By Terrye Tebbetts
As expected, the season has begun. The kids are back in school, and all the schedules are settling down and now we are starting to plan our holidays and winter vacations. And now the phones are ringing with the same sentiment…….”I am going on a cruise in 4 weeks – I want to have my BA done now!” Or “We are going to the Bahamas for Christmas, I need to have surgery as soon as possible!” We love that you are thinking about breast augmentation and planning trips – we just want to help you with your planning so that the surgery and recovery and the trip all go well. So I posted this Time line piece in September – - but I think it needs to go up again to help you research, plan, execute and enjoy your BA!
~ A Time line for planning your breast augmentation surgery for Spring 2010 ~
Often, once the kids go back to school and the fall schedules settle down or in, we tend to start thinking about ourselves again. We start to plan and think about things we might just want to do for us – but when it comes to breast augmentation, often we don’t allow ourselves enough time. Optimal planning is the key.
Our patients have been predictably up and out to dinner the day of surgery for over 10 years now – 24 Hour Recovery is a reality for Dr. Tebbetts, our practice and our patients. But sometimes in the excitement of getting up and out and going again, patients forget that it takes time to realize optimal healing and acceptance of the implants – it’s a process.
First, there is education. You have to know and understand what your choices and options are – pocket location, incision location, how to determine size, which implant (shaped or round, saline or silicone, smooth or textured) and then how in the world do you find the right surgeon? Why is it important to learn about your recovery ahead of time? The Internet is helpful but really can only be as good as your knowledge – since anyone can put anything on a website – whether it is personal opinion or science – if you don’t educate yourself – how can you tell the difference? The Best Breast 2 is an incredible resource for every woman considering this operation. Yes – it’s a big 500 page plus book – but you can read it for what you need to get out of it – it is worth the time and effort you will put into getting facts – not just opinions from friends and message boards (not that those aren’t valuable resources too – but they have to be tempered with fact, science and objectivity). Plus – you can tell a lot about the plastic surgeons you call – just by how much the staff really knows and shares with you and what kind of written information they send to you. You don’t want to use a surgeon that does not specialize in this procedure – there is too much at stake. So to get ready for spring, you need to start learning about breast implants and breast augmentation now!
Second, interviewing and consulting with surgeons. This process can take up to 6- 8 weeks – so once again, if you are planning to look good pool side in the spring of 2010, consulting in the fall of 2009 is key.
Third, scheduling surgery – Most plastic surgeons will require a 4-6 week lead time to get your procedure on the surgeon’s schedule and assist you with all the preoperative requirements.
Fourth, Recovery – I cannot stress to you how important it is to learn about this preoperatively – even before your consults. Why waste your time on a consult with a ps who’s routine recovery is 3 weeks long in a strap with drains and pain pills if you can use a ps who can have you up and out and returning to normal activity in a matter of days (let alone 24 Hours!)? We know now, that true 24 Hour Recovery yields lower incidence of developing Capsular Contracture – so it’s not just about feeling good right away, but reducing risk of reop and revision long term (there are TWO chapters on Recovery in the The Best Breast 2 that fully explain all the ramifications of a better post op experience). Ask the hard recovery questions right off the bat – to save time in the end.
Standard 24 Hour Recovery time line ~
arms up and showered and out to dinner or shopping the night of surgery (no bras, bandages, drains, straps, pain pills or bruising)
approximately 2 days before full energy level returns
if surgery on Friday, back to work on Monday
no cardio for 2 weeks, no lifting more than 35 lbs for three weeks
no SOAKING in still water for 6 weeks (Planning for spring and summer – this has to be factored in your time line! Getting in still water too soon increases your risk of infection!)
Fifth, The Stages of Recovery – often referred to as “dropping and fluffing” or “settling” – generally you have about 4-6 weeks where your implants will feel permanently pushed up, 3 months before you can really try to buy bras, 6-9 months when sensation is normalizing and 9-12 months for the incision to be considered “healed” – your greatest risk period for developing capsular contracture is within the first 12 months. You will have nuisances during all of these periods – explained in detail in the book. I have had so many patients tell me they refer to the book even more post op than preop – it is so nice to reassure yourself that what you are feeling and experiencing is normal and that the “story” you were told to begin with did not change – very comforting!
In order to be ready to debut your new additions in the spring of 2010, start your breast augmentation journey NOW! Educate yourself, go on your consults, find your surgeon, make your choices – have surgery by mid – to late January at the very latest to be fully ready with no restrictions on your outdoor activities or travels to places tropical in early spring (March).
Just remember, we can have you feeling great in 24 Hours, but for the implants to soften and settle and for you to feel good about being in lighter, more revealing clothing and bathing suits and to be in the water safely, a good 3 month lead time is your best time line for the best result!
About the Author: Terrye Tebbetts is one of the most knowledgeable women in the world about breast implants, with 27 years of experience educating patients and 11 years as a patient herself. For more information about breast implants or breast augmentation Dallas surgeons, please visit www.thebestbreast.com.