When it comes to breast-augmentation surgery, Nashville, TN plastic surgeon Daniel Hatef, MD gives very clear pre- and post-instructions to all of his patients to make sure the healing process is as seamless as possible.
Even with the detailed planning and the clear instructions, he says he’s had two implant cases just this past year that made him stress some of the specifics he delivers when it comes to the communication.
“If I had one message concerning patients doing things after surgery it is: Please, do NOT ice your breasts after augmentation! In all seriousness, we must specifically tell patients not to ice their breasts after breast implant surgery, as we have seen two rather serious ice burns.”
While Dr. Hatef shares that both patients have, thankfully, recovered, they “took months before they looked normal—and one even required a few laser treatments and a lot of scar therapy.”
Encino, CA plastic surgeon George Sanders, MD says his best “skip-this-one” piece of advice deals with the way patients should sleep post-augmentation: “I ask my patients to avoid sleeping on their stomachs, since the pressure on the implant causes it to stretch the scar tissue on the side, resulting in breasts that fall to the side.”
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Also in line with the pressure theme, Pasadena, CA plastic surgeon Lily Lee, MD advises not to go bra-shopping immediately after augmentation. “The shape of your breasts will change dramatically in the first few months after surgery,” she says. “And don’t do push-ups! Especially if your implant is in the dual-plane [under the muscle] pocket. It might push your implant down and out.”
While he says he often stresses that more activity doesn’t yield better results (The Aesthetic Society also doesn’t mince words when it comes to their directive on exercising post breast-aug, and recommends “minimizing excessive physical activity for at least the first few weeks after surgery”) New York plastic surgeon Daniel Y. Maman, MD points to the biggest hindrance to healing happening when a patient falls into “marketing hype.”
“Many patients are enticed by common breast augmentation marketing tools like ‘rapid-recovery breast augmentation’ or ‘back to work in 24 hours,'” he says. “Although many patients will feel great after 48 hours, my feeling is they should take it easy for several weeks. We do this operation once and we want it to heal perfectly. Patients are instructed to carefully follow our activity protocols, which slowly transitions them back to normal routine by four weeks.”