- 1st Week: “Elbows at side” - reduces pain and risk of bleeding.
- 2nd Week: Arms to stay below shoulder level
- 3rd Week: Arms up to shoulder level
- 4-6 Week: arm elevations above shoulders
During the first week, you will sleep on your back. Get out of bed every 2-3hrs and walk a little bit, thenback to resting. Avoid any strenuous movements and heavy lifting.
Return to normal activity should be a gradual process and should never cause discomfort. Stop if you areuncomfortable!
- First 3 weeks: You may take a gentle walk within a few days, “short Sunday stroll”. You may drive when you are comfortable and have discontinued all medications, typically 10 days post operatively.
- Weeks 4-6: Legs & light cardiovascular exercise only (lower body movement, no arms)
- Week 7-12: Gradual increase in cardio exercise & light upper body training ( abdomen, biceps - no peckexercises for first 3 months )
DRESSINGS, DRAINS & BRAS
At the time of surgery, dressings and bandages will be applied around the chest. One drain will be placedin each breast to evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster. Thedressings and drains will be removed 2 – 3 days after surgery. You will be fitted with a support bra, whichyou should wear day and night for 12 weeks after surgery. (You may, of course, remove it to shower andlaunder). Once the swelling has decreased you can buy new bras to fit your new size. This usually takes3 months.
- Sports Bras: For 6 weeks from surgery.
- Underwire Bras: From 8 weeks onward.
- Push up Bras: From 3 months onward.
BATHING & SHOWERING
Shallow baths until your drains are removed. After the drains are removed you may shower. If you preferto bath, do not allow the incision lines to soak for more than a few minutes. After your stitches have beenremoved you may shower normally.
All sutures are under your skin and self dissolving. There is usually a ‘tail’ from the outermost layer ofsutures that will be trimmed at your post operative appointment around 7-12 days.
Scars take at least one year to fade completely. During this time, you must protect them from thesun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of UV radiation can reach the skin and causedamage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 at all times when in theoutdoors.
The incisions will be covered with micropore & Bactroban ointment for about 10 days after surgery, thentopical Vit A or Silicone for 8-12 weeks.( this will be explained to you after surgery )
MEDICATION - Take medications as directed.
Contact Dr Geldenhuys if you develop nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation or bloating. If painpersists despite pain medications please contact Dr Geldenhuys.
Have 3 meals a day with plenty of fiber, protein & carbohydrates. Hydrate yourself with plenty of noncarbonateddrinks: water & freshly squeezed juices.
CALL ROOMS (021) 424 5218 IF YOU HAVE
- A temperature greater than 37’C.
- Bleeding from the incision or drain sites.
- A sudden increase in pain, or swelling of the breast or around the incision site.
- Any questions regarding your care.