Your Follow-up Visits With Dr. Zelt
My office manager Natalie Gordon will help you arrange for regular visits with me in the postoperative period. These appointments allow us to review your healing and answer any questions you may. It is very important that you follow this schedule closely to ensure your recovery is uneventful and your return to work and play happens as soon as possible.
Visit #1 - 3 to 6 Days Following Your Breast Augmentation
During your first postoperative visit you’ll probably still be a little sore and stiff. You will have been able to shower regularly since the time of your surgery. I’ll remove the dressings and ensure your breasts and incisions are healing as expected.
For the next 4 weeks,
- Eat healthy foods
- Wash and shower normally
- Remove any tapes that remain over the incision within two weeks of your surgery
- As the discomfort diminishes, begin a daily program of gentle massaging your breasts
- Wear a bra only if told to do so and according to instructions Dr Zelt has given you
- Avoid strenuous activities including sports and exercise programs that result in excessive breast movement
- Avoid alcohol for 2 weeks
- Avoid smoking for 4 weeks
Visit #2 - 1 Month Postoperative
During the second visit I’ll quickly examine your breasts to ensure healing is progressing as expected. By this time you’ll be ready to return to your normal activities including strenuous activities and sports. Please begin slowly and progress weekly until your pretty much back to normal by 2 to 3 months postoperative.
For the next 3 to 4 months...
- Progress over a few weeks to your normal level of activity
- Massage your breasts as much as possible. This helps the capsule around your implants to heal as soft and loose as possible resulting in natural, soft, mobile breasts
- Avoid returning to “normal” too soon. This stresses your tissues which have been resting since the time of your surgery. Ease you way back into your normal exercise and sporting activities
- Not massaging your breasts can lead to persistent pain and discomfort as well as firmer, less mobile breasts
Visit #3 - 4 to 6 Months Postoperative
By this time the majority of the healing has taken place with regards to the position and form of your breasts. Steady improvements in your scars will take place for almost 2 years!
During this visit we will decide together if your goals have been met and it any revisions are required. If minor, they can be done under local anesthesia. More involved adjustments may require a light general anesthetic.
1 Year Postoperative
Under most circumstances, this will be our last visit. We’ll ensure that our preoperative goals have been met and that you are satisfied with your result.
I very much encourage all my patients to return for regular visits at 1 to 2 year intervals to ensure proper placement of the implants and determine if anything is out of order. Sometimes the early detection of a problem can lead to a more simple solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I massage my breasts?
There are two important concepts you must understand regarding how tissues heal. Firstly, following a surgery or accident, our bodies typically take about 2 years to heal completely. Thankfully, the vast majority of the healing takes place within the first 6 to 9 months. During this time, all of your tissues – skin, fat, muscle, tendons, and bones – heal “automatically”. You simply provide your body with the proper nutrients and vitamins by eating a well balanced diet and your body does the rest. You don’t have much control over this part of healing.
How your body returns to its normal range of motion is completely different. Your soft tissues do NOT return to normal by themselves. The scar that forms in the first few weeks following your surgery is “waiting” for you to begin to move. If you don’t, the scar becomes more permanent and stretching this scar out to normal becomes more difficult. This is why the results of many surgeries is so variable – those patients who exercise and move return to normal much sooner and have less pain in the area of surgery as compared to those patients who are slow to mobilize.
Well what is the normal range of motion of a breast? Well breasts jiggle, they bounce and they’re soft if you squeeze them so if you want them to return to their normal softness and mobility, you MUST begin a routine of daily massage in the early postoperative period. You’ll begin gently by the end of the first week and develop a technique all your own within a few weeks. I will show you how to do this during your first postoperative visit.
2. Should I wear a bra following my surgery?
It seems that half the plastic surgeons say you should wear one and the other half say the exact opposite. Under most circumstances I prefer that you do not wear a bra for extended periods of time for 3 months following your augmentation. This allows the implants to settle in to a natural position within your breasts. Sometimes excessively tight or uplifting bras can result in implants that heal too high. I will give you instructions following your surgery as what is best for you.
3. What will my breasts look like after the surgery?
When you awake from surgery and take your first look at your new breasts you’ll have trouble believing how they look. Your dreams have “instantly” come true. You have larger and fuller breasts. They will begin to swell in the postoperative period but this will stabilize by 12 to 18 hours postoperatively. The swelling will begin to subside by day 2 or 3 and about 80-90% will be gone by our 1 month postoperative visit. You’ll see your near-final result by 4 to 6 months.
For the first few days, the skin over your breasts will feel tight but this soon softens. The texture and feel of your breasts will return to normal over 3-4 months.
4. When I return to normal sports, exercise or driving a car?
If your healing is proceeding as expected when seen at 4 weeks postoperative, then you can return to your normal exercise and sporting activities. Always remember that a slow, progressive return to normal to optimal for proper healing and pain control. Most patients can resume driving within a few days following their procedure.
5. When is it safe to resume sexual activity?
As the swelling subsides within your breasts, the pain will also slowly disappear. Begin a gentle massage program by the end of the first week. By 1 month postoperative, your breasts should be relatively soft with only occasional discomfort. You should be able to resume normal sexual activity that involves breast touching or manipulation at this time.
6. If my nipples feel differently after the surgery, what can be done?
Thankfully most cases of altered nipple sensation gradually return to normal. Some go back to normal within a few weeks and other cases may take a few months. Other than waiting, there is no surgery nor medication that can improve the sensation in the nipple-areola region.
7. When can I have a mammogram?
You can resume having mammograms 9 to 12 months following breast augmentation.
8. When can I plan a vacation?
I want to see you for your 1 month postoperative visit under all circumstances. This is best to ensure you are healing as expected. We don’t want to get into troubles when you’re away from Montreal. After this visit, if your healing is proceeding as expected, you can leave on a vacation. Please be cautious however and try to plan your breast augmentation so that you’ll be able to attend your regular postoperative visits with me before leaving on vacation. We highly recommend you do not book a vacation for at least 3 months following surgery.
The particulars of your healing process will be addressed by Dr. Zelt during your consultation.