Breast Implants a.k.a. Breast Augmentation » Breast implants. It’s after hours. Should I have the doctor paged?

Breast implant surgery – when to have the doctor paged.

This is probably your first time with breast implants and you may have a few concerns.  Here are some common concerns after surgery.  In most cases, these concerns can wait until regular office hours but sometimes it’s best to call the office and have the doctor paged.

Swelling:  It is normal to have swelling for a couple of weeks after surgery.  Swelling often peaks at about 2 days after surgery and then starts getting better.  If your swelling has been gradual and if it involves both breasts, it is likely not a serious problem.  Have you been over active?  If so, get some rest.  Cold packs will also likely help.  Do your chest muscles feel really, really tight?  If so, take some of your muscle relaxant and get some rest.

If you have the sudden onset of swelling or if you have a lot more swelling in one breast than the other, this may indicate a bleeding problem.  Give the office a call at (206) 467-1101.

Incision issues:  It’s normal for incisions to be tender and red for a couple of weeks after surgery.  It is also normal for there to be a ridge among the incision.  This is called a “healing ridge” and is caused by collagen accumulating as the incision heals.  It’s also normal for there to be a little seepage from incisions for the first few days after surgery.

If your incisions are getting more tender and more red as the days pass or if there is persistent drainage, it may indicate a problem.  The most common causes would be a “spitting stitch” or an allergic reaction to tape or ointment.  If there is a rash or blisters around the incision, take off any tape or ointment, wash the area with mild soap and water.  If the rash or blisters do not get better within 24 hours, give the office a call.  If there is a tiny opening in the incision and some drainage, it is likely a spitting stitch.  Some warm, moist compresses may help.  This will likely require an office visit.  Call to schedule an appointment during clinic hours.   If the tenderness and redness is accompanied by fever or chills, you should have the doctor paged.  Call (206) 467-1101.

If you have a firm and tender cord under the skin in the area of the incision, it is no doubt a condition called “Mondor’s disease”.  Despite the ominous name, Mondor’s disease is not a serious problem.  It is self limited and will go away on its own.  Taking anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen will help the tenderness hasten its resolution.

Asymmetry:  The breasts may heal a little differently.  Remember, they are sisters and not identical twins.  It’s really common for one side to be a little more swollen or sore that its sister and they may take turns being the good side.  One side may relax and settle sooner than the other.  These asymmetries usually resolve over a few weeks.  If you are really worried, call to scheduled an appointment during clinic hours.

Concerned about size:  These concerns can always wait.  Call to schedule an appointment during clinic hours.

Concerns about your bra:  If the bra is causing a lot of discomfort, try to adjust it.  Sometimes the skin is really sensitive after surgery.  A light cotton t-shirt or camisole under the bra may help.  It’s almost always okay to switch to a different bra that is more comfortable.

I hope this helps!