It is normal to experience some level of anxiety before undergoing any type of surgery. Even after your breast implant removal is complete, you’ll still need to successfully navigate a recovery at home so that you achieve the best possible results with as few complications as possible.
How long will I be sore and uncomfortable? When will my swelling go down? When will it be safe to finally venture outside my home? Read on to learn the answers to questions like these so that you can understand exactly what to expect and when.
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Immediately After Your Surgery
As soon as your procedure is complete, you will be brought into a recovery room where you will be monitored until you are out from under the anesthesia. After whoever you made arrangements with to drive you home has brought you there, you will begin experiencing some discomfort after the effects of the anesthesia have worn completely off. Use your prescribed pain medication as directed by your plastic surgeon.
First 24 Hours
As you’d expect, your breasts will be quite sore at this time, so avoid lying or sleeping on your stomach, but make sure that you walk around for a few minutes. This helps to prevent blood clots and promotes healthy blood circulation.
It is normal to experience a bit of incision bleeding, swelling, and bruising, which may last for a few days. Feel free to remove your bra when showering. Running water over your incision tape is fine.
If your plastic surgeon used a technique involving the placement of drains, be sure to strip the tube and record outputs as instructed.
Continue to take your antibiotics as prescribed, as well as any stool softeners if side effects from the use of narcotic pain relievers are considered likely.
You should also:
- Remain hydrated.
- Get plenty of bed rest.
- Keep moving around some each day.
One Week After
If your surgical procedure involve the placement of drains, they can probably be removed by this time if your drainage is within the expected parameters established by your plastic surgeon.
Two Weeks After
Now is not the time to break out your dancing (or running) shoes, but you’re getting there. In the meantime, keep your walking shoes handy, and continue walking some each day to promote healthy blood circulation.
Avoid vigorous physical activity to keep from reopening your incisions, and keep wearing your compression garments as recommended to reduce swelling and prevent breast tissue distortion by keeping your skin tight.
Three Weeks After
At the three-week mark, things should be rapidly returning to normal for you. You can safely remove your incision tape, and begin applying scar reduction cream for the next two months.
You should also be able to safely resume moderate exercise and physical work.
Your breasts will still be somewhat swollen, although they should now be nearing their final size. It is normal to experience some degree of discomfort, shooting pains, and areas of numbness during this time. If these are too intense for you, let your plastic surgeon know.
Four Weeks After
Get ready to swap out your compression bra for a sports bra, as you should be cleared to start performing light exercises again.
Six Weeks After
Now is the time to get those running shoes out of your closet. You can start taking part in vigorous exercise once again, as virtually all of your physical restrictions should have been lifted by this time.
Six Months: Full Recovery
Although you should have already begun feeling much more like your regular self, and able to resume most of your daily activities, it can take up to six months to completely heal and recover from breast implant removal, as your scars continue fading and any remaining swelling fades away.
Be sure to follow all of your plastic surgeon’s postoperative instructions to ensure that you experience a complete recovery and achieve stunning, long-lasting results.
Six months after your surgery, you should be fully healed from the surgery itself. The nature of breast implant illness, if it was a factor in your decision to explant, may prolong recovery.