Cosmetic Surgery Tips

When Can I Take A Bath After Breast Augmentation Surgery

If you are currently researching breast augmentation surgery, then you have probably already done your research on when can I take a bath after breast implants. However, based on our data, many women still make the mistake of not following the post-operative instructions. It is important to stay safe and make sure each area heals properly. There are a few factors that come into play when determining whether or not to take a bath after breast augmentation surgery.

In this article, we’ll consider when can i remove bandages after breast augmentation and how long should i wear my surgical bra after breast reduction.

Every type of breast surgery will require incisions. Caring for your incisions is essential to reduce visible scarring. There are several things that will need to be done to keep your incisions clean and dry – not the least of which is avoiding the bathtub, swimming pools, or any other body of water that would allow your incisions to be submerged.

It can take about 48 hours for breast surgery incisions to close completely. During this time, even showering should be avoided to help prevent their reopening, which could lead to complications including infection or the development of thicker scars. As such, it is best to avoid showering within the first 48 hours of your procedure as well.

Many women find they have recovered sufficiently to take baths by week two or three. During your follow up visits at our Houston plastic surgery center, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ravi Somayazula will assess how well you are recovering and make personalized suggestions based on what is best at each stage of incision healing. We typically recommend that you should not take a bath until that incision is fully recovered, which is at six weeks.

Caring for your breast surgery incisions

While showing may need to be avoided for 48 hours and bathing for six weeks, it is important that you keep your incisions clean at all times during the recovery period. While the incisions are healing, this can be done with a soft cloth, sponge, or piece of gauze that has been wetted with warm water. Using a mild and non-irritating soap, gently clean the skin surrounding the incision. Be careful not to agitate or rub the incision itself.

We will provide you with specific instructions and gentle guidance during your time in our care to help make this process easier.

You can further care for your incisions after breast surgery by:

  • Avoiding all forms of nicotine. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. It will cause thicker scars
  • Avoiding activities that could cause the incisions to separate or stretch
  • Carefully following all of our pre and postoperative directions

You may need to stop taking certain medications, supplements, or herbs before your procedure to help reduce risks. These same products may need to be avoided during your recovery phase as well.

After Surgery Instructions: Breast Augmentation

Post-Procedure: The First 7 Days

Medications and Diet: All of the medications you have been prescribed are very important. Please read all the directions below carefully, and call us if you have any questions. REMEMBER TO EAT BEFORE YOU TAKE YOUR MEDICATION.

CELEBREX (200mg)– Take one tablet by mouth every 12 hours for the first 72 hours and then continue as needed.
GABAPENTIN (100mg)- Take one tablet by mouth every 12 hours for the first 72 hours only.
ULTRACET (37.5 mg TRAMADOL/ 325mg ACETOMINOPHEN) -Take 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. When you have finished the Ultracet or you don’t need it anymore, you can take Tylenol instead.  You can start taking Tylenol 6 hours after your last dose of Ultracet.
This is your pain medication that is taken as needed only for pain.  You should try to cut back on your pain medication three days after surgery to avoid nausea and constipation. Please note that per DEA regulations, we are unable to refill this prescription. Please call us if you are experiencing more pain than is covered by the medications provided. You may need to get additional pain medication from your primary care provider. You should try to wean off the Ultracet to acetaminophen alone (Tylenol) as soon as possible after the surgery.
ZOFRAN (Ondansetron 8mg)– Place one tablet under the tongue on the day of surgery and then used as needed every 8 hours after surgery if you have nausea
This is a very potent anti-nausea medication that will prevent nausea after your surgery.  It is placed under the tongue and dissolves immediately.
FLEXERIL (Cyclobenzaprine 10mg)-Take one tablet by mouth every 8 hours as needed for muscle spasms. You should take this medication every 8 hours after surgery for the first two days, then as needed, and at night before you go to bed.
VALIUM (5mg)– Take one tablet by mouth the day before surgery as needed for anxiety.
MILK OF MAGNESIA (OTC LAXATIVE)-12 OZ bottle- Take 1 tablespoon in one dose to help relieve constipation as needed.  The maximum dose is 4 Tablespoons in 24 Hours. 
You can stop it once your bowel habits return to normal. 
BOIRON PELLETS (Arnica Montana – herbal medication used for swelling) – Dissolve 5 pellets in the mouth 3 times a day for 5 days.  Use until finished.

