The Do’s and Don’ts of Post-Op Recovery with Breast Implants
When it comes to recovery from breast augmentation, closely following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions is critical to avoiding unwanted side effects and ensuring your new breasts heal correctly.
Each person heals at their own pace, so take it easy, be a patient patient, and avoid rushing into anything – you don’t want to undo all your surgeon’s hard work!
Let’s paint you a picture of the post-op recovery process and the instructions you might receive:
- During the first 48 hours, you may experience an elevated body temperature, fatigue, and soreness.
- Don’t panic if your breasts appear a bit larger than expected. While major post-op swelling should resolve quickly, your breasts may remain swollen and tender to touch for a month or longer.
- You could also experience a feeling of tightness in the chest area as your skin adjusts to your new breast size.
- Immediately after surgery, you will need to use a medical compression bra, also called a surgical or post-op bra, without underwires. This support garment will minimize movement and maintain the carefully constructed pockets your surgeon created for your implants.
- Your surgeon will provide or recommend the best bra after breast augmentation or reconstruction, along with instructions on how to wear it, for how long, and how to transition to a supportive sports bra and ultimately regular clothing.
- Take post-op medication exactly as prescribed and contact your surgeon immediately if you have concerns about them. They can always adjust them if needed.
- Do not drink alcohol or take unprescribed drugs for 48 hours after surgery.
- Wait 24 hours before you bathe after surgery.
- You’re likely to feel groggy and disoriented (and possibly nauseated) until the anesthesia wears off completely. Arrange in advance a safe way to get home after surgery, and keep a thick, disposable bag handy in case nausea gets the best of you.
- Do not drive for at least two days after surgery.
- Avoid any strenuous activities for at least a couple of weeks after surgery.
- Keep your arms and elbows close to your sides and avoid lifting weights until allowed by your surgeon.
- As Motiva SmoothSilk®/SilkSurface® implants are smooth and not textured, patients can resume full activity earlier than with other brands of implants – at around six weeks post op.
- Most patients can resume work and physical activities after two weeks, starting with lower-body exercises and slowly building to full-body muscular activity.
- Your surgeon may or may not advise breast massage.
- Set up your surroundings in advance to sleep or rest with your head slightly elevated for as long as your surgeon says to (typically about a week), avoiding lateral positions.
- Do not expose your breasts directly to sunlight until approved by your surgeon. Once you’re in the clear, make sure you slather on the sunscreen – which better be broad spectrum with an SPF of 30 or higher!
- Your surgeon may recommend a topical cream or ointment with accompanying instructions.
- Pregnancy and nursing after breast implant surgery may cause breast tissue and muscle changes that could lead to ptosis (drooping) and flipping.
- If you plan to get pregnant and/or breastfeed after receiving implants, you must mention this to your surgeon well in advance of your surgery.
While the above are only general guidelines, we strongly encourage clear, open communication with your surgical team. When in doubt, contact your surgeon!
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*Motiva Implants® are not yet commercially available in US and are undergoing clinical investigation pursuant to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for investigational medical devices.