According to the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, spending on cosmetic surgery procedures totalled some $1 billion in the last year. This means that Aussie women and men have officially overtaken their American counterparts when it comes to procedures like breast augmentation and liposuction. In fact, Australians had 20,000 boob jobs and 30,000 liposuction treatments during 2017.
Are you considering joining their ranks by going under the knife for a new set of breasts? It’s an exciting decision, to be sure. However, it’s imperative that you understand what’s involved in breast augmentation surgery. Before embarking on this self-improvement journey, find out what to do, and what not to do, during your recovery period.
Although it’s a cosmetic rather than a medically necessary form of surgery, make no mistake — breast augmentation surgery is a serious operation. Therefore, make sure to plan ahead, know what to expect, and follow your doctor’s instructions every step of the way.
Here are a few “DOs” to keep in mind.
Know that the process of recovering from breast implant surgery takes about six weeks in total. Of course, some patients recover more quickly, but you should still plan to take it easy for roughly a month and a half.
You will likely have a follow-up visit with your surgeon around the six-week mark, at which point he or she will clear you to resume all normal activities.
Before scheduling your surgery, enlist the help of your spouse or partner, a close friend, a relative, or a home health care aide. Particularly for the first few weeks after surgery, you won’t be able to perform normal household tasks like cooking, cleaning, taking care of children, or even taking care of yourself.
You will likely be on pain medication, and your body will be tired out from the surgery, so you’ll need to sleep a lot. So have a reliable helper on hand to run errands, tend to the needs of your family, and make sure you’re resting properly.
In the weeks before your surgery, take a few steps to make your post-op life a little easier — on you and your caregivers and helpers!
Stock up on groceries, pet supplies, items like toilet tissue and paper towelling, and personal care products. It’s not a bad idea to grab a few packs of disposable cutlery, plates, and bowls, too. Less mess = less stress for you, your spouse, or your family members.
Convenience foods like prepackaged snacks or frozen meals will also take a lot of the pressure off. Or, if you enjoy cooking, spend a few afternoons making casseroles or slow-cooker meals to stash in the freezer. Write reheating instructions on the package to make mealtime a breeze for whoever is helping you out.
If you work outside the home, you will need to take at least one week’s worth of vacation or sick time — that is, if your work is sedentary or requires minimal physical exertion. Avoid any activity, paid or otherwise, that involves bending, lifting, or strenuous movement.
Talk to your surgeon about your work to get the best, most personalized recommendation. Most doctors will schedule your first post-op check-up appointment for about one week after surgery. At this appointment, many patients will be cleared to resume light activity.
Decided where you’re going to be spending most of your post-op time. For some breast augmentation patients, that means their bed. Others might opt to camp out in a cosy recliner or on the sofa.
Wherever you’re going to be recovering, make it super comfortable, and set up everything you’ll need nearby. Some items to have on hand include:
Having these things close to hand will make your recovery go smoothly and even enjoyably!
Now it’s time to talk about what not to do after breast augmentation surgery. Following these guidelines will help you recover fully in the least amount of time, and with the least amount of pain.
Stomach-sleepers, we’ve got some bad news for you. You’re going to have to get your ZZZZs on your back for the time being. The same goes for women who sleep on their sides.
It might not be the most restful option for you, but for fairly obvious reasons, it’s the best way to ensure that your implants are everything you had hoped for and more.
At the six-week point, you’re probably OK to start sleeping however you like again, but check with your doctor.
These undergarments are designed to push your breasts into unnatural positions, and can therefore be both painful and dangerous for recent breast augmentation patients. Your best bet when it comes to bras after breast surgery are soft but supportive sports bras.
It can take up to six months for your new breasts to adjust and settle into their final shape and size. So as tempting as it might be to spend some of your recovery time shopping for fancy, lacy, sexy new bras and lingerie, resist that urge.
When you are ready for a shopping spree, do yourself a favour and get a professional fitting. That will ensure you choose the right size for your new chest!
Especially if you’re in good health to begin with, you will likely be champing at the bit to resume your exercise regimen after only a few weeks. But be careful. Your implants won’t be fully “settled,” your incisions might still be touch-and-go, and your overall physical condition may not yet warrant a workout.
Doing too much too soon could set your recovery back, or even compromise the final appearance of your breasts. And you don’t want either of those options!
At four weeks post-surgery, you will probably get the go-ahead to resume gentle exercise. This could mean walking, stretching or restorative yoga, or maybe a slow and steady bike ride.
Steer clear of anything high-impact like Zumba, jogging, kickboxing, etc., as well as exercises that target the chest, such as weightlifting or upper-body strength workouts.
We hope that these DOs and DON’Ts have helped you understand what life will be like after breast augmentation surgery. Most patients feel that the sacrifices they have to make are temporary, and well-worth the boost in self-esteem and self-confidence they get from their new breasts!
Dr Joseph Rizk became Australasia’s plastic surgeon of the year by making sure that each patient is heard, respected, and treated well. His patient-first approach provides you with the accurate medical information you need to make informed decisions about your course of treatment. At the same time, he offers his decades of knowledge and experience to help you along your path.