Breast augmentation is a life-changing procedure that elicits life-long results and a major boost in self-confidence. While most patients understand the basics of the procedure and the different methods available, the recovery process still bewilders many. Whatever method is used in a breast augmentation procedure, all patients want to ensure that they have the smoothest recovery process possible.
Following these guidelines will help patients have a positive recovery experience after their breast augmentation procedure.
Refrain from wearing underwire bras for at least 6 weeks following the procedure
While most patients will naturally avoid wearing uncomfortable bras or other garments after their breast operation, there is actually a medical reason behind it. Not only do underwire bras exacerbate the discomfort associated with swollen, tender breasts, but they also irritate the skin and incision sites. When the wire in these bras rubs against the sutures, it can cause increased pain and inhibit the healing process.
It goes without saying that sports bras or any other type of bra that is lighter on the skin and doesn’t put pressure on the breasts are the optimal choices as your body heals. It is often recommended that patients wait at least 10 weeks before going back to wearing underwire bras.
Refrain from submerging into water
Patients must avoid submerging their incisions into the water until they have fully healed. This is simply due to the fact that water in a bath or pool can expose the recently sutured skin to unwanted bacteria, leading to an infection. These infections could ultimately cause complications and impede the healing process. Taking a warm shower is considered to be the optimal choice, as it is far less likely to result in an infection.
Refrain from drinking and smoking
With breast augmentation procedures, patients are always advised to quit or temporarily stop smoking and drinking leading up to the procedure. This same principle holds true throughout the healing process, as smoking and drinking lower the immune system and inhibit the body’s ability to recover.
Cigarette smoke prevents the blood from carrying oxygen to the incision sites, which is a vital part of the healing process. Alcohol can also dehydrate the body, making it more susceptible to bleeding, infections, and drug interactions.
Only sleep on your back
Following a breast augmentation procedure, it is highly recommended that patients sleep on their backs, especially if the procedure involved implants to enhance the size of the breasts. While some patients might feel more comfortable sleeping on their stomachs or sides, these positions can negatively impact implants by causing them to sag or droop. These positions will also cause patients discomfort, as the breasts and nipples are incredibly tender following the operation.
Refrain from engaging in any vigorous upper-body workouts or heavy lifting
For the first six weeks following a breast augmentation procedure, the breasts and incisions are in a potentially volatile state. For this reason, patients should avoid picking up anything 20 lbs or heavier, including children. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercises can increase the patient’s chance of bleeding. It can also put them at risk for developing hematomas, which are blood vessels that leak into the surrounding breast tissue.
What is the takeaway?
Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures available today, and its pervasiveness has made it incredibly safe. Following the practitioner’s guidelines after the procedure is a surefire way to get the most out of the treatment and achieve the desired outcome. As with any procedure, patients should seek out an experienced, qualified surgeon to carry out their breast augmentation procedure.