Recently, many women have had breast implants for cosmetic reasons. Whether that be due to weight loss or aging, there are some things you should know about aftercare routines. This article will outline the steps of an effective routine and what not to do to prevent injury or infection.
Do not wear a bra for the first week.
For the first week, you should not wear a bra. If you have been fitted for your implants correctly, they will most likely fit very nicely and snugly. However, during this first week, it is advised that you do not wear a bra, as doing so may cause the implant to shift and may also cut into the skin around the bottom portion of your breast. This is where much of the swelling will happen and cause a hematoma or implant to shift to the muscle tissue.
It is also advised that you sleep on your back for this first week. This will help reduce the swelling and discomfort that you may feel at night. It is recommended to place a soft, cotton pillow between each breast while you sleep, so they do not rub together and cause further bruising.
Apply an antibiotic ointment to your incisions daily.
Your surgeon will provide you with breast augmentation post-operative instructions including a prescription of antibiotic ointment that you should use on your incisions daily for the first month or so. This will help prevent infection and aid in healing. Cleanse the area twice daily with hydrogen peroxide to remove debris from the incisions, but do not pick at them. After a few days have passed, you can begin using a moisturizing lotion on the incisions to aid in healing and reduce scarring.
You can use a loofah or soft-bristled toothbrush to cleanse each of the incisions daily gently. Avoid scrubbing too hard as this may cause irritation and increase swelling. Once a day, apply an antibiotic ointment to the incisions. This will help reduce the risk of infection and aid in healing them much faster.
Avoid rigorous exercise for at least six weeks.
For the first week, you should not do any heavy lifting or work out in any way that could cause contractions in the pectoral muscles and chest muscles. This area has been cut open and can take up to six weeks for all of the stitches to dissolve and recover. During this time, you should not do any rigorous workouts, jogging, swimming, or aerobic exercises that would contract the muscles in this area. This means no push-ups, bench presses, burpees, jumping jacks, jumping rope…etc.
The first few days after surgery are when you are most sore and stiff. You can expect to walk like a penguin for about two weeks after your surgery. The more you can stay off of your feet, the better it will be for your recovery. Over-exerting yourself right after surgery can do more harm than good to your body and delay your progress.
Continue using cold compresses on breasts following surgery
For at least two weeks, you should apply cold compresses to your breasts for 10-15 minutes three times daily. The best time to do this is after each baby’s feeding or before each meal if you are not breastfeeding. These cold compresses will help with recovery reduce swelling in your breasts and surrounding areas, which will aid in healing.
Avoid taking a shower for three weeks.
To avoid further bruising and irritation, you should not take a shower or bath for the first three weeks following surgery. You can sponge bathe during this time if necessary. It is advised that you wait until your post-operative appointment before you begin retaking showers. This will ensure that you can be cleared for showers and that you can do so safely.
Wear a supportive sports bra when engaging in physical activity
For the first six weeks, you should wear a supportive sports bra when engaging in any activity that requires arm movement, even if it is only for short periods. This will prevent further injury to your implants and help them heal faster. Wearing a supportive sports bra will also reduce the risk of your implants shifting at all during this time.
Avoid lying on your stomach for at least six weeks
For at least six weeks, you should not lay down on your stomach. This will prevent the implants from shifting and reduce the risk of implant leaks or ruptures. Even though it is unlikely, if this did happen while you were lying face down, the leaking saline could get into your bloodstream and cause severe complications.
Don’t remove stitches yourself.
You should not remove any stitches that were used during your surgery. If you happen to notice some sutures coming loose, contact your surgeon’s office immediately and get in to see them as soon as possible. They will be able to replace the stitches safely and make sure everything has healed properly.
Once the incisions have completely healed, you should engage in activities that will not cause irritation or harm to the incision sites. Your surgeon may also give you other instructions based on your case, such as massage and when you should begin using moisturizers.
You should be back to your usual self after about two weeks.
After fourteen days, you can cleanse each incision again with hydrogen peroxide and a soft toothbrush or loofah to remove any debris from the incisions. After two weeks have passed, you can return to a regular bathing schedule and apply an over-the-counter pain medication as needed.
You can expect to return to your doctor for a follow-up appointment between two and four weeks following surgery. This will allow your doctor to check and see how you are healing and if any complications have occurred. Do not be alarmed if something seems off or different at this appointment, as each woman recovers differently from liposuction.
It is perfectly normal for you to experience some numbness or coolness at the liposuction site that lasts the first few weeks following your surgery. You may start feeling back to normal after about two weeks, but do not rush it.