FAQs: Post-Op Information On Breast Augmentation & Breast Implant Surgery

Everything You Need to Know for Breast Augmentation Surgery & More!

This is the original post-op list for breast augmentation! It has all those tips and more. Many thanks to all who contributed helpful hints!

Bloating: You may have bloating for a week or two. Drink lots of water to help flush it out and move around as you can to help it dissipate.

Blue Markings: Ask your PS to not use a Permanent marker :o) The blue will wash away in a couple days.

Bruising: Arnica Montana (don't exceed 10 days) and Bromelain are supposed to help reduce swelling and bruising (available at Health Food Stores).

Emotions: - Mood swings and tears are very common the first week or two. It will get better and soon you'll be very happy.

Expectations: - Having reasonable expectations will prevent disappointment. While they will look great, they probably won't be perfect.

Infection: - Know the signs of infection, act quickly and do not take chances. You can not afford an infection. This applies as long as you have implants, bacterial infections must be treated seriously.

Itching: This is from your nerve endings coming back to life.

Nausea & Constipation: Have meds/suppositories on hand for both just in case. Tell your anesthesiologist to give you anti-nausea. A whiff of rubbing alcohol may stop nausea. For natural health people, ginger is supposed to help nausea, Butternut-Cascara for constipation.

Nipples: - Your nipples may be extremely sensitive. Check in the nursing department of stores for ideas. Try corn pads, numbing creams, keep them moisturized (after areola incisions are sealed). Protect with soft cotton. Wear silky camisoles.

Pain: Day 2 & 3 are usually the worst. In addition to the obvious, you may feel sharp, shooting pains on the outside of your breasts toward your back (these are major nerve endings regenerating). There will probably be pain between your breasts - the area your skin is stretched the tightest. Stay on top of your meds and keep food in your stomach. It's common to be more sore in the morning, this will ease.

The muscles in your back may ache (use a heating pad - but NOT on new breasts). Try to ride pain like an ocean wave rather than fighting it which makes it worse.

Use deep breathing and visualizations. A shallow warm bubble bath is soothing.

Period: Your cycle may be thrown off for a month or 2. It will return to normal.

Scars:  Most PS's are neutral but say ok to try - Vit E oil, Aloe Vera, Mederma, Kelocote, or silicone sheeting. Cocoa butter is good for your breasts to ease tightness and help stretch marks (Palmer's is a rich cocoa butter with Vit E).

Underarms: May disappear for a few weeks. Use cream hair remover or safety mirror in shower. They will return. :o)

Vitamin E: Oral Vitamin E may reduce chance of capsular contraction but check with your doctor!!! DRY E (at health stores) eliminates the oil of regular E that may lead to oily skin. Wait 2 weeks post.

Misc.: Your breasts may be high, hard, uneven, with nipples pointing down or sideways. They may be under your chin or in your armpits. You may hear gurgling / creaking noises (it's just air that will go away soon). If you have submuscular placement, the saline will settle with time as your overly stretched & tight chest muscles relax. The firmness is from the tight muscles not the implant itself (unless very overfilled). It's common for one side to be much firmer, higher, more painful, etc. Your dominant side is usually the slowest to drop because the muscles are tighter. Everyone heals at a different rate, allow your body the time it needs. Get LOTS of rest. Do a lot of deep breathing to help you relax and speed healing.

The most important aspect of your healing is mental - maintaining a postive attitude and sense of humor will get you through the rough spots. It's all worth it - you will be thrilled!

Here is an additional post-op checklist, including things to do Pre-Breast Augmentation to make Post Op easier . . .

