Breast augmentation recovery tips may vary from surgeon to surgeon. However, they all have similar goals: promote healing and eliminate risk factors that can affect the breast appearance.
Prominent Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley shares his surprising recovery tips.
- Customized pain control
Pain threshold and healing may differ from patient to patient, although most people can expect that the first 1-4 days of recovery is the toughest period due soreness, discomfort, and sometimes nausea.
Patients who want the least amount of pain might be a good candidate for Exparel, a numbing medication injected into the muscle whose effects can last up for four days. This relatively new pain control option has allowed people to reduce or even avoid narcotics entirely.
In the first few days after surgery, the implants sit high and tight on the chest wall, resulting in unnatural appearance and excessive upper pole fullness. But over time, the skin and tissue relax and expand a bit, allowing the prostheses to settle into more natural position.
However, breast implant massage, also referred to as implant displacement exercise, can help accelerate the healing process. Dr. Smiley typically recommends this about a week after surgery.
The idea of breast implant massage is to push the prosthesis into the outermost corners of the pocket; hence, it not only promotes softer and more natural results but also minimizes the risk of capsular contracture by encouraging the scar capsule around the implant to remain flexible and thin.
- Enough rest and sleep
Getting enough rest and sleep is one of the critical points of breast augmentation recovery. Dr. Smiley warns that rushing one’s recovery—i.e., returning too soon to work and doing strenuous house works—may affect healing and even predispose patients to risk of bleeding and edema (fluids collecting beneath the skin).
Some patients are able to return to work within a week, while others need at least a two-week off. It all boils down to variables such as the nature of work (patients who go to office may return sooner than those with physically demanding job) and the individual healing.
- Medical garments
Medical garments are designed to keep swelling under control with the right amount of compression and to protect the sensitive tissue. Some resemble standard bras, vests, or wrap-around garments.