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Breast Augmentation and Breast Surgery Recovery Information

 

                                 

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After you wake up from your breast augmentation surgery, you will be taken into a recovery room where you will be monitored by a nurse until you are released from the surgery center. The nurse will be taken your vitals - blood pressure, pulse, etc. to make sure you are coming out of the anesthesia alright. This normally takes at least a couple of hours. Waking up from the anesthesia you might feel as though there is extreme pressure or discomfort on your chest (or as we commonly call it – an elephant sitting on your chest).  

Post Surgical Recovery Tips

 

 

 

Most plastic surgeons will typically numb the surgical area with a local or an Inter-costal Nerve Block immediately before the procedure which is extremely effective in reducing immediate post-operative discomfort. An inter-costal block is an injection of a local anesthetic (like Novocain) in the area between two ribs where the inter-costal nerve is located. This helps lessen the pain once the patient awakens from the procedure. The majority of patients who have received the Inter-costal Nerve Block are able to greatly decrease their reliance on the narcotic pain medication and transition to non-narcotic pain medications within 24-48 hours following surgery.

 

 

 

 

If your plastic surgeon has felt that it is best for you to have drains then when you wake up you will see some tiny thin tubing placed in your incisions to drain any excess fluid.  Drains give the excess fluid build up from the surgery a place to escape, so that healing is not compromised.  Most plastic surgeons do a simple breast augmentation without drains, however if the surgeon had unexpected bleeding during the surgery – then sometimes it is best for the patient to have drains.  The more extensive work that is done in the surgery the more likely you are probably going to have a drain. 

 

                            

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                                                 Image of a Jackson-Pratt Drain

 

These drains are left in place from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the amount of fluid that is being collected.  You will be given simple instructions on how to empty these drains by your plastic surgeon.  More than likely your doctor will ask you to monitor how much fluid you are draining from the surgical site and to keep a record of this so that he can keep track of your drainage. The drains are removed anywhere from your first post op appointment to a couple of weeks after your surgery. The drain tube is pulled out gently and usually there is no pain associated with this at all.

 

 

 

 

If you have elected to have a pain pump for the first 48-72 hours, then you will also see the tiny thin tubing or catheter that is attached to the actual device delivering the medication directly to the surgical site.  The pain medication is delivered through the tiny thin tubing/catheter to the actual procedure site and keeps the area numb.  Pain pumps are portable and can be worn anywhere; however cannot get wet. The two most common pain pumps that are used are either On-Q Pain Pump or Stryker Pain Pump.  Having the option of a pain pump runs approximately $300 extra over and above your surgery costs. The patients who do elect to have this option of the pain pump, rave about how much easier recovery is.

 

   Image courtesy of OnQ Pain Pump

How an On-Q Pain Pump Works

 

 

Awakening from anesthesia seems to affect everyone differently. You might experience some blurred vision and your emotions might be on overload ranging from being highly emotional to laughing and giggling. 

During the surgery, your plastic surgeon uses epinephrine to help control some of the bleeding.  This is a vasoconstrictor, which once introduced into your system tends constricts the blood vessels.  Once you awaken from the procedure you might experience some shivering and feeling very cold. This is all normal and will pass as you start to come around after awakening.  The anesthesia can also make you feel very sick to your stomach, but most of the time the anesthesiologist will give you an anti-enemic in your IV to stop the nausea.

 

 

 

 

Depending on what procedures you had done, will predicate on what you will wear home after your surgery. 

There are various ways that a patient might go home in:

  • A bra with no under-wires

  • Ace wrap with no bra

  • No bra - just tape on the incisions

  • Strap with or without a bra

  • A compression garment with or without a bra

 

Most patients however will wake up wearing some sort of support bra that was either purchased before surgery or supplied by your plastic surgeon. Try to find a comfortable cotton bra with a front closure with no under-wires would be a great choice.  Wearing under-wire bras tend to push the implant up high and prevent them from settling into place. Post-Operative care does involve the use of wearing the proper compression garments. 

