health reasons, such as digestive issues, it’s important you speak to our office. We can likely recommend dietary supplements that will provide the nutrition you need without compromising your well-being.

Don’t Neglect Your Rest

We’ve mentioned multiple times that your body needs to rest after breast augmentation. The exact amount of time you need to heal will depend on your body, but most women can safely return to work after about one week.

The time you are at home should be spent relaxing. This means napping when you need to and enjoying plenty of downtime. You’ll probably feel more like your old self after just a few days, but we urge you to continue resting. Your body will thank you by healing more quickly.

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