Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Heating Pad After Breast Augmentation

Breast tissue is rebuilt during a cosmetic surgery technique called breast augmentation. The operation often entails shaving off extra breast tissue, contouring the breasts to your preferred size and shape, and then inserting implants to enlarge them.

Women who have lost a substantial amount of breast tissue from pregnancy or breastfeeding are frequently advised to get breast augmentation. It’s crucial to be aware of your options and any potential concerns if you’re thinking about getting breast augmentation.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to help muscle relax after breast augmentation and tight pectoral muscle after breast augmentation.

Heating Pad After Breast Augmentation

Contrary to the soothing warmth a heating pad delivers for common musculo-skeletal ailments and sports injuries, heating pads are NOT ever advised during recovery and convalescence from cosmetic surgery. A normal part of any surgical procedure is swelling, bruising and pain. Swelling of the skin and subcutaneous tissues not only reduces sensation, but also makes the delicate skin more susceptible to injury following surgery.

It’s very important to exercise caution after having cosmetic surgery. Small nerves are damaged during surgery, which leaves you with temporary numbness around the surgical site. Now you can imagine what happens when you put a hot heating pad on these areas, because it is impossible to determine the exact temperature of the heating pad, potentially leading to burns. Normally when the pad gets too hot for comfort, you just remove it. This is a natural defense mechanism, which is temporarily lost following surgery. The skin is numb, the surgical site is swollen and is very susceptible to being burnt quite easily. Some pain medication may also interfere in monitoring. I recommend using an ice bag containing some water to be applied gently in most cases and refreshed as needed. The water helps keep the ice at a safe temperature to safely ease pain and swelling.

Never use heating pads during recovery from cosmetic surgery due to the risk of skin burns and scarring. Note that this risk can remain present and last for up to six months following surgery during the recovery process. When in doubt, always consult your doctor.

How to Help Muscle Relax after Breast Augmentation

Chest tightening is a complication of cosmetic surgery performed on breasts, leading to a condition called capsular contracture. The primary cause of this condition is scar tissue formation around your breast implant. The tissue compresses and leads to pain, inflammation, swelling, and tightness. The tight sensations in your breasts can cause deformation if not appropriately treated. 

Generally, women experience tightness in their breasts for a few weeks. Although it subsides every day, the nature of tightness or its duration varies from one woman to another. 

Anyway, if your tightness continues for more than two weeks, make sure you consult your surgeon to determine whether you have capsular contracture. Your surgeon in Miami will use diagnostic tools and their expertise to deal with the condition promptly. The purpose is to avoid pain and discomfort or changes in the appearance and texture of your breasts. 

How long does it take for muscles to relax after breast augmentation?

Muscle and tissue stiffness are common side effects of breast augmentation surgery. However, your muscles or tissue will heal in a few weeks, leading to more relaxation. Remember, your breasts’ scars, shape, and size will refine over several months. So, the average time for muscles to relax after the surgery is between six to eight weeks. 

Some research studies highlight that complete relaxation and stretching out breasts occur within three months. Sometimes, it takes up to six months for muscles to relax, depending on the patient’s overall health and healing capabilities. 

Bear in mind that patients have varying degrees of stiffness and tightness in breast muscles. Studies show that this depends on various factors, such as muscle mass, genetics, immune response, and overall health status. 

In addition, nerves in your breasts can take a few months to heal. During the recovery period, you may experience an increase or decrease in sensation in the nipple area. However, this will normalize once the recovery period is over. 

Can I use heat to help the muscle relax after Breast augmentation?

Heat therapy is an excellent way to relax your muscles. Not only does heat alleviate pain and discomfort, but it also relieves stiffness and tightness in your body muscles. However, this is not the case with breast augmentation surgery. 

Although applying heat to other muscles in your body can increase blood circulation and reduce pain, heating pads on your breasts can disturb the implants and cause pressure on your healing nerves. 

The good news is that you can apply heat therapy after six weeks. So, this is when your breasts’ tissues have matured and healed. Instead of applying heat during the first six weeks, you can use a surgical bra to prevent sagging or tightness and counteract the effects of gravity. 

Keep in mind that when your breast tissues heal, you must still refrain from applying heat over or around the incision site. Always use heat therapy or a pad for your upper back to relax your muscles and decrease tightness in your chest. 

Moreover, massaging your breasts/upper back for at least five minutes 2-3 times a day during the first eight weeks after surgery can help relax the anterior chest wall muscles. Fibrous tissue layers connect these muscles, so massaging the upper back can alleviate spasms, stiffness, and tightness in your frontal muscles that cover the breast implants.

Tight Pectoral Muscle After Breast Augmentation

It’s not unusual for patients to complain of tightness of the chest following breast augmentation surgery. This tightness is related to spasm of the chest wall muscles and swelling of the adjacent soft tissue.

Things To Avoid After 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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