You've made it! But now you need to know what to expect after breast augmentation. It's a long road to recovery, and you'll need these helpful tips to make it easier.
Get a lot of rest
Get a lot of rest. Even if you feel you’re having an easy recovery, it’s important to remember that your body has been through a lot, and it will take a while for you to heal on the inside. The body needs inactivity and energy to promote good healing, so rest as much as you can. Don't push yourself to do too much, too soon.
Expect discomfort for 72 hours
You will be the most uncomfortable during the first three days. After that, things will start looking up. It's common to experience more soreness in the morning. However, once you get up and start moving around, those muscles loosen up a bit and you'll feel much better.
Stay fed with your meds
Eat something when you take your pain medication. Sometimes a few crackers don’t do the trick and you will need something more substantial like a sandwich.
Wear a support bra for 6 weeks
Wear your post-surgical bra and compression bands until your doctor tells you otherwise. After this stint, you will need to wear a supportive bra (underwire or push-up) for at least six weeks.
Consume fiber daily
Constipation is common after surgery because of pain medications. Have a mild laxative on-hand, such as Correctol, FiberCon, or Metamucil, but first, ask your doctor before you take it. Continue drinking lots of water, as this will help move things along as well.
Avoid certain medications for 14 days
You can't take certain medications, herbs, and supplements (e.g., aspirin, garlic supplements, or ibuprofen) for at least two weeks after breast augmentation surgery. Talk to your doctor if you are considering any over-the-counter drug or vitamin/herbal remedy or supplement.
No alcohol for at least 2 weeks
Drinking is a blood thinner, and it will put you at risk for post-op bleeding and associated complications like a hematoma. It also dilates your blood vessels, resulting in additional swelling. Finally, taking alcohol with medication can lead to organ damage and difficulty breathing.
Watch out for infection
Look out for signs of infection after breast augmentation. This includes, but is not limited to, fever, pus, redness, inflammation, breasts that are hot-to-the-touch, excessive swelling and flu-like symptoms. Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms. Infections can be very serious, and could potentially result in necrotic breast tissue.
Avoid pool dips and baths for 2 to 3 weeks
Do not submerge your incisions in water until they're completely closed (e.g., don’t go swimming, take baths or get in a hot tub). This could take about two to three weeks. You risk introducing bacteria and/or infection into your incisions.
Avoid showering 24 to 48 hours
Do not shower for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Your surgeon will green light you on this when it is time. Make sure the water isn't too hot, and dry your wounds well. A towel may suffice, but using a hairdryer on a low setting works better.
Keep a journal. Write down how you're doing from day to day, the aches and pains you experience, the amount of swelling, etc. This helps track your progress and is a handy reference when you visit your doctor post-op.
You will most likely have swelling after your surgery. Do not take a diuretic (or drink natural diuretics like coffee) unless your surgeon has approved it. Drinking lots of water and moving around a bit will help the swelling dissipate.
Numb sensitive nipples
Nipple sensitivity after breast augmentation is normal, especially if you had the periareolar incision. Try numbing creams, nursing pads, and silky camisoles if your nipples are overly-sensitive after surgery.
Battle the itch with lotion
If you have itchy breasts, it’s likely due to the stretching of the skin. You can put lotion on your breasts, but be careful to avoid the incisions. Ice packs may help as well.
Don't slouch; push your shoulders back
Walk with your shoulders held back. This will save you some back pain. Slouching only aggravates the situation.
Get more post-breast augmentation tips
Our Breast Augmentation Forum is a community of real women who are either preparing for surgery or who've gone through it and now are back to help people like you. Join the group to find out what's helped seasoned members get through the recovery months.