After you’ve had breast surgery, you’ll need to take good care of yourself and carefully follow your doctor’s post-op instructions. For example, I counsel women who receive breast augmentation at my Cypress plastic surgery center that sleeping in the right position and properly massaging the breasts helps ensure a smooth recovery and promote the beautiful results they want. In this post, I share some best practices to follow after breast augmentation that I recommend as a plastic surgeon in Houston.
Sleep is extremely important after surgery—it is essential for a healthy immune system and quick recovery. When you sleep, your body can dedicate more blood flow to the injured tissues, which means those areas get more nutrients and oxygen. Sleep also plays a role in how much discomfort you will experience during breast implant recovery—the more sleep you get, the less pain you’ll feel. Try to get at least 8 hours at night and nap when you can during the day. Listen to your body.
How you sleep is important too. Make sure to sleep on your back during your recovery. Sleeping with your body elevated will reduce swelling and fluid buildup, as well as help with circulation and mobility. Once the swelling goes down after several days, you can begin sleeping flat on your back again, but make sure not to roll on your stomach or side. These positions put pressure on your implants or incisions and may affect your results. After about 2 weeks, it is okay to sleep on your side, but sleeping on your stomach is not allowed until several weeks after your procedure.
If you normally sleep on your stomach or side, it’s a good idea to practice sleeping on your back at least a week before your surgery. Try placing pillows on each side of your body to keep you positioned correctly. If you catch yourself on your stomach or side, don’t give in. Always roll back onto your back.
Massage plays an important role in recovery. I typically recommend that for the first 3 months following surgery, breast massages be performed regularly. Massages can help alleviate swelling, reduce the risk of capsular contracture, and improve muscle and skin tightness.
A couple weeks after surgery, you can receive full body massages in a massage chair or from a massage therapist as long as you are not required you to lie on your stomach. At this point it is too early to put pressure on your implants. At around 6 weeks, you can talk to your surgeon about getting massages that involve lying on your stomach. And if you feel any discomfort during massage, try placing a pillow under your chest to relieve pressure.
Always talk to your doctor before getting a massage. Every plastic surgeon has a slightly different protocol when it comes to breast massages, so it is best to ask for specific direction. In fact, while massages can be beneficial for many patients, they can be uncomfortable or even harmful for others.
This goes for any questions that you have during your recovery—do not hesitate to contact your surgeon. You’ve made a big investment on this procedure and you should try your best to protect that investment. It is your body after all!
Here at Basu Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, we offer rapid recovery methods that, when combined with good post-operative care, can get you back to your normal daily activities quickly and comfortably. Check out our gallery of real patient photos to get a better idea of your potential with a breast augmentation.
If you are interested in getting breast implants and want to learn more about the recovery process, request a consultation online or call our office at (713) 799-2278.