If you’re considering having breast augmentation, you may be wondering what the best methods of pain management are after breast augmentation. Feel at ease knowing your board-certified plastic surgeon will provide you with proper care instructions to follow when you return home.
To maximize your comfort, and ensure proper pain management following your breast augmentation procedure, it is vitally important to follow your plastic surgeon’s guidelines. Here are four important tips to help you feel more comfortable throughout the recovery process.
1. Keep Your Breasts Supported
Keeping your breasts supported is an important part of pain management after breast augmentation. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with a support garment after surgery, such as a surgical bra or bandeau, to wear for the first few weeks following your breast surgery.
Wearing your support garment as instructed by your plastic surgeon will help alleviate discomfort and prevent excessive motion that could be otherwise painful for your breasts.
Keep in mind the instructions for how you should wear your support garment may vary, so it’s important to follow directions carefully. Your plastic surgeon may also include additional care instructions if you’re combining your breast augmentation with other procedures.
As you advance in your recovery, your plastic surgeon may encourage you to transition from your support garment to a sports bra or traditional soft-cupped bra. Although you may be looking forward to shopping for a new bra right away, you may want to wait until you have completed your recovery. By that time, you can assess your final results as your breasts will have settled into their new position.
2. Maintain Proper Pain Management
You can expect to feel some pain or discomfort following your breast surgery. Over the counter pain medications, as well as prescription pain medications, can be utilized for pain management after breast augmentation.
While some discomfort is common in the initial recovery period, some individuals only experience some tightness in the chest, neck, shoulders, or back area. If you are experiencing discomfort that is more associated with tightness, rather than acute pain, your plastic surgeon may include muscle relaxant medication as a part of your care plan. Certain medications are not recommended to be taken together, so it is important that you are honest about your health history and the medications you take at your consultation.
3. Perform Light Stretching as Permitted
While pain within the breast region is typically expected, some may be surprised to notice shoulder or back pain following the procedure as well. Some plastic surgeons attribute this to the recent change in chest proportions and body mass following your breast augmentation. Maintaining proper posture and performing light stretches, as permitted by your plastic surgeon, can help to address any discomfort or stiffness.
Stiffness after surgery is common and can often be perceived by your body as pain. Allowing for some light stretching, as directed, can be just the amount of movement needed to decrease stiffness and maintain proper pain management after your breast augmentation. A wide range of motion is not necessary and may not be recommended, especially for your upper extremities. However, light shoulder rolls, or gentle corner chest stretches are examples of stretches that can help relax the chest muscles and help you feel more comfortable.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
A comfortable and smooth recovery will also depend on how prepared you are when it comes time to do so. Getting plenty of rest allows your body time to heal and recover as quickly as possible. To aid in your rest and recovery, it’s important to maintain proper pain management.
While some women may be able to return to work within 3 to 4 days, you may need to wait longer if your job is physically demanding. It’s important to not rush the recovery process as this could increase the risk of bleeding and other healing complications. Taking extra good care of yourself can have a positive impact on both the recovery process as well as quality of your breast augmentation results.
This means a big part of your rest and recovery process is keeping your activity level in check. Avoiding strenuous workouts is encouraged for at least 3 weeks. However, light exercise such as short, frequent walks throughout the day may actually improve circulation and promote healing. While it can be tempting to return to your normal level of activity, it is important to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions before you consider resuming normal activity or exercise.
Scot A. Martin, M.D. is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving El Paso, Las Cruces and communities throughout New Mexico and West Texas. He focuses his practice on breast enhancement and body contouring plastic surgery procedures.