The Before and After of Breast Augmentations

Whatever kind of plastic surgery you’re considering having, you need to follow certain preoperative steps to help ensure that surgery runs as smoothly as possible, while mitigating unnecessary complications. Preparing for your breast augmentation procedure is two fold; it involves taking the time to get both your body and your home environment ready. First, you need to get your body in the most ideal condition to undergo surgery all while ensuring your household is prepared for the recovery period where patients will be largely unable to perform their normal routines. Doing this prep work is essential to give you peace of mind when the big day comes!   By closely following pre-operative instructions from your New York board-certified plastic surgeon, you can help improve the chances that your body will heal more quickly and have an overall more positive experience. So here are some tips to follow to help you get ready for your Aristocrat Breast Augmentation procedure, and the recovery to follow.    

What To Do Before Your Procedure

 
  • Get an Early Start: You should plan on preparing for your breast augmentation procedure two weeks prior to surgery. By getting an early start, you can avoid rushing around at the last minute for any preoperative tests and can be more assured that all of your pre-surgery arrangements will go smoothly.
  • Pre-surgery Blood Work: This first thing you’ll need to complete prior to your surgery is running your blood work to check on your hemoglobin, electrolytes, creatine, and INR (blood clotting ability) levels to ensure they’re all within normal range. Typically, you won’t need to do any fasting before you have your blood drawn.
  • Pre-surgery EKG: Primarily for patients who are over 50 years of age, you’ll need to get an electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) to make sure that your heart function is normal. If blood levels appear out of their normal range or your EKG shows something that looks out of the ordinary, this may alter the course of your treatment and your plastic surgeon can discuss what you should do next.
  • Arrange Your Transportation: Have a friend or family member lined up to drive you home from the site of your surgery on the day it is performed. You will not be in any condition to drive yourself nor will it be allowed!
  • Arrange for Care: Have a friend or family member plan to stay with you at home for a minimum of 24 hours after your return home from surgery. Moving about will not be easy and could be quite painful, so we recommend having someone there who can help you stay at rest and remain comfortable. Similarly, if you have children and/or pets, arrange for their care temporarily for the first few days into your recovery. They’ll appreciate it and so will you!
  • No Drinking: Alcohol is a blood thinner, which can work against blood clotting and can prolong your body’s healing process. It can also increase your chances of bruising. You should stay hydrated by drinking water instead to keep your body nourished.
  • No Smoking: The nicotine in cigarettes can prolong your recovery and increase the chances that you’ll encounter some postoperative complications. It’s also recommended that you use this time ahead of your plastic surgery to stop smoking completely to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the future.
  • Avoid Aspirin and Ibuprofen: If you normally rely on these drugs to relieve pain, curtail their use while you recover from your breast augmentation procedure. These drugs can interfere with your body’s ability to form blood clots as it would normally. Instead, take drugs containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, for relief from headaches or other forms of pain.
  • Avoid Herbal Supplements: There are a number of herbal supplements that should be avoided two weeks prior to surgery because they can cause an adverse reaction to the anesthesia used by your plastic surgery medical team. Always confer with your doctor but we typically suggest staying away from supplements like St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba, green tea extract, ginseng, and garlic. Only one herbal supplement is approved for use which is arnica cream or ointment. As a plant-based product, it’s often used in the treatment of inflammation, as a soothing medication for muscle aches, and a treatment to heal wounds.
  • Make a Grocery Store Run: About a week before you go in for your procedure, go to the grocery store for essentials and prep meals you’ll want to enjoy while you’re recovering. Consider these items for your shopping list:
    • Antibacterial soap
    • A laxative or stool softener to counteract narcotic pain that may cause constipation
    • A pick-up wand or tool to help you avoid picking up things from the floor and bending
    • Front-button shirts
    • Robe and/or pajamas that provide maximum comfort
    • Plenty of entertainment such as books, magazines, movies, games, and things that will help you occupy your time while you rest
    • Healthy foods such as fruit, prepared meals if you chose not to cook on your own, saltine crackers, gelatin or puddings, and soup (restrict all foods to low-sodium choices to minimize fluid retention and swelling)
  • The Night Before: Some of the most important tasks you perform the night before your breast augmentation procedure are imperative for the next morning. Here are best practices:
  • Give your hair a good wash and cleanse your body using an antibacterial soap.
  • Don’t drink or eat anything the night before, or for at least eight hours before your surgery. This includes even sips or water or chewing gum. For the anesthesia to work properly, your stomach has to be completely empty. Eating or drinking within eight hours of your surgery could cause your procedure to be canceled to protect your own safety.
  • Get a good night’s sleep!
  • The Big Day: Before you head to your surgery, do not put on any jewelry, makeup, or wear contact lenses. We also recommend patients wear loose, dark, comfortable clothing with shirts that zip up.

