Breast Augmentation: 13 Things To Do (Or Buy) Before Your Procedure

By BethH

Written by: Varci Vartanian

You've probably never anticipated being stranded on your Cal King for a week (solely in the company of pain meds, the esteemed Judge Judy and ginger ale).

With this in mind, we created a simple and straightforward "to-do" list before your breast augmentation (co-written with the office of plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Pozner) -- so you and "the girls" can get well (sooner).

1. Make Your Home A Serene Space

Better healing happens in a serene, low-stress space. So, tackle your overflowing laundry basket and make nice with the Swiffer before surgery. Also, pull down items (like your daily morning Cheerios) from up-high spaces, as it's likely you won't be raising your arms over your head

2. Set Up A "Post-Op Recovery Station"

Don't go crazy buying out the drugstore, but do set up a "post-op recovery station" on your bedside table.   Stock it with basics like lip balm, bottled water, tissue and baby wipes (for freshening before you can shower).  Also place your TV remote (with a fresh set of batteries) and your cell phone within easy reach, as your phone can double as a "call light" when you need a second serving of Jell-O.

MORE: 10 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Breast Augmentation

3. Plump Pillows

And lots of them. Dr. Pozner's office says keeping yourself upright at a 45 degree angle (three days post-op) is a must to reduce swelling and bruising. You may also want to use a "wedge" type pillow to achieve this angle (if you don't consider yourself a pro pillow-arranger). And, don't forget to add pillows to your sides, so you can't roll over and injure the precious purchase(s).

4. Meet Arnica Montana

Arnica Montana (a.k.a. Mountain daisy) is an herbal supplement that takes down bruising and swelling. Dr. Pozner's office recommends the supplement two weeks before and after breast augmentation -- but first, check in with your surgeon to see if it's safe for you. 

5. Buy Cocoa Butter

When you get the all-clear to shower (often the day after surgery) -- a soft non-abrasive washcloth and anti-bacterial liquid soap will do the trick. Autumn Fitch, Dr. Pozner's medical assistant, also suggests a gentle shea or cocoa-butter based lotion after showering, as tight swollen post-op skin may become become dry and flaky. "[You're] going to need the moisture -- and this gets [your] mind off all the bruising, swelling and thinking happy thoughts..." says Fitch.

6. Secure Childcare (For Human & Fur Babies)

Driving and walking the dog are also off your list of post-op activities -- so make sure you've secured someone to shuttle your precious cargo to softball practice (and take the neglected little dog for a lap around the block).

7. Figure Out Food

You probably won't feel up to hanging out in the kitchen, so stock up on easy-to-prep foods. If you're a cook, make and freeze your favorite dishes ahead of time (and if you're not, at least call your mom).

MORE: Is There A Special Diet After Breast Augmentation? Doctors Answer

8. Say "I Can" to Canned Peaches

We know talking about constipation isn't cute -  but the post-op combination of pain meds and being bed bound can lead to lack of, well, good movement. Water (and more water) is an easy solution, as is stocking up on white grape juice, prune juice and/or canned peaches. Also avoid buying binding foods like bananas or rice. 
You may also want to throw a high-fiber based laxative like Metamucil or an over-the-counter stool softener (like Dulcolax) into the cart -- but again, double check with your doc before purchasing any over-the-counter supplement or medication.

9. Become Familiar With Your First Bra

We know you're excited to debut Victoria and her Secrets -- but likely, your MD will provide you with a post-op bra (that's soft, breathable and easy to remove) for the first few weeks post-procedure. Then, you'll graduate to an underwire-free sports bra (again, consider a zip-up front as you'll have trouble reaching above your head). And, when you finally meet the three to six month mark, you'll likely get the green light to pencil in some proper bra shopping.

10. Put Ice Packs in The Freezer

Snuggling up with an ice pack (or two) directly following surgery also decreases also swelling and pain. "20 mins on and 20 mins off" will be your mantra for about three days post-op. This task is easily accomplished with a set of four flexible gel ice packs (two for the upper part of each breast and two in your freezer). Make sure you get them good and cold the night before surgery.

MORE: The First 3 Days After Breast Augmentation: Q & A With a RealSelf Community Member

11. Explore "Easy-Off" Clothing

When you awaken (wrapped carefully in bandages, of course) you won't be in the business of pulling a t-shirt over your head. So, it's important to show up to your MD's surgical suite wearing something that buttons or zips up the front. Plus, it's likely you'll be swan-diving into your bed for a post-surgery nap -- so select something you're comfortable sleeping in. Grab that old Swarovski-studded Juicy tracksuit gathering dust in the back of your closet -- and revel in the fact that you won't look like a soccer mom for much longer.

12. Place a Plastic Trash Can In Your Car (Yes, Really...)

This sounds crazy, but anesthesia and post-op meds can cause nausea. So, just in case you encounter a rough seas on your ride home (or when you're dry-docked in bed) -- prep yourself with a small plastic trash. Your car's interior (and future carpool) will thank you.

13. And, Don't Forget The "Bendy" Straws

And last but not least, grab a box of "bendy" straws -- which make it easier to sit back and toast (to happy healing) with a icy tall glass of ginger ale on-the-rocks....  

