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POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS

MOBILITY

  • During the first week, you will sleep on your back. Get out of bed every 2-3hrs and walk a little bit, then back to resting. Avoid any strenuous movements and heavy lifting. Keep your arms closely to your sides for the first 2-3 weeks.
  • 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 peck exercises for first 3 months )

DRESSINGS

Leave the dressings intact for the first 48hrs. We will see you and change dressings at your post operative appointments.

SHOWERING

You will need to have "bird baths" until the drains and bandages are removed. Thereafter, you can shower as usual.

ACTIVITIES

You should limit any strenuous activity during the first 2 – 3 weeks. Thereafter, you can steadily increase your activity level within the limits of discomfort. Heavy exercise or straining can cause bleeding or swelling during the first few weeks. You may drive when you are free from pain medication, usually 7 –10 days.

COMPRESSION VEST

This will be fitted in theatre or at your post operative appointment when your drains are removed at 24-48hrs. The vest should be warn as much as possible for 8 weeks. You may remove this for showering.

SUN

Scars take at least one year to fade completely. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of UV radiation can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 at all times when in the outdoors.

SCAR MANAGEMENT

The incisions will be covered with micropore & Bactroban ointment for about 2-3 days after surgery, then topical 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 pain persists despite pain medications please contact Dr Geldenhuys.

DIET

Have 3 meals a day with plenty of fiber, protein & carbohydrates. Hydrate yourself with plenty of noncarbonateddrinks: water & freshly squeezed juices.

HEALING

Requires time. How much swelling you develop depends on the extent of the surgery, surgical technique and your physical condition. Healing continues over a long period of time, up to 18 months. Most of the swelling develops in the first 48 hours. As healing progresses, swelling and bruising decreases. About sixty to eighty percent of your swelling will disappear in the first two months and the remainder gradually thereafter until a year later.

CALL ROOMS (021) 424 5218 IF YOU HAVE:

  1. A temperature greater than 37’C.
  2. Bleeding from the incision or drain sites.
  3. A sudden increase in pain, or swelling of the breast or around the incision site.
  4. Any questions regarding your care.
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