Breast Lift and Breast Reduction: After Surgery Instructions

All of us at the Bashioum Cosmetic Surgery Center are proud of the postoperative care of our patients. We want you to have the very best surgical result possible! We are here for you. If you have any questions of any kind at any time, please call us. It is our pleasure to help you through your convalescence. It is your responsibility to follow these important instructions. They have been developed to reduce your risk of complications and they will help with the postoperative healing. Working together we will succeed in our goal for you! What you have accomplished is no small achievement. You have not only overcome a sensitivity you had with your physical appearance but also you have overcome the fears of completing cosmetic surgery to correct this problem. You are a person of courage and you can now demand great deeds of yourself.

What can I do to reduce the pain?

All patients experience some pain in their breasts, chest and/or back after surgery. Most patients take only plain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Celebrex as prescribed for pain control. If you are unable to take Celebrex, acetaminophen alone may be sufficient. Begin taking acetaminophen elixir (liquid) or tablets for pain as soon as possible after surgery. If this is not sufficient to control your pain, begin taking any prescribed narcotic(Vicodin, Percocet, Darvocet, Tylenol #3) pain pills as directed. If you did not receive a prescription for narcotic pain medication and you feel you need something stronger for pain control, please contact us as directed below. Prescribed narcotic pain medications can make you sick to your stomach. Take them only after you have had something to eat. I recommend you take a dose of either acetaminophen or narcotic pain medication before you go to bed the first night or evening after surgery. Set an alarm clock to wake yourself up 4 hours after you go to bed. Take a second dose of the same pain medication then resume your rest until morning. Ice application during the first 24 hours after surgery will also reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice bags to your breasts for 20 minutes at a time followed by 10 minutes of rest. In other words, apply ice to your breasts for 20 minutes of every half an hour. When applying the ice bags make sure there is a small amount of water in with the ice at all times. Your skin should feel cool to the touch. Do not use frozen gel packs. It is not necessary to apply ice while you are sleeping at night.
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When can I take aspirin or ibuprofen after surgery?

Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen containing products (After Surgery Medications) for two weeks after your surgery. These may cause excessive bleeding that could ruin the result of your surgery.
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When can I eat after surgery?

Drink only liquids for the first few hours after surgery. Advance slowly to small, light meals. If you experience nausea or vomiting more than two times, please call me so I can prescribe something to reduce this. Excessive vomiting and retching can result in bleeding beneath the breast and/or around the implant (if breast enlargement was done) that will require more surgery.
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Does someone need to stay with me after surgery?

You must have an adult (older than 18 years old) take you home and remain with you continuously for 24 hours after your surgery. Although rare, emergencies do occur. You need to have an adult with you in the event you need help. You must have help to the bathroom the first few times in case you experience dizziness or light-headedness.
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Can I drive myself home?

You may not drive yourself home after surgery. The pain medicines and the anesthesia drugs interfere with your good judgment and coordination.
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When can I drive my car?

Do not do anything that requires mental or physical coordination for 48 hours or for as long as you are taking prescription pain pills. This includes driving a car, truck, tractor, or operating machinery, power tools or appliances. The pain medicines and the anesthesia drugs interfere with your good judgment and coordination.
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What can I do to reduce the swelling?

Swelling is a normal part of breast lift and breast reduction surgery. Swelling will involve the breasts and the tissues around the breasts as well. It can even extend onto the abdomen and the back. Elevating the head of your bed for two to three days will minimize swelling. You may sit in a chair. Applying ice to your breasts will also help. When applying the ice bags make sure there is a small amount of water in with the ice at all times. Your skin should feel cool to the touch. Do not use frozen gel packs. Reducing the swelling reduces the pain after your surgery.
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Do I have to stay in bed after my surgery?

Gently get out of bed as soon as possible after your surgery. When you get up, sit with your legs hanging over the edge of the bed or chair for a few minutes before standing. This will help avoid problems with dizziness, light-headedness and fainting. Do not use your arms or upper body to push yourself out of a bed or chair. You may roll to your side and then sit up or stand up. Have an adult assist you the bathroom the first few times. Always get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Begin to walk as much as possible as soon as you can after surgery. Do take it easy the first few days. Do not exert yourself in any strenuous activity. Avoid strenuous activities that involve arm movement such as raising your arms over your head and lifting with your arms. A balance of rest and reduced activity will speed up your recovery.
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Are there any bandages or dressings?

Surgical glue placed on the incisions at the time of surgery. Gently wash over the glue when you shower. The glue will wash off in two to three weeks. Do not wear a bra for one week after surgery. A light dressing held in place by tape can be removed the day after surgery. This dressing can be replaced if there is drainage from the incision.
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Are there any stitches to take out?

I only use stitches that will be absorbed or wash out. I do this to eliminate the discomfort and stress of suture removal after surgery.
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When can I shower after surgery?

You may shower the day after surgery. Remove any dressings before you shower. Use soap you used before your surgery. Gently wash your breasts including the incisions. Do not take a bath, hot tub or swim for two weeks.
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How long must I stay in town after surgery?

If you live further than a one-hour drive, you must stay in the area for one or two nights.
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How long before I can travel?

