Recovering from Breast Augmentation
Below you will find all the necessary information to ensure that your recovery after breast augmentation surgery is as comfortable, and successful as possible.
Immediately after surgery
Having a general anaesthetic can take a few days to recover, you may feel a little slower and not “yourself” after your surgery. It is important to arrange in advance for someone to drive you home from the hospital and to assist in the following days after your operation.
Immediate after-effects and discharge from the hospital
Following your breast augmentation operation you will normally be able to return home within two or three hours, after a postoperative check in the hospital by Dr. Beldholm.
You will receive a prescription for pain medications that can be taken at home.
Surgical garment, dressings, and stitches
A specially fitted surgical garment and Breast Band will be provided for you to wear for 4-6 weeks following your surgery. Dressings will be in place and will be removed by a nurse during your appointment in Dr Beldholm’s rooms. It is important not to remove dressings unless instructed to do so by Dr. Beldholm. Stitches inserted during surgery are internal and will dissolve over the following months.
As you are still in the recovery phase of the operation when discharged, it’s important to arrange in advance for someone to drive you home and assist you following your operation. Most patients can resume driving approximately two weeks after surgery, but before you attempt to drive, ensure you can turn to check over both shoulders, and can manoeuvre the car safely without discomfort.
You are encouraged to go for short walks as soon as possible after surgery to prevent complications and to ensure blood flow quickly returns to normal.
Most patients may shower within 24-48 hours. Keep the white tape/clear dressing on your incisions and have your back to the shower. Pat dry the dressing and incision area, and put your surgery bra and band on after showering.
NOTE: It is common to faint if you have a hot shower in the first day after your surgery, it is therefore recommended that you have someone with you that can assist you during the first 48 hours after surgery. If you feel faint during your shower make sure that you sit down to avoid injury.
Baths should be avoided for 1 week. After this time it is fine to bathe all of the area outside of the bra. You may want to even have your hair washed and styled, but you should not do it yourself in the first week after surgery.
You will leave the hospital wearing a surgical compression garment and breast band. The garments are designed to minimise swelling and bruising and provide support to your breasts. This should be worn day and night for four weeks, then for two weeks during the day as support; but you can remove it for showering.
You will need to sleep on your back for four weeks following surgery. You may tilt yourself slightly to the side after one week, but do not sleep on your tummy for six weeks. There is no need to sleep elevated on pillows or in a reclining chair.
Exercise and activity following surgery
Arm elevation is recommended directly after the procedure. Stretching the pectoralis muscle once every hour during the first 24 hours after the procedure minimises postoperative pain in sub-muscular implantation.
Activity in the first week
You can do low-impact physical activity with light activities such as short walks or light home duties: no vacuuming, hanging clothes on the line, carrying heavy clothes baskets or bending to pick things up.
Arousal after breast augmentation surgery can cause the nipples to swell, so it’s best to avoid sexual activity for at least a week. Only light contact with your breasts is advised for four weeks.
Sports and vigorous physical activity should be avoided for approximately 3 weeks. Following this initial healing phase you can resume sports, but all sports that exert tension on the scar, or too much implant movement, such as serving in tennis or trampoline bouncing, should be avoided for 3 months. Vigorous stretching perpendicular to the scar may widen it during this period.
What to expect after your surgery
Pain and healing
Your dressings are removed a day or two after breast augmentation surgery, though patients continue wearing a supportive bra around the clock for several weeks until the swelling and bruising subside.
Following surgery, patients feel some pain for the first couple of days, especially when moving around or coughing. Although most patients are up and about in a day or two, it’s common for breasts to ache occasionally and/or for lower rib pain to be present for a couple of weeks afterwards.
It is also common for a ‘squeaky’ or ‘cracking’ noise to be present after surgery, as air may be trapped in the breast tissue when the implant is inserted. This will gradually fade in the initial few weeks.
Full recovery will take up to one month.
Because the postoperative swelling is pulled down by gravity, your abdomen may look a little swollen or bruised. Swelling may also cause some loss of feeling in the nipples and breast skin, but this generally fades over six weeks.
Your first menstruation after the operation may cause swollen and painful breasts or random, shooting pains, as the nerves recover and your breasts settle.
Bleeding or severe pain
Please do not hesitate to call Dr. Beldholm’s office on 4934 5700 (in hours) if you have any unusual symptoms, such as odour, bleeding or severe pain. If you have urgent concerns out of hours, please call our emergency number on 0499 588 444.
Return to work
Most patients can return to non-manual work and social activities in about one week. If your work requires strong physical activity, you should plan for 3-4 weeks of recovery time.
Wearing a bra
After four weeks of wearing your compression garments, you may commence wearing an underwire bra. Dr. Beldholm recommends a special soft surgical or athletic bra for maximum support.
To optimise your surgical results, it’s best to stop smoking for at least four weeks after surgery.
Post op appointments
After discharge from the hospital and, if possible, the next day in our clinic.
As well as further review appointments with our nurse for dressings.We recommend a course of LED light therapy postoperatively, as this will improve healing time. Please refer to your LED light therapy information sheet.
Routine follow-up appointments are to be made by the patient with Dr. Beldholm at one, three, six, and twelve months after surgery.