The Ultimate Guide to Breast Surgery – Part 4 – What to expect and aftercare 

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Important aspects of preparing yourself for breast surgery include being familiar with aftercare, timeline of healing, and when final results can be expected. Depending on the type of surgery you have – it may take a few weeks to months for you to see the final results. This is completely normal and all part of the normal healing process.

It is important to point this out as some patients do not take the recovery period into account and expect to see the final result immediately after surgery. Your breasts need time to heal and settle into place. Tissues generally relax after surgery. In addition, incisions need time to heal properly, during the healing process, scars may appear raised and red/pink. This will subside with time as the scar matures. The final scar appearance may take up to 1 year before final maturation occurs.

Every patient has a different body type and skin type, your surgeon will be able to advise on the types of results you can expect for your particular type of surgery 

Factors that affect results

Most patients are happy with the results of their breast surgery, especially if their surgeon has educated them well and informed them of things to expect post operatively. Of course, not everyone achieves the same results, below are some of the biggest factors that affect healing  of your breasts after surgery:

  • Your age
  • The size and shape of your current breasts
  • Your skin texture and thickness
  • Your weight and overall health
  • Your ability to heal/Nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking

Aftercare

Following breast surgery of any kind, it is extremely important to follow the aftercare instructions that your surgeon gives you. Following your surgery, it is usually advised that you take some time off work and avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting of any kind.

Normal activities can be resumed after six weeks. It’s important to note that you should keep the incision sites out of direct sunlight during the first year after surgery.  Applying sunscreen with good SPF protection is optimal. Too much sun and UV exposure can permanently darken a scar and make it more visible. It is generally recommended to wear a sports bra for the first few weeks after surgery. This will help to provide extra support without being too tight. Avoid wearing a bra with an underwire for at least six weeks.

Swelling and bruising are common side effects of breast surgery but these symptoms usually subside after a few weeks. Following aftercare instructions will help to ensure that your recovery is as speedy as possible and keep complications at a minimum.  

Previous - The Ultimate Guide to Breast Surgery – Part 3 – How breast surgery is performed

Next - The Ultimate Guide to Breast Surgery – Part 5 – Breast surgery FAQ

Dr. Fadi Constantine
Published by Dr. Fadi Constantine on October 19, 2015

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