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Breast Reduction Recovery Guide & Tips

Breast Reduction Recovery Guide & Tips

Postby Make_Me_Heal_Team » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:25 pm

Hello Everyone,

Breast Reduction Postoperative Information

These are guidelines only ~ your surgeon should provide you with postoperative instructions. You may want to review this information to discuss with your surgeon prior to surgery.

•If possible, have your significant other, parent or good friend there to help care for you for the first 48 to 72 hours. It is very important to have someone there to wake you for medications, help you to the bathroom, prepare food for you and make sure that you eat it and also to be there in the event of an unforeseen emergency. If you are on your own, try to find someone that can check on you for the first couple of days.

•Consider the journey home. It’s advisable to take a pillow or two to make yourself comfortable for the journey home. Especially since the seatbelt crosses right over your breasts.

•Take your pain medications. There is no reason to suffer. Studies have proven that patients who are in pain and have a lot of stress can expect to significantly increase their healing time. Take care of yourself.

•Take your antibiotics on time; you do not want an infection. Finish your entire course and do not skip pills. Don't forget if you are taking birth control medication that some antibiotics can interfere with their effectiveness, so in the event that you do have relations, use another form of protection as well.

•Take your temperature regularly. An elevated temperature could mean an infection. If you do have a fever, contact your surgeon.

•Always check with your surgeon about taking any other medications or herbal supplements. All surgeons have different opinions and you need to make sure you ask before taking anything not prescribed or instructed to take by your doctor. Advise your surgeon about any prescription medications you normally take.

•Be sure to follow your surgeon's advice on icing. Keeping the area cold can really help the swelling and discomfort, especially in the first 48 hours. Do not place ice or cold compress directly on skin and ensure you check your skin during icing, especially where there may be areas of numbness. If you have been cleared to use ice, leave it on for 10 minutes and leave it off for another hour before using again. Of course if your surgeon says no icing -- no icing. Follow your surgeon’s instructions.

•You need to eat, even if you can only eat a small amount several times a day. Your body is healing and you need energy for the healing process. High protein foods are the best for the healing process. You also don’t want to be taking your medications on an empty stomach as this can cause nausea.

•Drink plenty of water. Your body needs water to help flush out the residual anesthesia and pain meds -- especially after you cease taking them. Plus, you will retain more fluid resulting in being more bloated and increased swelling if you do not. Also, your medications can cause constipation and being dehydrated can only make things worse.

•Remember that swelling is normal, as is bloating. Continue to drink water and eat a balanced diet, all will subside in its own time -- with a lot less stress.

•If you become constipated as a result of the pain medications, check with your doctor about taking stool softeners. Mild stool softeners like Colace are really effective, but please ask your surgeon first.

•You will need to sleep elevated for the first 7-10 days. Ask your surgeon how long he/she recommends sleeping this way and when it is recommended that you can sleep on your sides.

•Have pillows along side of you as well as in back of you, this can either support your arms or assist you in trying to roll over on your stomach or sides. You may find that using a bed wedge pillow to keep yourself elevated is helpful. You may also want to have a pillow to use under your knees and a small pillow for the lower part of your back. If you don’t normally sleep on your back, you may find that initially you are not very comfortable and may have a hard time sleeping. Unfortunately, you need to stay on your back to prevent any complications caused by pressure on your breasts. Your pain medication taken just before bedtime may help you sleep better.

•When you get tired, sleep. Sleeping gives your body more time and energy to direct towards healing.

•Get up and walk around when you are able but don't overdo it. You should start by walking for a couple of minutes every hour to prevent the possibility of blood clots in your legs. This doesn’t mean that you should be going shopping! You’ll find during the first couple of weeks that you will tire quite easily, even doing the things you did before your surgery. Ask family or friends to help with the grocery shopping, chauffeuring the children and even cooking, cleaning and laundry. You can repay their kindness with a nice dinner when you are healed!

•No walking around without a support garment unless your surgeon specifically told you not to. This is important. Your breasts will need support during this time for several reasons: breast shape, scar stretching, pain, and trauma to the healing breasts.

•Your surgeon will tell you to quit smoking before your surgery. Once you have quit, don’t start again. Smoking narrows the blood vessels and decreases the amount of hemoglobin to the wound. This can result in wound closure problems.

•Ask your surgeon about scar treatments. This includes silicone gel sheets, scar creams and Vitamin E.

