Questions? Call (816) 286-4126
Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Preparing for breast augmentation surgery — Recovery must-haves, Part 2 of 2

April 15, 2014, 6:36 am

preparing for breast augmentation surgeryPreviously, we presented our first three must-haves in preparing for recovery following your breast augmentation: enlisting help, gathering pillows, and preparing a recovery kit. Today, we have three more must-haves to round out your recovery plan.

Comfortable clothes and footwear

After breast augmentation, you will be sent home with compression bandages or a surgical bra. Your upper body will be sore, and you will have restrictions on how high and how far you can move your arms. Wear something comfortable on the day of surgery, and consider wearing a top that buttons or zips up the front that has a bit of extra room to accommodate post-operative bandages and your new breast size. Avoid wearing tops that have to be pulled off over your head. Even your most comfortable and roomiest t-shirts and sweatshirts won’t be easy to take off in the first few days after surgery.

During the first week or two after breast augmentation, consider comfort over fashion when choosing your outfits. A few days prior to surgery, go through your closet and pull out every piece of comfortable clothing that you secretly wish you could wear outside the house, such as your favorite yoga pants, your old zip-front sweatshirts and track jackets, and even your husband’s old and comfortable button front flannel shirts. You will want to select clothes that are easy to get on and off without twisting your body or lifting your arms above your head. You will also want comfortable clothing since you will likely be lounging on the couch or napping in bed as your body recovers from surgery.

Ice packs and cold compresses

Prior to surgery, Dr. Hlavacek will discuss your recovery plan, including using ice packs or cold compresses to help ease swelling and pain. Prepare ahead of time by ensuring that your freezer is stocked with several compresses, and have a stack of tea towels or dish towels on hand to wrap around each compress.

Also, look for gel packs, which are flexible and can be easily positioned around your sore breasts. Having a set of between four and six gel packs on hand is ideal. You will most likely be using two at a time — one for each breast — but it will be helpful to have an additional pair or two in the freezer so that you don’t have to wait for the first set to refreeze between uses. Be sure to put your ice packs or compresses in the freezer the night before surgery so that they are ready to use right away.

Be sure to have plenty of tea towels or dish clothes available to wrap around your compresses. Putting the cold compress or ice pack directly on your skin can cause damage to the skin itself, and may feel too cold to be comfortable. Wrap each compress in the towel just enough to protect your skin, and be sure to follow Dr. Hlavacek’s specific instructions for your recovery about how and when to use your compresses. The more closely you follow your recovery instructions, the faster you will heal.

High fiber foods that are easy to prepare

Because you will be restricted from lifting your arms or moving too much during the first part or your recovery, stock your refrigerator and freezer with foods that are easy to prepare. During your first evening at home, and possibly the following morning, your stomach may be sensitive as a side effect of your anesthesia and the trauma of surgery. Soft and easy-to-eat foods such as gelatin, puddings, applesauce, and smoothies are easy to eat and digest. Before surgery, prepare meals that easy to reheat. Stock the freezer with prepared meals, or purchase healthy frozen options from the grocery store.

Stock your pantry with high fiber foods as well. Post-surgery pain medications are often associated with the unfortunate side effect of constipation. To prevent or relieve constipation, make sure your pre-surgery grocery shopping includes stocking up on white grape juice, prune juice, canned peaches, and prunes. Avoid bananas and rice until you are done with prescription pain medications, as these two foods tend to increase the possibility of constipation. If a high fiber diet isn’t enough and you are considering using an over-the-counter stool softener, discuss using these products with Dr. Hlavacek first. These medicines can actually make your constipation worse when used improperly.

Additional recovery concerns?

Please call Kansas City Surgical Arts at 816-286-4126 today to learn more about breast augmentation, to schedule a consult, or to have your recovery questions answered. No question is too small! We look forward to accompanying you on your breast augmentation journey.