Did we leave anything off our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Thanks so much for the list! It helped a lot. :))
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Thanks for all the info. Its been a great help
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My first round of plastics was the 10th of Sept, my second round come the 10th of Dec. Here are a few more tips I wish someone had shared with me; 1. Make sure the tv remotes have fresh batteries in them. 2. Have a long handled bath brush at the ready, bending over and/or reaching your back can be painful so that long handled brush comes in handy! 3. Stock up on tissues and have boxes handy. 4. Stock up on magazines, movies on the dvr (or TiVo) and cd's. 5. Baby wipes and the adult version are a GODSEND!!! 6. Two words; DRY SHAMPOO! 7. If you're a coffee drinker, your PS will likely want you OFF caffeine. Check out TEE-CHINO, a NO Caffeine tea made with chickory that tastes amazingly like coffee. 8. Protein helps the body heal. Ostrich sticks, low sodium jerkey, protein drinks, sugar free protein bars (I favor Qwest bars) are handy and healthy sources of protein. These all have come in handy for me, and will again in December. Good luck with your surgery!
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Thanks for the advice. Don't plan on doing much except getting out of bed and walking around some. I'm sure the first day will be a snoozer. The second day I will need to get out of bed and do something, although not strenuous and then back to bed. This info was very helpful.
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whoo hoo !!! got all of that but the arnica...where do I find it ?
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I found it at a natural food store!
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ok, thanks. Ill look tomorrow.
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I got 3 different dilutions of sublingual Arnica at Sprouts, but most health food stores carry it.
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Elaine coseira . Hi I am 42 , just got my breast done on 3rd of July .it's 380cc . The surgery was under my breast not the armpit . Surprisingly I don't feel much pain as expected , but I am worry about the scar under my breast . Can anybody tell me will the scar be ok . Now my breast is so swollen , I wonder how long it takes before the swelling will goes off . By the way I also had a surgery on my nose lift and had my upper lip surgery to make it thinner . I did this two surgery on 7th , just 4days after I done my breast :)) I must be crazy I know . But I just feel why don't I just get through with all the pain at one time :))
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Welcome and congratulations! I've lost track....I think there are about 9 of us now that had our surgeries on July 3rd! My right is still a little high and swollen, both are still tight. I still have glue across my incisions so can only tell that they are bumpy. I rub vitamin E on them 3 times a day. I have a follow up tomorrow and will find out more.
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how soon after your BA did you start with the vit E on your incisions?
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We both have the same Q, how soon did u started using Vit E at ur scar? Thanks
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Thank you for this list of wonderful ideas!!! Looks like I need to make a last minute store run ;-)
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Take a pillow and small towel in the car with you. Up your vitamin K intake 2 weeks before to minimize swelling and bruising. Take lots of before pics and then after from all different angles. You may not post them here, but they will be great to have to look back on.
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Those are all really good ideas! Thanks!
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This was super helpful! I'm going to make up a basket with the must-haves, for my night stand! I'm having a BL not a BA, but I'm assuming alot of the "needs" and supplies are the same! I also appreciated the recipe for homemade ice packs! I think I'm going to need alot of those! Thanks again!
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What a HUGE help! I'm gonna put together a "boobie" bag since my husband will be out of town :) This is a huge help for what to gather!
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Backscratcher for me was a life saver!!!! The pain meds made me itchy and you just don't have the range of motion to scratch some places. I had that thing in my hand at all times! Backscratcher for sure!!!!
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Instead of bendy straws, I had a great friend gift me a water bottle with a built in straw. This way you don't have to worry about playing chase the straw (especially when your doped on meds) or the straw falling into the water bottle.
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I would like to know how all of this applies to the "redo"? I've had saline implants for the past 20 years and getting new silicone ones, about 1 cup size bigger (C). I also will have capsular scar tissue removed. I have been told that recovery is much shorter and less painful. Is this true? 1. How long is recovery? 2. Will the implants sit as high initially as with primary augmentation? 3. I will be by myself - any special tips? 4. All the fitting and sizing is out the door - there are no records anymore about how big my previous implants were. I have not been able to to make any kind of determination about how many cc's I will need and the surgeon has to order a bunch of different sizes. I've read 100 ccs are about a cup. True? Was about a 36AA before, so should I assume 300ccs will get me to C cup? Seems low.... Any feedback would be appreciated.
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I'm glad you found this list! Since it's been 20 years since your last surgery, I really believe that all of this applies to your revision. Don't forget the laxatives to counteract the constipating side effects of the pain medication. Since you will be on your own, you may want to have a friend call and check in on your every few hours the first day or so. And, someone to open your pill bottles for you ahead of time!

Also, be sure to "comment" on the other reviews in the breast implant revision community so they will come to check out your review, providing you with additional support!
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Ok so I just found something on Facebook that I thought I would share with you all in case someone wants to save money and not buy freezer packs! You can make your own!!! Take a gallon size zip lock bag, put 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water and freeze. It will get cold but remain pliable so you can mold it to the shape you want/need! I will be making four before my surgery, two for the boobs and two in the freezer on standby!! Good luck everyone!!
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Thank you for sharing your great find about making your own freezer packs. What a great idea!
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Thanks, they have been wonderful
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