Breast Surgery FAQs
How Do I Prepare for Breast Surgery?
It is important that you're well prepared before you have your breast surgery. The following tips are recommended to help with your breast surgery preparation:
Immediately after your breast surgery, you will not be allowed to drive your car. Your surgeon may instruct you to wait five days to two weeks before you start driving again. It is therefore important to arrange for a friend or family member to escort you home after you have your surgery. You will also need adult supervision for the first 24 hours after your breast surgery. This is because you may still be affected by the anaesthetic and painkillers in this time period.
Sleep & Rest
After your breast surgery, you'll need to sleep propped up. You should therefore have extra pillows on your bed, and rest and sleep on your back in an inclined position for the first few weeks. It is important for you to get plenty of rest after your surgery. You must, however, be mobile and take occasional light walks around the house. Doing this helps reduce the risk of developing a blood clot in your legs.
Household Items & Chores
You should put hard-to-reach cupboard items like crockery, mugs and food on the kitchen counter before surgery. This prevents you from placing strain on your incisions by having to reach for items. It may also be handy to clean the house, do the washing and ironing and take out the bins before the day of your procedure. Having the support of friends and family would be a great help in reducing the physical activities you need to do during your initial recovery period.
As you will not be able to lift anything heavy for a while after your surgery, you should do a food shop the day before. It may also be useful to cook some meals and keep them in the freezer so that you do not need to worry about cooking either.
Children & Pets
To help with your recovery, you should ask family and friends to help look after pets and young children. You may find you cannot lift infants for several weeks after surgery. In addition, dogs pulling on a lead could be painful and negatively impact your wounds healing. You're probably not going to be leaping out of bed to do the school run either, so asking a friend, partner or neighbour to take over these roles is necessary.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet after surgery. You should have high-protein, low-sodium meals that include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure to drink lots of water and caffeine-free beverages. Try to avoid any food and drinks that contain high amounts of salt and sugar.
It will be more comfortable for you to wear clothing that opens from the front in the first few days after surgery. Wearing slip-on shoes may also help recovery as they don’t require you to bend over. Your surgeon will tell you if you need to bring a post-operative bra with you on the day of your surgery.
In order to reduce the risk of complications during and after your breast surgery, BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeons promote the following advice:
A high BMI, excessive alcohol intake, smoking and recreational drug use (whether medicinal or recreational), all increase the risk of complications developing. Smoking in particular increases the risk of infection and delays the wound healing process. Our surgeons, therefore, advise you to stop smoking and using all nicotine products for at least 6 weeks before and after your surgery.
There are also many homoeopathic medications available over the counter that can negatively affect the outcome of your procedure. These medications can include but are not limited to, those containing: ginger, ginkgo, cod liver oil, Aspirin, St John’s Wort and many different multivitamins.
You should therefore stop taking all homoeopathic medication 2 weeks before having your surgery. This reduces the risk of post-operative bleeding, excessive bruising and haematoma formation.
Your breast surgery preparation will help in making sure you are fit enough for surgery. If you have any further questions do talk to your Patient Care Adviser.
Published: Tuesday, 2 February 2021