 

                                  

Compression garments or surgical bras and where they can be located

Most of the time the breast does need to be supported and positioned correctly – and certain compression garments can help in the actual healing process as well.   Most plastic surgeons will tell the individual patient when it is time for them to wear an under-wire bra; some are given the okay at 6 - 8 weeks post operatively.  Each patient is different with their post op instructions regarding this, but the best advice is not to wear an under-wire bra until you have been given the okay by your plastic surgeon.    

 

 

 

 

You will be feeling very tired and somewhat stiff and sore for a number of days following surgery, typically days three and four being the most painful; however the oral pain medication that is given to you does help tremendously. The breast area will remain swollen and sensitive to physical contact for at least a month or more. A feeling of tightness in the breast area is very common, as your skin adjusts to your new breast size.  It is imperative that a responsible adult will be available to care for you during the first 24 hours following surgery, so that they can monitor your condition and help you in anyway necessary.

 

Some other side effects of this procedure may include the following: 

  • Breast tenderness

  • Swelling and minor bruising

  • Regional tightness or discomfort

  • Heightened or lack of nipple sensation

  • Redness, discomfort or itching at the incision sites

 

Discomfort with breast augmentation is to be expected – and the severity of the pain depends on the patient’s own personal pain threshold. Mild to severe pain can last for a few days up to several weeks. The length and duration of the discomfort a patient is experiencing is directly related to placement and the size of the implants. Patients who have sub-pectoral placement (under the muscle) tend to have more intense pain than the patients who elect to have their implants placed sub-glandular. And the larger the implant, the more stretching the pectoralis muscle must do to accommodate this device.

It helps tremendously to sleep on your back in a more upright position for the first few days following surgery. One member on our forum has used the Bed Lounge for her recovery, and it helped her tremendously with sleeping. You can also create a pillow fort out of several pillows to help support you as you rest.  Elevation of the upper body and chest reduces the swelling and aching of the breasts.

 

 

 

After you are discharged from the surgery center after your procedure, you will be sent home with instructions and important phone numbers to call if there is any unforeseen problem or complication that should arise.  These are important numbers to have close by, as they will be how to contact your surgeon and or the on-call surgeon.  If you experience anything that hasn’t been covered in what to expect after surgery, call the surgeon immediately.  This is why they have given you the phone numbers in the first place. 

Any elevated temperature or excessive bleeding from the incision needs to be communicated immediately to the surgeon.  You need to remember that the instruction sheet that your plastic surgeon has given you should always be adhered to.  If the instructions you are given are different that what you see on this website, do not waiver from what your plastic surgeon has told you.  Always follow your own plastic surgeon’s instructions!

 

 

 

 

Contact your plastic surgeon or his office immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Excessive bleeding from your incision

  • Uncontrollable pain (your medication that has been given isn’t helping)

  • Any discharge from the incision site or nipples

  • Foul odor coming from the surgical site (this could mean an infection)

  • Breast is hot to the touch

  • Temperature over 101 degrees

  • Bruising that is getting worse

  • Swelling or edema that is increasing in the breast (hematoma or seroma)

  • Numbness of the legs

  • Uncontrollable dizziness

  • Unable to eliminate urine or stools

  • Implant extrusion

  • Implant has slipped below the crease line (bottoming out)

  • Displacement of the implant

 

 

You should immediately GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM if any of the following occur:

  • Temperature over 104 degrees

  • Uncontrollable vomiting – or vomiting up blood

  • Dehydration

  • Blood in urine or stools

  • Severe swelling that increases the size of the breast substantially (hematoma or seroma)

  • Blackening of the skin (skin necrosis – tissue death)

  • Loss of consciousness or fainting

  • Convulsions

 

 

 

 

It is perfectly normal for a patient to experience mood swings, and feel like crying off and on, especially during the first couple of weeks.  This is to be expected as it is a normal reaction to the aftermath of major surgery, as medication and post-surgical traumatic stress syndrome can occur.  It is important during this time not to be highly critical of your newly augmented breasts, as what you are seeing in the beginning right after surgery is not necessarily what you will end up with.

Having any kind of surgery to the breast is like having two separate surgeries.   Inevitably one side will always heal faster than the other.  Your implants right out of surgery might be very high up on your chest wall (especially if you have sub-pectoral placement), and tight.  The implants will not be dropping into place for several weeks into months, so patience with all of this is the key.  The implants will fall into a more natural position with time.  Your asymmetry with your new implants might be off slightly in the beginning, and again, normally with time these issues do work themselves out. 

