What is “rapid recovery” after breast augmentation?
Rapid recovery breast augmentation is a method of postoperative care that lessens downtime and shortens total recovery time through specific post-surgery activities and medication.
How did breast augmentation “rapid recovery” come about?
Since the introduction of breast augmentation in the 1960’s, the postoperative course for patients has been tried and true… bind the patient’s breasts and don’t let them move. The reason behind this is simple – movement could stimulate bleeding and lead to a hematoma or blood collection around the implant, a very unfortunate complication. And I too did this for many years.
“The rapid recovery program was just that! I was amazed at how quickly I was back to my normal routine. It was just as Dr. Hess described it would be.”Breast Augmentation Patient
However, intrinsically this doesn’t make much sense. With almost all other surgeries, knee replacement, hip replacement etc., the patient is gotten out of bed almost immediately after surgery. This reduces swelling and stiffness and reduces complications thus greatly speeding recovery. So why not do this with breast surgery? The premise is simple – reduce postoperative breast swelling, stiffness and pain through passive pectoralis muscle motion and anti-inflammatories.
First tried by a surgeon in Texas, it was found to be wildly successful. So I adopted this Rapid Recovery program several years ago for breast surgery and my patients are very happy that I did. Most patients are back to their normal routine, including work-outs, in just a few short days.
Rapid Recovery Program
The following details how the program works. As you’ll see there little or no need for narcotic pain medications. In addition, you’ll be out and about in 24-36 hours and even back in the gym in 2-3 days. There’s no loss of active down time without the increased risk of complications. With a surgery performed on a Thursday or Friday you’ll be back to work, school or normal activities by the weekend.
So if you want a breast augmentation without long down time, Dr. Hess has the answer.
Day of Surgery
- When you arrive home from surgery, take a 2 hour nap.
- After 2 hours, have your caregiver wake you up.
- Have a small bite to eat and take 1 Motrin. You should then take a Motrin every 8 hours.
- After 15-20 minutes take a shower, wash your hair, blowdry it and get dressed in normal casual clothing, including your surgical bra (with the strap over the top of the breasts).
- You and your caregiver should then go out to lunch or similar meal.
- Be sure you open your own care door and do all normal activities. Just don’t do anything very strenuous.
- After lunch do your first set of five over-head stretches.
- Stand with your hands to your sides.
- Raise your arms straight out to the sides then over your head with the back of the hands touching and your arms touching your ears.
- Do this a minimum of 5 times every hour.
- Before going to bed, lay face down with your full torso weight on your breasts for 15 minutes. This is best accomplished over a foot rest or similar furniture but may also be done laying on your bed. (This may be a little uncomfortable but just relax and any pain should slowly improve)
- Repeat this every night before going to bed.
- Wear your surgical bra to bed including the “over the breast” strap.
- Take a Vicodin or two prior to bed if you are experiencing more intense pain.
Day After Surgery
- When you wake up, again, have a small meal then take a Motrin.
- Shower, wash and blow-dry your hair, get dressed with your surgical bra (remember to put the strap over the top) and do all of your normal routine.
- Remember to perform your stretching at least 5 times every hour.
- Go about your day as you would normally but avoid heavy work of the pectoralis muscles such as:
- Bench press
- Moving furniture
- Again before bed be sure to lay face-down for 15 minutes over a foot rest, similar furniture or your bed.
- Again take a Vicodin, if you feel you need it, for a good night’s rest.
Two Days After Surgery
- Do everything the same today as you did yesterday. Remember your exercises and Motrin.
Three Days After Surgery:
- Everything today is the same. The surgical bra and strap will be worn this way for 7-10 days or until Dr. Hess informs you otherwise.
- Tonight is the last night you need to lay face down.
If at any time you really feel that you are too uncomfortable with just Motrin then take 1 Vicodin or Percocet. However, you may not drive if you have taken either of these medications.
You may return to any and all activities, except exercises that are stressful on the pectoralis muscles, as soon as you feel comfortable. If you run or do similar exercises wear two sports bras (you do not have to wear the surgical bra during exercising).
Remember to continue to do your arm stretches. You’ll know when to stop.
Have questions about rapid recovery? Contact us!
If you would like more information about rapid recovery and breast augmentation with Dr. Hess in Fairfax, Virginia, call us or contact us online! Our office staff will be happy to assist you.