Breast augmentation is an excellent way to address dissatisfaction with your current breast size and shape. However, surgery can still be a bit scary. Knowing how to prepare for a healthy experience, and speedy recovery, goes a long way to ease any anxiety you may feel.
Whether or not you've just started considering this procedure, made the final decision to proceed with breast augmentation, or are weeks away from the big day, this article will give you an idea of how to prepare for your surgery.
Getting Ready for Breast Augmentation Surgery
Let's take a look at how to prepare from start to finish.
Step 1: The Exploration Phase
Learn about the surgery
If you've decided that breast augmentation may be an excellent option for you, you should first familiarize yourself with the procedure. It's important for you to know what's involved in a surgery like this and be sure that it's something you're comfortable doing.
Get in good physical and emotional shape
This is a critical component for a healthy surgery and recovery. One of the things your surgeon will evaluate is your overall health. Women who are in good physical shape have a much better healing experience. However, being in a positive emotional state is just as important. You should feel good about the procedure and surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive of your decision.
- Be in overall good health.
- Be at a healthy, stable weight.
- Be finished breastfeeding for at least 3-6 months.
- Have realistic expectations about the procedure including the results, recovery, and risks.
Find a qualified plastic surgeon
You want a doctor who will serve as your trusted advisor as you navigate the difficult decisions about implant size, type, and more. Most importantly, you want a surgeon who will help you obtain beautiful, natural results. You can learn more about selecting the right plastic surgeon here.
Have a sound financial plan
Plastic surgery isn't cheap, and it shouldn't be. You're paying to get the best results by the finest surgeon, and you're investing in your body.
You should have a reasonable idea of how much your breast augmentation will cost. You need to have a financial plan in place to ensure you can afford to have the work done. Making this plan early will help reduce the possibility of anxiety later on in the process.
Step 2: The Decision Phase
Make sure that the procedure is right for you and that you're ready to have surgery.
Deciding to proceed with breast augmentation shouldn't be taken lightly. The procedure should be right for you physically and mentally.
You can best determine this by asking yourself these questions:
- Am I choosing to enhance my appearance for me?
- Am I realistic about the results of surgery?
- Do I fully understand and accept the potential risks associated with my procedure?
- Am I in good shape emotionally and physically?
- Can I afford this?
- Why is now the right time for my surgery, rather than a year ago, or, conversely, a year from now?
- Am I completely comfortable with my surgeon and their staff?
Once you've honestly answered these questions, you should have a clear idea about whether or not your should go ahead with the procedure. You may want to get more information about the procedure or your surgeon, or reevaluate where you're at in life. Then, you can ask yourself these questions again.
Find a family member or friend to help you.
It's important to find someone who will be there for you through the entire process, before and after surgery. You're going to need additional help as you recover and get back on your feet. You may need someone who can stay with you for a few days and help around the house, with your kids, run errands, or provide transportation.
Step 3: Leading Up To Surgery
Stay in good physical and emotional health.
It's important that you keep yourself in top physical shape by having sound nutrition, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. You also want to be in good emotional health by staying happy and optimistic. So try to minimize the stress and negative emotions in your life.
Also, the following instructions are imperative:
- Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding diet, medications, supplements and hygiene.
- Keep your doctor in the loop about medications, vitamins, supplements, illnesses, and any other issues that may affect your ability to undergo surgery.
- Stop drinking alcohol at least one week before surgery.
- Stop all smoking and nicotine products for at least 2-4 weeks before your procedure and after until you are completely healed. Even a single cigarette can have an adverse effect on your recovery and overall outcome of your surgery! This also means no nicotine patches, vaping, or smoking marijuana.
- Stop all blood thinner medications (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve) and supplements (Omega-3, Fish Oil, Garlic, Vitamin E, etc.) for at least two weeks before surgery. If you are on a prescription blood thinner such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Enoxaparin, Lovenox, or Xarelto, or other critical medication, check with your surgeon for specific instructions regarding these medicines.
- Avoid being around sick people.
- Complete all required lab tests, diagnostic tests, and medical evaluations if needed.
Make proper post-surgery arrangements
When you get out of surgery, you don't want to be unprepared for the recovery phase. Make sure you are getting your affairs in order so once you're out of surgery, you can relax and recover without worry.
- Request appropriate time off work.
- Arrange for transportation to and from your surgery.
- Ask someone to stay with you during the first 48 hours, including overnight, following surgery.
- Get your house in order. Clean up, do the laundry and dishes, prepare about a week's worth of meals in advance, pay your bills, and take care of important affairs.
