Summary: If you are planning on undergoing a breast augmentation procedure, it is important to understand that the recovery process plays an essential role.  Here are four tips to help you take the right steps towards healing and achieving optimal results.

It can feel like time is moving in slow motion as you prepare to have breast augmentation surgery. Once the day finally arrives, it passes in a flash. You’re suddenly home, trying to rest and ready to heal – but how? Beautiful results and a faster recovery are more likely if you plan it well. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re taking the right steps to help, not hinder, your plastic surgery recovery.

Help, I Need Somebody!

First and foremost, it is important to reach out to friends and family prior to surgery to ensure you have a helping hand—or hands. While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, it’s nearly impossible to imagine your physical limitations post-surgery. Most doctors recommend having a caretaker for at least the first 24 hours to help with everything from the house chores to post-op care. Because you’ll likely need to refrain from lifting or doing anything strenuous for a couple of a weeks, don’t hesitate to ask for or accept help from others. If possible, take a week off from work to allow your body time to recover. Rest and recuperation are two of the best things you can do for yourself. While you may be a tough cookie, your recovery period isn’t the time to prove it.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated will not only play a role in helping to heal muscles and tissue, it can also curb any potential nausea from anesthesia or medication. By drinking plenty of water, you can speed up the process of flushing any residual anesthesia from your system.  Another important reason to guzzle H2O: it can help with constipation – a notorious side-effect of many pain medications.

Following the Doctor’s Orders

Following post-op instructions is one of the easiest things you can do for yourself. Expect to be given (and if you’re not, make sure you ask for) recommendations on post-operative clothing, helpful activities (such as breathing exercises or massage), and prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications. Some plastic surgeons, like New Jersey breast augmentation specialist Dr. Richard A. D’Amico, will even include pre- and post-op instructions on their websites. Make sure to follow the advice outlined by your surgeon throughout your recovery.  These “rules” may not sound convenient at the time, but remember, these recommendations are created with your health, safety, and results in mind. The doctor knows best!

Patience Is a Virtue

Truth is, undergoing plastic surgery of any kind sometimes means you have to look worse before you look better. Be patient! Bruising and swelling is not uncommon after surgery, cosmetic or otherwise. Some patients have reported feeling down, or uncomfortable going out in public post-surgery. Don’t stress or spend time worrying that you don’t immediately look like what you had envisioned.

While these aren’t the be-all and end-all rules to recovery, they are a good start, and they can help you heal and attain optimal results. In addition, make sure to be consistent and thorough with follow-up visits to your plastic surgeon. Share any issues or concerns with your surgeon so he or she can put your mind at ease.