The first phase of breast augmentation recovery takes seven to 10 days, meaning at this stage most patients can perform normal activity with no or very little pain and discomfort. Nevertheless, over-exertion and heavy lifting must be avoided for at least three weeks to prevent bleeding, persistent swelling and pain, and wound healing problem.
Plastic surgeons prescribe medications after breast augmentation so their patients can have a more comfortable recovery and are less likely to experience complications. Perhaps the most common examples include antibiotics, painkillers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
There are many pain control meds available to patients following a breast surgery, although some surgeons are swearing by the effectiveness of pain pump, which is a balloon-like device that directly delivers numbing medications to the surgical site for two to three days when the pain is at its highest peak.
Unlike some prescription oral painkillers, pain pumps do not upset the stomach. However, these treatments are sometimes taken with over-the-counter pain medications to make one’s recovery more comfortable.
Meanwhile, some plastic surgeons prescribe narcotic pain medications, which are known to cause constipation. For this reason, it is not uncommon to take a stool softener at the same time to prevent such untoward side effect. Eating foods high in fiber and drinking plenty of water are also extremely helpful.
By three to four days, most breast augmentation patients no longer require narcotic pain medications because at this stage most of the postop discomfort is tolerable. Ideally, they should only be used for a short period of time to avoid constipation, prolonged recovery, and other untoward side effects.
Meanwhile, painkillers that contain ibuprofen, aspirin, and other blood-thinners must be avoided at least three weeks before and after surgery to avoid wound healing problem and bleeding.
Aside from pain control, most patients also require muscle relaxants to reduce the constant amount of pressure in the breast area due to the newly positioned implants.
During breast augmentation recovery surgeons might also prescribe antibiotics, which the patients must finish the full course to avoid potential resistant infection. But since their use is tied to yeast infection—because they upset the delicate balance of “good bacteria” naturally found in vagina—doctors could also recommend some remedies for this condition.
Nausea is another untoward side effect of prescribed medications after breast augmentation (particularly antibiotics and painkillers that are taken on an empty stomach). To minimize this symptom, some plastic surgeons prescribe anti-enemic drug and/or instruct their patients to take their meds with some bland foods such as saltine crackers and toasts.