For women who dreamt of having voluptuous and perfectly shaped breasts, a breast augmentation procedure can be the answer to their life-long prayers. However, for those who neglected their post-operative instructions, their dreams can quickly turned into unspeakable nightmares. Like other procedures, the post-operative care is crucial to a quick and safe recovery of the patient and prevents complications that could arise from not following the instructions of the doctor carefully.
Right After the Procedure
Ample amount of rest is very crucial for a speedy recovery after the procedure. So as soon as you get home, take a two-hour nap. Rest the whole day and sleep again as soon as it becomes your bedtime. This process should be completed for four to six weeks.
The prescribed antibiotics should be taken within your first two hours at home or when you wake up from the prescribed sleep and proceed to follow the prescribed instructions on the bottle closely. Just make sure to take the medicine with something in your stomach.
It is expected for the patient to feel nausea from the anesthesia so do not panic when this happens. Besides, this normally takes place in the first few hours after your procedure, specifically while you are asleep.
The Morning After
The first thing to do in the morning is to eat breakfast and take the prescribed pain reliever. After 30 minutes, take a shower. Your arms should be put above your head in a slow clapping motion after you shower. The arms should be straight all the way up while the back of the hands should touch each other. Do this five times and then another set of five every hour.
At this point, it is encouraged for the patient to get out and perform light activities. Normal movement shall encourage the proper healing of the procedure. But since you just had an operation, expect to be a bit drained by noon. Make arrangements for your convenient return to your house. Get a nap once you are at home and then get out again since more movement equals a better feeling.
As you take a bath, you might notice that your scars might be reddened. This is a normal occurrence, which may or may not happen with all patients.
Below are the other concerns that you have to be aware of after your breast augmentation surgery.
Lower energy level is to be expected in the first few days after the procedure. For some, the operation can take more of a toll on the body than what one expects, which make rest a critical factor for the efficient healing of the patient.
There are several types of medication that post-op patients are prescribed to take and should be taken strictly upon doctor’s orders. Bellow is a list of such medication and some must-know information for them.
Pain medication can be taken regularly, but you ought to take certain precautions if you smoke, drink, or drive. It may make you feel drowsy, or it might even cause an upset stomach. For some people, pain medication makes them constipated, which can be remedied by drinking more water, eating a high fiber diet, or a stool softener medication.
Muscle relaxants are normally given to post-op patients for muscle cramping of the back, chest, neck or shoulders. What is important to note is that it should not be taken with pain relievers because this might cause excessive sedation. Take them at least an hour apart to prevent drowsiness or disorientation. When choosing the specific medications to take for whatever body part is concerned, use the pain medication for breast pain and the muscle relaxant for the shoulders, neck, and back.
Take these for the next five days after surgery. Augmentin is a popular brand, but take something else if you are allergic to penicillin.
The strongest and latest anti-nausea brand out there is Zofran which you can take every six hours on the day of the surgery, and the day after. By then, the effects of the anesthesia would’ve worn off, rendering other anti-nausea medications unnecessary.
Medications to Avoid
Do not take aspirin, or aspirin-containing medications, within the first ten days after the surgery. For headaches, your best bet would be Tylenol. However, be reminded that pain medications also contain Tylenol and taking them at the same time could create the risk of permanent damage to the liver. It would be best to check the labels carefully and be aware of the amount of medication that goes in your body.
While it is recommended for the patient to be up and about to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs, you should not perform lifting heavy weights (20 pounds and up), exercising, running, bicycling, tennis, golf, and dancing. The only activities that you are supposed to do are walking, climbing the stairs, sitting, and standing. For all other movements, seek your doctor for approval.
Because you may feel nauseated due to the anesthesia used, you might want to keep your diet limited to liquids and mild foods like jelly, mashed potatoes and soups. You may eat more as time progresses and there is no sign of nausea anymore.
The bandage can be removed two days after the surgery and will have a three-inch square piece of Telfa dressing right over your incision. On top of the incision, you will find smaller tape bandages called Steri-strips, which are slightly adherent to your skin and acts as protection for the healing incision. Once they start to peel off from the incision, you can gently clip the peeled up edges but do not rip them off of your incision to prevent bleeding.
Showering and Dressings
Take a shower once you feel comfortable after your first nap. This will loosen things up and wipe away the fog that came from the anesthesia. As you enter the shower, remove the horizontal tape and white gauze pads that the tape is hanging onto your skin. There are vertical Steri-strips under the horizontal tape. It is all right to wet them. After showering, let the Steri-strips dry. Should there be any drainage or leakage, put more gauze pads over the Steri-strips.
Soft bras or sports bras are allowed for use after the operation, but avoid the ones with underwires are those that are designed to compress the breasts a lot. They will disallow the proper settlement of the implants and might even cause them to remain too high permanently. Avoid these type of bras for six weeks.
Massaging of the Breasts
There are cases when massaging the breasts can actually promote the healing process. Though it is not needed for everyone who have gone through the procedure, it does stimulate the healing of the breasts. Please consult the doctor for the right way of doing this to prevent the complications that might arise from doing it incorrectly.