Breast reshaping for many women requires a combination of volume enhancement/restoration and lifting of sagging skin and a low nipple-areolar position. Saline or silicone breast implants are placed in a complete or partial submuscular position and various types of lifts are performed on the overlying breast skin envelope. In most cases of significant breast reshaping, a vertical (lollipop) or combined vertical-horizontal (anchor) pattern of lifting is needed.
The following postoperative instructions for breast lifting with implants are as follows:
1. Most of the discomfort after surgery is related to the submuscular implants and not the breast lifts. Pain medications are prescribed and most patients will need them. You should take them as directed on the label, usually 2 tablets every 3 to 4 hours as needed. After a few days many patients only use Tylenol or Ibuprofen. You may also feel free to use ice packs on your breasts for pain as long as they do not directly contact the breast skin.
2. You will come out of surgery in a bra with gauze inside of it over the taped incisions. The bra is there for support and comfort. You may develop some spotting of blood onto the outer aspect of the bra the first night after surgery. This is normal and you need not be concerned.
3. You may remove the bra and the gauze inside it and shower 24 to 48 hours after surgery. It is ok to get the tapes wet. They are there to protect the incisions and eliminate the need for any wound care from your standpoint.
4. All breast lift incisions are closed with resorbable sutures under the skin. They are covered with glued on tapes for a week after surgery. Do not remove them. Dr. Eppley will take them off. It is also ok to have them get wet when you shower. Some spotting of blood may appear on the tapes and this is normal.
5. In rare instances, drains may be used after surgery. If so, empty them as needed. You will be given directions how to do so before going home after surgery. They may get wet in the shower. They will be removed in one to two days after surgery in the office.
6. Strenuous physical activities and working out should wait for at least two to three weeks after surgery. You do not want to put undue stress on the healing breast incisions. When you feel more comfortable you may begin working out by walking on a treadmill or on a stationary cycle.
7. You may eat and drink whatever you like right after surgery. Focus on liquids and soft foods for the first few days after surgery.
8. You may return to work and any non-strenuous physical activity as soon as you would like based on your comfort level.
9. You may drive when you feel comfortable and can react normally and are off pain medication.
10. If any breast redness, increased tenderness, or drainage develops after the first week of surgery, call Dr. Eppley and have your pharmacy number ready.