Mandatory Downtime and Assistance
Allow for time to recover, at least 2 weeks of low physical activity, NO obligations
You need a committed, available helper for at least 7 days. A partner, family member, or someone you hire. This person will help you mobilize, bathe, dress yourself. Get your meds. Support you physically and mentally. Help with tasks at home that you typically do, like childcare, straightening up, even taking out the trash.
Arrange restful spaces. For sleep you will need a recliner or comfortable supportive chair with ottoman, lots of pillows, comfortable blankets. Sitting upright after surgery is so helpful – laying horizontal in bed is totally challenging after breast and body contouring surgery.
Buy some books, magazines. Plan on streaming TV. You need to just relax.
Do not plan on being a “ninja!” Do not prove you are at the top of the healing pyramid! You need to take it easy – the up front time invested will serve you well over the course of your recovery, and avoid any setbacks.
Prescriptions from your surgeon should be obtained within the week of surgery. These will likely include pain medications – narcotic and non-narcotic - antibiotic and antinausea medication.
Vitamins, herbals, and bowel assistance aid in optimizing your healing and recovery. These include Vitamin C and D, Arnica Montana, Bromelain, and Stool Softeners like Colace. A laxative like Dulcolax is great within a day or two of surgery to clear out bowels and reduce risk of postoperative constipation.
Non-narcotic pain medications like Tylenol Extra Strength and Aleve are great to have ready to allow for around the clock, downstaging pain management while optimizing comfort.
Ask your surgeon if there are bandages or garments you can order ahead so there is less to do during the recovery process. Getting thick gauze pads, soft uncomplicated bras and compression garments are almost certainly going to be helpful early in the healing process.
Have loose comfortable clothing at the ready. Large head and arm openings are easy on and off. Loose fit helps hide bulky surgical dressings and drains. The easiest clothing has zippers or buttons in the front to open and close, including soft bras and tops. Footwear should include low rise and easy slip on/off like flip flops, slippers and Uggs low and high boots.
First, if your friends or family offer to bring something over, accept it happily! Preparing your fridge and pantry are great to do prior to surgery so you will be best prepared. Nutrient rich foods are great for recovery. Avoid spicy foods, fried foods, foods that are high in carbohydrates or gluten which can cause bloating. Pineapple is delicious and has natural Bromelain which reduces swelling and bruising. Berries like blueberries have great anti-oxidants and have Vitamin C that aids in healing, while also preventing constipation. Bland foods like crackers and chicken soup are comforting and easy on the stomach early on in the recovery process. Hydration is really important. Electrolyte powders can help restore what is lost at the time of surgery.
Do not hesitate to ask questions Before, During and After
Your surgeon and surgical care team are prepared to answer any questions you have to create the best possible recovery which will assure you reaching your outcome with the fewest problems. Googling general information is not necessary and can potentially cause issues as the source of the information is either unrelated or unverified.