What Aftercare Is Necessary for Breast Implant Surgery?
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States and among the highest rated in patient satisfaction. The best results almost always come from a good partnership between the plastic surgeon and the patient. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in the procedure and the ability to tailor it to your needs is undoubtedly critical, but not the only factor to keep in mind.
Your aftercare habits also play an essential role in caring for yourself and your breasts as they heal. Here are the ways you can help ensure stunning and problem-free results as you heal.
Make Rest a Priority
You’ll need to rest for the first few days. Your body needs rest in order to heal, and you’ll need to take special care not to over-exert the muscles in your chest by lifting anything heavy. If you can, arrange for someone to help you with ordinary tasks like shopping, cooking, and cleaning. You can also plan ahead by having no-prep meals on hand. Expect to take a week to ten days off from work, or more if your job involves physical strain.
You’ll feel good after the first week, but you will still need to protect your healing breasts. Follow your doctor’s instructions as you gradually build up to more vigorous activities. Most women are fully healed and back to their normal activities and exercise routines at about eight weeks post-surgery.
Keep the Incisions Clean
You’ll be instructed to carefully change the bandages over your incisions once a day and clean the incision line with mild soap and water. It will be OK to shower by the second day after your surgery, but you should avoid baths, hot tubs, or swimming pools for at least six weeks. If you have drains, you will be given special instructions on washing to prevent infection. Talk with your doctor before using deodorants, lotions, or creams in the incision area.
Wear a Fitted Supportive Bra
You’ll wear a fitted surgical bra for several weeks after your surgery, even when you sleep. The only times it should be removed are when you change your bandages and shower. Some women find it comfortable to wear a T-shirt under their bra.
The type and fit of the bra are important. You’ll want a soft, supportive bra that is comfortable and that holds your breasts in their new shape. Since you’ll be wearing the bra at all times, choose one made of breathable fabric, without seams, and with adjustable straps. You may need to try more than one to find a pressure-free fit. You should not wear a bra that has an underwire.
Your doctor may give you instructions to massage your breasts, starting in the second week after surgery, to keep the tissue around the implant soft and flexible. Massage can also be used to move the implant to the best location as your breast tissue settles into place. In the third and fourth weeks after surgery, you should increase the frequency of these massages to three or four times a day.
Watch for Potential Problems
You’ll have follow-up visits with your doctor on a set schedule — typically once in the first week, then after two weeks, a month, and a year. In between, you’ll want to watch for any signs of problems. Some swelling and redness are normal. It’s also normal for your temperature to be slightly elevated in the first few days — up to 101 degrees. You can usually get your temperature down with deep breathing and getting up from your bed. Higher temperatures, unusual swelling or redness, increasing pain, rash, or dizziness can be signs of a problem and should be reported immediately to your doctor.
Learn More About Breast Augmentation in New Orleans
Dr. Russell Henrick of the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast augmentation procedures. He and our staff invite you to call us at (504) 533-8848 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.