•Make sure you don't take any aspirin-containing products or drink alcohol for at least 2 to 3 weeks post op.

•Remember, you will have scars and they will look worse before they will look better. Please don't be depressed because of the scars. Your breasts will continue to change over the next few weeks and months and the scars will get better. The scars are at their reddest in the first 3 to 4 months. Besides, depression and stressing out over anything is NOT good for proper recovery.

•No lifting objects over 5 to 7 pounds. This includes children and pets. Be careful with your significant other and children, and tell them to be careful. Being hit in the breast after surgery can cause bleeding, suture popping and undoubtedly, pain.

•No bending over. Bending over increases your blood pressure on your wounds and may cause hemorrhaging. Squat down, if you must, but do be careful. This is why it is important to place things at hip level beforehand or have someone to help you at home.

•No raising your arms way over your head. Check with your surgeon on when it is safe to do so.

•You should not be driving for at least a week, two if possible, after your surgery. You should discuss when it is okay to drive with your surgeon. Anesthetics remain in your body for a while after surgery and it’s not recommended that you operate any motor vehicles. When you do drive, you’ll probably want to put a pillow or blanket between your chest area and the seat belt to avoid discomfort while driving.

•Watch for suspicious swelling and discolorations that could be a hematoma. This is important! Know the difference between a hematoma and a bruise. You may also find that your skin becomes flaky and itchy. This is quite normal as the healing process begins. If the itching persists, especially if you are taking pain medications, contact your surgeon. You may have a reaction to the medications and your surgeon can determine what you should do. Numbness or hypersensitive areas on your breasts is common after breast reduction surgery.

•Make a chart of when to take your meds. A pill case will help you keep your medications in order.

•Place a waterproof, non-slip stool or plastic chair in the shower when you are finally allowed to shower. It’s also a good idea to have someone in the bathroom with you for your first 2-3 showers. You may feel light-headed and it helps to have someone steady you when you get in and out of the shower.

•A hand held shower head will allow you to direct the water where you want it. Keep the water flow low and cool the first couple of times you shower. You can use your hand to direct the water over your breasts the first couple of times you shower. Ask your surgeon what type of soap or body wash you can use and when you can use it. If you find that the water is burning when you shower, try taking a wash cloth, soaking it and squeezing the water over your breasts gently (don't use the wash cloth on your breasts though).

•After you shower, place a towel on the closed toilet seat and sit down to dry yourself. If you want to make sure that you are completely dry after you shower - remember, you can't dry the incision areas with a towel but you can gently place a dry washcloth over the incisions and use your hair dryer on the lowest setting and on cool to gently dry the areas where you have the incisions - the washcloth helps deflect the direct stream of air.

•If you are expecting your period and it does not come, do not worry. The medications, trauma and anesthesia will probably interrupt your cycle. This goes for it coming at an inopportune time such as the day of your surgery. Check with your surgeon’s office as to what you can do if your period starts on the day of your surgery.

•You are probably going to be depressed a few days after your surgery, or somehow or another during your recovery. This is very normal. Just warn your loved ones beforehand and keep your chin up. Your body has been put through a trauma. You may find that you have unexplained crying sessions, feelings of unattractiveness, self doubt, regret and general sadness. This too, will pass.

•Do not be afraid to contact your surgeon if you feel there is anything wrong. They are accustomed to talking with patients who may have questions or just need reassurance.

•If you have non-dissolvable stitches ensure you know when you will need to return to the office for removal.

•Go to your post-operative appointments. These are important so that your surgeon can gauge your progress and assess any further needs you may have to improve your results or experience and for you to share your thoughts, express concerns or ask advice.

•Keep in touch with your employer since they will be interested in knowing when you will be returning to work or if you require additional time to recover. They can then make arrangements to meet their needs and yours.

•Most importantly, relax. Don't stress. Being stress-free is very important for your recovery. You only have one chance to heal right and plenty of rest is the only way to get the healing process going in the right direction. You’re probably going to need a minimum of 2 weeks away from work/school and if you can arrange to take more time, do it. You are going to have days where you feel wonderful and days when you find you don’t have any energy, you are sore or swollen or you are just feeling like you don’t want to do anything at all. This is not the time to be shopping – the bras and cute clothes can wait – if you overdo it in the beginning of the healing process, you may regret it as your recovery progresses. Be prepared to look after yourself and be looked after, guilt-free.

