Breast Augmentation Surgery Today - Back in the Office Tomorrow
What surgeon would allow a breast augmentation patient to return to normal activities the first day post-surgery? It’s the question you’re probably asking yourself right now.
Women considering a breast augmentation are usually looking to enhance their appearance or restore balance to their overall figure. With a long track record of satisfactory results to that end, it is no surprise that breast augmentation continues to be one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures women have done.
I recently developed a quick recovery program which takes into account the considerations prior to surgery, how a breast augmentation procedure is performed, and the exercises we prescribe to the patient following the procedure. Resuming normal activities, including going back to work after only one day seems pretty incredible if not impossible and yet it is possible. Patients have a preoperative consultation with their doctors to analyze their data beforehand to ensure they are comfortable returning to their daily routine if they wish to do so.
So how does it work? Well, during the surgery, it is essential for a plastic surgeon to maintain gentle traction on the breast. Only the surgeon’s fingers or the implant are allowed to touch the patient’s ribs, because contact with metal instruments can cause bruising and pain, both of which can slow down recovery.
Immediately after surgery, we encourage patients to resume their normal daily activities staying relatively active, be it going to work, running errands, etc. Six to eight hours following the breast augmentation procedure, patients were instructed to raise their arms over their head. They do three reps slowly, each hour before going to bed on the first night after surgery and then continue this hourly exercise for the next three weeks. If the surgeon feels the surgical suturing is very secure, the patient is instructed to lie on her breasts for 15 minutes every day, starting the evening of surgery. Patients are instructed to lay face-down, with their breasts against a hard surface (such as a carpeted floor or a cutting board in bed) for 15 minutes daily. The breasts should not be constrained in a bra (or other support garment) during this activity.
If this is uncomfortable for the patient or if there is any concern about the closure, the patient has the option to kneel at the bedside and gently lean into the mattress, or at least gently massage the breasts in all directions except against the incision.
Patients in this quick recovery program are allowed to lift up to 30 pounds until three weeks after surgery, at which time vigorous exercise and heavier lifting can be pursued.
Still not so sure about the idea of getting back to normal a mere 24 hours after surgery? Consider a marathoner the day after a race. The best thing to do for recovering leg muscles is walking and stretching. The same applies to the breast muscles after an augmentation.
Prior to a breast augmentation procedure, consult with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Discuss your concerns about the implant material, size and shape that are or are not right for you. It is important to follow post-operative care instructions from your plastic surgeon so your recovery can be as quick as possible.