- Arrange for childcare and pet care, keeping in mind that if you have to lift young children, additional assistance may be needed for a longer period of time.
- Talk to your doctor about post-op garments and buy a couple of soft, comfortable sports bras that open in front and do not have wires.
- Fill your prescriptions in advance. Stock up on ice packs, gauze, vitamins, and anything else your doctor recommends.
- Let friends and family know when you'll start accepting visitors and if or when they should pop in to check on you.
- Set up a comfortable place to rest at home, like a recliner or bed with pillows.
- Set up a table close to you with things you'll need following your surgery. Things like:
- remote control (with new batteries)
- water bottles
- waste can or garbage bag (in case you get nauseous), etc.
Make final payments
Your procedure should be paid for before you go in for surgery.
Step 4: The Day Before Surgery
The day before the surgery, make sure you put the last touches on your pre-surgery prep. Here's a checklist of things you should consider taking care of the day before your surgery:
- Do the laundry.
- Clean the house and do the dishes.
- Gas up your car.
- Signup for an online movie streaming service such as Netflix. Put your favorite movies in your viewing queue.
- Locate button down shirts and stretchy pull-on pants. Set them out for easy access later.
- Consider sleeping on a couch or recliner for the first night or two. Make up the couch or chair with sheets, blankets and pillows, plus a U-shaped pillow. It feels good to be somewhat upright.
- Make up your bed with fresh sheets and pillows.
- Put dry foods on the counter and refrigerated foods at lower levels to avoid reaching.
- Loosen jar lids, etc.
- Get a bag of frozen peas, ice bags or frozen gel packs ready to help for swelling, and a heating pad for a sore back.
- Take all of your garbage out.
- Get a good night’s sleep!
- If your doctor told you not to eat or drink, DON’T! (Most commonly, patients are instructed not to eat or drink anything starting at 12 midnight on the night before surgery, except for a sip of water with medications regularly taken.)
- Prepare loose clothing to wear to surgery and/or to change into after surgery.
- Arrange your bathroom - Put toilet paper in reach. Organize items (mouthwash, toothpaste & brush, hair brush, contact lens stuff, makeup, etc.) so you can avoid having to bend or reach for them.
- Prepare a small recovery pack to bring to surgery, including important items so that you do not have to worry about them later. This kit might include a water bottle, simple dry snacks, identification, a credit card, and some cash.
- Continue taking all medication that is prescribed to you, except for blood thinners. If you are unsure if you should take certain medications, always check with your surgeon
- Again, have nothing to eat or drink, including water, after midnight before surgery. Your stomach must be empty for at least 8 hours before your surgery. You are permitted to have a small sip of water with medication.
Step 5: The Day of Your Surgery
Today's the big day!
Here's some things to take care of before you head off to the hospital:
- Take a shower and wash using basic soap and water.
- Do not apply any body lotion, antiperspirant, makeup, hairspray, or powder (nothing!).
- You can brush your teeth, but do not drink any water with the exception of a small sip with your medication.
- Do not take any diabetic medication.
- Do take any prescribed blood pressure medication.
- Bring all of your medications with you to surgery.
- Arrive at the surgery center at the directed time. Most surgery facilities require arrival approximately two hours prior to your scheduled operation time to allow for check-in and preparation.
- Wear warm socks or slippers for surgery. Have comfortable shoes, baggy clothes, and a top that buttons in front for dressing after surgery. A men’s dress shirt will do the trick.
- Put post-op checklists near your bedside table with a 'I need help' bell.
- Take a coffee can or something with a lid for the ride home in case you get sick.
- Bring cold Ginger Ale or water to sip on the way back home.
- Bring chapstick for your lips.
- Have pain medication available (as directed by your doctor) for the ride home.
- Remove your contact lenses and switch to glasses if you need to.
- Bring your list of any last minute questions.
Don't Sweat It! You're Ready
There's no such thing as being too prepared! If you're considering a breast augmentation, start learning all you can now and find a trusted surgeon that will help you along the way.
This is why we stress finding a certified plastic surgeon you trust. When you go into surgery, you will be confident in the decisions you've made and be positive you picked the surgeon that will deliver the results you want. Then, you can relax and go through the procedure in a positive state of mind knowing you are prepared and ready. Your breast augmentation process can be a healthy and positive experience.
If you think you're a good candidate for breast augmentation, you can get a consultation with Dr. Larry Fan and get your questions answered right away. Or you can take a self-evaluation to see if breast augmentation is right for you.