Hello, and welcome to my blog!
I’m a newbie to the world of blogging, so please be patient with me as I learn how to express myself. I’m hoping that by writing about my experience with breast augmentation, I’ll help other women who are considering the procedure.
I had my first consultation for breast augmentation three weeks ago. My doctor was very kind and professional and made sure I felt comfortable with the idea of surgery before moving forward with any medical procedures. She explained all of the steps involved in the process: from pre-op planning through post-op recovery. She answered all of my questions and helped me feel confident about moving forward with surgery. The consultation ended up lasting an hour—and although it was a little longer than I expected, it was well worth it because it gave me so much more information than what’s typically given at most first consultations.
I’m excited to say that this Friday (three days from now!) will be my pre-op visit! My doctor told me that she’ll be administering local anesthesia so that I don’t have any pain during the procedure (which is good because I’ve heard that local anesthesia can lead to nausea).
9 weeks post op breast augmentation
Breast Reduction Surgery
Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on August 05, 2020
IN THIS ARTICLE
- What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?
- Breast Reduction Surgery Consultation
- How to Prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery
- Breast Reduction Surgery Procedure
- Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery
- Breast Reduction Surgery Risks and Complications
- Breast Reduction Surgery Costs
What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Most women who get breast reduction are very satisfied with the results. Men with conditions such as gynecomastia (in which male breasts are abnormally enlarged) may also have it.
Breast reduction surgery is an operation to remove extra fat, tissue, and skin from your breasts. If you have large breasts that are out of proportion to the rest of your body and causing neck pain, back pain, or other symptoms, you may be considering breast reduction surgery.
Because it’s major surgery, you should know the benefits, potential complications, and what’s involved in recovery.
Breast Reduction Surgery Consultation
Before the surgery, you’ll meet with your surgeon to talk about your medical history, including whether you’ve had a lump removed from your breast or have any other medical conditions that affect your breasts. Your surgeon will also ask about your family’s medical history.
Be completely open with the surgeon about your medical history and why you want a breast reduction. Be prepared to discuss any emotional issues you’ve dealt with regarding your breasts, how your breasts have physically felt to you, and any physical conditions you’ve had.
The surgeon may take photos of your breasts, measure them, and talk with you about how much breast tissue will need to be removed to achieve your goal. You will also learn about preparing for the surgery and planning for your recovery. You may get a mammogram and breast exam before the surgery.
During your consultation, your surgeon will ask about your habits, including whether you smoke and what medications you take. You may have to quit smoking for a period before and after surgery to ensure proper healing. You also may have to stop taking certain medications, including aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin or Aleve. Your surgeon will give you instructions about what you need to do.
How to Prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery
You need to be in good physical shape to be sure you heal the way you should, so follow your surgeon’s instructions before and after breast reduction surgery.
Before the surgery, get your home ready for recovery. Have these things on hand:
- Plenty of ice
- Gauze and clean washcloths and towels
- Loose, comfortable shirts
- Special ointments or creams as recommended by your surgeon for the incision sites
You should also plan for someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first night after the procedure, if you’re not staying in the hospital.
Breast Reduction Surgery Procedure
Depending on your case, you might have breast reduction surgery in an outpatient facility, or you may have to stay at least one night in the hospital. In either case, you’ll get general anesthesia, which means you will be put to “sleep” during the procedure.
Breast reduction surgery will take about 2 to 5 hours, sometimes longer.
Your surgeon could use one of a few surgery methods, depending on the shape and size of your breasts, how much tissue they need to remove, and how you want to look after surgery:
- Liposuction. The surgeon will make small cuts in your skin and insert a thin tube connected to a vacuum that suctions fat and fluids from your breast. This option is best for small reductions and for people whose skin will “snap back” into place.
- Vertical or “lollipop.”This method is for moderate breast reductions and visible sagging. The surgeon will make cuts around your areola and down to the crease beneath your breast, remove extra tissue and fat, reshape the breast, and lift it.
- Inverted-T or “anchor.”The surgeon will make cuts around the edge of the areola, from the areola to the breast crease, and along the crease underneath the breast. This type of surgery is best for large reductions and for people who have a lot of sagging or unevenness.
Your surgeon may use drainage tubes and then stitch up your breasts and wrap them in a special gauze. You may also need to wear a surgical bra.
Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery
Expect to take at least a week off from work or school afterward. Some people need a couple of weeks, but each situation varies. Your surgeon will instruct you on follow-up appointments for removing bandages and stitches.
While you recover, you’ll need to stop physical activity for at least a month after surgery.
After the surgery, you should expect to feel tired and to have breast pain. Your surgeon will give you an oral painkiller to ease you through the first few days. You should also avoid heavy lifting.
Some people have an emotional reaction, such as feeling depressed, after the surgery. That can be normal, but make sure you tell your doctor about all your concerns.
Breast Reduction Surgery Risks and Complications
Scars are a normal side effect of breast reduction surgery. These scars will fade over time but will never go away completely. They might be worse if you lift heavy objects too soon after surgery.
Other possible problems include:
- Loss of feeling in your breasts or nipples, which could be brief or long-term
- Side effects of the medication to help you sleep during surgery (anesthesia)
- Blood clots
- Swelling and bruising
- Damage to nerves, blood vessels, and other parts of your body
- The need for more surgery
Rarely, certain complications, such as inadequate healing of the nipple area, may require a skin graft.
Contact your doctor right away
- At the first sign of infection, including redness, tenderness or unusual swelling at the surgical site, or fever
- If you have any unusual discharge from the incision site (including pus)
- If any of the stitches come out before you are due to have them removed
Breast Reduction Surgery Costs
Experts estimate that breast reduction surgery can range from around $7,700 to more than $9,700. In most cases, insurance covers breast reduction surgery. Because breast reduction is considered reconstructive, your chances of getting insurance coverage are good. But you must be sure to follow all the procedures set forth by your policy.
Your surgeon can send in a letter with photos of your breasts and details about your physical symptoms. Get in touch with your health insurer early so you know exactly what they will pay for. For example, will insurance cover such things as lab costs or anesthesiologist fees? Asking in advance will help prevent surprises after the surgery.
what to expect 7 weeks post op breast augmentation
What Should You Avoid After a 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:
- 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.
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.
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
- Greek yogurt
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.
Get the Body You Want and the Recovery You Need
Augmentation can help boost your confidence and provide a more shapely silhouette. And with our team by your side, you can count on a timely recovery. Simply follow the post-op guidelines we provide and get the rest your body needs. If you have questions about breast implants or a mommy makeover