Patients who undergo breast augmentation may be eager to enjoy and show off their new look. After all, they have made the very important decision to enhance their appearance, so why not enjoy it as soon as possible? The truth is that although breast augmentation is a safe procedure, it is still a major surgical procedure, and patients need to give themselves time to properly heal. Understanding the full healing process following a breast augmentation procedure is the first step to a successful recovery.
Immediate Post-surgical Healing
As a general rule, the immediate post-surgical healing period will last for 24 to 48 hours. Patients should arrange to have somebody else stay with them during these first critical days during which they may still be feeling the after effects of anesthesia, including possible nausea and vomiting. Activity should be kept to a minimum during this period.
Patients may experience bruising, soreness, and swelling of the breasts during the first few weeks following a breast augmentation surgical procedure. Patients can return to normal exercise and activities upon the advice of their cosmetic surgeon. Patients will be given medications to help reduce pain, promote healing, and reduce the chances of infection. These should be taken as instructed by the surgeon. There will also be instructions on how to care for any surgical drains or dressings.
Care must be taken not to abrade or pull at any of the sutures or incisions. It is also important to minimize any movement or pressure on the breasts while they are still healing. Two ways to help with this are to wear a supportive bra (a sports bra is best) that reduces movement of the breasts and to sleep on the back for the first two weeks following surgery. Patients should also avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds for the first week or two following breast augmentation surgery.
Once the incisions are fully healed over, a moisturizing lotion containing shea butter can be applied to the breasts. This will help reduce itching and skin flakiness while the scars are healing. It may even reduce the final appearance of scars.
If patients experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, they should seek medical attention right away. Hospitalization or other additional treatment may be required in the rare event that complications occur.
At the end of three months, the breast implants should be settled into their final position. At this time, patients should be able to return completely to their normal routine, including exercise. By the end of six months, the incision scars should be fully healed and barely noticeable. At this time, the final results of the breast augmentation surgical procedure will have taken effect.
The most important thing for patients to realize is that recovery from any surgery takes time. This is no different for breast augmentation surgery. While patients may be eager to show off their new appearance, they need to be patient and give their body time to fully heal. Otherwise, they risk infection, poor wound healing, and the possibility of a second corrective procedure. Taking it easy can help prevent these complications.
Contact the Dallas practice of Dr. Paul Pin to schedule a breast augmentation consultation and learn more about the healing process.