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Your surgery date finally arrived and your breast augmentation surgery went smoothly. Now it’s time for you to focus your energies on an optimal recovery! The first few weeks after surgery can be a breeze for some patients - and sometimes more challenging than expected for others. Everyone recovers differently.

Get lots of rest after your breast augmentation

In the first few days following your surgery it is important to have complete rest - no matter how good you are feeling. Don’t be tempted to jump straight back into regular activities. If you live alone or have very young children, I recommend planning ahead and organising help at home during the first week following your breast augmentation. Take advantage of this time to sleep and recover from your general anaesthetic, eating well and taking it slow when you use the bathroom or shower. Please note, folding washing - even though you are seated on the couch - is not considered by your surgeon to be ‘complete rest’ during this early phase of healing!

Use your pain relief and ice packs

Stay on top of your pain by using regular paracetamol and ibuprofen, as directed. You will also go home with some stronger medication, prescribed by your anaesthetist. If you need more, please contact your anaesthetist on the number they have provided. Your post op bag contains our super-soft ice packs for you to use during your first week for swelling relief.

Showering and bathing after breast augmentation

Shower when you are comfortable to do so, as the tapes covering your incision sites are allowed to get wet. When first removing your garment, some people experience a wave of dizziness or nausea. This is usually caused by a brief drop in blood pressure. Make sure to be seated or lying down when you undress for the first few times, and make sure you feel capable of standing before doing so. Have your support person there to help, just in case. While it’s fine for your incisions to get wet in the shower, we don’t recommend bathing or submerging your incision lines in water for the first 6 weeks after surgery. After your shower, gently dab your incisions dry. You can use a hairdryer on a low temperature to finish drying them off before putting your support garment back on - ensure the dryer is held well away from skin, as the area can be numb and prone to burning (yes, it does happen!)

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Diet and nutrition

A healthy diet of whole foods, grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit puts your body in the best position for an optimal recovery. Sugary, processed foods or foods high in cholesterol and animal fats hinder recovery and should be avoided. Supplements such as Bioceuticals Quercetain can help with bruising and swelling. Hydration is very important in the early postoperative period. Avoid alcohol consumption for the first 6 weeks.

Swelling and sensations after breast augmentation surgery

Swelling usually peaks at 2-3 days post op. At this point you may feel your most uncomfortable and tight in the chest. This is normal and to be expected. Strange sensations - such as sharp pains, crackling/bubbly sensations, coldness or burning feelings are part of the swelling, healing and nerve regeneration process. They will feel strange, but are very normal.

Contact us if you experience:

- Fever or become unwell.
- Nausea and vomiting persists after 48 hours.
- Spreading redness/rash over the operative area or suture lines.
- Fluid build up in your breasts or sudden swelling in the area.
- Pain which is not relieved or controlled by your pain-killers.
- Sudden copious discharge of fluid or oozing from your wounds.

You will slowly learn to read your body and you will know when you have been doing too much. This can be evident by the afternoon, as your swelling increases, your breasts will feel tighter, you may also feel tired and sore. If this occurs it is important to rest.

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breast implants before and after

above: before and after breast augmentation surgery with Dr Sharp, at various stages of healing/recovery. View full gallery here.

One week after breast augmentation surgery

At one week following your breast augmentation you will have your first post operative appointment. During this consult, your nurse will examine your incisions and you will be given advice regarding how to care for your breasts over the next few weeks. You will need to continue to read your post op instruction sheets, listen to your body and take time to rest as needed. At this stage your activity is limited to no exercise, sexual activity, sudden movements or lifting anything over 2kg (imagine a 2L bottle of water in each hand - that’s your maximum lifting capacity). 

Two weeks after breast augmentation surgery

As week two and three following your surgery arrive and pass, you may be feeling great! You have minimal or no discomfort, you feel ready to get back into your normal activities, but your surgeon has said six weeks before slowly resuming standard activates. For those who are avid exercisers this can be a difficult time. It is important to follow your surgeons post-operative instructions. For those that use exercise to help manage mental health it is important to seek your GP’s guidance to help you through this time. Continue to wear your bra to bed. Your tape might begin to peel up at the edges, if so, it’s okay to cut off the lifted edges so it is flush with the skin. At this stage your activity is limited to slow, light walking - with no sex, sudden movements or lifting anything over 2kg.

Two to six weeks after breast augmentation surgery

The six week mark will eventually arrive and you can slowing re-introduce exercise back into your life. Be conscious of the surgery that you have had. Don’t jump straight back into upper body workouts, and still be cautious of picking up the kids or carrying heavy bags. You will eventually be comfortable to do these activities, just don’t rush the process. Continue to wear your bra to bed. Your tape might begin to peel up at the edges, if so, it’s okay to cut off the lifted edges so it is flush with the skin. Remove your tape altogether at 3 weeks , preferably after a shower when it will be easier to lift off. At this stage, if your incision is healed over and looking good, you can start to use silicone tape, gently and slowly changing it every 5-7 days. If you don’t want to wear more tape (it can make some people’s skin itchy) or have any irregularities or sores along your incision line, use silicone gel instead of tape, massaging the healed parts of the incision for about 3 mins each day. At this stage your activity is limited to normal walking (no running or fast walking), with no rigorous sex, sudden movements or lifting anything over 2kg. 

After the six week mark

You can stop wearing your post op bra at this point, converting to a supportive soft cup bra or sports bra from here. You can start wearing an underwire bra from 3 months post op onwards. When investing in a new lingerie collection remember that your breasts will continue to change for up to a year after surgery. You can slowly recommence working out from 6 weeks onwards - running, gradually building into weight training at the gym or pilates/yoga. This should happen very gradually and slowly, in small time, weight and intensity increments. Silicone scar tape will continue to help your incisions and we recommend wearing it up to the 12 week post op mark, and continuing silicone gel massage thereafter for optimal scarring.  If your breast shape changes, swells or distorts at this stage of your healing, it is usually because you are overdoing it. Scale back your activity and wait 2 weeks before reintroducing it. You can resume normal sexual activity, but please be aware that rough handling can displace the implant and cause damage/shape changes/haematomas (again, yes this happens). Remember that scarring takes up to 24 months to fully mature.

If you have any concerns…

Your post operative care team is here for you, so please reach out if you have any concerns or questions. Breast augmentation surgery is an exciting journey and we love supporting our patients through the recovery period, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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