Recovering after breast surgery is hard work. Be it an augmentation, a reduction or a lift, your chest will feel very sore and your mobility is going to be limited for several days. Gary L Ross is a cosmetic surgeon who specialises in, among other procedures, breast augmentation surgery in Manchester; here’s a list of tips that he and his team have compiled over the years to help patients recover as quickly as possible. There is abundant stuff written online about cosmetic surgeries in general, reasons to get it done and pros and cons, so I thought it was a good idea to collaborate with an industry professional on the lowdown when it comes to the road to recovery.
Have ginger beer or fizzy water to hand
After a general anaesthetic, followed by strong painkillers, many people feel nauseous. Ginger beer quells nausea, so have lots of small cans ready. Have other drinks available as well, but do avoid screwtop bottles, as it’s surprisingly painful to open them after breast surgery.
Eat bland, easily-digestible foods
To help with the nausea further, eat “gentle” foods like oatmeal, ice-cream, dry toast or rice. Avoid greasy foods until you’re feeling better, because vomiting after breast surgery is incredibly painful.
Have a stack of pillows
You’ll need to sleep in a reclining position for at least a week after the op, so make sure you have enough firm pillows for this.
Invest in a good moisturiser
You’ll notice some itching as the incisions heal and your skin stretches over implants. Body lotion can alleviate these symptoms. A backscratcher is also a good investment.
Have stool softeners or prune juice ready
Constipation is common after surgery, especially if you’re on strong pain relief, so have prune juice to help you along. If you’re still having difficulty, a stool softener will help.
Have some icepacks
These are great for reducing swelling and pain. If your surgeon recommends icepacks, follow their schedule – it’ll be something like 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off – don’t deviate from this. Don’t leave an icepack on for too long as it can affect circulation in the surgery site and this can prevent healing.
Think about your post-op clothing
You need front-opening clothes. You won’t be able to put your arms over your head or pull clothes down over your chest. A dressing gown is ideal as you will also find pulling up trousers and knickers painful too. Similarly, tie up your hair and leave it for a few days – washing it will be painful if not impossible.
Put new batteries in your TV/DVD remotes
Even when you’re fighting fit, getting up to change channels is a pain.
Loosen caps on medicine bottles
If there’s no small children about, loosen medicine bottle caps as the childproof lock will be too much. You could decant several days’ worth of pills into an organiser, but ensure it’s out of children’s reach (but not in a high cupboard). An organiser helps you to stick to your dosage schedule, too, as you’ll be groggy and forgetful for a few days.
Keep your phone charged and by your side
It’s not just so you can play Candy Crush – you might need to call for help or for advice.
Have a supply of books and DVDs
You won’t be doing much else, after all. It might be an idea to avoid comedies, as it’ll hurt to laugh.