What you do need to remember with getting a breast augmentation is that whatever you see in the mirror before hand is basically what you will be getting after the procedure only larger.  Augmenting the breasts means that whatever flaws you have before hand might be slightly more noticeable after.  Make sure you go over your expectations of this surgery with your surgeon, so he can be on the same page as you are.  It is quite common for the two breasts to heal differently. One may swell more, one may feel more uncomfortable, or the shapes may differ initially. After complete healing, they should look remarkably similar and natural.

Some women feel depressed or regretful about having undergone breast surgery. Sometimes they do not know how to handle the attention of questions that this procedure might bring.  It is good to talk about your feelings and to know that the women on the forum here have experienced all the emotional highs and lows you might be going through, and they will help you in anyway they can along with your own plastic surgeon and his staff.  If you do feel that all of this is too much, then it would be best to seek outside help so you can resolve some of these emotions.  Most of the women who do undergo this procedure are extremely happy they did and would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

 

 

 

It is extremely important not to be sedentary in order to reduce the chance of forming blood clots in your legs, the sooner you are up and around, the better off you will be.  Some women develop back pain or muscle spasm as a result of sleeping propped up and also it is somewhat normal for the newly augmented patient to walk a little bit hunched over. The sooner you can walk with your shoulders back the better off your back will be.  If you experience back pain, a heating pack on your back will help tremendously. 

You will be instructed not to exercise strenuously for at last 4 to 6 weeks post operative. Being restricted to lifting only 5 to 10 lbs. during the recovery period is to minimize the chance of contributing to any unforeseen complication. This applies to picking up your own children.  If you do have small children, you should try to have someone to help you during the first few weeks.  No vacuuming, no ironing – nothing with a lot of arm movement will give your breast augmentation the best chance of healing.  

Strenuous exercise contributes to an elevation of blood pressure and your pulse and could cause bleeding inside the pocket where the implant is sitting. Any time you have excessive bleeding after a procedure the chances of a hematoma or seroma increase. Taking a gentle walk during the first few days after the surgery is recommended; just remember to do things in moderation.

After you have been released to get back to your exercise routine, start with light cardio and work up from there. Usually weights might be a little bit too much in the beginning, but slowly work up to your routine over a period of weeks. If you do have under the muscle placement with your implants, you might find that any exercises to the upper chest area might feel different. This is because while you are exercising the pectoralis muscle contracts around the implant and can push it up and make it appear and feel different - causing implant distortion.   

If your job is sedentary, normally returning to work is based on when you feel comfortable enough to do it. This can vary from several days to a couple of weeks after surgery. Once you are back into the swing of things at your job, start slowly and let your body tell you what it can or cannot tolerate. You will find yourself getting tired more easily, and this is from the actual trauma of having surgery and the anesthesia.

Driving after your breast augmentation will vary with different surgeons.  You should be off of all pain medication before you attempt this. Also women who have had sub-pectoral placement with their implants might be experiencing more pain than sub-glandular, so making sure you drive a car with automatic transmission will help tremendously. Usually around 4-6 days you should be ready to drive, however, make sure you ask your own individual surgeon what his recommendations for this will be.

 

 

 

 

Keeping the incisions and the sutures complete dry is of utmost importance during the first week post operatively. Most plastic surgeons do apply Steri-Strips on top of your incision line and sutures to help keep the tension off of the actual incision, so it will heal with a thin scar. You will have internal sutures as well as permanent sutures on the outside of the incision. 

The internal sutures are dissolvable sutures which will be reabsorbed into the body within 60-90 days. 

The external sutures which are blue/black in color will be removed by the surgeon usually between seven to fourteen days depending on how well you heal. Tissue Glue is another option that is being used more and more as a way of closing the incisions instead of suture material.

Each plastic surgeon will give you specific care instructions for your incisions in writing at your pre operative appointment or before you are sent home after surgery. It is important that you understand everything that is written down so you will not have any unforeseen problems as you are healing.  It is also, extremely important not to get any creams or lotions into the incision itself, as these products could cause inflammation which could lead to an infection.

