When a woman chooses to get breast implants, it is a pretty big deal. Not only does it lead to permanent physical alterations, but it can also provide a lasting boost to her self-confidence. Additionally, breast augmentation is major surgery; and, while most women ultimately feel like their results are well worth it, the recovery and aftercare processes can be fairly tough.
As such, breast augmentation patients are advised to get as much help as possible. This is where you come in! If you have been enlisted to offer support to a friend, a partner, a sister, or a daughter, you should know right off the bat that your role is a valuable one. And while it will not necessarily be easy, there are plenty of ways in which you can make a real impact on your loved one’s recovery.
So, what do you need to know about serving well in this supportive role? Allow us to share a few simple tips and suggestions.
Your Role Before the Surgery
For the most part, we want to focus on the role you can play post-surgery. With that said, there are a few things you can do on the front-end to ensure you are ready to be as helpful as possible.
- Ideally, you will be able to attend a pre-surgery consultation with your friend or loved one, where you can hear first-hand about any recovery or aftercare instructions. It is also important to ensure you have all of the surgeon’s written instructions, including information about wound care and pain management. Keep these instructions handy at all times!
- Remember that your friend or loved one will not be able to drive home following the surgery; plan on being there to give her a lift back to the house and to help her get inside.
- Talk with your friend or loved one about any additional pre-surgery preparations that need to be made, whether that means making a grocery run or getting a prescription filled. Try to handle these errands before surgery, if possible, ensuring you can be around as much as possible during those crucial first two or three days of recovery.
These are just a few simple steps that will help your loved one’s recovery proceed smoothly and also ensure that you are fully prepared to be there for her as needed.
Your Role Following the Surgery
What happens once the surgery is complete and your loved one is back home? Here are a few suggestions.
Set Up a Restful Area
The patient is going to be extremely fatigued, limited in her mobility, and in desperate need of some sleep. Set up a place for her to rest, whether that means a sofa or a bed. Keep in mind that the patient should be lying on her back, never on her stomach. Also, try to stack some pillows that will allow her to keep her head elevated at a 45-degree angle or so. We would also recommend setting up a small side table where she can place her drink, her phone, some reading materials, etc.
Recovering from breast implant surgery will involve some physical pain; usually, this soreness peaks during the first 48 hours. Be ready to administer the prescription pain killer as recommended by the surgeon. You might consider making a med schedule or just setting up alerts on your phone to make sure you administer each dose at the appropriate time. If the patient feels like she is ready to switch to OTC pain relief, be mindful of the medications that are and are not appropriate post-surgery (usually, Tylenol is a good option, as it is unlikely to cause additional bleeding).
The patient is likely going to be pretty out of it for the first 24-36 hours, which is perfectly normal. Your job will mostly be to keep her hydrated, help her get up to use the restroom, and ensure she is as comfortable as possible. Also, be watchful for any signs of complication, which may include high fever or bleeding from the incision sites. If you notice any warning signs, call the surgeon’s office right away.
Offer Emotional Support
Another important job you will have is providing emotional support. It is very normal for women to go through some mood swings following breast augmentation, and some may even experience post-surgical depression. This can be compounded by the fact that thanks to bruising and swelling, the results of the breast implants will not be easily discerned for a few weeks. Be there to hold her hand, speak positive words, and remind her to hang in there. One of the most important things you can do is simply be an encouraging presence during an emotionally fraught season.
Help Around the House
Plastic surgeons will typically recommend that breast augmentation patients stay off their feet as much as possible during the first week of their recovery. The patient should start to regain their strength after a few days, but nevertheless, it is best for them to turn over most of the household chores to you. Be ready to stay on top of the meal prep, dishwashing, and basic household maintenance. It can be so helpful for the patient to know that their home is being well cared for, allowing them to truly rest easy.
Keep the Patient Well-Fed
You can also help the patient by keeping her nourished, whether that means cooking, ordering out, or heating freezer meals that were prepared ahead of time. The good news is that, in most cases, breast augmentation patients can eat pretty much whatever they want after surgery. With that said, it is best to ensure they are getting some decent nutrients, which will fuel their body and help them heal more quickly. Try to minimize junk food in favor of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and maybe a bit of dairy. Fiber is also key, especially during the first two or three days of recovery, when the anesthesia may cause some constipation.
Stay on Top of Follow-Ups
The plastic surgeon will surely want to schedule a follow-up appointment or two, which helps confirm that the patient’s wounds are healing properly. Make sure you have these appointments on the calendar. Offer to drive your patient to their appointment and to come inside with them if they want the support. Also, do not hesitate to jot down any of your own questions for the surgeon.
Ask for Help
Your main job is to help the patient as best you can, but remember, you are not a plastic surgeon and may have some concerns of your own. If you think there is a complication or that the wounds are not healing the way they are supposed to, do not hesitate to contact the plastic surgeon’s office ASAP.
Showing Support After Breast Augmentation
Following breast implant surgery, your friend or loved one is going to need some help getting home, resting up, and managing things around the house. All in all, you should plan to serve in this supportive role for five to seven days, if at all possible.
And yet, the most important thing you can do is simply offer encouragement. Getting implants, while ultimately positive, can bring some conflicting emotions. By helping your friend or loved one stay positive, you can guide her through the toughest parts of recovery and to a point where she feels deeply glad about the decision she has made.
If you have any additional questions on the topic of breast augmentation, please reach out to Dr. Beauty at any time.