How to recover from a breast operation

The recovery period after breast surgery is as important as the surgery itself. In this article, The Hospital Group outlines the recovery process and provides advice on how to achieve a swift return to daily life.

Recovering from breast enlargement surgery

The best way to recover from breast enlargement surgery is to listen to the medical advice given to you by the surgeon who performed the operation. Sadly, after breast enlargement surgery, many women return to their daily routines far too quickly, choosing to ignore the advice of medical professionals, which increases the risk of infection.

During the early stages of recovery, you will feel extremely lethargic and sore for at least a couple of days while your wounds begin to repair themselves. But don’t worry, as the majority of your distress will be reduced by the drugs prescribed by your medical team. You will also notice small bruising near to where the incisions were made, so it is vital that you rest in bed and do not undergo any strenuous activity that could aggravate the wound.

After your procedure, your surgeon will apply a clean dressing to your breasts and this will need to be kept dry for at least a fortnight. After two weeks, your dressing will be removed and your scars will be hygienically cleaned and closely examined. Your breasts will appear swollen but this is only natural after surgery and they will gradually reduce in size as the bruising clears.

Communicate with the surgeons

Communication is vital. During the months following surgery, you will have routine check-ups and informal visits to the surgery where qualified surgeons will check on your progress and see how you are feeling. This allows them to make sure you are progressing well and that there are no infections.

How long does it take to recover?

The recovery time really depends on the individual, and some patients are able to return to work after a week. Although the average recovery time for a patient ranges from one to two weeks, it is advisable that you take things slowly after surgery and do not partake in any strenuous activity for up to ten weeks.

Speeding up the recovery time

Depending on the individual patient, there is a range of ways you can speed up the recovery time following the surgery, including the following:

  • Rest ice packs on your breast area
  • Make sure you sleep on your back for at least a couple of weeks after surgery
  • Try not to sleep face down on the pillow
  • Wear a specially designed bra that provides extra support and protection to the breast area
  • Massage the breasts daily to help keep the implants soft and supple.

Returning to normal life

Even if you have followed the recovery advice, it is still advisable that you take time away from any intensive activity that could harm your recovery. If the implants are positioned over the muscle tissue, you can return to your place of work within a week. If the breast implants are placed over the muscle, you may return to work within four to seven days. However, if the breast implants are inserted below the muscle, then it’s advised that you wait up to ten days before returning to normal work. In all cases, moderate exercise may be resumed after a month.

Research has found that women who discontinue chest exercises a month before breast surgery and have their implants inserted under the muscle will ultimately feel less pain and discomfort.

If your work involves a lot of heavy lifting then it is advisable to speak to your manager about your operation and your physical limitations. 

Final thoughts on recovering from the surgery

Remember, the aftercare is just as important as the surgical procedure itself and by looking after your body and following the advice of medical professionals you will make sure that you experience the best results.

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