Cosmetic Breast Surgery Basics 9 Things to Know Before The Procedure

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

If you’re considering breast surgery for cosmetic reasons, such as a breast enlargementbreast uplift or breast reduction, you’ll benefit from getting prepared. The advice below will help you consider arrangements and plan ahead for your procedure, whilst offering useful reminders about what you need both before and after your breast surgery.

Preparing for breast surgery

The better organised you are the more you can focus your attention on your breast surgery and getting better afterwards.

Here is a short check list to help you plan ahead and ensure a smooth recovery.
•   Make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from your procedure and also for a friend or relative to stay with you for the first 24 hours after your operation
•   If you have small children plan for their care during for the first few days following your breast surgery. Help and support with allow you time to relax and start your recovery
•  Place anything you’ll need access to after your procedure in a convenient location.
•  Stock up on easy to prepare meals, snacks and refreshments. Eat a healthy diet and avoid drinking alcohol a few days before your surgery
•   If you smoke you will be asked to reduce or stop, both two weeks before and after your operation, to reduce the risk of chest infections and prolonged scarring.
•   Refrain from extremely vigorous exercise the day before your procedure
•   Your Plastic Surgeon will discuss with you if they would like you to wear a post-operative bra, compression bandage or sports bra for extra support and positioning during the recovery process. If you are having implants then you will need extra support to hold them in their new position. When buying a post-operative bra it is important to focus on comfort and fit as you will need to wear the bra all day and night whilst you heal
•   Inform your Plastic Surgeon of any medicine you take, even if it is non-prescription.
•   Prior to surgery you will be asked to follow fasting instructions that means not eating or drinking. It’s important to follow your surgeon's advice
•  The night before your procedure it’s advisable to have a shower or bath as this might be difficult for a few days after your surgery
•  Remove nail polish as this will help the Anaesthetist monitor your blood circulation during your procedure


What should I take into hospital?

Depending on the type of cosmetic breast surgery treatment you have opted for you may stay all day or require a one night stay in hospital.

Here are some items you may want to bring with you:
•  Pyjamas or night dress
•  Dressing gown and slippers
•  Personal toiletries
•  Any medication you require for your stay with the original packaging and labels.
•  Underwear
•  Easy to put on clothes that are preferably loose fitting and zip or button up at the front and comfortable flat shoes that slip on to go home in.
•  Books and magazines
•  Supportive post-operative bra


After breast surgery

Your breasts after the operation will probably be sore, swollen, bruised and extremely sensitive. You may also feel tightness in the breast area as your skin adjusts to your new breast size. Your chest may feel a little tight. You will be given painkillers if you need them.

These symptoms are normal and they will start to improve over the next few days.


Rest is essential

Immediately after your procedure you will probably feel tired and sore for several days so it’s important to rest. Take it easy, rest in a semi-upright position that is comfortable and don’t rush yourself during recovery.


Going home

When your Plastic Surgeon is satisfied with your progress they will allow you to go home.


What to avoid following breast surgery

There are some things that you must avoid after cosmetic breast surgery. Your Plastic Surgeon will offer you advice on how long to refrain from these activities as it will depend on the surgery that you have opted for.

In general, avoid the following:
•  Getting your wounds wet for one week
•  Sleeping face down for one month. The optimal sleep position is elevated on your back with a couple of pillows. Sleeping on your back initially will help reduce your swelling and discomfort. After this time, you may return to sleeping on your side or stomach if you feel comfortable.
•  Physical exercise for four weeks. It’s best to steer clear of any strenuous activities that could raise your pulse and blood pressure, or which require excessive use of your arms and chest area as it may cause irritation and bleeding. When resuming exercise it is best to go lightly to begin with (no weight training) and build your exercise up as your body gets used to things.
•  Heavy lifting for three to four weeks
•  Driving for at least one week or until you can perform an emergency stop without discomfort


How long will it take to recover?

Recovery after cosmetic breast surgery is different for every woman. Each woman’s body is different and heals at a different rate. You should be mobile from day one and you can expect to be back to full exercise within six weeks after surgery. If you have any concerns about your recovery then you should speak directly with your Plastic Surgeon.


How much time will I need off work?

It is recommended you take around two weeks off work after your operation to fully recover. If your job involves any lifting or carrying, then you may be advised to take more time off. It is generally advisable to refrain from work and general activity whilst stitches and dressings are still in place.


You will need to attend follow-up examinations with your Plastic Surgeon. They will be able to see how you are progressing and detect any problems quickly.Should any problems occur after your surgery then contact your surgeon as soon as possible.

Here you can find our guide prices for cosmetic surgery procedures.

Read more cosmetic surgery blog posts to find answers from our consultants to the most common questions including: best place for breasts implants, breastfeeding and implants,  cosmetic surgery after weight loss surgery.


About Ramsay Health Care Cosmetic Breast Surgery Services

Ramsay Health Care Cosmetic Surgery is a leading provider of cosmetic breast surgery in the UK.

Whether you are considering reducing, uplifting or enlarging your breasts, Ramsay offers cosmetic breast surgery procedures performed by the highest qualified and experienced Plastic Surgeons in the UK. These consultants are all qualified as plastic surgeons, and have undergone specialist training in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

We always encourage people to do as much research as they can when considering cosmetic surgery.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss a cosmetic breast surgery procedure in more detail.

This content is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your GP or Consultant Surgeon would give you.

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