The Surgeon Minute

24 Hour Breast Augmentation Recovery

24 Hour Breast Augmentation Recovery

Out with the old and in with the new! Breast augmentation has changed over the years for the better, meaning less recovery time and less pain. “Over the last 20 years of my practice we’ve really been able to fine tune the postoperative recovery for breast augmentation,” says Dr. Caroline A. Glicksman, a board certified plastic surgeon from New Jersey.  “When doctors say you need to be wrapped up in ACE bandages, and be swollen for days, that’s old history.  That’s really not the way breast augmentation patients need to recover these days.”

By Caroline A. Glicksman, MD
and Susan Kamyab

Timing is Everything… from scheduling to down-time

For a lot of women, it is all about the timing of surgery.  “When do I have the time to have this operation?  How long will it take to recover? How much work will I miss? These are the important questions my patients are wondering about,” says Dr. Glicksman. ” It makes a huge difference when they learn that they’ll only have a two to three day recovery.  Maybe they can work from home, or they can get back to driving their kids around and not need help from family and friends.”

Breast augmentation surgery takes approximately one hour and should be almost completely bloodless.  In my practice we have them doing stretch exercises right in the recovery room.  At night, patients can use an ice pack  if they wish and sleep in any position that is comfortable.  The following morning after surgery, I have the patients showering and able to wear stretchy, soft, comfortable bras.  Patients usually return to everyday activities within 24 to 48 hours, and can resume their cardio exercises at two weeks, with the exception of running or chest exercises. Patients usually leave the surgery center feeling a little sore and tight, but comfortable. The fact is, they will be able to get dressed, shower, run errands, or work within two to three days. By two weeks, they are amazed at how quickly they’re recovered.”

Less Pain in Recovery

“The real change in postoperative pain has come about by a couple of  important factors,” says Dr. Glicksman

  • First, selecting a device that fits the patient.  In the operating room we are not tearing muscle, we are not cutting muscle, and we are not putting in something that doesn’t fit the patient.
  • The second factor is working as a team with the anesthesiologist.  In the operating room we use a short acting muscle relaxant, allowing us to lift up the breast easily without any damage.  This then allows us to place an implant without trauma to the area.
  • Third, is to have the patient stretch, move and get active quickly.

With all of these factors combined, there is normally no need for narcotics.  Patients may just need to take a little Advil or Ibuprofen after the surgery.

Back to Life in No Time

The advanced, modern techniques of board certified plastic surgeons has made breast augmentation recovery a thing to worry about for days, instead of weeks. In 48 hours or less, patients are back on their feet and ready to reenter normal life. 48 hours… That means surgery on Friday, recovery over the weekend, and back to life by Monday!

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