Breast Augmentation Post-Op Care
Good breast augmentation post-op care can mean the difference between a quick, uneventful return to a patient’s normal routine and one that is hampered by unexpected complications. For this reason, during the first few days after breast augmentation surgery, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, West County Plastic Surgeons recommends that our St. Louis patients follow our specific breast augmentation post-op care instructions so that they improve their chances of experiencing a routine recovery, avoiding preventable complications, and achieving the beautiful results they desire.
At West County Plastic Surgeons we provide all of our breast enhancement patients with clear, easy-to-understand instructions for breast augmentation post-op care to help them quickly and safely return to their everyday routine and begin to show off their new figure. To reduce your chances of complications in the days following surgery, read and closely follow the breast augmentation post-op care instructions below. If you have any questions about these instructions or would like answers to questions not addressed in the breast augmentation post-op care instructions included here, board-certified plastic surgeons Drs. Terry Myckatyn and Marissa Tenenbaum will be happy to address them during your initial consultation or in any subsequent office visit.
Breast Augmentation Aftercare Instructions for St. Louis Patients
The first few days following surgery, your breast augmentation post-op care should focus on getting plenty of rest, relaxing, listening to your body, and pampering yourself. For the first 24 to 48 hours, you should also arrange for help from a family member or friend. Above and beyond that, we recommend that you follow the breast augmentation post-op care instructions below to ensure the greatest chance of a successful recovery. For long-term recovery and what to expect, see our breast augmentation recovery timeline.
Breast Augmentation Post-Op Care: Medications
- Nausea: Your breast augmentation post-op care starts immediately after surgery. Because the procedure is typically performed with the patient under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, you should be able to return home following surgery. Once the anesthesia begins to wear off, some patients may experience nausea and vomiting. As part of your breast augmentation post-op care, you will receive a prescription for anti-nausea medication, which can be taken once every six hours to control symptoms for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Pain: Once the anesthesia wears off, you may also begin to experience pain around the surgical area as your body begins to heal. So that you remain as comfortable as possible, you will receive a prescription for pain medication. However, for optimal breast augmentation post-op care, we recommend that patients try to manage their pain with cold compresses and over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If these do not provide adequate relief, you should take the minimum dose of prescription pain medication necessary to ease your symptoms.
During breast augmentation post-op care, remember not to drink alcohol or drive while taking prescription pain medication because it can make you feel drowsy or dizzy, and combining it with alcohol can exacerbate these effects and possibly damage your liver. Taking pain medication for an extended period can also cause constipation, so we recommend also taking an over-the-counter stool softener.
Finally, do not take any products containing aspirin because aspirin thins the blood, interferes with blood coagulation, and can slow the healing process.
- Muscle cramping: For muscle aches and cramping, your breast augmentation post-op care will include a prescription for a muscle relaxant, which can relieve muscle-related discomfort, especially in your back, neck, chest, or shoulders. If you are taking pain medication, wait at least one hour after taking it before you take the muscle relaxant. This will help decrease any drowsiness or disorientation you may experience. Do not drive or drink alcohol while taking this medication.
- Wound infection: You will receive a prescription antibiotic to prevent infection at or around the surgical site, a best practice for breast augmentation post-op care.
Breast Augmentation Aftercare: Activity, Sleep, and Personal Hygiene
- Activity: Although you should try to sit, stand, and walk around by the evening of your surgery—doing so helps prevent blood clots—your breast augmentation post-op care includes no activity beyond this for the first few days. You should also restrict arm movements, including supporting yourself or lifting yourself up in bed. In addition, you will not be allowed to lift objects heavier than five pounds, so if you have young children, it is imperative to have someone to help you accomplish tasks around the home. By the end of the week, many patients who have closely followed their breast augmentation post-op care instructions are able to return to everyday activities or work, as long as their job does not require lifting or strenuous physical activity. Only your surgeon can give you permission to resume exercise, so wait for his or her green light before doing so.
- Sleep: For optimal healing, you will be instructed to sleep on your back, not your stomach or sides, for many weeks.
- Personal hygiene: Your breast augmentation post-op care will also include instructions about bathing, handling wound dressings, and wearing surgical bras. On the second day following surgery, you may remove your bandage, but not the steri-strip bandages along the incision. At this time you may shower, carefully patting dry the bandages. No baths, hot tubs, or swimming will be allowed for many weeks. During your recovery, you will likely wear a special breast augmentation recovery bra designed to support your implants and aid in healing.
This general overview of your breast augmentation post-op care will be supplemented with detailed information specific to your surgery and your needs. To schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, request your appointment online, email us or phone our St. Louis office at (314) 996-8800