Choosing to have breast or body plastic surgery is a big investment of your time and money. I certainly focus on achieving you a great result that will last, but the reality is that once the surgery itself is over, it is largely over to you!
How your results fare in the longer term is subject to the normal forces of ageing and gravity, but also there is a lot you can do to maximise the benefit.
Follow your post-operative instructions, including easing back into exercise
This is fundamental to ensuring your body recovers well, but also that your results are optimised. Women compromise their results when they don’t follow their instructions or rush back to their exercise regimes too early before the wounds have healed (or in the case of implants, the capsule around the implant has developed which helps to keep it in place).
This can equate to poor scars, wound break-down and loss of the tightening that surgery provided.
Avoid large weight fluctuations
When your weight shifts significantly, it can cause the tissue to sag and the skin to lose elasticity. After breast and body surgery, try to maintain a steady weight within 5 kilos of your pre-surgery weight if you want to preserve the outcome.
For tummy tuck and body lift surgeries, or even very large breast reductions, please remember that simply maintaining your pre-surgery weight will not be enough - as Dr Moncrieff may have also removed another 5-10 kilos. For example, if on the day before surgery you were 80kg and Dr Moncrieff removed 10kg, you should aim to keep your weight around 70kg as your new 'normal' to maximise the longevity of your results. If your weight creeps up to 80kg again, it will mean all areas of your body look bigger, including where you had treated. This may result in your tummy looking very tight and 'barrel like' as the internal fat levels increase and other body areas looking much larger than they used to.
Why you still need to wear a bra after breast augmentation, reduction or lift
One of the great things about breast surgery is the feeling like you can go braless once your recovery phase is over, which is fine for special events or while sleeping.
But all breasts, regardless of surgery, will be subject to the forces of gravity, and obviously having an augmentation will increase the effects of gravity. So you want to limit that impact on your new breasts!
Once you have been cleared by our nurse to stop wearing your soft post-op bra (for most women this is at the 6 week mark), it is time to get fitted for new lingerie. Many of our patients visit Bras n Things in Charlestown as it is across the road and they are experienced in fitting women post surgery. But any good lingerie store should be able to help.
You should still be wearing a bra everyday (even if it is a pretty one) and a really supportive bra for exercise, especially with implants. Save the braless look for those special nights out!
Avoid pregnancy within the first 12 months
We see many women before babies or even between pregnancy. But I strongly discourage breast or body surgery if pregnancy is possible within 12 months.
Falling pregnant soon after surgery will take a toll on your body, as the healing phase won’t be completed. Added to that is that pregnancy can cause significant weight gain, along with increase in breast and abdominal size, which also changes the appearance of your results.
And of course, even if you have babies a few years down the track, expect your breasts or body will change, just as they do for many women, again regardless of surgery. For some women this will be minimal, but others may want to restore them to their pre-pregnancy shape with a revision of their tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), or in the case of breast surgery, a lift or revision of implants.
Plastic surgery is not a ‘free pass’
Remember that surgery is not a ‘get out of jail free card’. I can do the most amazing procedure, but you need to continue the focus on your health in the long term to get the full benefit from surgery.
I hope this helps you understand some of the keys to maintaining your breast and body surgery results well into the years ahead!
Other blogs you might find useful
- Common post operative questions patients ask
- Recovering from a tummy tuck
- Minimising surgical scars
- When can I exercise after plastic surgery?
Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Specialist Plastic Surgeon
About Dr Moncrieff
Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) and body lifts.
He is one of only a handful of Specialist Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.
Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than three decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.
More information about Dr Moncrieff is available here.