Even the smallest dental procedures like filling in cavities or root canal require recovery time. When you leave your dentist’s office after your session, you’re most likely armed with a list of do’s and don’ts. The same goes for breast augmentation. On the surface, it has become so common (more than 1 million women had it in the last three years) that it gives off the impression that it’s easy to recover from. While your recovery time can vary depending on how your surgery was performed, there are still some things you should abide by to facilitate faster recovery.
What to Expect After the Surgery
If your doctor performed the procedure via submuscular local anesthesia, you can expect to walk out in 15-30 minutes. Since the anesthesia is still in effect, you won’t feel any pain.
Anesthesia usually wears off after 4 to 6 hours. This is the point where you should take your pain medication to prevent any gap in pain relief. Take the medication as prescribed until you’re done. If you were under general anesthesia, you’ll be monitored closely following the surgery and released after a few hours. The same pain medication rule applies.
No matter what, you’ll likely experience soreness and swelling for a few days. You’ll wear an ACE wrap or other bandages for 72 hours and a sports bra for a couple weeks.
Activities to Refrain from
You obviously shouldn’t do any heavy lifting for up to six weeks after the surgery.
Smoking doesn’t mix well with anything health-related, especially post-surgery. Nicotine makes blood vessels shrink and lowers oxygen levels in the blood. This can get in the way of your surgical wounds healing.
Any supplements and medications you’re on should be discussed prior to your surgery. Only your doctor can decide whether they’ll cause any complications.
Alcohol consumption after breast augmentation is often debated, but pain medication and alcohol don’t mix. If you no longer need pain medication, ask your doctor if it’s safe to consume alcohol.
It’s important to keep your follow-up appointments. Your doctor will check for signs of irritation, infection, or hematoma, where your blood collects outside the blood vessels. He/she may also go over other types of regimen (e.g. massage) to help avoid complications.
You need to consider your recovery timeline before your breast augmentation procedure. This depends largely on the type of job you have and how much time you can take off.
You might want to consider the timing of your surgery and factor in your recovery. Are you getting your breasts augmented before a special event, like a wedding, a vacation, or a reunion? Give yourself plenty of time.
Even if the surgery seems simple and you walk out in 15 minutes, it’s not wise to put your body through strenuous activities. Your doctor will advise you not to life any heavy objects for at least a week.
6 weeks is generally the earliest time you look “normal,” but 2 to 4 months will probably put your mind at ease more.