A common question that women have after their breast enhancement surgery is, “How long before I am back to normal?” While the recovery period varies from woman to woman, there are specific guidelines you can and should follow to ensure that you are not only healing but healing correctly.
Breast enhancement is either breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction. While these surgeries adjust and enhance the breasts in three very different ways, their recoveries are quite similar. Breast enhancement surgery is an outpatient procedure, and whether implants have been added, excess breast tissue has been removed, or skin laxity has been addressed, you need to take a few days to rest. All women are required to have someone present to drive them home and stay with them for the first night to assist with all household chores, food preparation, and even dressing. Your chest will be sore for a few days and pain medication can help ease this discomfort. We would like you out of bed and walking short distances around the house the same day. Arm motions are encouraged but absolutely no lifting the first week after your surgery.
Returning to Work
No matter what type of work you do, you will be required to take some time off; however, this amount does depend on the extensiveness and physicality of your job. Most women find that they feel up to returning to work one week after the surgery. This goes for breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction. By this time, your breasts have settled enough to not interfere with your routine, especially if you work in an office or a setting that does not require an extensive amount of moving or carrying anything of weight. Unfortunately, you may want to rethink your return date if your job is physical and you are expected to be on your feet all day or are required to carry more than a couple of pounds.
Hitting the Gym
Returning to an active lifestyle after surgery is something of a contradiction because you need to find the perfect balance between getting on your feet without over-exerting yourself. Blood clots are one of the biggest threats after surgery and the best way to decrease this risk is by moving around. It is suggested that women get on their feet for leisurely walks and light stretching as soon as the day of surgery. Movement increases circulation, which protects you from blood clots and allows your body to heal quicker. While movement is essential to healing properly, doing too much can be damaging. While you want to ensure that you are moving around, you do not want to go to the gym or participate in any sports sooner than six weeks after your surgery. Over-exerting yourself may prolong your recovery, damage the quality of your results, and set you back in more ways than one.
Choosing a Bra
You will leave your procedure in a surgical bra. This garment has many uses: it promotes circulation, it reduces swelling, and it keeps your newly adjusted breasts in place so that they heal in the shape and elevation that they should. You need to wear this garment until advised by Dr. Mabourakh. Getting back to a “normal” bra is a stepping-stone process: you cannot rush straight back into an underwire bra without experiencing complications. A wire bra should be avoided for several weeks, if not months, to ensure that the wire will not rub against and agitate the healing incision. Also, you need to remember that the exact size and shape of your breasts may change slightly over six months to one year and it may be best not to run out and buy an entirely new selection of bras.
To learn more about breast enhancement procedures and how they can help you, contact Dr. Mabourakh by calling his Folsom office at (916) 984-8585, his Stockton office at (209) 464-5656, or by filling out his online contact form.