 

 

 

 

Sutures (mostly the dissolvable ones) will work themselves to the surface of the incision. This happens quite commonly, and actually when a stitch does pop out, it can come to the surface with an inflamed red spot. Usually you can feel something like ‘fishing line’ around this area.  It is best to call the Plastic Surgeon when any suture makes it way to the surface for removal. You really do not want to attempt to do this yourself, as this is way that infections can start, and you have to make sure you are removing a suture that is not something that is permanent. Dissolvable sutures are usually clear color (like fishing line), and permanent sutures are dark blue in color.

There are various types of suture material that is used in closing an incision. Some patients do have problems with sutures, and some sutures are more likely to cause this than others.  Braided sutures (such as Vicryl) can cause this and, for that reason, many surgeons have switched to monofilament (unbraided) sutures, such as Monocryl or PDS.  Vicryl is an excellent and strong suture material, but it has been associated with "spitting

It is very important that if you see any discharge around this area, if the area feels inflamed or is hot to the touch.  Please call your Plastic Surgeon immediately, as this could mean that you have an infection started, and you will need to start on antibiotics immediately.

 

 

 

 

It’s important to make sure you watch your temperature after you have had surgery, as any elevation in this could mean you have a possible infection happening. Notify your surgeon of any elevation of temperature immediately.

 

                                

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It is extremely important for patients to make sure they take their antibiotics on time and that they finish off the entire prescription. By stopping the antibiotic before you are finished, you run the risk of a possible resistant infection occurring.

Keeping up with the pain medication as written will help your body overcome any break through pain episodes. Instead of waiting until you experience pain, taking pain medication at certain regular times will help keep the pain under control. It is harder to control pain once it has started. One of the most common side effects of the medication is gastrointestinal upset. This means you could have either an upset stomach or diarrhea.

 

                                    

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Side Effects of Narcotic Pain Medication

Constipation is a very common side effect of narcotic pain medications, so you may want to take a stool softener (such as Colace) around the time of surgery and after will help tremendously. Eating a lot of high fiber foods and drinking plenty of water will help get everything going again.  The sooner you are off the narcotics and sleeping tablets the better. Make sure you are not drinking alcohol at the same time you are taking narcotics. And also because narcotics can make you drowsy make sure you are not driving while still taking them.

Most plastic surgeons will prescribe an anti-enemic medication to help prevent nausea, which can be brought on by taking the antibiotics and the pain medication on an empty stomach. Make sure you take all medication with some food in your stomach, preferably something that is bland like toast, crackers, etc.

 

 

 

You will be prescribed antibiotics to take during your recovery from surgery.  Antibiotics can alter the delicate balance in your vagina by suppressing some of the "good" bacteria that keep the yeast fungus under control.  When the bacteria are suppressed, yeast can multiply rapidly and cause an infection.  If this should happen, your surgeon can prescribe some medication for you, or there are remedies that are effective over the counter.

 

 

 

 

 

                               

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More than likely your own plastic surgeon will give you a list of what he wants you to do during the recovery process. Every surgeon is different with their list of post operative instructions. Some doctors allow their patients to shower the next day after surgery, and other prefer that the incision and the sutures do not get wet at all until they are removed. These physicians usually recommend a sponge bath for the first week, so that the incision is given a chance to heal without compromising the surgical area by getting it wet. 

If your physician has allowed you to take a bath, more than likely he will not want you to get your incisions submerged under water, mainly because bath water can have bacteria in it. Using a public pool, Jacuzzi, or going into the ocean will normally not be allowed for at least 6-8 weeks post op, as swimming before then can open the patient up for infection, since the water is not free of bacteria.

After showering, you should try to keep the steri-strips paper tapes as dry as possible. The steri-strips are intended to stay on for several weeks to keep tension off of the incision so you will have a thin small scar - and getting them wet might loosen them so they come off sooner than they should.

Shampooing your hair might prove to be a little bit difficult immediately after this procedure, because you cannot raise your hands over your head right away. Either have a friend or significant other help you do this or make an appointment to go to your salon for a wash and blow dry. This will certainly make you feel 100% better.

