Breast augmentation is a major surgical procedure that involves a doctor making incisions in your body. This means you can expect to have to prepare your body in advance, to undergo anaesthesia for the procedure, and to experience some pain and discomfort afterwards. After the surgery, your body will react to tissue damage and the new breast implants with some swelling and bruising.
It is important to note that each patient experiences pain differently based on factors such as their skin and body type, general pain tolerance, and their unique response to pain medication. Some patients report feeling discomfort or tightness in their chest after 3-4 days and need only basic pain medication, while others feel pain for longer and need stronger medication.
What Causes Pain After Breast Surgery?
Tissue damage during surgery greatly determines post-operative pain and the length of recovery time. It is therefore extremely important to choose a surgeon who works to minimize the amount of tissue damage during surgery. The less tissue damage that occurs during surgery, the less pain, bruising, and swelling the patient will experience afterwards. This is important for all patients, but especially for those who are receiving large-volume implants. A larger pocket must be made for bigger implants, which results in more tissue trauma and pain afterwards. Patients who are slim and have tighter skin to begin with may feel pain for longer, as their bodies will need to adjust more in order to accommodate their implants. Meanwhile, those with more skin volume may have an easier time accommodating implants, and may feel less discomfort.
How Do We Prevent Pain And Speed Up Recovery Time?
At Edelstein Cosmetic, our doctors use advanced surgery techniques designed to reduce the invasiveness of the breast augmentation procedure and resulting tissue damage. Any incisions made are precise and carefully located, and our surgeons do not use blunt dissection techniques, such as using a finger to open or widen a pocket for an implant. Although blunt dissection is faster than using less invasive techniques, it greatly increases the amount of tissue trauma.
Before surgery even starts, you are given medication that reduces pain once the surgery is over.
At the beginning of the surgery, our doctors first inject a long acting anaesthetic, which will again help to reduce the pain post-operatively. Using a fibre optic light retractor or an endoscope, they maintain direct vision of the surgical site, ensuring that the incisions and the new implants are placed correctly. The electrocautery forceps tool is used to open up a correctly-sized space for the implant, and it also seals blood vessels to prevent bleeding. The bloodless breast augmentation surgery eliminates or greatly reduces bleeding during recovery. Lastly, our doctors use the Keller Funnel™ to gently pass the implant from its sterile container directly into its position within the breast. This “No Touch Technique” ensures the implant is placed through the smallest incision possible, and that it never touches the doctor’s gloved hand or the patient’s skin. Thanks to these painstaking and minimally-invasive surgical methods, our patients rarely need to use drains or medical devices after surgery, which helps avoid complications or a lengthened healing time.
Post-Surgery Pain Management
For the first 24 hours, the anaesthetic and extended release medication given to you by our doctors will control much of the pain you would feel. After this time, you should restrict sudden movements of the arms, chest, and breast area for a few days to make sure there are no complications or damage to your breasts. On the third to fifth days after surgery, you will experience swelling, but by now you should be able to get back to your normal routine. At one week after surgery, you can return to work. By two weeks after the procedure, most of the bruising and swelling should be resolved, and discomfort should be managed well with pain medication. After three weeks, patients are expected to feel well enough to return to their regular aerobic workouts. However, even if you feel minimal discomfort, it is important to avoid high-impact exercise or upper body muscle work-outs for a full six weeks after surgery.