With the first silicone breast implants being invented in 1961, this breast augmentation procedure has gone on to become one of the oldest and most common cosmetic procedures currently being performed. Those that elect to go forward with the procedure tend to do it with the hope that they are more visually appealing to others or themselves. If you’re considering this surgical procedure, there will be questions that arise regarding recovery, pain, time off from work and scar expectations. While most breast implant procedures tend to be very quick with some patients even being able to go home the same day, this isn’t the case for all patients.
Breast implant surgery can last for up to two or three hours with general anesthesia being used. The recovery process requires that patients be helped on their way back home, as opposed to driving themselves, because they can be a bit loopy as the anesthesia wears off. It is also required that someone is present to help the patient during the first few days after the procedure as there will be lots of pain and discomfort.
One of the first concerns in the recovery process is almost always the scarring. At the end of the day, this is a cosmetic procedure and the patient prefers to look good to others. If there is a good amount of scarring, the procedure will probably be considered somewhat of a botched or sloppy job. This all depends on the technique used by the doctor. Where the incisions are made will also dictate just how bad the soreness will be post-surgery. After the first two days, it is expected to feel heavy in the chest.
Though it is recommended that the patient take it easy and rest on the first day, the person is expected to begin to move around, go for a short walk and even shower after the first day. Patients will need up to a week of rest before they go back to work. However, with the current pandemic keeping many people working at home, it is okay to return to work the very next day as long as the person is working at home. This isn’t required but it is an option available to the patient. After three weeks, a slow and steady return to an exercise routine is fine but it is required that the patient refrain from all strenuous activities and/or heavy lifting during this period. After six weeks, the patient can return to normal activities as there will be no restrictions put in place. This will also be a good time to begin shopping for new bras and tops with some swelling expected to go down by this point.
One of the more pressing issues is the expectation of pain and the intensity of it. This is best compared to an intense workout as there will be soreness throughout the process. This will slowly ease with time and past patient feedback has shown that it isn’t as bad as many thought it would be before the surgery. It is imperative that patients listen to the instructions from their doctor as the many restrictions they put in place will help make the recovery easier and free of complications. Heavy activity will cause more blood circulation which can cause bleeding and further complications with the recovery.
After this procedure, doctors will recommend that the patient stay away from chest exercises (such as the chest press) to avoid breast implant malposition. It is also highly recommended to avoid underwire bras until given permission to wear them again by the doctor. The surgical bra (which will reduce swelling and provide support) will most likely be the recommended option.
Throughout the recovery process, it is best to plan ahead and refrain from doing too many activities. As stated before, having someone to help the first night is important but also the patient should try to make it easier on themselves by making sure there are a lot of easy to make meals ready to go to keep the person from having to go out for food. Eliminating stress on the body, especially in the first week of recovery, is going to go a long way in helping the recovery process. It is recommended to wear loose fitting shirts with the surgical bra on as it will be easier to put on and remove.
Smoking will hinder the recovery process. Blood is critical to the healing process and smoking (in particular) reduces blood flow.
When all is said and done, eliminating any chances of recovery complications while getting much needed rest will put the mind at ease. It is very important for the patient to ask the doctor any pressing questions and for the doctor to be as transparent as possible when answering questions throughout the entire process. These steps will lead to a better outcome and a happy patient with renewed confidence and an enhanced breast contour as well.