The ensuing discomfort from breast augmentation surgery lasts about four to seven days, and after this stage most patients are able to resume their desk job or normal daily routine excluding strenuous activities.
While most patients are back on their feet within a week of their surgery—or sometimes sooner if their pain is well under control—certain factors must be avoided for about a month to minimize risk of complications and to accelerate their recovery.
Beverly Hills plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smaili explains the four things to avoid within the first month of breast augmentation. Take note that the list below is just a “general” guideline, so in “special” circumstances your surgeon might say additional recommendations.
1. Avoid physical and emotional stress. The idea is to keep your heart rate and blood pressure within normal range to avoid bleeding, wound healing problems, and persistent swelling that could delay your recovery.
Physical stress from heavy lifting, jerky movement, contact sports, and strenuous exercise could also stretch your skin at the incision site and disturb the still recovering glandular tissue, thus aggravating the postop pain and discomfort.
2. Avoid prolonged immobility. While you may instinctively stay in bed because of the discomfort, which is the most pronounced within the first week, take note that it could lead to weight gain, predispose you to persistent swelling and blood clot, and even affect your healing.
Blood clot or deep vein thrombosis, which usually affects the lower extremity, is particularly dangerous because it could travel up toward the lungs if left untreated. But getting up and walking around a day after surgery (or as soon as possible) is enough to drastically minimize such risk.
3. Avoid submerging the incision site in water. Using public pools, sea water, Jacuzzis, and bathtub while the “access points” used in breast augmentation surgery have not yet fully closed could lead to infection and subsequent complications that could warrant a revision surgery.
While the general rule of thumb is to never submerge the incision site in water for at least a month, some patients may have to avoid public pools and the likes longer to avoid complications.
4. Avoid sun exposure. Exposing the newly formed scars to the sun can result in sunburn, “thickening,” and/or hyperpigmentation in which they turn darker than the surrounding skin.
The best way to prevent more conspicuous scars is to cover them with clothing or bandage, although applying sunscreen could also provide some protection.