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Care After Breast Implants

You had a procedure called breast augmentation (enlargement). It is also known as augmentation mammoplasty. This surgery enhances the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. Women choose breast augmentation to enlarge breast size, to correct a reduction in breast size after pregnancy, to balance a difference in breast size, or to reconstruct the breast following breast surgery or mastectomy. Here’s what you need to do after this procedure.

Activity

  • Don’t raise your arms above breast level until your doctor says it’s OK. This prevents the implants from shifting.

  • Don’t lift, push, or pull anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least 5 to 7 days.

  • Sleep on your back. Use pillows to keep the upper part of your body elevated.

  • Don’t drive until your doctor says it’s OK.

Other Home Care

  • Keep an ice pack on your chest to relieve discomfort and to avoid extra swelling. Put the ice pack on for 20 minutes; then leave it off for 20 minutes. Repeat as often as necessary.

  • Wear the special bra or Ace bandage you were given before discharge as directed by your doctor. Expect to wear the bra or wrap 24 hours a day for about 3 to 4 weeks. You may remove it when you shower, starting 3 days after your surgery.

  • Shower as necessary, starting 3 days after surgery. Gently wash your incision site. Pat the incision dry. Don’t apply lotions, oils, or creams.

  • Do not submerge your incision in a tub bath until it is completely closed. Doing so may introduce bacteria and cause an infection.

  • You will have a dressing over your incisions. Be sure to ask your health care provider how to care for your dressing. Your stitches may dissolve on their own. Or, they may be removed at a follow-up appointment. If you have Steri-Strips (small white adhesive strips) at your incision sites, do not remove them. They will come off on their own.

  • Make an appointment to have your stitches or staples removed in 7 to 10 days.

  • Remember, the swelling in your breasts may take 3 to 5 weeks to disappear.

  • Take your medication exactly as directed.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Sudden shortness of breath or gradual shortness of breath that gets worse

  • Sudden chest pain

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or chills

  • Bleeding or drainage through the special bra or Ace bandage

  • Pain that is not relieved by medication; increasing pain, with or without activity

  • More soreness, swelling, or bruising on one breast than the other

  • Redness, or breasts that feel warm to the touch

  • Any rapid swelling in one area or breast

 

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