We have provided some useful postoperative instructions and advice following your breast surgery with us. The information is also beneficial if you are considering surgery with us as it will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of breast reduction/lift aftercare.
Remember that you have splash proof dressings over your incisions. These dressings do not need to be removed until your first post operative visit.
Medications – You will be provided with simple painkillers before discharge.
Change of dressings – Your dressings should be left intact until your first postoperative visit.
Follow up appointments for dressing clinics – You will be handed a card with details of your first follow up appointment and contact details for the ward should you have any concerns once you get home.
Start walking as soon as possible, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots.
Follow a balanced diet. Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may wish to add more raw fruit and fibre to your diet. Make sure you increase fluid intake.
Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin unless approved by your surgeon.
Avoid smoking for at least two weeks, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
Avoid alcohol when taking pain medications. Even if you are not taking pain medications, it is advisable to avoid alcohol for 3 weeks as it can cause fluid retention which may worsen swelling.
When can I go back to work?
This will depend on your recovery and your job requirements. We advise patients to take 2 weeks off work but it will vary from individual to individual.
Showering/ bathing – You may bathe once you are home but try not to soak your dressings.
Sleeping position – Sleep comfortably on two or three pillows. You do not need to sleep propped upright. Avoid sleeping on your tummy for at least three weeks.
Clothing – Wear clothing that is easy to remove and avoid tight tops. Wear a support bra – further information
Driving – We recommend not driving for at least 4-5 days after your surgery as you may be on pain medication.
Exercise – For the first 2 days keep your arm movements to a minum. Your arms should not be used to support your body or lift anything heavy. Do not push your arms to lift yourself in bed. Avoid strenuous activities or any activity that increases your blood pressure for 3-4 weeks. Contact sports should be avoided for at least 2 months.
Showering – You may shower when you get home.
What to Expect
Some discomfort is common in the first few days after surgery. You may experience some numbness of your nipples and incision areas. You may experience temporary soreness, tightness, swelling and bruising as well as some discomfort in the incision areas. Your breasts may be sensitive to stimulation for a few weeks.
Your breasts may feel tight and swollen for several days and bruising is not uncommon.
Most of the discoloration and swelling will subside in 4-6 weeks.
Scars may be red and angry looking for six months. In time, these usually soften and fade.
You may be up and about in 2 days, but it will be a few weeks before you are entirely up to speed.
Your mood may fluctuate after surgery – this is normal. A small amount of blood staining on the inside of your dressings is common during the first few days.
Weeks 1-3 after your operation – You will attend a specialist nurse clinic to have your dressing changed and sutures removed. You will usually be seen 2-3 times over this period. The nurses will provide you will silicone tapes to help your scars mature.
Six months – You will be asked to arrange a follow-up appointment with your surgeon at six months to discuss the outcome of your surgery and any concerns you may have.
Please note – Some of our patients will get in touch prior to their 6 month follow up appointment and we are often able to address any concerns you may have over the phone or via email. You are welcome to make an appointment (at no cost to you) prior to your 6 month follow up if you wish to be seen in person to discuss any issues.
Healing is a gradual process and your scars may remain slightly pink for up to 6 months.
Avoid exposing scars to direct sun for 3-4 months.
Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or higher).
You can start to massage your scars with a plain moisturising cream from around 3 weeks after surgery.
When to Call
If you have increased swelling or bruising which is not settling.
If you notice swelling of one/ both of your legs or feel short of breath – this may indicate a clot in one of your veins/ lungs – Deep vein thrombosis/ Pulmonary embolism.
If you have increased redness along the incision (this may be a sign of infection).
If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
If you have a temperature over 38 degrees Celsius.
If you have any yellowish or greenish discharge from the incisions.
If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
If concerned, please call Beechwood House on 0131 316259 between the hours of 8am-8pm or after that on 0131 334 0363.