Post-Operative Symptoms After Breast Implant Surgery Introduction Women from all over the world resort to plastic surgery more and more often in recent years to correct various imperfections on the breasts, improve their appearance or make them perkier or bigger. Breast implant surgery is on the top of the patients’ preferences when it comes to plastic surgery procedures performed on the breasts. Breast augmentation with implants can provide the patient with a permanent increase in the volume of the breasts, an improved shape, and even a nicer looking cleavage. The initial results of the procedure are visible as soon as the patient wakes up while the final results will take longer to transpire. It is usually after six to nine months that the results of breast augmentation with implants can be considered permanent. The breast implants need time to settle and drop and the incisions need time to heal, so wait at least six months before assessing the results. The recovery period after breast augmentation surgery is often up to fourteen days. After this time, most patients will be ready to return to work, assuming that their responsibilities don’t include intense physical activities as these should be avoided for at least a month after the procedure. Many patients interested in undergoing breast augmentation surgery ask about the recovery period and what are the symptoms they should expect to be confronted with after the procedure The success of breast augmentation surgery: Preparation, operation, care While getting breast implants might sound like a trivial pursuit equivalent to getting hair extensions for some, the reality is that breast augmentation is a surgical intervention. A surgery performed for elective purposes means that the patient actually has time to prepare for the procedure and this is something all patients should do. If we don’t have much choice in case of surgeries following sudden accidents or traumas, when considering elective surgery, the preparation period is important. The success of any surgery and especially breast augmentation doesn’t lie in the doctor’s hands alone but is a joint effort. I always tell my patients that we need to work together to achieve the results, I can’t do all the work myself, and by this I mean the patient’s dedication during the pre- and post-operative periods. The preparation period entails the avoidance of certain medication such as birth control pills, anti-inflammatory medication, and any type of natural supplements that could trigger excessive bleeding or blood clot formation. Not smoking three weeks before the procedure is and keeping a balanced and healthy eating regimen a month before is strongly advised. The patient needs to be in the best physical condition before undergoing breast augmentation surgery as this will ensure a fast and smooth recovery process. The operation proper is also important, and this is why it is important to choose a talented, board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your breast augmentation. More than performing the procedure, he will be your guide on this journey and give you recommendations about the type of implants to choose and how to avoid complications. The recovery period after breast augmentation surgery is different from patient to patient and also depends on the surgical plan that was followed. This means that generally speaking, the recovery period after a breast augmentation with submuscular placement of the implants can be longer and associated with more pain than one where the implants are placed under the mammary gland. After the procedure, the patient is advised to follow the instructions of the plastic surgeon to the letter. This means that during the first 24-48 hours, the patient should rest and resume eating and drinking but in moderation. As a fasting period of six to eight hours is instructed before any procedure using general anesthesia, and the patient should drink plenty of fluids upon recovery to ensure proper hydration. The liquids recommended are water, freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices, and also herbal infusions. Avoid caffeinated drinks or alcoholic beverages for the first few days as they might cause dehydration and trigger unwanted side effects like nausea and dizziness, among other things. Healing is a gradual process, and the patients must understand this and not force it. Patience is required to navigate the symptoms after breast augmentation surgery. Symptoms after breast augmentation After the surgery, your breasts will be bigger. The augmentation is immediate and clearly visible despite the bandages and the compressive bra. For some patients it can be a shock to see how changed their new body image is. You might notice that the clothes you wore before no longer fit you because of the increased volume of your breasts. It is important to get comfortable clothes to wear after the procedure. Many of the normal symptoms and side effects will be reduced just by avoiding significant arm movements that are pretty common when trying to put on a shirt, for example. This will become very obvious, especially during the first few days after surgery and when you experience pain and discomfort. Loose shirts with buttons are a good option when it comes to clothes after surgery. It is also not recommended to lift any heavy objects for at least a few weeks after the procedure as pain may occur and even other complications such as implant displacement or shifting. Pain and discomfort are some of the most common symptoms you can experience after breast augmentation surgery. The plastic surgeon will prescribe medication to alleviate the pain. The swelling and bruising of the breasts are other normal symptoms that shouldn’t worry you as they are the body’s natural response to the trauma of the surgery. The tissues need time to heal, and once this happens, the side effects will disappear. During the first week of the recovery period, you can apply ice packs on the breasts to reduce the intensity of the discomfort, the pain, and the swelling. Make sure to place the ice pack on a piece of cloth so as not to freeze the skin on the breasts. Don’t keep them on the breasts for longer than 10-15 minutes at a time. If you are experiencing intense pain combined with high fever and redness on your breasts, you might have developed an infection. Patients should be aware of the symptoms of infection so they can get help as soon as possible if it occurs. Most plastic surgeons will prescribe antibiotics treatment to be taken for five days after breast implant surgery is performed. Changes in sensitivity on the breasts are also common and can occur after breast implant surgery. The changes can be on the incisions and in most cases temporary. The incisions can be itchy a few days after the procedure and there is nothing to be worried about. It is a normal part of the healing process. Conclusion Breast augmentation surgery is the only method that can be successfully used to increase the size of the breasts. Patients seeking help from plastic surgery to get bigger breasts need to understand the requirements of the procedure. This means that the patient should be willing to put in the time and effort to prepare for the surgery and also to follow the instructions for post-operative care. The symptoms or side effects that can be encountered after surgery are swelling and bruising in the operated area, changes in the sensitivity of the breasts, and a certain level of pain and discomfort that can be easily alleviated with antalgic medication. If you are confronted with intense pain or a symptom that hasn’t been mentioned by the plastic surgeon during consultation, make sure to contact him as soon as possible as it might be a sign of a complication developing.