Forewarned is forearmed – what to expect from breast surgery recovery
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘forewarned is forearmed, which literally means if you know about something before it happens, you can be prepared for it. The logic is sound, if you are clear about what to expect from something before you do it, you can prepare yourself, mentally and physically, to cope with it afterwards.
Undergoing any form of cosmetic surgery procedure is a brave step and there will always be a recovery period required afterwards. Depending on the operation, some recovery times can be a number of hours or days, others can be weeks or months. So, what can patients expect from their recovery if they have undergone cosmetic breast surgery?
Getting your home ready
Whether you have increased the size of your breasts, reduced them, had them lifted or reshaped, there are certain things in common that you’ll need to be aware of when planning your recovery. It is unlikely that you’ll remain in hospital overnight after your operation, so you will be returning home usually a few hours after the operation has finished. As such, it is sensible to get your home ready for a more delicate you – stock up the fridge and the freezer with plenty of healthy (and some comforting) food and drink, to ensure that you don’t have to do a big shop in the hours after your operation.
Breast surgery recovery: what to expect
Your will be feeling sore, swollen and your breasts may experience a numbness/loss of sensation in certain areas. This is completely natural. Ensure that you have paracetamol and ibuprofen in the house to help deal with the discomfort (although be careful if you have been prescribed anything stronger by your surgeon). The loss of sensation is due to where the nerves have been affected by the incisions and/or the reshaping.
You should expect that you’ll feel most uncomfortable in the early hours as you head towards morning. This will be because your pain relief wears off while you’re sleeping. Maintaining a regular routine with pain relief is sensible as this will ensure that it does not get too uncomfortable. Letting pain relief lapse will not do you any harm but it will increase your discomfort, so managing it properly is definitely the best approach.
Exercising is ok – but not too soon
You might be keen to get back into exercising after your operation but it’s important not to rush back into a strenuous regime. Give your body time to heal and don’t push it too hard too soon. If you’re in any doubt at all what is the right amount of exercise to be doing, and how soon after your operation, get in touch with your surgeon or aftercare team to discuss this.