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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 following this procedure.

Activity

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

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

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 3–4 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 healthcare 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 7–10 days.

  • Remember, the swelling in your breasts may take 3–5 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 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, breasts that are hot to the touch

  • Any rapid swelling in one area or breast

 

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