After showering, make sure you keep all lotions, creams, etc. away from the actual surgical incision. Your skin will be dry, so just be careful around the actual incision. The chance of bacteria being introduced into the surgical area is great with products like this.

 

 

 

 

With breast augmentation it is very common to have some swelling, bruising and soreness in their breasts for several days after the procedure. Depending on any unforeseen complications, bruising can last up to several weeks. The new increased volume in the breast area from the implant and the swelling from the procedure can make your breasts feel very tight and heavy. Wearing the supportive garment that your plastic surgeon has recommended will help tremendously. 

Swelling has a tendency to migrate downward towards the abdominal area, so you might see your stomach area being very bloated looking. This is from the combination of the saline you received during the surgery and the actual swelling from the procedure. Treatment for excessive swelling includes increasing your daily fluid intake, a low sodium diet and mild exercise. Drinking enough water does help with swelling tremendously. You should not take any diuretics, not unless this was approved by your surgeon.

Bruising usually occurs with this surgery to some extent. The size of the implant and the placement might cause mild bruising. If a patient has a large painful bruise that seems to be growing, then it is very important that you contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible, as this could be a hematoma forming. Most normal bruising should subside within a couple of weeks.  

 

 

 

 

If your surgeon has told you that you are allowed to use an ice pack to help with the swelling and bruising there are a few options available. Patients have used bags of "Frozen Peas" or other vegetables and chopped fruit to help relieve some of the swelling and discomfort - which has worked out great, as the frozen vegetables have a tendency to mold itself to the surgical area. Cold therapy helps reduce swelling and bruising resulting from any type of injury. Cold therapy has also been shown to be greatly effective in reducing swelling by slowing the flow of blood and other fluids to the injured area.

 

There are also newer ice packs that you can buy at your local pharmacy, which resemble frozen peas.  They are called Peas Therapy packs - just like a bag of frozen peas, reusable "Peas" conform and sooth wherever cold therapy is needed.  Made of an innovative soft gel pea shape, provides long lasting cold relief and mold to your contours for a comfortable fit.  The outer casing stays flexible when cold.  "Peas ice packs" provides therapy for pain, discomfort, swelling and bruising.

                                                 

 

These ice packs are easily made at home and cost very little.  This mixture provides a slushy consistency inside a Ziploc baggy.

Original Recipe:

  • 1/3 Cup 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol)

  • 2/3 Cup of water

  • Pour into a Ziploc Baggy

  • Freeze and when you take them out they will be able to conform to any body part

If you want the ice packs not to thaw as quickly substitute this recipe:

  • 1/4 Cup 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol)

  • 3/4 Cup of water

  • Pour into a Ziploc Baggy

  • Freeze

You can also increase this recipe and use in larger Ziploc bags for body procedures.

 

 

 

 

Recovery from any surgery on any location of the body will have nerve regeneration occurring during the recovery process. With any surgery to the breast, the nerves regenerating will feel like a burning, tingling, and or shooting pain sensation that happens periodically during the recovery time. This is a good sign that the nerves are trying to reconnect again, so that you will have feeling back inside the breast area. It these pains are accompanied by swelling or redness, infection, and or bleeding; then you should notify your surgeon immediately is of utmost importance.

 

 

 

 

As you heal, your implants will start dropping into their prospective pockets once the pectoralis muscle stretches. Both implant placements, over the muscle and under the muscle both go through the dropping phase. It is more dramatic however; with under the muscle placement.  Dropping and fluffing can take weeks into months to finish, and it is not unusual to  sometimes take up to year to complete. Try to resist from buying too many bras in one size, as it will take a couple of months to finally determine what exact size you will end up with.  The implants go through so much changing during the first few months -  with the swelling dissipating and the muscle wall relaxing.

 

Difference of the post surgical breast versus implants that have dropped and fluffed:

        

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Some plastic surgeons, depending on the case might have you in a "strap" after surgery. The strap is placed above the breasts in a tight compression bandage which will help the breast implant to drop down into the pocket. If you are instructed to wear the strap to help with the dropping of the implants, make sure you wear it according to your surgeon's instructions. The sooner the implant drops into place, the better it is for the patient.

