Before I perform breast augmentation on Phoenix and Scottsdale area patients, I always take the time to speak with them regarding the surgical recovery period. The reason I do this is to ensure that they are aware of the important role they can play in enhancing their healing for beautiful results. Patient’s actions after surgery have the potential to speed along their recovery, but can also increase their risk of complications if they are not careful during the healing process.
Although breast augmentation is not generally associated with significant postoperative discomfort, the healing phase must be taken seriously by patients to achieve the best results possible. The majority of the healing occurs in the first six weeks after surgery, with continuing progress for a few months after that. During this period, patients must be mindful that they are not fully healed and need to plan their activities accordingly.
Since in most cases I place implants under the pectoralis (chest) muscles, lifting and physical activities should be limited after surgery. If someone strains their chest too much after surgery, there is the potential for increased pain and swelling, or in the worst case, bleeding from the muscle into the space around the implant (called a hematoma) which can require more surgery.
To minimize these risks, I advise patients to avoid lifting more than 1 or 2 pounds for the first two weeks, 5 pounds for weeks three and four, and 10 to 15 pounds for weeks five and six. Patients are also advised to avoid yanking open refrigerator doors, slamming car doors or trunks, or doing any significant housework. Patients with very young children usually have family members stay with them for a couple of weeks to assist with child care- especially lifting kids out of cribs or into highchairs and car seats. After family members leave, I recommend that they hire help for housecleaning or childcare duties.