•Follow the instructions of your surgeon regarding resuming day to day activities including sports, exercise and swimming and strenuous activities at work.

•It is quite probable that your final results may take up to a year to achieve. No trying on old bras or analyzing in the mirror in the first month or two - you'll drive yourself crazy! Two weeks or two months is not the time to "think you've reached your final size".

RECOVERING:

We thought we would put together a must-have list of recovery tips for patients. This post focuses on swelling tips. Most patients who have plastic surgery are worried about post-operative swelling and how they can minimize this unsettling symptom. As swelling can remain for days, weeks or longer, being prepared and knowing the key recovery tips will greatly help to minimize swelling.

Below is a must-have proactive list for anyone having plastic surgery who wants to take the air out of swelling:

Chill Out: 20 Minutes On, 40 Minutes Off

Many patients ice constantly (day & night) during the initial days of post-op. Apply a cold compress for 20 minutes on swollen area, then 40 minutes off, repeating hourly. Don’t put a cold compress directly on skin, as you should put a paper towel or thin, soft cloth on the swollen area to protect it. You can use specialized cold therapy compresses, frozen peas or blueberries in ziplock bags, or gauze pads soaked in water and ice.

Compresses We Recommend:

1) Cold & Hot Breast Compress Pair (with Shoulder Straps): http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10003

2) Cold & Hot Bosom Buddy Breast Compress: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=17984

Slip Into A Medical Compression Bra

Following a breast reduction, wearing a medical compression bra becomes crucial to your healing. A compression bra accelerates the healing process and allows you to return to daily life sooner by minimizing swelling, improving blood circulation, providing support and comfort to surgical areas, and by flushing the body out of potentially harmful fluids. By applying pressure, a garment helps the skin fit better to its new body shape with less likelihood of skin sagging. It is important that the garment be made specifically for plastic surgery recovery.

Choosing the right garment can have a significant impact on your healing. It is not recommended to sacrifice your cosmetic results by wearing a non-medical sports bra from your local store that is not specifically made for a cosmetic medical procedure because they are not designed for continuous wear during recovery. Wearing a non-medical bra can be bad for healing, as you can slow down your recovery, worsen your swelling and other symptoms, and increase your post-op discomfort.

Here is the link to see all the breast reduction compression bras:

http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product/b ... 3&catid=21

Most Popular Breast Reduction Compression Bras: Then, there is a great post that was put together by Make Me Heal that lists all the most popular garments for patients based on years of experience and it lists some tips on compression garments.

Here is the link to the post:
viewtopic.php?t=55765

The Natural Path To Healing With Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies such as Arnica Montana and Bromelain can shorten your recovery and lessen the swelling that you experience.

Arnica Montana:
Arnica Montana is a homeopathic herb that can shorten recovery by reducing post-op swelling and bruising. Arnica comes in both pill and cream form. The pill form can be taken several days before surgery and up to a few days post-op. The cream form can be applied on the affected swollen areas once the incisions have been closed.

Arnica Montana Products We Recommend:

Pill-form Arnica:

1) Sinecch Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10369

2) Vitamedica Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=15740

Cream-form Arnica:

1) Boiron Arnica Montana Gel:
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=11537

Bromelain
Bromelain is a natural pineapple enzyme that helps reduce post-op swelling and pain, and accelerates healing. Taken a week to several days before surgery and up to 1-2 weeks post-op.

Bromelain Products We Recommend

1) Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient - Post-Op Formula (w/Bromelain) -
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13509

2) Vitamedica Arnica Montana & Bromelain Kit:
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13518

Healing Multivitamins designed specifically for recovery are popular with patients, as they enable you to get all the essential healing vitamins, supplements, and minerals in one product.

1) Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient - Pre & Post-op Forumula (w/Bromelain) -
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13511

2) VitaMedica Plastic Surgery Pre & Post-Op Program (w/Vitamins, Arnica, Bromelain & FREE Arnica cream):
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13517

Elevate Yourself

Rest and sleep on your back continuously in an inclined position (25-45 degree angle) for the initial days of post-op or as long as major swelling remains. Resting in elevation enables optimal blood circulation and helps reduce swelling. You can achieve elevation by using specialized pillows such as a wedge pillow with an incline design, or by propping yourself above 3-4 pillows, or by sleeping on a recliner.

