Questions About Plastic Surgery

33. When can I shower or take a bath? What about swimming or hot tubs?

I ask my patients to leave their dressings in place until I see them the following morning. At that time the dressings will be removed and after examining you, you will be placed back into your sports bra in addition to the bra strap that we place over the upper portion of your breasts which you wear for 2 weeks. You are allowed to shower once you get home. You are not allowed to immerse your incisions under any water (pool, spa, bathtub, lake, Jacuzzi, etc.) for 4 weeks after surgery as long as you are healing well.

34. How much pain can I expect to have? What methods do you use for pain control?

The amount of pain you experience will depend upon a number of factors not the least of which is your tolerance to pain. I place a local anesthetic around the borders of the breast during surgery and always inject a long-acting numbing medicine into the pocket around the implant. You are discharged with a narcotic pain medication as well as a muscle relaxant with specific instructions in how to use them. Narcotic pain medications serve to decrease your pain but they can also slow down your GI tract leading to constipation which should be avoided.

35. Do you use pain pumps?

I have used pain pumps with breast implant surgery but typically only at a patient's request. It will stay in place for a little over 3 days and is removed in the office. The pain pump is filled with a long?acting numbing medication to decrease the need for narcotic pain medication. This can be used at additional costs to the patient.

36. Do I need to take antibiotics before and after surgery?

No good studies exist to determine the length of time a patient should take antibiotics, but it is common to take antibiotics for a short course after the breast augmentation procedure as mentioned above. It is questionable whether antibiotics are needed when a patient undergoes other procedures after a breast augmentation has been performed. Antibiotics should probably be used when a patient undergoes any procedure in which "bacteria" may be released into the blood stream. These include, but are not limited to: Dental work, colonoscopy, gynecologic procedures, other major surgeries, and others. My recommendation is that a breast augmentation be given a single dose of these preventative antibiotics to be taken within one hour of the procedure.

37. Are there any other adverse, long-term effects of having breast implants?

The FDA studied the current generation silicone gel-filled implants for 14 years with thousands of patients and no long term ill affects were noted. The complications that can be seen with breast implants are local in nature and have to do with capsular contracture and issues with your soft tissues. There is no scientific data to support that breast implants (saline or silicone) have a role in any connective tissue disease or systemic problems. For more detailed information you can visit www.breastimplantsafety.org.

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