What To Do After Your Procedure

  How you take care of yourself following your breast augmentation is as important as the things you do before. With the skilled work of your board-certified plastic surgeon, your complete success depends upon you!  
  • Be Delicate: Following surgery, you will need to take exceptional care of your newly augmented breasts to ensure complication-free healing and to help maintain the surgical results.
  • Keep Healing In Check: Your breast augmentation recovery will progress depending on a number of factors. Some of these factors will include, but are not limited to:
    • The type of breast implant (silicone or saline)
    • The size of the breast implant
    • The breast augmentation incision placement
    • The type of breast implant placement (submuscular or subglandular)
    • Any reaction you might have to the general anesthesia used
    • Your physical condition, age, and health prior to your procedure
    • If you have undergone any previous breast surgeries as in a mastectomy or lumpectomy
    • If you have had any other procedure performed simultaneously such as a breast lift, a liposuction, or similar surgery
    • If you have been or are a smoker, as smoking can restrict circulation as well as have a negative effect on healing
    • How closely you follow the preoperative and postoperative care instructions you’re given by your plastic surgeon
  • Rest, Rest, Rest: For the first two to four days after your breast augmentation surgery, get plenty of rest and make sure you’ve allotted sufficient time away from work or school to give yourself proper time to heal.
  • Don’t Drive: For at least a week following your surgical procedure, avoid driving or operating any type of vehicle or machinery. You will be taking heavy medication prescribed by your plastic surgeon to treat any pain or nausea during your recovery, which could easily impair your capabilities. If you should experience pain or nausea that doesn’t alleviate, contact your plastic surgeon immediately.
  • Monitor Changes: For the first day or two after your surgery, you may experience some mild tightening of the chest, hardness in your breasts, and breathing that’s slightly interrupted. These reactions are normal. Contact your plastic surgeon immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:
    • Long-lasting pain that’s sudden and severe
    • Extreme swelling on or around your breasts or redness, bruising, bleeding, and burning
    • Any bleeding from your breast incisions
    • Lumps that appear in your breasts
    • Any deflation of your breasts
    • A foul discharge that appears around the incision sites.
    • Feverish symptoms
  • Stay Dry: For approximately six weeks after your surgery, refrain from taking a bath or letting your incision sites take on water from soaking. This will help to avoid any bacterial infections that could compromise your healing.
  • Stay Compressed: As you recover from breast augmentation surgery, a surgical bra, compression garment, or sports bra will be required for extra support. This is a garment that should not be taken off unless you’re instructed by your surgeon to do so. Make sure to keep your compression garment clean to ward off bacteria.
  • Prevent Infection: Your surgeon will recommend topical antibiotics for your breast augmentation incisions to prevent infection. In about six weeks your incisions will heal but full results will take about three months to fully appear. Your implants need ample time to settle and stop forming scar tissue for any swelling to fully subside.
  • Ditch Underwire Bras: It’s recommended that you not wear a bra with any underwire construction during your augmentation recovery. Underwire bras can interfere with healing and create depressions that look unnatural in your skin. What’s worse, these depressions could become permanent as scar tissue forms over it. Underwire bras can even have some effect on the position of your breast implants. We recommend refraining from underwire bras until your procedure has fully healed and your surgeon has given you permission to resume wearing one.
 
  • Choose Function over Fashion. Once you’re fully healed, your larger breasts will need sufficient bra support to maintain the results of your breast augmentation. More supportive bras will help delay any potential sagging of your breasts or complications.
Breast augmentation has provided many women with increased self-confidence, better figure proportion, and improved body image. Women report that clothes fit better, and they no longer feel self-conscious about their breast size and shape. Breast augmentation enhances the breasts for a truly life-changing experience that can restore your youthful appearance and help you feel better about yourself.   If you’re interested in finding out about breast augmentation surgery, please contact us at 212-439-9900 at our Manhattan office or at 516-498-9790 at our Great Neck office to schedule your consultation with Dr. Tehrani.
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