The Natural Plastic Surgeon Blog
By: Sarah, Breast Augmentation Patient of Dr. Daniel Barrett
For the first 1-2 weeks I spent a lot of time Googling to find out others’ experiences, so wanted to document mine in case it helps even one person with an easier recovery. All of the prep in the world from your surgeon and staff still may not fully prepare you for some of the little things!
What You’ll Feel After Your Breast Augmentation
First off, let’s talk pain. Dr. Barrett is a total pro, I fully believe all of his methods like a small incision, 5 layer close, etc. help you be as pain free as possible. When I woke up from surgery, I wasn’t in pain, but immediately felt tightness in my chest, mostly on the right side. I never once had to take narcotics, but was diligent about the prescribed ibuprofen, which I took religiously every 6 hours for the first few days along with the antibiotics. Every time I popped a new set of pills, I’d yell to Alexa to set a timer for 6 hours.
Ok, on to the worst part: comfort, or more like discomfort. This is something that I feel like isn’t talked about as much. I was never in a lot of pain, mostly just uncomfortable for the first 5ish days (it gets better every day though, I promise).
Top Tips For a More Comfortable Breast Augmentation Recovery
- Sleep is probably the worst part. I’m a stomach sleeper so adjusting to sleeping on my back while elevated (!) was difficult, to say the least. The nurse told me to sleep elevated for the first 3-4 days, but with the pressure in my pesky right side I felt like I had to sleep propped up for a couple of days longer than originally anticipated.
- When your body isn’t used to being in this elevated position, it can get real uncomfortable real quick. So pro tip: sleep with a small, long pillow under your knees. You know where they place it when you’re on your back during a massage? Do that. Another thing that helped me immensely that I didn’t see mentioned on forums was propping my elbows. With how elevated I was, I would feel pulling in my breasts if I had my arms lay totally by my side. Arm pillows also help to prevent rolling to different positions in the middle of the night. Get two small pillows to prop those elbows on either side and thank me later.
- You’re going to get very sick of sitting and laying down the first few days. But I loved this sleeping position with my extra pillows so much that I adopted it during the day when I was on the couch. However, I still felt discomfort in both my lower back and shoulders. Like a lot. The pillow under the knees helped my lower back some, but walking and standing were also life savers. I’d stand and pace while watching tv to give my body a change. The worst pain I felt was in my shoulder though. This could be specific to me as I’ve had issues with this particular shoulder for years, but both sides became tight. Your body is getting adjusted to having two new, heavier things in it all while being fairly immobile the first few days. Luckily my fiancé was a rockstar and would squeeze and gently massage my shoulders. Find someone to take care of you who is good at that and milk it.
Getting Prepared For Breast Augmentation Recovery – Things to Plan Before Your Surgery!
Being totally dependent on someone else for an extended period of time is tough. I’m usually a very independent person so losing that freedom for the first handful of days was not easy—my fiancé had to do everything for me. Even small things you wouldn’t think of like opening pill bottles, adjusting pillows, helping that second arm into a button down shirt, etc. Find someone who can be with you to help make your life easier for the first 3-4 days.
I thought I did a good job preparing my house for surgery. But once I came home and couldn’t move my arms more than a T-Rex, I quickly realized I was wrong. I had done the laundry like sheets and towels and prepped plenty of meals that I froze in individual portions, some puréed broccoli soup, ingredients for tons of smoothies, etc. All of this helped, and you’ll no doubt need assistance making those meals and snacks for you. But there are other things you’ll quickly lose your ability to do.
- Any items you use from your medicine cabinet on a daily basis need to come down. You won’t be able to reach them so put them on the counter even though it might look cluttered.
- My shirts are on the upper hanging rack of my closet and I couldn’t reach any of them post-op. Get all of your outfits that you think you’ll wear the first handful of days down to hip level so you don’t have to reach for them. Either lay it out on a wardrobe or if you have a lower hanging rung in your closet, put them there.
- Each night before bed have your caretaker open your prescriptions and put a pill by your bed. Chances are you’ll wake up and if you’re taking them every 6 hours like me you don’t want to have to wake them up to help you with your pills
- Buy reusable straws. Just do it. This is not something I initially thought of, but luckily had two at home. You’re not going to want to lift anything heavy like a full water glass for the first day or two. Having two straws in rotation for water and smoothies was a life saver.
All in all my recovery was really smooth, and hopefully yours will be too with some of these tips. After going through it would I do it over again? Hell yes. I’m just at week 2 and tried on some of my bathing suits and sports bras and wow do I love the way I look! My only regret is not doing this sooner. So congrats on your decision, you’re in great hands with Dr. Barrett and team. You’re going to love them!
We’re excited for you to take this next step!