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Recovering from Breast Augmentation Surgery

The recovery period following breast augmentation surgery in Toronto is just as important as the surgery itself.  Most of our patients tell us their recovery was easier and more comfortable than they expected.  In order to achieve this, we have our patients follow a post-surgical plan that helps to minimize discomfort as well as surgical complications.

Patient Comfort Begins Even Before Surgery

It may sound strange but steps to minimize your recovery time begin even before your breast augmentation surgery.  Using a bio-dimensional approach to choose your implant size will help you pick a size that not only minimizes post-operative discomfort, but also complications.  This is part of the Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation process that has people relaxing at home in comfort just hours after their surgery.  In addition, instead of waiting to address pain after surgery, we use a blend of several medications before your surgery which has been shown to minimize post-operative pain and minimize or eliminate the need for narcotic pain medications after surgery.  Not only are patients more comfortable when they wake up, but using this technique helps to avoid nausea and vomiting from anesthesia.  This is known as ‘multi-modal pre-operative analgesia’ and has been a real game-changer in the surgical world, improving the patient experience.  During your surgery, gentle and precise tissue handling, and the use of cautery to avoid even small amounts of bleeding helps to minimize pain and can often eliminate all bruising.

When you wake of from your surgery you will be in the recovery room, wearing your surgical bra. Most patients spend 1-2 hours in the recovery area before being discharged home.  For safety, all patients must be picked and accompanied by a friend or family member when they are discharged.  All patients are given their prescriptions to fill before their surgical date. This way your medications are ready at home when you arrive.

When You Arrive Home

The first evening of your surgery should be quiet and relaxing.  Do some patients feel so comfortable they could go out to dinner?  Yes, but that doesn’t mean they should!  You should be relaxing at home, have a light dinner if you are hungry, and spend time sitting not just lying down.  Got a good night’s rest.  We encourage patients to sleep on their backs for the first two weeks to help the healing process and minimize breast discomfort.  

Your First Day After Surgery

The day after surgery you should be up and moving around every hour and returning to light activities.  This includes sitting at the table for meals, going out for leisurely walks, working at a computer etc..  And if you are at home binging on your favorite Netflix series? Get up after each episode for a 5- or 10-minute stroll! Your body will thank you for it.   You can carry light things – a laptop, purse, plate of food etc. but you should avoid any heavy or strenuous lifting.  Frequent gentle arm and shoulder movements are encouraged to avoid stiffness.  

Your First Two Weeks After Surgery

During the initial few days after surgery your incision should remain dry and your surgical bra should stay on.  The dressings can be removed on day three.  We encourage patients to come to the office and let us remove the outer dressings.   However, for those coming from further away we will arrange virtual visits and walk you through the process if you prefer.  Special surgical tapes along the incision will remain and can now get wet.  From that point forward you will be fully showering every day, and will continue to wear your bra day and night for comfort and support.  We encourage patients to take 4-7 days off work to allow them to concentrate on recovery. You deserve it!  But many patients often work from home earlier than that.  If your job is a physically strenuous one, you may need to take more time off or return to work on modified duties to avoid any negative effects on your recovery. 

On day 10 to 14 the incision tapes will be removed.  Dr. Beber uses multiple layers of internal dissolving stitches for closing the incision, leaving only one tiny outside knot that gets gently removed at this visit to maximize patient comfort.  At this point your scar management program will begin to aid in your healing and help minimize the appearance of your scar.  Although scientific data regarding breast implant massage and capsular contracture prevention (hardening/tightening of scar tissue around the implant) is poor, we will demonstrate the technique to those who wish to perform these exercises.  We suggest avoiding driving a car for the first week.  After the first week most patients feel comfortable driving.  However, driving is only permitted when you are no longer taking any narcotic medication, AND you feel comfortable enough that you can react to any emergency driving situation without hesitation or limitation.

Weeks 2 to 4 After Surgery

It’s now been two weeks since your surgery.  You are back at work, following your scar management program etc.  At this point you can resume lower body exercises at home or the gym. This includes things like squats, lunges etc.  You can begin light cardio activity such as a stationary bike (NOT a spin class yet!) or an elliptical without the upper body component.  You should continue to avoid impact activities such a jogging, jumping or strenuous upper body activity.

Weeks 4 to 6 After Surgery

You are now a month past your surgery.  Activities at the gym can now increase in a gradual way.  Remember, you haven’t been jogging in a month – don’t suddenly go out for your first marathon!  You can begin to introduce jogging, light upper body weights for biceps, triceps and gentle shoulder work, but NOT chest exercises.  You should begin with short low intensity jogs, lighter weights than your usual and few reps.  As you feel comfortable you can gradually increase the intensity and frequency of these exercises over this 2-week period.

Graduation - 6 Weeks After Breast Augmentation Surgery In Toronto

Congratulations! You’ve graduated – sort of.  At this point you can do almost all the activities that you are comfortable doing.  However, even at this point, chest exercises such as push-up, bench presses and similar activities are not recommended for most patients, particularly if the implants were placed under the muscle.  Remember that your body is creating a capsule around your implant, and vigorous chest exercise at this point can not only be uncomfortable, but can disturb this process and the pocket size.  While some surgeons instruct strict avoidance of these chest activities indefinitely, many others, including Dr. Beber, allow patients to eventually resume these activities within your comfort level, but suggest several months of recovery before resuming these kind of chest exercises.

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