What Are Things I Should Be Doing to Prepare for Breast Implant Surgery?

What do most surgeons advise patients to do say a week or two before an augmentation? Ex: Don't eat this don't wear that. I've always just been curious. Thank you!

Doctor Answers (8)

Preparation for breast implant surgery


A well prepared patient before surgery will make the recovery much quicker, easier and safer.  I like to use the old boy scout motto ALWAYS BE PREPARED.  Here are some tips to ready yourself for implant surgery:

  • Stay off of all medications that thin your blood for 2 weeks prior to surgery (i.e., aspirin, Motrin, Advil, Alleve, ibuprofen, naprosyn, Anacin, Bufferin, etc.) and 2 days after surgery.
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the surgical facility.
  • Arrange for a responsible adult to be with you the day of surgery.
  • Fill all your prescriptions in advance and bring your pain pills with you to the surgery center.
  • Take an oral antibiotic the day before surgery, if recommended by your doctor.
  • Review and confirm with your doctor the choices you have made for your procedure regarding size of implants, type of implant, incision choice and location of implant.
  • Ice bags to breasts for 48 hours after surgery helps to reduce swelling and pain--arrange to have ice bags, gel packs or frozen vegetables ready for immediate placement after the procedure.
  • Review protocol with your doctor on how to prevent thrombophlebitiis (DVT) in the post op period
  • Most doctors provide post op bras, if not, you may need to purchase a post op bra.
  • Report any sign of a cold or an infection immediately to the doctor
  • Take a shower the night before surgery and the day of surgery and use a special surgical soap called Hibiclens, this can be provided by your doctor or purchased at a pharmacy.
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes that do not have to be put on over your head the day of surgery.
  • Remove all earrings and body piercings the day of surgery, remove all make up.
  • Do not eat or drink any food or water after midnight on the night before surgery.
  • Leave all your valuables and jewelry at home the day of surgery.
  • If there is any chance of pregnancy, perform a home pregnancy test and bring the results into the surgery center the day of surgery.
  • If you are experiencing your period, use an external sanitary napkin, tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome and need to be removed before surgery

I hope these tips help you through your procedure, good luck!

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Preparing for breast augmentation surgery


Thank you for the question.

Some common advice patients are given prior to surgery include  avoidance of aspirin/anti-inflammatories or other medications that may increase the risk of bleeding,  avoid nicotine products, and avoid piercings/jewelry/antiperspirants the day of surgery.  We ask patients  to bring loosefitting, zip up clothing  to the surgery center  the morning  of surgery.

A few other general words of advice may be helpful:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 781 reviews

Preparing for breast augmentation

1. Plan for a friend or family member to drive you home from the appointment. They should also be available to stay with you at your home for the first night of recovery.
2. It’s a good idea to make extra food and have plenty of snacks and fluids on hand. Arranging for child care and taking time off work for recovery is also advised.
3. Fill all necessary prescriptions and put them in a convenient location (such as a bedside table). 
4. You may want to ask your surgeon for advice on when you can begin exercising and driving again.

You should not take any products containing aspirin, anti-inflammatories (like Advil, Motrin or ibuprofen), vitamin E or blood thinners (such as warfarin, anacrot or coumadin medications) in the 14 days leading up to your appointment. Tylenol is safe, but any medications that thin the blood greatly increase the risk of bleeding and can complicate surgery. Birth control pills and estrogen replacement therapy should be stopped for four to six weeks before surgery as well in patients who are having breast augmentation in combination with liposuction or a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). The use of these medications has been known to increase the risk of developing blood clots in the legs.

Herbal, natural, diet or other alternative products should also be avoided. These include ginseng, St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba and others. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist should be made aware of all medications you currently take as well.

Smoking and Illness
Smoking must also be stopped for at least four weeks before and after surgery when breast augmentation is being combined with a tummy tuck or breast lift. Patients who smoke during this period of time risk experiencing skin loss and poor wound healing. 

Other Instructions and Tips
As mentioned above, you should be sure to discuss current medication use with your surgeon. Most daily-use prescription medications (like blood pressure or cardiac pills) can be taken on the morning of surgery with a small sip of water, but many other drugs and supplements can cause serious complications. It’s essential to follow your surgeon's instructions on which medications to avoid during the weeks leading up to the procedure.

Stick to a healthy diet and avoid alcohol for a few days before surgery. Exercise is greatly beneficial to general health, but it’s important to refrain from vigorous activity the day before. On the night before, you won’t be allowed to eat or drink after midnight or in the morning (surgeries are often cancelled if a patient doesn’t follow this rule). You should remove all make-up, nail polish, skin care products (like oils, lotions, creams, moisturizers or deodorant) and carefully wash the surgical area with antimicrobial soap in the shower.

On the day of your surgery, take any required medication. You may also brush your teeth, but do not swallow more than a sip or two of water. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and flat, slip-on shoes to the surgical facility. Sweat pants, buttoned or zippered shirts are ideal as they allow you to easily remove and put on your clothes. Do not wear a pull-over garment if you’re having facial surgery. If you’re undergoing any breast surgery, you should bring a wireless bra into the operating room.
Leave all valuables (including money and jewelry) at home.

Expect to take at least five to seven days off from work for recovery and consider having a friend or family member at home to help around the house. During this time strenuous exercise and work should be avoided. You may not operate hazardous machinery or motor vehicles for 24 hours after surgery as well.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

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What Are Things I Should Be Doing to Prepare for Breast Implant Surgery?


In my private practice at 2 weeks prior to surgery we have an in person visit to sign and give detailed pre operative and postoperative instructions - IN WRITTEN FORMS. Also I meet with these patients to answer ALL questions and concerns, sign consent, review labs, etc. Best of luck 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
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Preparation for breast augmentation

Unexpected pregnancy is very common in my practice after augmentation mammaplasty, so consider and prepare, or prevent as you wish. Not much else.... If you smoke, you should have stopped completely by three weeks before.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Preparing for surgery


Before any surgery, there are a lot of over-the-counter, prescription and herbal medications to avoid, especially aspirin products. One should refrain from alcohol within 24 hours of surgery and limit nicotine use. Make sure you are well informed about what to expect before and after your surgery from your physician.

Donna Rich, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Preparation before breast implant surgery


It is very important to be off any blood thinners for 2 weeks prior to surgery.  These include aspirin, motrin, ibuprofen, aleve, and many other medications.  Also to avoid supplements that may thin the blood such as fish oil, vitamin E and a number of herbal medications such as garlic and ginsent.  Our office gives our patients a list at the pre-op visit. A regular multivitamin and Vitamin C are encouraged.   You want to be in optimal health before any elective surgery.  If you smoke, it is optimal to quit as soon as possible or 6 weeks prior to surgery, to decrease the risk of healing problems or infection.  

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews



My office provides our patients with a list of medications to avoid 10-14 days prior to surgery.  Most of the medications on this list are associated with an increase risk of bleeding.  I also provide a list of vitamins and herbal supplements that may assist in healing.  These products are started about 1 week prior to surgery.  There are no restrictions pertaining to exercise or clothing.  On the day of surgery loose fitting clothing and a buttoned blouse not a pull over is preferrable.

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.