13 Things To Do (Or Buy) Before Getting Breast Implants

BethH on 15 Oct 2013 at 4:00pm

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.
See Also: 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).
See Also: 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.
See Also: 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 may potentially 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!

by Varci Vartanian