· Gradually ease yourself back into driving after a few days’ rest. If you don’t have a job that involves heavy lifting, you should normally be able to return to work within a week of surgery, by which time you should be fine to get behind the wheel again.
· Take it slow in terms of exercise. Don’t do much more than a gentle stroll in the first few days after your surgery. In your second week after the operation, introduce some light cardio (walking on a treadmill, for example). Leg lifts, and other exercises that don’t impact the top half of the body, are also worthwhile. However, exercise that involves the upper body (including running) must be avoided for around 6 weeks. Just take care, not do anything too strenuous until at least six weeks after your breast surgery.
· Make sure you eat a balanced diet during your recovery period, with lots of fruit and vegetables.
· Talk to your doctor if you feel you need stronger painkillers. Listening to their expert medical advice will give you the best chance of having a recovery period that involves as little pain as possible.
· We recommend wearing a compression bra in the days after your surgery. Compression bras are specifically designed to keep your breasts in place during your recovery period. You should make sure your breasts are fully supported for at least the first six weeks after your surgery.
· Protect your breasts from UV rays as much as possible during your recovery period, particularly if you are planning a holiday in the sun to celebrate your new boobs. Keep your breasts (especially your wounds) covered and use plenty of strong sun-cream, especially around your scars. Adopt the same approach if you’re heading to your nearest tanning parlour for a session on the sunbeds. Sunbeds are not recommended within the first 8 weeks post op.
· Use tepid water for baths during the first fortnight after your surgery, and be careful not to aim the shower head directly towards your breasts. Bath pillows are also worth considering, because you should try to keep your dressing dry. They’re relatively cheap and widely available online.
· Don’t drive in the first 24 hours after your breast surgery. You’re likely to feel a little groggy as you recover from the surgery, due to the anaesthetic, so you’ll need your partner, a family member or a taxi to take you home. Even if you do feel fine, you should not drive under any circumstances in the first 24 hours after your surgery.
· Don’t rush back into exercise. If you do anything major, such as lifting, running or stretching, you could extend your recovery period or even put the results of your surgery in jeopardy.
· Don’t drink alcohol in the first 48 hours after your surgery. It could minimise the effectiveness of your painkillers and antibiotics.
· Don’t go braless, or wear bras with underwires, for at least six weeks after your surgery. Your breasts need time to recover, and you also need to be careful not to aggravate your scars during those important first few weeks post-surgery.
· Don’t travel on a short-haul flight for at least two weeks after your surgery, and wait six weeks before flying long-haul.
· Don’t have a bath alone - ask someone to help you when taking a bath - in the first week or so after your surgery: you’ll need a partner or family member to help you get in and out of the tub, just to avoid you straining and using your full body weight in those crucial first few days.
If you are one of those people still considering breast surgery, why not find out more about the breast procedures we offer by booking a free consultation with The Hospital Group.