Anticipation

As surgery draws closer, patients feel a sense of nervous anticipation. For many, the unknown of having cosmetic surgery, makes the days spent waiting quite nerve-racking.  I believe it is the fear of pain and possible complications that often weighs heavily on a patient’s mind.  Melissa’s anticipation of the positive change in her figure with breast augmentation surgery is a good example of keeping the proper focus.  I appreciate her careful attention to the information she has received about her role in all of this.

Over my years of practicing medicine, I have adopted certain philosophies in my office, which include implementing surgical strategies to reduce pain after surgery and thoroughly discussing the procedure with the patient.   This stems from my own experience as a child, when I had my tonsils and adenoids removed at 5 years old.  To this day I remember the smell of ether (not found in hospitals today) as I was going to sleep.   After the surgery I was sick to my stomach, which was typical for this drug at the time.   Finally, the pain in my throat was very memorable.  The ice cream and Popsicles were of little consolation, as I simply could not eat them.   It was too painful!     We have given careful consideration to pain control, both during and after surgery in an effort to reduce our patients’ experience with pain after surgery.

There are many things we do to reduce pain after surgery.   It starts even before surgery.   We pre-medicate the patient in our office just before surgery.   This has reduced the need for strong narcotic pain medications by fifty percent.   During surgery, care is taken to eliminate all bleeding.  Blood collection can cause a significant elevation in pain.  Other pain mitigation techniques include a large amount of local anesthetic that is injected to numb the nerves going to the breast, just before I insert the implant.   Finally, I have eliminated the use of all dressings after surgery.  In my opinion, dressing serve no real purpose and often contribute to  increasing pain after surgery.   Over half of the patients undergoing breast enlargement surgery in my office take only mild pain medication and acetaminophen after surgery.   Women who have delivered a child say they experience a fullness or heaviness during recovery, similar to feeling as if their milk has come in.

So my advice before surgery is to try to relax the best you can.   Focus on the preparation outline we have given you.   If necessary, call my office to have any last minute questions answered.  In most cases, patient concerns are easily addressed.  Only on a rare occasion, do I prescribe a sedative or sleeping pill for overly anxious patients.   Your personal strength and desire to improve your physical image will get you through this!

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