Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed procedures and has been for years. The advent of the internet age has made it easier for patients to learn about the various aspects of this body-enhancing surgery, and yet it has also put them in the position of feeling confused. We often field questions from potential patients that center around the recovery from breast augmentation, so we’d like to spell out what to expect, and what you can do to improve your experience.
The breast augmentation procedure is simple enough to comprehend; we provide a full explanation of the process before surgery. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia; the patient is asleep and does not feel pain. Implants are situated within the appropriate pocket, and incisions are closed.
Recovery: The First 24
The most common sensations that patients experience immediately after breast augmentation are pressure and soreness. The discomfort that develops as the anesthesia wears off can be managed with pain medication, which is initially given intravenously in the recovery room. After this time, prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to manage pain. It is important to take medications only as directed.
How RICE can Aid Recovery
RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation, are common remedies recommended for surgical patients. Breast augmentation is no different.
- Rest the chest muscles to facilitate expedient tissue healing. Post-operative instructions will detail what activities to avoid, such as lifting objects.
- Ice is an integral part of the comfortable recovery from breast augmentation. Ice “tricks” nerve endings, overriding sensations of pain. Ice should be applied to a cloth, not directly to the skin, and should be administered in 15-minute bursts.
- Compression is applied right after surgery and will remain a constant for a few days at least. This supports the breast tissue as healing progresses.
- Elevation, as it pertains to breast augmentation, means to keep the head elevated. Sleeping or resting on an extra pillow can prevent excessive swelling and pain.
The first few days of recovery after breast augmentation are the most crucial when it comes to pain management. After a few days, it becomes easier to perform normal activities, though this should be done gradually and according to post-op instructions.