It is no surprise that any surgery, cosmetic, reconstructive, or functional in nature, will always bring about pain post-procedure. Breast augmentation pain is no different. But it is not just pain that patients feel after breast enhancement surgery. It is very likely that you will feel tired and sore for a few days following your surgery. Here, we will discover the common discomfort that patients go through after aesthetically enhancing their breasts and what they should do to help alleviate breast augmentation pain.
Breast augmentation pain: How it usually feels like
Immediately after your breast augmentation or mammoplasty, no pain will likely be felt since the effects of the anaesthesia are still in your system. The only thing that is noticeable post-surgery is swelling around your chest area. A few hours later, discomfort and bruising may become apparent. Some describe their postsurgical pain as sharp and shooting soreness that comes and goes. It intensifies without prior notice with every movement but is quickly alleviated by potent pain medications prescribed by your surgeon.
During the next weeks after your surgery, your pain may gradually subside along with the bruising and swelling around your breasts. Some patients recall that during the first few weeks, they experience different sensations along the nipple area – some felt burning tenderness, some reported numbness.
The pain medications prescribed for you will control most of the tenderness and discomfort. Usually, it takes about 2 to 3 days before you are able to return to minimal and light daily activities, but movement and light exercise are already encouraged immediately after returning from the hospital.
Breast augmentation pain: What causes your discomfort
Different factors influence the level of pain a patient may be feeling after the operation. Here are the following things that impact the level of breast augmentation pain you may be feeling post-surgery.
The implant size. The larger your implants, the bigger the incision, and the more pain you will have after your surgery.
The type of implant placement. Breast implants may be placed under or over the muscle. Implants placed underneath the pectoral, or chest, muscles tend to hurt more post-surgery. This is because the muscle and breast tissues experienced more trauma during the operation. So, the less the tissues are traumatised and the less bleeding there is, the better your postsurgical pain level will be.
The location of the incision. Some patients want to avoid getting scars around their breasts to make the breast enhancement look as natural as possible. However, the method that plastic surgeons perform may affect the pain and discomfort you may feel afterwards. For example, the most common technique, the inframammary incision, has the biggest incision located along the breast fold. Again, though it may be the most noticeable since the scar may be seen precisely on the breast, less manipulation of other muscles and body parts are made compared to techniques that are made, for instance, along the armpit (transaxillary) or the navel (transumbilical).
Breast augmentation pain: How to relieve the pain
As mentioned earlier, your plastic surgeon will prescribe medication to help you manage your pain. Remember that pain is an integral symptom of an infection. So if you still feel that your pain is not controlled or it gets worse even upon taking the medication, it is an obvious warning for you to see your surgeon immediately.
Here are some more ways for you to have relief from your breast augmentation pain:
Pain pump. It is your plastic surgeon’ discretion if he is going to prescribe you with a pain pump. This is a device that automatically delivers numbing medication to the area. Patients are allowed to use this at a limited time only, typically for 2 to 3 days, because this is more potent than the over-the-counter pain relievers we usually take.
Follow wound care instructions. As mentioned earlier, infection should be avoided after surgery because it can also cause extreme pain and worse, it may even endanger your life.
Wear appropriate garments. Keeping your breasts supported by the surgical bra, compression dressings, or elastic bandage prescribed post-surgery will help to reduce your pain.
Exercise. Light stretching and doing mild exercises like arm circles and shoulder rolls can help gradually stretch the chest muscles. Performing these exercises following your surgery can prevent muscle contraction, strain, and atrophy which may cause unwanted pain and discomfort.
Inquire about additional procedures. Some plastic surgeons who feel that their patients have a low tolerance to pain commonly offer Botox. It is found out in a scientific review from the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery that patients who had their breast implants placed under the chest muscle and then receive Botox injections either during or after the surgery experienced less pain. Although this study has limited respondents and may not be as reliable, it is still an opportunity for you to discuss with your plastic surgeon other ways on how to help alleviate your expected discomfort after breast augmentation.