Wedge pillows are specially designed with an incline to provide proper alignment and to keep your affected swollen areas (facial, upper, mid, or lower body areas) comfortably elevated in an angle that helps reduce swelling and enables optimal blood circulation to all the vital healing areas. Many patients find bed wedges to be a superior and more comfortable elevation solution compared to putting oneself above pillows on a bed. The advantages of wedges compared to pillows are that they are sturdy, you do not have to worry about slipping off as you would with pillows, you have far less tension and stress on your body, and you do not have to periodically rearrange the wedge as you would with pillows that shift around and fall.

Bed Wedge Pillows We Recommend:

1) Memory Foam Bed Wedge:
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10574

2) Deluxe/Ultra-Comfort Memory Foam Wedge:
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13440

3) Bed Wedge Pillow:
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10043

Avoid Hot Showers

During the initial weeks of post-op, the water in the shower should be moderately warm because hot or steamy water can worsen swelling. Avoid having the water stream come down directly on fragile surgical areas.

Eat Right

*As salt (sodium) can worsen swelling, avoid foods and drinks containing salt during recovery.

*Drinking pineapple juice, which contains Bromelain, can be effective in reducing swelling.

*Eat leaf lettuce, eggs, and yogurt, which are excellent sources of Vitamin K, another possible remedy to swelling.
All the best,

The MakeMeHeal Crew
Tel: (866) 363-4325 (international callers: 818-883-3300)
Email us: http://www.makemeheal.com/contactus
Makemeheal.com
If you like us, spread the word: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
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Tips For Reducing Plastic Surgery Scars

Postby Make_Me_Heal_Team » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:30 pm

Hello Everyone,

Every plastic surgery patient despises scars, as scars are tell-tale signs of having had cosmetic surgery. For this reason, patients are most preoccupied about how they can reduce their scars following surgery. Fortunately, there are various effective solutions that can significantly help you reduce your surgery scars and minimize their appearance.

Here is a list of our top recommendations for minimizing scars:

Silicone Gels & Sheets

Silicone gels, creams and adhesive silicone sheets promote scar reduction and make your scar less noticeable. These products can reduce, flatten, and soften the scar size, thickness, height, and color of all types of new and old scars, post-surgery scars, keloids, hypertrophic scars, and scars caused by injury, trauma, and burns.

Silicone scar products help reduce scar appearance by forming a protective barrier over the skin surface, increasing hydration, pressure, and oxygen tension, and maintaining the skin’s moisture.

Silicone gels are recommended for areas that are visible to the eye and places where a sheet is not convenient to use. Self-adhesive silicone sheets come in various shapes and sizes and can stick to any body area. Sheets offer the added advantage of putting pressure on the scar, which benefits scar reduction. These gels and sheets should only be applied after wounds have fully closed.

Silicone Scar Creams We Recommend:

1) Kelo-cote: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10066

2) Scar Esthetique: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=15690

Silicone Scar Sheets We Recommend:

1) Biodermis Ultimate Breast Surgery Scar Reduction Sheet Kit (w/Anchor & Areola Circle) - Pair: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=30106

2) Scar Fx Breast Surgery Anchor w/Areola Circle - 1 Pair: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=15697

3) Oleeva Breast Anchor & Areola Circle Scar Reduction Silicone Sheet Kit: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=24946

Electromagnetic Patch

Electromagentic patches are the latest scar reduction home treatments that send an electromagnetic pulsed signal to the wounded area and reduce the appearance of scars. An electromagnetic patch fights the inflammatory response of your body that normally leads fluids to accumulate in the scar area and cause your cells to be pulled apart and result in what is known as scarring. The electromagnetic signal sent by the patch pushes the fluids out and reduces granulation of the scar which leads to less noticeable scarring.

Electromagnetic Patch We Recommend:

1) ActiPatch Breast Wrap Healing Patch: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id= 34827

2) ActiPatch Small Crescent Healing Patch With On/Off Key Tab: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=34824

Massage ‘Em Down

Massaging scars may help reduce their appearance, although it should only be undertaken once the skin is no longer vulnerable to pressure.

No Toasting or Taking A Drag

Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking for 2-4 weeks pre-op and 2-4 weeks post-op because this can lead to poor scar healing.