 

        

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                                                          Patient wearing the "strap"

 

 

 

 

Scars can take some time to fade completely. A lot has to do with the type of skin a patient might have. The most important thing to remember is to protect these scars from the ultra-violet rays of the sun or a tanning bed. Even through a bathing suit, sunlight can reach the skin and cause some damage.  Wearing a sunscreen with a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 at all times will help minimize any sun damage. The newly augmented breast skin will have reduced sensitivity after the surgery, so you have to make sure you are not getting overly exposed.

Scars begin to fade within four to six weeks; topical steroid cream or silicone gel can promote healing and reduce the chance of developing raised, red or irregular scars. While most patients heal well, scarring varies from patient to patient and is not totally predictable. One of the best scar treatments is Silicone Sheeting, as it helps with flattening and fading the scars.  Silicone Sheeting has the added benefit of adding pressure to the scars while healing, so that the scars do not become hypertrophic

The scars are going to look worse right after surgery of course. They might appear red and raised after the sutures are removed. Traditionally scar therapy normally starts after about 6 – 8 weeks post operatively. This is to ensure that the incision is completely closed.  Each plastic surgeon will have their own time-table for when it is safe for you to start using topical scar creams or Silicone Sheeting, make sure you ask your own surgeon before starting.

Retin A (Tretinoin) is a topical form of Vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself. 

Applying this to your breast augmentation scar or surgical scar after it has been completely healed and closed will help fade out the scar.  Appling paper tape over the Retin A also helps with the healing of scars. Retin A is a prescription topical cream that has to be prescribed by your physician.

If you have scars that are becoming increasingly red and raised, make sure you notify your plastic surgeon, so he may start some other treatments on you. This could be the beginning of hyper-trophic scarring or keloids.

 

 

 

 

  • “Sloshing” Sensation

You may hear and feel “sloshing” in your breast after augmentation surgery. This is not the implant, it is merely air that is trapped in the space around the implant and the natural fluid that accumulates after an operation. After a period of time, this will be absorbed by the body.

 

 

 

 

The skin of the breasts may become shiny after the procedure. This is usually caused by the swelling that occurs after surgery, and also the skin stretching tightly over the new implant that has been placed. Once the edema and swelling subside and the tissue gets done stretching, the skin will look more normal.

 

 

 

 

As the nerves try to heal and regenerate, the nipples commonly become hypersensitive. This will eventually subside with time. The sensitivity is merely a change of reaction to the breast size in surgery. All surgeons take very special care to protect nerves in the breast during surgery; however sometimes nerve paths are affected. Surgical techniques that do not directly cut or sever the nerves connecting to the nipple/areolar complex are less likely to affect sensitivity.

During breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon avoids any interference if possible with the fourth inter-costal nerve branch. This nerve branch is the one that extends to the nipple/areola complex. It has been stated that some feel that if a implant is too large, that this in itself can stretch the nerve supply and affect the actual sensitivity.

 

 

 

 

There is a slight chance of unexpected milk production following the insertion of implants. This happens because of disruption to the milk ducts during the actual breast augmentation.  If this does occur, it doesn’t last very long and usually clears up immediately. There is more information about galactorrhea in our complication and risk area.

 

 

 

 

It is not uncommon for your menstrual cycle to be altered for a month or two after you undergo surgery. The stress of the surgery and anesthesia plays havoc on your system. Your period will return to normal within a couple of months.

 

 

 

 

The body naturally forms small amount of scar tissue around foreign objects as a normal occurrence and breast implants are no exception. It the body does the job too well in a sense over-reacting to the implant, then the scar tissue contracts and compresses the implant, making it hard. The excess of constricting scar tissue results in capsular contracture. 

In a very small percentage of patients, scar tissue can become so severe that it can squeeze the implant and cause a visible deformity. Early mild cases of capsular contracture can be reduced sometimes with breast massage and the new advancements with taking oral prescription medication. Sometimes if the case of capsular contracture is too advanced, then the only alternative might be surgery. Surgery usually involves the tissue to be surgically released or removed, and the implant repositioned or replaced. 

