Once your surgery is completed, you must follow all the instructions given to you in order to heal properly and have a good outcome.
The following instructions are your obligation. Use this as a checklist of progress as you heal. Included are normal post-surgical experiences and key health considerations that may be a cause of concern.
Normal Post-Operative Symptoms
- Tightness in the chest region and stiffness. Tingling, burning or intermittent shooting pain
These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue stretch to accommodate your implants, and as sensory nerves heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. If you have drains, you may experience additional localized discomfort
Consistent sharp pain should be reported to our office immediately.
- Hypersensitivity of nipples or lack of sensitivity
This is normal and will gradually resolve over time. You may also experience a small amount of fluid or milk seeping through the nipples.
If this becomes painful or excessive notify our office immediately.
- A feeling of heaviness
It is normal for your chest to feel heavy as you adjust to you implants. This will subside within 2-4 weeks following surgery.
- Shiny skin or any itchy feeling
Swelling can cause the breasts skin to appear shiny. As the healing process advances, you may also find a mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness
If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact our office immediately.
- Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently
Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal. Although no two breasts in nature or following surgery are perfectly symmetrical, breast massage and time will produce breasts that are similar in shape, position and size.
- A sloshing sound or sensation
This is not the result of your saline implant filler, but rather of air that is trapped in the implant pocket and fluid that may naturally accumulate. This is perfectly normal and will resolve within 2-4 weeks.
Call the office immediately if you experience any of the following
- A high fever, (over 101 degrees) severe nausea and vomiting, continued dizziness or incoherent behavior, such as hallucinations.
- Any pain that cannot be controlled by your pain medication.
- Bright red skin that is hot to the touch.
- Excessive bleeding or fluid seeping from the nose or mouth.
- A severely misshapen appearance, excessive bruising or fluid retention that is localized to the side of your face or nose.
Day of surgery instructions
- You will only be released to the care of a responsible adult. All of these instructions must be clear to the adult who will monitor your health and support you, around the clock in the first 24 hours following surgery.
- Recline with your head and chest slightly elevated above your lower body
- Good nutrition
Fluids are critical following surgery. Stick to non-carbonated, non-alcoholic, caffeine-free and green tea-free beverages including fruit juices and water, milk and yogurt drinks. You must consume at least 8 ounces of fluid every 2 hours. Stick with soft, bland, nutritious food for the first 24 hours.
- Take all medication, exactly as prescribed
Oral pain medication, antibiotics and other medications.
- Wear a support bra or your surgical garment around the clock
Follow the instructions specifically and wear this garment at all times.
- Begin your breast massage
exactly when and as defined.
- Do not smoke
Smoking can greatly impair your safety prior to surgery and you ability to heal following surgery. You must not smoke.
- Do not engage in any stressful activities. Do not lift your hands over your head. Do not lift anything heavier than a paperback book. Take care of no one, and let others tend to you.
Two To Seven Days Following Surgery
During this time you will progress with each day that passes. Ease into your daily activities. You will receive clearance to begin driving or return to work at your post-operative visit..
- Continue to cleanse wounds as directed; you may shower
Take a warm, not hot shower. Do not take a bath. Limit your shower to 10 minutes. Do not remove any steri-strips. Do not rub your incisions. Apply a fragrance free moisturizer to breast and surrounding skin, however not on your incisions.
- Take antibiotic medications and supplements as directed
Take pain medication and muscle relaxants only as needed. You may wish to switch from prescriptive pain medication to acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Continue your breast massage. Wear your bra around the clock.
- Do not resume any exercise other than regular walking
Walking is essential every day to prevent the formation of blood clots.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Do not smoke. Do not consume alcohol.
One To Four Weeks Following Surgery
As you resume your normal daily activities, you must continue proper care and healing.
- Continue your breast massage and wound care as directed
- Refrain from weight-bearing exercise, twisting or lifting anything over your head
No tennis, golf, softball or other sports with similar swinging motions. Avoid aerobic exercise that may cause a lot of bounce. You may begin range of motion exercises but not with any weight, pressure or resistance of any kind.
- Do not smoke
While incisions may have sealed, smoking deprives your body of necessary oxygen that can result in poorly healed, wide, raised scars.
- Continue to wear a proper support bra
The bra you first wore following surgery may feel somewhat loose. You may replace it, howeverÂ no under wires for 6 weeks. You may sleep without a bra; however a camisole with built-in shelf support can be comfortable and provides added support as you continue to heal.
- You may sleep flat
However do not sleep on your stomach. If you are a side sleeper, a soft pillow under your mid-back and shoulders may offer more comfort and support than a single pillow under your head.
- Practice good sun protection
Do not expose your breasts to direct sunlight. If you are outdoors, apply at least an SPF 30 to the chest area at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Your chest region and breast skin are highly susceptible to sunburn or the formation of irregular, darkened pigmentation.
- Follow-up with any breast implant manufacturer paperwork and warranty as necessary.
Six weeks following surgery
Healing will progress and your breasts will settle into a more final shape and position.
- You may ease into your regular fitness routine
However realize that your upper body may require some time to return to previous strength.
- Continue your breast massage
- You may resume wearing under wires
- Discomfort or tightness and tingling will resolve
Any lingering nipple sensitivity or lack of sensation should begin to greatly improve.
- No need to resume smoking
You have now gone 10 weeks (4 weeks prior to surgery and 6 weeks following) without a cigarette. For your long-term health, there is no need to resume smoking.
Your first year
- Continue your breast massage, and practice monthly breast self exam
- Continue healthy nutrition, fitness and sun protection
- Your scars will continue to refine
If they become raised, red or thickened, or appear to widen, contact our office. Early intervention is important to achieving well-healed scars. Scars are generally refined to fine incision lines one year after surgery.
- A one-year post surgery follow-up is required
However you may call our office at any time with your concerns or for needed follow-up.
- If your breasts develop an unusually hard feeling, or a highly rounded squeezed appearance, call us as soon as possible
You may be developing capsular contracture. Early treatment is the best solution.
Your second, third and fourth years
- A two-year post surgery follow-up is required to assess the condition of your implants
This consists of a physical examination; an MRI may be recommended if it is suspected your implant shell has been compromised. However you may call our office at any time with your concerns or for needed follow-up.
Your fifth year
- A five-year post surgery follow-up is required to assess the condition of your implants
This consists of a physical examination and an MRI. However you may call our office at any time with your concerns or for needed follow-up.
Remember, breast implants are not lifetime devices.
If your implants should rupture, or you suspect an implant is leaking, call our office as soon as possible.
Your body will change with age
The appearance of your breasts will change too. You may wish to have your implants replaced or to undergo revision surgery to help maintain your appearance throughout life. Contact our office with any of your questions or concerns, at any time.
In addition, you should discuss antibiotic options
with our office if you plan on having any extensive dental work or any invasive procedure at any time that you have implants in your body.