Pectoral implant surgery: immediately after surgery
When you arrive home, be prepared to rest in bed for the first 24-48 hours with the chest area elevated by at least 2 pillows. You may feel uncomfortable for several days. If you feel nauseated, lie on your back with your head down and remain still. Any sensation of nausea should pass by the morning after your surgery. If you are not nauseated, eat lightly and drink to replenish your body fluids. You may go to the bathroom with assistance as needed. If you feel fine, light activity will not harm you. Place padded ice bags on your chest to reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.
How to sit up
The easiest way to sit up from lying on your back is to move to the edge of the bed and then swing your legs over the edge, bending your knees and placing your feet on the ground. Use your abdominal muscles to sit up instead of pushing yourself up using your arms and chest muscles. If you have assistance, another person can carefully support your back to help you sit up.
Take the antibiotics and pain medication we prescribed according to the pharmacy instructions. Don’t take pain medication on an empty stomach, as it may cause nausea and vomiting. Have another adult give you the pain medication at the correct time and/or keep written records of how much you take and when you take it. You do not have to take the pain medicine if you are not in pain, but you must take all of your antibiotics. The period of greatest discomfort usually does not last more than 12 to 14 hours. Do not drive while taking pain medication.
Call Dr. Zevon if you have:
- Severe pain not responding to pain medication
- More swelling and/or pain on one side than the other
- Achest wrap that seems too tight.
- DON’T TAKE CHANCES! Call if you are concerned about anything you consider significant. During office hours, call (212) 496-6600. After hours, call (917) 612-3800.
You may sponge bath 24 hours after the surgery. Do not get the bandages wet. Do not lift your arms above your shoulders
At the time of surgery, gauze dressings and/or chest wraps will be applied around the chest. These will l remain in place until any drains are removed 4-5 days after surgery. At that time, you will be placed in a surgical vest, which you should wear day and night for 2-3 weeks after surgery. (You may remove the vest for showering or bathing.)
Safety pin the bulb of the drain to your dressings. Empty the bulb by opening the plug at the top and pouring out the contents twice a day or when it is half full. Do not remove the bulb from the tubing. Squeeze the bulb to recompress it, and put the plug back into the hole at the top. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying, or you need to empty it more than three times a day, please call us. Dr. Zevon will remove the drains 4-5 days after surgery, when the fluid begins to turn a clear straw color and/or the amount of drainage has diminished. Showering or bathing with the drains in place is not harmful, but do not soak the drain sites under water.
Do not smoke for 48 hours after your surgery to prevent coughing and bleeding. Do not drink alcohol for 5 days after surgery, or while you are taking pain medication. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and could cause bleeding, and mixing pain medication and alcohol is dangerous. You may sleep on your back or on your side, but do not sleep on your stomach for 4 weeks. Do not sit in the sun or heat for 4 weeks, as heat may cause excessive swelling and firmness of your breasts. You may drive a car with power steering after one week, if you are no longer taking pain medication. Do not raise your arms above your shoulders for 2 weeks, and DO NOT CARRY ANY HEAVY WEIGHTS, BAGS OR PACKAGES for 4 weeks.
Some patients report that arnica contributes to a reduction in bruising or swelling, resulting in reduced discomfort and edema, and improved healing. Ask us if you wish assistance in locating a source of arnica. Take arnica orally according to manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging.
It is important to see Dr. Zevon as scheduled after surgery. Your stitches will be removed in stages as determined by Dr. Zevon. Your first post-operative appointment is scheduled for