5 Signs You Should Call Your Plastic Surgeon during Recovery
By David Sayah, MD, FACS
Breast augmentation has a well-documented safety record, and most patients will experience an uneventful recovery and return to light activity in just a few days. The best way to guarantee a smooth and safe recovery is to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-op advice to the letter. However, there are five symptoms that are good indicators you should contact your plastic surgeon during recovery just to stay on the safe side.
1. You’re Uncertain about Post-Op Instructions
Getting breast implants brings a full range of emotions from excitement to nervousness, so it’s not uncommon for patients to miss a few post-op instructions, or feel too distracted by their upcoming surgery to focus on the recovery part just yet. You should call your surgeon if you are unclear about any of your post-op guidelines. Uncertainty during recovery can cause patients stress, and since relaxing and resting is the most direct path to full health, patients can avoid this stressful uncertainty by asking for any clarification they may need while healing at home.
2. Pain Isn’t Improving
It’s normal to experience a moderate amount of discomfort after breast enlargement surgery, which is one reason why your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication after your procedure. Most patients feel the worst is behind them after the first day or two, and many may not need their prescription filled at all. However, you are always your own best judge of how your body is recovering, so if you feel significantly worse than expected for any reason, let your surgeon know. Trust your instincts and listen to your body above all.
3. You Miss Your Gym
Many patients are eager to resume their regular exercise routines as soon as possible following surgery, but during the initial weeks after breast augmentation, it’s important to take it easy and allow your body to heal and rest. Once you begin to feel significantly better and suspect that you’re ready to resume a light exercise routine, contact your surgeon to see if he or she feels your recovery has progressed enough that hitting the gym (gently) is a good idea. Getting back to a normal routine is encouraged and staying moderately active can be beneficial to recovery, but always clear your plans with your surgeon to be sure that you’re not pushing yourself too quickly or too soon.
4. Asymmetrical Healing
It takes several weeks to see your final results after breast augmentation, and the early stages of recovery are mostly defined by asymmetry. It’s very typical for one breast implant to take longer to drop, or one breast to feel slightly firmer or softer than the other. Even the presence of swelling and the appearance of your incisions can differ between sides. However, while some degree of asymmetry during recovery is normal, you may want to check with your surgeon if one implant or incision looks quite a bit different from the other.
5. You’re Feverish
While you won’t feel like running any marathons right after your surgery, you should feel up to a normal daily routine within a few days or so. If you notice that you feel worse instead of better, or you feel like you’re running a fever or feel in any way unwell, check with your surgeon right away. A fever is possible sign the body may be fighting off an infection, and that’s a concern that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.