Traveling long distances or for long periods of time can be problematic after surgery. Generally, I do not recommend traveling longer than one hour for one week after surgery. When you do travel you must have help at all times with your baggage (do not lift more than five pounds for three weeks) and you must get out of your seat and walk for five minutes every hour. Remember, even small vibrations during travel can increase the amount of pain you experience. Finally, you will not have the same energy level as you did immediately before your surgery.
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When can I drink alcohol?

Do not consume any alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) for 48 hours after surgery. In addition, do not have any alcoholic drinks while you are taking the prescription pain pills. The alcohol can interact with these medicines and lead to serious health problems and death. Finally, drink alcohol in moderation for three weeks. Excessive consumption can lead to a fall that could ruin the results of the surgery.
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When can I wear a bra after surgery?

Do not wear a bra for the first week after breast lift or breast reduction surgery. This will reduce your postoperative pain and reduce the risk of shifting the position of the implants after breast enlargement surgery. You may wear any type of undergarment you choose after the first week provided it does not give you pain. It is not necessary to wear a bra at all times.
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How long must I be off work?

How long you are off work depends on your occupation. If you do clerical work (i.e. stockbroker, teacher, or programmer), you can return to work when you feel up to it. This usually takes about two to three days. Do not go to work for three weeks if you do manual labor (i.e. entertainer, truck driver or personal trainer). Regardless of your employment, do not lift anything weighing more than five pounds for three weeks.
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When can I have a massage?

Body massage is very effective for relaxation. However, reclining on your stomach will be uncomfortable for a few weeks after surgery. In addition, I do not recommend massage of your breasts or chest for three weeks after surgery. Breast massage after breast enlargement was recommended in the past but I believe is no longer necessary.
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When can I work out after surgery?

Generally, you can go back to working out two to three weeks after breast lift or breast reduction surgery. This depends on how you feel. Do not lift anything that weighs more than five pounds for three weeks. Avoid contact sports for six weeks. If you had breast enlargement with a breast lift, hereafter avoid all exercises which isolate your pectoralis muscles as these can shift the implant toward you armpit. Workouts must stop if you experience discomfort in your breasts or chest. A balance of rest and reduced activity will speed up your recovery.
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Can I use a heating pad?

Do not use a heating pad on your breasts, chest or back for a full six months after your surgery. It is not possible for you to judge the temperature of the breast, chest or back skin. This can lead to burns and terrible scarring.
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When can I suntan after surgery?

Sun tanning damages your skin. It leads to wrinkling, discoloration, and superficial growths. It can also lead to serious skin cancer. For these reasons, I recommend you use sun block with an SPF number of 15 or greater at all times. A physical broad-spectrum sun block works best. If you are exposed to the sun, I recommend you protect your breasts for six weeks with clothing such as a T-shirt or pareo. You must carefully protect any scars from sun exposure with clothing, tape or sun block for six months.
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How long will it take for the feeling to return to my breasts?

It is normal for the breasts to be swollen, tender, and numb for the first six weeks. Some of the numbness can linger for one to two years. Intermittent very brief pains can occur during the first year. This is a sign of nerve healing. These pains will pass within a few weeks after they begin.
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How will I fell emotionally during the first few weeks after surgery?

Surgery effects each person’s emotions differently. During the first week you can expect your energy level to be noticeably reduced. This will begin to improve the second week but it will take a full six weeks for you to have the same energy level you had before surgery. Many people say they want to sleep longer or more often. Normal hormone changes after surgery will also affect your emotions. Between 5 to 10 days most patients experience a period of doubt regarding their decision. They may feel down and sometimes cry. Remember, this is normal and will pass with time. If this depression is severe, contact us immediately so we can see you in our office.
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When will I see the final result of the surgery?

Scar healing takes six months to a year. For this reason, you will not see the final result of your surgery for six months. During this time you will notice the scars will lighten in color and they will become softer to the touch.
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What should I do if I need a breast biopsy after breast lift with breast enlargement surgery?

When a breast mass is discovered, a biopsy is usually necessary. If you have had breast enlargement with a breast lift, care must be taken to avoid damaging the underlying implant. Sharp instruments must not come in contact with the implant due to the risk of implant rupture. Tell your physician you have had breast implant surgery so they can take appropriate precautions.
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When do I come back to the office for aftercare?

Please call the office between 8:30AM and 4:30PM during the workweek to make arrangements for me to see you one week after your surgery. Please call for appointments for follow up visits at six weeks, six months, and twelve months. The reason for this extended care is because it takes six months to one year for complete healing to occur. There are no charges for any of your aftercare office visits. It would be my pleasure to see you at any time to answer any questions about your breast surgery or any other cosmetic surgery you read or hear about. Finally, please mention me to you family and friends when they bring up the topic of cosmetic surgery or therapeutic injections. It has been my pleasure helping you through this cosmetic surgery experience!
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What should I do if I have questions?

I care about you and your concerns very much. Please call me at any time you have any questions about your breast lift or breast reduction surgery. Call if you have any excessive swelling, bleeding, soreness, fever, chills redness, or unusual wound drainage. It is particularly important if symptoms are present on only one side. During office hours (8:30AM to 4:30PM, Monday through Friday), call 952.449.4900 and we will answer your questions.  If the concern is not urgent and is able to wait until the next business day, you may leave a message at 952.449.4900 after hours or on weekends.
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  • Member, American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
BASHIOUM COSMETIC SURGERY CENTER 445 Lake Street, Suite 210 Wayzata, MN 55391 877-647-6882