Activity: You should refrain from high impact activity and limit your day to day activities to support your healing. Have someone help you to go to the bathroom and take a shower. For the first week you should stay at home as much as possible and only go out for emergencies. Don’t drive for the first few days, if it hurts or if you are on pain medication or taking the muscle relaxant. Over-activity can cause bleeding, so be very careful. You should not be cooking, cleaning, running errands, shopping, or picking up kids.

Normal things: It is NORMAL for the implants to be high up, have un-even size, position or swelling, have sloshing noises, be painful, and be hard for the first few weeks after surgery. Please be patient with them. Depression and mood swings are common, too. Remind yourself that everything will be better soon! Do not be concerned with the size, position or shape of your implants for the first couple of weeks—do not make any judgments about them until they have had a chance to settle for at least a month.

Showering Instructions for the First Week:

Dressings: Leave everything alone for 36 hours after surgery. After showering, leave the steri-strips (small white tapes) in place over your incisions. Do not start using brown tape or scar stick yet. We will instruct you on use of these after your one-week appointment.

Showering: You may shower 36 hours after surgery, then pat dry. Do not take tub baths or get into a Jacuzzi or pool for one month after surgery. Step by step instructions for showering:

  • Remove the bra
  • Remove all the GAUZE (these are the white squares that are being help on by tape on breasts)
  • DO NOT remove the STERISTRIPS (the white tape on the incision)
  • TAKE SHOWER (no tub bath) with soap and water. It is ok to get the incisions wet and soap on them. It helps to have a plastic chair or stool in the shower to sit when you shower. Also it is advisable to have someone else there with you to help.
  • When you are done with shower, gently pat yourself dry in all areas
  • You do not need to put tape or gauze or anything on the incision
  • Put the bra back on

Post-Procedure: After The First Week

Wear a sports bra all the time (preferably one that buttons in the front), especially when you sleep at night. Do not wear an under wire bra for one month. After one month, you can wear any bra you like!

IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW that you will need to wear a sports bra at night when you sleep for as long as you have implants. This is to prevent the implants from going out to your side.

DO NOT lift any thing heavy. Listen to your body- if something hurts, don’t do it!

Massage implants ten reps each, once a day for the next month. It is easier to do this in the shower in the morning, when the warm water helps to relax your muscles. THEN do it once a month in conjunction with your BSE (breast self exam).

Okay to shower. Do not take tub baths, get into the Jacuzzi, the beach or lakes for ONE MONTH.

It’s okay to walk or do a low setting on the treadmill, elliptical machine, etc. Do not do any heavy lifting, running, or upper body exercises for ONE MONTH. After that, slowly start with low weights, increasing if it doesn’t hurt.

Wear brown tape only on your incisions for ONE MONTH. After that, start using the scar stick on the scar and discontinue using the brown tape (alternative is to use ScarGuard MD)

It is normal to feel electric shocks or tingling (nerves growing back). Implants take 6 weeks to 3 months to drop and feel & look more natural. “Sloshing” goes away in 2-3 weeks. Numbness will usually go away once all the swelling resolves.

AFTER ONE MONTH it is okay to slowly ease back into exercise and lifting, get into a bath or Jacuzzi, and wear an underwire bra.

Post-Procedure: After The First Month

Congratulations! You have completed the initial healing phase of the surgery!

Send in your implant warranty if you have not already done so.

It is OK to start exercising and doing upper bodywork outs. Start slow, and increase as you feel the movement is not causing pain. Remember, listen to your body. If something is painful or causes soreness, do not do it right now and try again in a few days.

The scar is going to continue to heal. It is normal for the scar to be purple or red. Be patient and do not expose the scar to the sun or to tanning beds (keep it covered with black tape and a bathing suit if you are out in the sun). Most scars can take a year or even longer to fade. Use scar stick twice a day.

You can start to wear normal bras. Under wire bras are ok as well. Remember to always sleep in a sports bra to support your breasts. If you feel the wire is rubbing on your incision, do not wear a wire or pad until it is comfortable.

Mammograms are okay and recommended per your primary care physician recommendations.

