Post-Op Instructions

After your surgery at AR Breast Center, but before you leave, we’ll go over your post-surgical instructions with you in detail. We want to make sure that you understand how to take care of your body as you heal, and we’re happy to answer any and all questions.

In general, it’s best to follow the guidelines below after your surgery. Please notify us immediately of any unexpected changes in your condition, and call us with questions or concerns.


  • Designate a driver to take you home. After your surgery, you will not be able to drive. We also cannot allow you to take public transportation. Please arrange for an adult driver to take you home.
  • Arrange for a caretaker after your procedure. It is mandatory that an adult stay with you for the first 24 hours following your surgery. This person will oversee your health, including helping you drink fluids, take medications and avoid the risk of falling. The 24-hour period begins when you are discharged from AR Breast Center.
  • Be cautious. Though you may feel fine, the effects of anesthesia can linger for up to 24 hours. Exercise extra caution, and avoid activities that could harm you or others.
  • Drink fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body eliminate anesthesia and other drugs given during surgery. Drink extra fluids, especially water, during the first few days following your surgery.

Tip: Using a straw will generally increase the amount of fluid you drink.

  • Eat soft, bland foods. To ease strain on your digestive and other systems, eat as if you are recovering from the flu or a similar illness. However, make sure to eat more than just saltines and juice! Protein and vitamins are critical to a successful, healthy recovery. Always take your medication with food to avoid nausea.
  • Avoid alcohol. Because alcohol dilates blood vessels, it can cause bleeding. In addition, combining alcohol with pain medication is extremely unsafe.
  • Take only prescribed medications. Having someone else assist you in timing your pain medication — which may make it hard to keep track of time — will help you stick to the correct schedule. Avoid taking medications not specifically prescribed or approved by your physician(s).
  • Call us immediately if:
    • you begin to experience itching, wheezing, rash or throat tightness.
    • you have severe pain that doesn’t respond to your pain medication;
    • you have any other questions or concerns.
  • Keep your dressings on. Wound dressings should be kept clean and dry, and you should not remove them until instructed by your physician to do so. You may discover blood, or other fluid drainage, on your dressings. This is normal. However, if you are bleeding excessively or your bandages are overly tight, please call us immediately.
  • Have a bowel movement within the first or second day of your surgery. Elimination helps get rid of any leftover anesthesia in your system. If you have difficulty with this, you can take an over-the-counter laxative.
  • Avoid activity for the first two days after your surgery. This includes cooking, cleaning, lifting, and other movements that may slow or hinder healing. Just relax! Your body will heal itself if you let it.
  • Don’t pull, push or lift for at least 10 days following your surgery. These movements can disrupt the location of breast implants, and/or cause pain or damage in the healing tissue.
  • Find a good position in which to sit. Ideally, you should sit at a 45-degree angle, elevating your head and upper body, to minimize swelling. Try placing a pillow in the small of your back and two pillows behind your head and shoulders.
  • Tip: Add two pillows to this arrangement — one under each elbow — to help you relax your muscles and stay in the correct position.
  • Please avoid traveling too far from AR Breast Center for the 10 days immediately after your surgery. We are happy to help arrange accommodations for you in the New Orleans area — just ask!
  • Don’t shower until cleared to do so. Once you are cleared, you can shower daily; however, do not take a bath for two weeks.
  • Don’t smoke for seven days after your procedure. Smoking will delay the healing process, and can cause complications.
  • Understand that scarring is a part of surgery. Though your scars may take up to a year to fade, you can help the healing process move along by not exposing your scars to sunlight. If you must be in the sun, use a high-quality sunscreen of at least SPF 30 on the scars and surrounding skin. Sunlight can penetrate swimsuits and other fabric, so apply your SPF accordingly.
  • Avoid hot tubs, pools and ocean swims for six weeks post-surgery.
  • Take time off sports and other strenuous activities to avoid potential complications like bleeding and bruising. Most patients heal adequately within four to six weeks and are able to return to their normal, active lifestyles; however, your surgeon will personally clear you when you are ready.
  • Go back to work when you are ready, at any point after your surgeon has cleared you.
  • Call us when you need us! AR Breast Center is dedicated to making your breast surgery and recovery as comfortable as possible. Let us know what we can do to help you heal.

Consultation Request

To receive a consultation, request your appointment online and schedule your visit during one of the select times our surgeons have set aside exclusively for Web visitors.



Many of our patients fly in from all over the world. We have perfected the “fly-in patient” protocol, making it virtually possible for all prospective patients. Fly in alone or with loved ones, and we will walk you through a process that will ensure complete care and a comfortable, pleasant experience.