Tips, tricks and a Kelly Bag for the recovery time after breast augmentation.

Kelly Vasileiadou
14. November 2022
Tipps, Tricks und eine Kelly Bag für die Erholungszeit nach einer Brustvergrösserung
So, you have decided to have a breast augmentation (Link to breast augmentation with implants website). I am very happy about that. I find this operation one of the most beautiful aesthetic procedures that can give us women a lot. I had also personally thought about it for a long time and finally had it done.

My personal experience – as a doctor and patient

From my personal experience I can say that the time after breast augmentation was not unpleasant. But it was also not on autopilot. My husband took care of me 25h a day. Sure, I felt something and took my medication at very regular intervals. But already the day after the operation I was able to do all everyday activities again, I sat in the car and went for a coffee. I had a very good aftercare. What helped me a lot was moderate exercise. Already during the first hours after the operation I went for a walk in the streets at my home. I flew to Istanbul 7 days after my breast augmentation and explored this fascinating city on foot with my husband. This is my personal story and each of us has our own. To give you an idea of what to expect after breast augmentation with implants, I have put together a few tips here. And a Kelly Bag.

The recovery starts already before

Already during your pre-operative consultation, you will receive precise instructions from our surgical team for the day of the operation and the time after the breast augmentation. All questions and concerns will be discussed with you again during this consultation. In the time leading up to the surgery, you will also receive a detailed list of instructions that our surgical nurses will email to you. On the day of surgery, our assistants will go over this list in detail with you and your post-surgery caregiver before you are discharged.

At this time, you will be prepared for many aspects of your postoperative recovery. Most importantly, this involves pain relief, medications, questions about work or childcare, and what activities or exercise you should and should not do. Some of the most common questions and concerns I hear are about recovery. Most patients are always pleasantly surprised to learn that recovery is generally comfortable and uneventful if postoperative instructions are followed. Please remember that every plastic surgeon has her own protocol for the post-operative period. We have also changed our procedure over the years and sometimes we deviate from it (for example, if you are very athletic, your recovery is even faster than expected). It is important that you follow the advice and protocol of your own plastic surgeon. Only she knows you best and can closely monitor the recovery.

Position and movement

After breast augmentation, I recommend sleeping in an elevated position or placing 2-3 pillows under your back for the first week. Some patients have also told me that they like to sleep on a recliner or the couch. Preferably along with Netflix. Most people find this sleeping position uncomfortable when they normally sleep on their stomach or side. Therefore, it is a good idea to practice sleeping in this position before your surgery. 

Movement is another topic that I and our team specifically address with you. Many patients have a misconception that they can no longer move or lift their arms after breast augmentation surgery. This is not true. On the contrary, we want you to move and stretch your arms carefully after surgery. You should feel free to try reaching over your head, brushing your hair, and even picking up a glass from the top shelf. As long as you don’t lift anything heavy or add weight to these movements, they will help you feel better faster. It’s similar to stretching after a hard workout. The faster you stretch or move, the faster you will feel better.

The Kelly Bag 

One of the most important details to discuss during your pre-operative consultations is that you must not take any NSAID medications (this includes aspirin or ibuprofen) for three weeks before and after surgery. Acetaminophen (Dafalgan or Novalgin)l may be used for pain relief if needed because it does not contain the blood-thinning properties of NSAIDs. If you take these medications before or after surgery, you run the risk of developing hematomas after surgery.

When you leave your private wardroom with us after your breast augmentation with implants, you will receive our “Kelly Bag” (PICTURE FROM bag of Kelly). In it, you will find your medications for the immediate post-operative period. The Kelly Bag include a pain reliever, muscle relaxer, antibiotics (in some cases), your implant card, your scar care, and a little goodie to sweeten the time after the operation. The medications are all administered as needed. You personally may have a different medication regimen based on your personal experience, pain tolerance and needs.

You will also receive a mobile number of Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou, where you can call 24/7 in the first days after the breast augmentation. At any time during the first 24 hours, the doctor and the surgical team will be on call to answer your questions.

Activity and movement

When you get home from breast augmentation with implants, I recommend that you take it easy. Take it easy yet be somewhat active. This can be, for example, a “walk” from the bedroom to the balcony, while you take a glass of water in the kitchen. You can also very well, if you feel well, go outside around the house, and activate your circulation a bit. We want you to get up and move around every hour while you are awake. The sooner you get up and move around, the sooner you will feel better. However, please avoid any pushing, pulling or lifting as these movements require the use of your chest muscles.

Most patients can drive again within a few days after breast augmentation. You should not drive a vehicle for 24 hours after anesthesia or while taking prescription narcotics. Driving can resume once you have stopped the narcotic pain medication and your arms are fully mobile. Full mobility means you are comfortable behind the wheel and confident that you can safely avoid an accident if necessary.

Most patients who have a “desk job” return to work a few days after surgery, while others prefer to take a full week off. Home office helps many of my patients here. For people with more intensive jobs, this varies. For the first three weeks, you should not do any strenuous activities. This includes any activity that would increase your heart rate and blood pressure. This means that you should not exercise or go back to the gym during this time. After three weeks, you can resume cardio and strength training (lower body), but should continue to avoid exercising your upper body or chest muscles. After a full six weeks, you can resume all exercises.

What do I wear?

We recommend that you wear light, comfortable clothing on the day of your breast augmentation. A button-up or zip top, slip-on pants and shoes are great for getting dressed after surgery.

Patients always have questions about bras. We will put on a compression bra for you in your private wardroom. In addition, our nursing team will give you tips on how to put on and take off your bra after breast augmentation with implants. Your help at home should also know how to do this. It is sometimes not easy to close the eyelets and hooks. Wearing this compression bra is very important. It allows you to stabilize the implants in their position. You should wear it continuously for 6 weeks.

It is important to follow these guidelines so that your breasts settle properly, and you do not put yourself at risk of developing a contracture. By not wearing underwire or push-up bras, you can ensure that your scars heal well. After 6-8 weeks, you will then be faced with the experience of shopping for new bras. Or you can get your better half to give you a new collection.

Nutrition

Our diet plays a big role in how quickly and efficiently our bodies can recover. Eating protein-rich foods after surgery can speed up the recovery process. In addition to a high protein diet, we recommend a low sodium diet. This means that you should stay away from all salty foods and not include salt in your diet. Your goal is to eat between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day during this time. Sticking to a high-protein, low-sodium diet with adequate calories will make a big difference during the recovery period. And treat yourself to a sip of champagne after you get through the first few hours after surgery and feel great. You’ve earned it. But leave the opening of the cork to your better half.fühlen. Sie haben es sich verdient. Überlassen Sie das Öffnen des Korkens aber Ihrer besseren Hälfte.

About Dr. Kelly

Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

Specialist FMH for Surgery
Beauty is not perfection. Refining your face or body image to enhance or restore your natural beauty – that is my mission. Your trust commits me to providing you with excellent medicine and exceptional care. My team and I work tirelessly to satisfy you. That’s what I stand for with my name.

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by Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

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