Protect Scars From The Sun

Once incisions have closed, a sunscreen should be worn at all times during the first few months of post-op. Sun exposure can prolong the period your scar remains red and may cause scars to hyperpigment and darken.
All the best,

The MakeMeHeal Crew
Tel: (866) 363-4325 (international callers: 818-883-3300)
Email us: http://www.makemeheal.com/contactus
Makemeheal.com
If you like us, spread the word: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
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Don't Let The Black & Blues Get TO You

Postby Make_Me_Heal_Team » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:10 pm

Hello Everyone,

Many patients relate to us how they are concerned and disturbed by bruising discolorations after surgery which can be quite unsettling visually and span all kinds of colors (black, blue, gray, and purple, to yellow and brown) until they disappear.

Fortunately, there are a few effective tips which you can follow to speed up the disappearance of the bruises, as follows:

Compresses

Once swelling has gone down, you can switch to warm compresses to help reduce bruising. Although the benefits of icing in regards to bruising is not agreed upon by all doctors, some believe that the “20 minutes on, 40 minutes off” icing technique (the technique used for swelling) may also keep the level of your bruising to a minimum. The Cold & Hot 10"x9" Compress and the Cold & Hot Deluxe Compress - 11"x14" can be used for both hot and cold therapy.

Compresses We Recommend:

1) Cold & Hot 10"x9" Compress: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10367

2) Cold & Hot Deluxe Compress - 11"x14": http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=39953

The Natural Path To Healing With Homeopathic Remedies

Arnica Montana & Bromelain are homeopathic remedies that can help reduce post-op bruising.

Homeopathic Remedies We Recommend:

1) Sinecch Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10369

1) Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient - Post-Op Formula (w/Bromelain) -
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13509

2) Vitamedica Arnica Montana & Bromelain Kit:
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13518

Vitamin K creams and pills help reduce post-operative bruising and internal bleeding. Some vitamin K creams also include Arnica, which decreases bruising when applied topically.

Vitamin K Creams We Recommend

1) Cosmesis Bruise Away Cream (with Vitamin K & Arnica):
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=18214

2) Life Extension Vitamin K Healing Cream
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=26867

3) Revision Vitamin K Cream
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13652

Cover Them Up

If your bruising is not disappearing as quickly as you need it to, you can use professional camouflage makeup to hide your bruising. The best product for this is Dermablend Cover Crème which is recommended by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, make-up artists and even actors! Set the Cover Crème with the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder for all day coverage!

Dermablend Cover Creme Camouflage Makeup
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10005

Dermablend Loose Setting Powder
http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10038

No Vitamin E

Avoid using or taking products (skincare, hair products, foods, supplements) containing Vitamin E (tochopherol) for 2-3 weeks before surgery and for 2-3 weeks afterwards because it is an anticoagulant that can worsen bleeding during surgery and increase post-op bruising.

Take It Easy

Take it easy during your initial recovery, as excessive activities and movements can raise your blood pressure and lead to greater bruising.

Avoid Bending or Leaning Down

Avoid bending or leaning down, lifting anything above 10 pounds, vigorous activities, and exercising until 3-4 weeks after surgery.

Gentle Massaging

Once surgical areas are not fragile, gentle massaging may help disintegrate the bruises.
All the best,

The MakeMeHeal Crew
Tel: (866) 363-4325 (international callers: 818-883-3300)
Email us: http://www.makemeheal.com/contactus
Makemeheal.com
If you like us, spread the word: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
Make_Me_Heal_Team
 
Posts: 1934
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3 days after BR

Postby BlackDahlia » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:43 am

Im so happy that the surgery is completed. Im nervous because today will be my first shower and I wanna make sure that I clean the area correctly. I know I should use warm water and mild soap. Im still nervous, though.. Can anyone give me some advice, pls...
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Re: Breast Reduction Recovery Guide & Tips

Postby greymatter » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:14 pm

Thanks!
ImageThe Healer :)
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Re: Breast Reduction Recovery Guide & Tips

Postby missna4u » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:37 am

This info is so awesome. wish I discovered this post earlier but that's ok, I'm goona go out today and get everything for after the surgery. Thanks you!
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Re: Breast Reduction Recovery Guide & Tips

Postby missy36z » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:07 am

the article is very good and helpful but i think your surgeon will provide you a better opinion and consultation than anyone else so you should keep in mind your surgeon's opinion.
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