  1. As with any surgery, always have someone with you for the first 48 hours.
  2. To get up from the edge of the couch, get your butt to the edge, put your feet about 2-3 feet apart with your toes pointing out, bend your knees, try to keep a straight back and then stand up by straightening your knees (like a ballerina) Hold on to your boobs.
  3. Drink plenty of fluids (sugar-free).
  4. Don't fight the pain! You will tense up and make it worse. Just go with it.
  5. Use visualization - relax and imagine them getting soft, dropping, healing quickly, looking beautiful.
  6. Constantly tell yourself to relax - especially your shoulders.
  7. Take your meds like the doctor ordered. You don't have to be in pain.
  8. If you have to remove blood stained dried gauze pads (like from a lift), do it in the shower with luke warm water trickling on your breasts. They will work free on their own. Make sure you are allowed to shower before you do this!
  9. Use triple antibiotic ointment with panty liners (works great instead of gauze) to cover your stiches.
  10. Start to walk around a little as soon as possible and get some fresh air.
  11. Eat if you get hungry (something simple like scrambled eggs or Jello).
  12. Get lots of rest - sleep if you are tired.
  13. Listen to your body and don't over do it.
  14. If you are used to sleeping on your sides or stomach, you might find your couch is easier to sleep on since it gives you back support.
  15. Put pillows under your arms for support (like a throne).
  16. Have someone help you pull your pants or pj's up after going to the bathroom - pulling is tough and it is easier without underpants.
  17. Use ice on the swelling and bruises 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
  18. Have someone help you with showers especially to dry you off. And to help you get dressed.
  19. Keep a positive attitude and don't sweat the small stuff!! (its all small stuff)
  20. Practice sleeping on your back in advance.
  21. Strengthen your stomach muscles to help you get up. Get one of those giant exercise balls from a sports store.
  22. You want your body in the best condition possible to help it cope with surgery and have a fast recovery. As early as possible, eat very healthy, forego your vices, exercise to reduce stress.
  23. At least 2 weeks before and after surgery, you should stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and added Vit E (most PS's say a small amount in your Mlti is ok). Take 1,000+ mg of Vitamin C daily. Check with your PS about Vit. K for clotting and B's for stress. Check with your PS!!!
  24. At your pre-op and the morning of surgery Review the critical points with your PS and nurse. I typed a brief description of what I wanted (Under, Round, cup size & cc's, etc.) and had that with my pictures during surgery.
  25. Have PS's emergency # taped to all phones and with your Helper.
  26. Fill your prescriptions. I put my pills and vitamins in a day-of-the-week holder so I wouldn't forget.
  27. Lay out loose clothes to wear.
  28. Mentally review the week or 2 following surgery - bills to pay, birthdays coming up.
  29. Have some uplifting books and movies for recovery. A great series of heart-warming, inspiring stories are the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books.
  30. The following are more applicable for those without live-in support.
  31. Set up TV trays on either side of a recliner, and a lazy susan to put more items in reach.
  32. I used a divider tray (for office drawers) to hold meds, chapstick, pen & note paper, kleenex, etc.
  33. Use a long straw and plastic utensils.
  34. Paper plates cut down on doing dishes.
  35. Use a whistle to call your helper (bells may not be heard).
  36. A back scratcher is good for your back and to help reach items.
  37. Walk through your home looking at everything with your arms pinned to your sides as though you can't raise your hands above your shoulders and don't have the strength to open cupboards.
  38. Tell your helper to leave food and dishes down.
  39. Have snacks by your recliner for late nights and when you're alone - juice boxes, applesauce and pudding cups, fruit, crackers, nuts.
  40. Have your pet's favorite treats on hand to make up for less attention.
  41. Have facial cleansing pads, and Arm & Hammer dental gum.
  42. Turn shampoo and lotion bottles upside down.
  43. Soft cosmetic cotton squares are a blessing for tender nipples and under tight bra elastic.
  44. Make your recovery room as pleasant as possible. Have fresh flowers, scented candles or potpourri.
  45. FIRST AND FOREMOST- You must have someone take you to and bring you home from surgery AND take care of you for at least 48 hours!!
  46. Take garbage out
  47. Get all the laundry out of the way
  48. Clean the house and do the dishes (get your SO to help with this)
  49. Get Rx's filled and get Tylenol PM, vitamin E gel tablets for scarring, neosporin and gauze for dressing changes
  50. Go grocery shopping and pre-cook some foods to freeze for easy microwaving, such as soup.
  51. Get a bag of frozen peas or ice bag for swelling and a heating pad for a sore back
  52. Have some simple foods ready to eat like crackers, soup, jello, canned health drinks in case you can't eat
  53. Locate button down shirts and stretchy pull-on pants and put out for easy access
  54. Get extra large jogging/sports bras - open in front. I also got soft pjs
  55. Fill your car with gas.
  56. Pay bills and do all your banking.
  57. Put dry foods on counter and refrigerated foods at lower levels.
  58. Get pet care taken care of, get their food and empty the litter box.
  59. Recharge remote control batteries, cordless phone.
  60. Set up table close to you with your stuff - Rx's, remotes, phone, vitamins, tissue, books, magazines, water bottle, etc. Also plastic waste can near you in case you vomit.
  61. Make up the couch with sheets, blankets and pillows plus a U-shaped pillow.
  62. Make up the bed with fresh sheets and lots and lots of pillows.
  63. Go to the video store for some 3 day movie rentals.
  64. Put toilet paper on the floor so you don't have to reach.
  65. Have your vitamins and Rx's laid out to take (I put mine in pill cases).
  66. Lay out items you use in bathroom, like mouth wash, toothpaste & brush, hair brush, contact lens stuff, makeup, etc..
  67. Take a coffee can or something with a lid for the ride home in case you get sick.
  68. Take some cold ginger ale or water to sip on the way back home.
  69. Wash your hands a lot and gargle couple times a day to ward off colds and viruses prior to surgery.
  70. Take to surgery - chapstick, glasses (no contacts), don't wear any makeup, hairspray, deodorant, powder - nothing on skin or hair, take pain Rx and pillow for the ride home, wear warm socks or slippers for surgery, comfy shoes, list of any last minute questions. Take a nice long hot shower and wash your hair and shave everything before going. Wear baggy, comfy clothes and top that buttons in front.
  71. Certain medications should be avoided before any surgeries (the ones that cause bleeding). Vitamin E, aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, even Chinese Food (which contains Woodier mushrooms, which cause bleeding). Wintergreen mints should also be avoided (Wintergreen has a variant of aspirin in it salicylic acid (check with your ps!!!!!)
  72. Make sure you have something for constipation.
  73. If you have any lights or celing fans that must be turned on by a chain, get a long ribbon to tie to it

My best tip? Don't look at them for a month! You'll save yourself the anxiety of the TOO's: Too big, Too small, Too high, Too low or Too hard. 

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