Read more about Capsular Contracture

Implants can also become displaced, leak or rupture. If they are not replaced, the result can be disfiguring.  However, there are many plastic surgeons that have patients who have explanted their implants, and their breasts after the fact look fantastic. If you do decide that implants are not for you, then removing them doesn’t have to be traumatic. In rare instances, implants may become infected and must be removed or replaced.

 

 

 

 

Once you have had the surgery it is like being at the half way mark in a long distance race. The recovery part of this procedure takes an enormous amount of patience and fortitude, as the healing process will be changing daily. All post operative appointments are included with your final price that you paid your surgeon. More than likely, the surgeon will lay out in the post operative instructions the appointments and time you are required to come into the office, so that he or she can check your overall status with healing.  

 

  • Your First Post Operative appointment - most plastic surgeons will want to see you after 24 hours. 

This is your first post operative appointment, and it is to gauge how you are doing and to assess your progress since the procedure. Since the first post op appointment is so soon after surgery, you will need someone to drive you there, as you will still be under the influence of the anesthesia and of course any pain medication you might be taking. Take these appointments as an opportunity to express any concerns you might have with your progress.

 

  • The Second Post Operative appointment is usually at the end of the first week.  

You will still have sutures in your incisions, so your surgeon might take this appointment to remove them. Most of the time sutures are removed anywhere from seven to fourteen days post op. Your plastic surgeon will check the incision for any unnecessary drainage, and if you have drains you might have these removed at this time. 

During this appointment, you will get to see the newly enhanced breasts and how they appear on your body. You need to realize that especially if you have sub-pectoral placement, that your implants might appear very high, tight, and slightly deformed from the muscle wall contracting around the implant. 

This is only a temporary situation, as the pectoralis muscle starts to stretch to accommodate the size of the implant, the implant will start looking more and more like a normal breast. The implant will migrate downward towards the pocket or envelope that was made for the device, and henceforth will not look so high and tight. 

This dropping phase can take several weeks into months to complete, so this is where you need to exercise a great deal of patience. Try not to judge your results daily when you first have your surgery, do it weekly. You will see your implants each week transform into what a normal breast should look like.

 

  • The Third Post Operative appointment is normally two weeks after you the second one. 

The surgeon will be examining your breasts to look for any complications that might be happening, and to just check that you are on track with a successful recovery. If your surgeon wants you to massage your breasts daily, it is normally the second or third post op appointment that this will be introduced. Although this is a new sensation for you with massaging, it is stressed that you pay close attention to what your doctor wants you to do with this exercise. 

Everyone is different, some patients are told no massaging, and others are told to massage several times a day. Only do what your own plastic surgeon has told you, it is so important you listen to everything he or she says. 

Never start doing anything, including massaging without talking to your own surgeon first. Only he or she knows exactly how large the pocket was made for the implant to be sitting in, and you do not want to incorporate a massaging technique that has not been given to you from your own plastic surgeon.

 

  • The Fourth Post Operative appointment is normally at four weeks after the third one.  

Your surgeon will be checking to make sure you are doing your massaging exercises and to find out if you are experiencing any kind of problems. Normally at this appointment you are released to start wearing an under-wire bra. Also you will be released to get back to your exercise routine.

 

  • Your Fifth Post Operative appointment is normally a couple of months later.

Your surgeon will be checking to make sure everything with your recovery is on schedule with the implants dropping into place. 

 

  • Your Sixth Post Operative appointment is approximately six months later. 

Some surgeons might see you less, some more. It all depends on your overall recovery. If you have had any complications, then your surgeon will want to see you more often.

 

 

 

 

Do not be afraid or intimidated with any questions or concerns you might have. Whether you are happy or dissatisfied it is always important to be in the same page as your plastic surgeon. As he or she needs to hear any and all complaints. 

The forum is designed to help the new and the returning patient through pre op, the surgery, and the recovery, as we have many women on here who have had numerous procedures.  It is always good to hear answers from real life women who have experienced the same procedure you are going through.  However, it is not to take the place of your medical professional in any way.

Your plastic surgeon and their staff are there to help you, so if you have any questions or concerns make sure you contact their office immediately.  Never do anything that has not been addressed by your own plastic surgeon, as each physician has his or her own post operative instructions.