Tissue Expander Post-OP Instructions
CARE OF THE SURGICAL SITE
When you wake from your surgery you will be in the recovery room where the nurses will take good care of you. When you get home, it is very important that you sleep on your back with your upper body elevated at a 45 degree angle for the first 2 weeks after surgery. It is also important that you wear the surgical bra day and night for the first two weeks. You can sleep with 4 to 5 pillows positioned under your back and head, or in a recliner. This will reduce the amount swelling to the chest wall. Your incision site will have DermaBond (skin glue) over it. On day #2 after your surgery, you may shower. This is the only time it is permissible to be out of the surgical bra. We suggest that you let the water run over your chest but do not scrub. Be careful with your chest and pat yourself dry. Do not apply any lotions or ointments to the chest area as this will interfere with the DermaBond. Do not attempt to remove the DermaBond. The DermaBond will begin to dry and peel off in about 1 week.
Do not submerge yourself in a bath, swimming pool, or hot tub until the incisions are completely healed. This usually takes 3-4 weeks. You will be given an appointment to return to clinic 1 week after surgery. Four weeks after surgery, Dr. Maguire will begin inflating the expander. This procedure will take approximately 15 minutes and be done in the clinic.
PAIN AND DISCOMFORT
At your preop appointment you will be given three prescriptions. The first prescription will be a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Mobic). This medication will help reduce post op swelling and edema. The second prescription is for pain. We recommend that you take the pain medicine as directed. The third prescription is an antibiotic. You may start the antibiotic the evening after your surgery. Be sure to take the antibiotics as directed until the bottle is empty to prevent postoperative infection.
NAUSEA AND VOMITING
A few patients react to the anesthetic after surgery with nausea and vomiting. This usually lasts less than 24 hours and should be treated with lots of fluids and rest. If you have had a history of severe post-operative nausea please request a Phenergan prescription.
SWELLING AND BRUISING
Maximum swelling occurs at about 3 to 5 days. Most bruising will resolve within 14 days. You can expect your chest to remain swollen for a minimum of 1 to 2 months. Depending on the amount of swelling that persists, you may want to keep sleeping elevated up to one month after surgery.
For the first three days following surgery you should try to restrict your arm movements. Move your arms slowly to avoid sudden jerky movements of the chest and breast area. Try to keep your arms as close to your body as possible. You can start walking immediately post-op. This activity will greatly minimize the risk of common postoperative problems after surgery.
After three days, you can resume relatively normal non-strenuous activities. Avoid strenuous exercise and or lifting activities. As a rule you should avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds.
Although tissue expanders can rupture, normal physical activities, contacts, and sexual relations will not significantly increase the risk of rupture and should be enjoyed.
You may begin your regular exercise routine 2 to 3 days after surgery, EXCEPT upper body weight training. Upper body weight training and push-ups should not be done until six weeks after surgery. When implants are placed under the chest muscle, upper body weight training before 6 weeks could cause the implants to be pushed upwards.
Although everyone is different, you should plan to be off work for 5-7 days.
The sutures selected by your surgeon is absorbable and does not require removal. Some patients experience discomfort where the suture is tied off. If you experience this then the knots can be removed two weeks after surgery in clinic.
The outcome of your surgery may be compromised if you fail to return for any scheduled post-op visits, or fail to follow the pre-and post-operative instructions.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the office 318-442-5800 during business hours (8 AM-5 PM) and ask to speak with Dr. Maguire. We look forward to making this journey with you!