Post-Surgery Recovery

Recovering After Surgery

1. Get plenty of rest and limit yourself to light activities the first 10 days after surgery. Sleep and rest at a 45’ angle for the first 10 days. It is ok to lie on your back, and to sit down in a normal position.
2. You may take a cool shower the day after surgery. Make sure you have someone helping you. Let water run gently over the suture sites. Dab dry. Place gauze over your incisions. Put your compression garment back on.
3. Walk every hour while awake for the first day and then every 2 hours. Avoid stairs.
4. Take all medications as directed. If you need a refill on pain medications call the office.
5. Empty drains every 8 hours (if needed) or when they become more than half full. Write down the amount of drainage.
6. Do not be concerned if the fluid from the body leaks around the drain. If the drain clogs, you will need to milk it. If you are not sure how, call the office for instructions.
7. Wear a surgical garment 24 hours a day for 4-6 weeks unless the doctor instructs you differently.
8. At 10-15 days after surgery take your dressings off. Apply Kitoscell®, allow it to dry and then reapply micropore tape for two weeks.
9. Sutures will dissolve on their own.
10. Do not drive for the first week or while on pain medications. Do not do heavy housework. Do not work out at all for the first 3 weeks, and no abdominal workout for at least 8 weeks.
11. Avoid lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds for 2 weeks.
12. Avoid direct exposure of the incision to sunlight for at least 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, apply sunscreen (at least SPF 35) to the area of the incision, if you will be in the sun for extended periods of time.
13. Do not smoke for at least 4 weeks after surgery.
14. Do not use aspirin-containing products for at least 1 week. You may take Tylenol or pain medication as prescribed.
15. You may apply ice or bags of frozen peas or corn on the breasts for the first 48 hours to decrease swelling. Do not apply it directly on your skin.
16. It is not uncommon for a small part of the incision to open up and look like a pimple at 4 to 8 weeks. Simply wash the area with soap and water and apply Neosporin or Polysporin to it. If the area of redness is larger than a dime, call the office.
17. Remember it may take up to 3 or 4 months for your energy to return. Do not get frustrated if you tire easily.
18. SPORTS: Strenuous sports may be resumed after four to six weeks. Refrain from participating in any activity, which significantly raises your body temperature, blood pressure or pulse, for three weeks after your surgery.

What to Expect After Breast Surgery

1. Immediately after surgery, some patients feel groggy or nauseous. These feelings normally subside by the next day.
2. Many patients experience some pain for the first 3 to 4 days and soreness for the first 2 weeks.
3. Standing straight will be difficult for about 1 or 2 weeks. You may also experience some temporary lower back pain due to this bent posture.
4. Swelling and bruising usually clears up within 2 weeks.
5. The scar may become thick and puffy as it heals. It will also look bunched up. The scar will flatten out within 6 to 12 months. After one year, if the scar is more noticeable than desired, you may discuss scar revision with the doctor.
Post surgical complications are rare and are often easily solved by the doctor. If you experience any of the following symptoms, please notify us:
1. A temperature of 101 F (38.5’C) or higher
2. Shortness of breath and/or chest pain
3. Fainting
4. Increased local redness or warmth in incision site.
5. Discharge (foul smelling) from incision site.
6. Leg swelling
7. If uncertain about something, please call us.

1. Blood Clots
a. It is important to walk at least every 2 hours while you’re awake to prevent blood clotting, but do not overdo it. Right after surgery you will be instructed to walk around every hour.
b. Pay specific attention to leg swelling. If you notice swelling or calf pain, call our office.
2. Fever
a. Make sure to cough and breathe deeply, as fever usually originates in lungs for the first 3 days after surgery. Doing these breathing exercises, helps prevent adverse events.
b. Make sure your temperature does not rise over 101 F
3. Wound Care
a. Make sure you wash your incision site twice daily after discharge. Use soap and water. You may add Neosporin or polysporin if your doctor agrees.
b. Cover your incision site with gauze, micropore tape, telfa bandage, butterfly tape, or steri-strips. DO NOT leave your incisions “airing out”.
c. The surgical team may recommend using products that will aid in the wound-healing process. Refer to specific instructions in situations like these.
d. If you suspect an infection, please report it to the medical staff, for further instructions.
4. Compression Garments
a. These should be worn for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. The surgical staff will determine the appropriate time-frame, depending on each individual case.
b. You should wear them as much as you can for the WHOLE day.
c. Wear your compression during sleep, if you can tolerate it.
d. Wearing your compression garment, will allow for inflammation to subside quicker.
e. After 6 weeks, you will have to wear a sports bra that gives you adequate compression.
5. Constipation
a. Going through surgery, naturally slows down your bowels.
b. You may take senokot, or other OTC laxatives in order to help stimulate a bowl movement.
c. Walking generally helps a bowl movement to occur.
d. If you are constipated 4 days after surgery, please inform the medical staff.
6. General Precautions
a. Assume the ‘T-rex’ position. Basically attach your elbows to your sides and do this while showering, brushing your teeth, etc.
b. Walk every hour while awake for the first day and then every 2 hours daily.
c. Sleep at a 45-degree angle for the first 3 nights.
d. Do not do excessive manipulation of your breasts for 4 weeks. Bend with knees; don’t bend with abdomen.
e. Exercise areas other than your chest at 4 weeks, if you wish. You can begin to exercise your chest at 8 weeks if there is no pain or discomfort.

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