Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed procedures around the world. Women who have had breast augmentations typically report greater happiness and self-confidence after undergoing the procedure. However, if you are to undergo breast augmentation, you will need to know what to expect after your surgery, such as how long it should take to recover and how to sleep during this time.
How long should my recovery take?
Of course, every woman is unique, and there is no set time for recovering from breast augmentation. Generally, plastic surgeons advise patients to expect a recovery lasting at least six weeks. Many women even start returning to normal within a week or two. Before undergoing your procedure, your surgeon will give you some expectations on your recovery that apply to you personally.
Here is a general outline of what you may expect following your breast augmentation procedure, including instructions on how to sleep while you are recovering.
Immediately After Breast Augmentation
You will likely feel somewhat sore and groggy when you wake up from the anesthesia. It may feel a bit like a hangover, but the effects will wear off in only a few hours. Of course, you should make arrangements for someone to drive you home, as it will not be safe to drive while you are still feeling the effects of the anesthesia.
One Day Later
Many women experience the 24-hour period after a breast augmentation as the roughest part of their recovery. You will likely feel somewhat uncomfortable and may need to take any prescribed pain medication to ease your discomfort.
A day after your procedure, your dressings can be removed, in most cases. Some dressings may need to remain for the time being, so be sure to consult your surgeon before removing anything.
It is normal to experience a feeling of tightness in your chest area while your skin is adjusting to the implants. It is also normal to experience a degree of swelling and bruising that should resolve over the next few weeks.
A couple of weeks after your surgery, you can likely begin to get back to normal life. Light physical activity and exercise can be slowly worked into your daily routine. As your swelling reduces, the pain will also. Just be sure to avoid vigorous physical activity until your surgeon gives you the go-ahead.
Before you undergo breast augmentation, make sure that your kitchen has plenty of simple foods that are easy to make. The easiest types of foods tend to be soft and light, which should help you avoid nausea. You also want to remain hydrated while recovering. So drink plenty of water so that your body can flush out toxins and distribute nutrients to healing tissues.
The Importance of Sleep
Surgical procedures can be an ordeal for your body. So it is vital that you get as much restful sleep as possible to experience a full recovery. Sleep helps support a healthy immune system so that your body can repair itself. Restful sleep also has an effect on the pain response of your body so that you are more comfortable while you are recovering.
Ideal Sleep Position
Your breast tissue and chest will be quite sensitive while you are healing from your breast augmentation procedure. As a result, you should be sleeping in a position that does not place undue stress on these areas while you are resting and sleeping.
You should sleep on your back while you are recovering. Never sleep on your stomach, which could place pressure on your breast implants or the incisions, compromising the results of your surgery.
To reduce inflammation and speed healing, try to keep your upper body elevated. Use pillows to prop yourself up while you are resting. Sleeping in a recliner is also helpful. By sleeping upright, you will not have to use your arm and chest muscles as much.
After your swelling and bruising have subsided, you can begin sleeping on your side. However, it is important to only sleep on your side when you wear a supportive bra, like a sports bra.
Some Tips for Recovery and Proper Sleep
Besides sleeping in the correct position, there are a few other ways that you can promote safe, restful sleep while recovering from your breast augmentation procedure.
If you are not used to sleeping on your back, you may want to practice it for a few weeks prior to your procedure so that it seems more natural to you. Anything that you are not used to will be more uncomfortable to you, and comfort is the key to restful sleep.
Try using more pillows than you do normally, particularly under your back and head while you are sleeping. You want to get your torso elevated to reduce breast tissue inflammation. This will help you heal and provide good blood circulation to minimize swelling.
One way to help reduce swelling and promote healing is to encourage good blood circulation. Avoid vigorous physical activity, but try to move around some by walking around your house or around the block.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Not only are caffeine and alcohol known to cause inflammation, they can also wreak havoc with your sleep. So be sure to avoid consuming both of these until you have recovered fully.
When you know exactly what to expect while you are recovering, it makes things that much easier. Now that you have undergone a successful breast augmentation procedure, you can look forward to enhanced self-confidence and happiness. By carefully following all of your surgeon’s post-operative instructions and sleeping properly, you should have a full and rapid recovery.