The implants will continue to change: they will get softer and settle into a natural look and position. You may experience tingling and electric shocks as the nerves heal. Be patient and give it at least 6 months for the implants to totally settle into place.

Follow up: remember, we are always here for you for any type of problem. Call us immediately if you feel something is not right. It is our goal for you to have the best result possible, and communication is the key to achieving this goal. Also, feel free to come in on a yearly basis for a checkup.

Post-Procedure: Frequently Asked Questions

“When can I take my bra off?”

Bra: The doctor recommends that you wear the bra as close to 23 hours per day as possible (all day and night, except for the time when you’re in the shower). You will need to wear a sports bra with no under wire for 6 weeks, or until the doctor says you are clear to start wearing a regular bra.

“Do I remove the steri strips, or does the doctor remove them?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your one-week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to remove your steri strips. Until then, the only dressings you should remove are the big pieces of white tape and gauze, and only after 36 hours have passed after your surgery.

“When can I take my first shower?”

The doctor recommends you wait 36 hours after your surgery to take your first shower. It is very important that you have a family member or friend there with you when you take your first shower, in case you feel dizzy or weak. You have a list of detailed instructions in your surgery handbook that the nurse gave you at your pre-op appointment, and also a duplicate copy in the envelope that the surgery nurse sent you home with on the day you had surgery.

“When do I start using my scar stick?” “How often do I apply my scar stick?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your 6-week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to start using your scar stick. After they tell you to begin using it, you will be applying it to your scars twice daily, once in the morning after your shower, and once again before bedtime.

“When can I lay on my stomach?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your one-week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to start sleeping on your stomach. For the first week, the doctor recommends sleeping on your back with your head elevated with two or three pillows to help to reduce swelling.

“Do my stitches dissolve or do I need to come in to the office to have them removed?”

All of our doctors use dissolving stitches. It is important that you keep your follow up appointments to ensure that the doctors and nurses are able to watch your progress as you heal.

“When can I wear an under wire bra?”

The doctor recommends you wear a sports bra with no under wire for 6 weeks, or until he tells you are clear to start wearing a regular bra. It is important that you remember to wear the bra as close to 23 hours per day as possible (all day and night, except for the time when you’re in the shower).

“When can I start exercising?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your one week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to start exercising. For the first week, the doctor recommends that you focus on resting, and after one week he will generally clear you to start a low-impact exercise routine such as walking or a low-incline setting on an elliptical or bike. After six weeks, he will generally clear you to resume your regular exercise routine, including weight lifting, aerobics and running.

“When can I go swimming/take a bath?”

The doctor does not recommend swimming or tub baths for six weeks. You may take showers for the first six weeks after surgery.

“How long will I stay swollen/bruised?”

It is normal to have swelling and bruising all the way up to six months after surgery, or longer depending on the type of surgery you had done. However, it will get better every day and you will continue to see improvements, especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine after your doctor tells you it is okay to begin exercising.

“How long do I keep taking the multivitamin and vitamin C supplement?”

Your doctor recommends you continue taking the multivitamin for six weeks after your surgery, and even longer if you are able to do so, to promote your overall healthiness.

“Can I take a rest from my bra?”

The doctor recommends that you wear the bra as close 23 hours per day as possible (all day and night, except for the time when you’re in the shower). You will need to wear a sports bra with no under wire for 6 weeks, or until the doctor says you are clear to start wearing a regular bra. You can take a break from wearing the bra while you are in the shower, but it is very important to put it right back on after you dry off from the shower.

After 48 hours (two days) following surgery, you can remove a clear plastic bandage that has been holding your bandage in place.

For the first six to eight weeks following breast surgery, it is recommended that you wear a surgical bra. The general idea is that the more time it is worn, the better it will be. Until you hear from your surgeon that it’s okay, avoid lace and underwired bras. If you want the best results from your surgery, you should wear your surgical bra every day for the first few weeks.

Your doctor will advise you to wear your bra constantly with the exception of bathing. You shouldn’t wear regular bras until your surgeon gives the all-clear. For best results going forward, a well-fitted bra is essential. If your cosmetic surgery clinic gives you a post-op bra, it may be wise to purchase a backup. That way, you can always have a clean compression bra on hand.

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