Optimal Recovery Plan vs Rapid Recovery Technique
No doubt you’ve spent endless hours researching your Breast Surgery options – from the best Plastic Surgeons in Australia, to the best Breast Implants to Before and After Photos. But have you given your recovery much thought? As is the case for any surgical procedure, your recovery is a critical step in securing the best possible outcomes. Despite this, there are some who believe recovery can take place in as little as 48-hours. Read on as we unpack the ‘Optimal Recovery Plan’, a program preferred by CosMediTour Plastic Surgeons, and how it differs from the potentially dangerous ‘Rapid Recovery Technique’.
What is the Rapid Recovery Approach for Breast Surgery?
Life is moving at an ever-increasing pace. And with this, has come a desire for patients and Surgeons to pursue a faster, shorter recovery period after Breast Surgery. This need has given rise to the Rapid Recovery approach for Breast Surgery patients.
In short, this approach suggests that clients can speed up the recovery period, with clients returning to normal duties, such as work, within 48-hours of a Breast Augmentation or other Breast Surgery.
While it may be appealing, it is unrealistic to have a Breast Augmentation, a major surgical procedure, and fully recover within this time. Your body’s natural healing processes will not work that quickly. Promoting this practice sets unrealistic expectations and can be dangerous. What’s more, not giving your body ample time to heal before resuming regular activities, jeopardises your results.
Is Rapid Recovery after Breast Surgery Dangerous?
Yes, Rapid Recovery, or Flash Recovery after your Breast Surgery can be dangerous. Not giving your body ample time to heal puts your body and your Breast Surgery outcomes at risk. More specifically:
- Resuming regular activities too soon after surgery dramatically increases a client’s risk of complications, including capsular contracture, breast implant movement, bleeding or hematoma.
- Your body needs time to recover from the surgery. Blood vessels need time to heal, your body needs to adjust to Breast Implants (in the case of Breast Augmentation) and swelling needs to subside. Your body also needs to reserve its energy to heal properly.
- Not taking the time to heal properly increases the likelihood of you needing corrective subsequent surgery. This in turn extends your initial recovery period and costs the client more in the longer term.
- By not wearing your post-surgical garments, you’re not providing 24-hour compression and support to facilitate healing and comfort.
Introducing CosMediTour’s Optimal Recovery Plan
Adopted by CosMediTour Plastic Surgeons, the ‘Optimal Recovery Plan’ acknowledges that recovery takes time; however, it also brings together several critical measures to safely reduce the recovery period for our clients. These additional measures span the entire Breast Surgery journey, from pre-surgery anaesthesia through to post-surgery recovery garments and medication.
OPTIMAL RECOVERY PLAN | PRE-SURGERY
Rather than a General Anaesthetic, Surgeons who promote Rapid Recovery may opt to use a ‘Twilight Sedation’. This involves a local anaesthesia at the incision sites combined with other medication to make you drowsy and giving you amnesia so you won’t recall any pain you felt during surgery.
Using Twilight Sedation for Breast Surgery is a dangerous practice that can lead to problems relating to:
- Risk of Local Anaesthetic overdose, which may result in cardiac arrest, sizures and even death
- Breathing difficulties during your surgery
- It does not allow for an accurate dissection of the subpectoral or dual plane muscle pocket
- Leads to a significantly higher risk of complications.
- There is no need for a qualified anaesthetist to administer the Twilight sedation, making this a much less expensive option for your Surgeon.
As part of the Optimal Recovery Plan, our Breast Surgery clients have a General Anaesthetic administered by a highly qualified and experienced Anaesthetist.
Unlike in a Rapid Recovery situation, the Anaesthetist plays a vital role in the success of each Plastic Surgery procedure. Your Anaesthetist will incorporate a range of specialised techniques, including localised nerve blocking, to ensure that you remain pain and discomfort free before, during and after your surgery. They constantly monitor your condition to ensure you are safe and comfortable throughout your Breast Surgery procedure.
OPTIMAL RECOVERY PLAN | DURING YOUR SURGERY
The Breast Augmentation 14 Point Plan
To minimise the risk of bacterial contaminating your breast implants, CosMediTour Plastic Surgeons use the Breast Augmentation 14 Point Plan. The plan was first published in 2013 and has since been widely adopted as the gold standard around the world.
Bacterial contamination of breast implants at the time of surgery has been shown to cause capsular contracture. While some instances of capsular contracture are asymptomatic (does not interfere with the size, shape, or texture of the breasts post-surgery), others can have quite serious side effects. Capsular contracture can lead to hard, misshapen, and painful breasts. It can also lead to a need for revisional surgery.
A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to Breast Surgery can be problematic, if not dangerous. Not all clients are the same, and your treatment plan should reflect that.
Surgeons who promote ‘Rapid Recovery’ tend to avoid more complex surgical techniques, such as Dual Plane or Submuscular (under the muscle) placement approaches. Instead, they recommend Subglandular (above-the-muscle) placement for all clients.
Each of our highly skilled CosMediTour Surgeons regularly perform a range of complex surgical techniques, including Dual Plane and Submuscular implant placement. While Dual Plane and Submuscular placements are regarded as more complex and invasive, they may be betterer suited to your unique anatomy and surgical goals. If these approaches are required, your Surgeon will work with you to manage your discomfort after your surgery.
The Insertion Sleeve
The Optimal Recovery Plan involves the use of an Insertion Sleeve.
This innovative medical device is used during Breast Augmentation surgery to assist Plastic Surgeons with contactless insertion and positioning of breast implants. It is recommended by world-renowned medical professionals as a preventative measure for post surgery Breast Augmentation complications. Insertion Sleeves also promote implant longevity.
CosMediTour Plastic Surgeons typically use one of the following 2 types of Insertion Sleeve:
- Keller Funnel
CosMediTour Plastic Surgeons also use Electrosurgery to secure longer lasting results and optimise recovery for our clients.
This involves the use of an innovative medical device called a Diathermy Machine. Also known as an Electric Scalpel, this device allows for the precise cauterisation of tissue with minimal bleeding. It uses ‘Diathermy’ (high-frequency alternate polarity radiowave electrical currents) to cut through skin, fat, and other breast tissue during surgery.
By cutting more precisely, less blood is lost and inflammation is reduced. Ultimately, this means less pain, discomfort, complications, and bruising after surgery.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
Post Surgery Medications
Pain and discomfort levels after surgery vary from case-to-case. Under the Optimal Recovery Approach, client discomfort after Breast Surgery is managed with a personalised pain management approach. CosMediTour clients are typically prescribed pain relief, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to control the risk of post-operative infection. Where required, anti-nausea medicines, muscle relaxants and stool softeners are also prescribed.
About 3-7 days after surgery most patients are off stronger pain medications. We encourage clients to discontinue their use once postop discomfort becomes more manageable.
For more information about the types of medications you will be prescribed to help alleviate your symptoms during Breast Surgery recovery, please speak directly with your Plastic Surgeon.
Post Surgery Support Garments
According to the Rapid Recovery Technique, there’s no need for special surgical garments or bandages. Patients who choose not to wear a Post-Surgery garment after their breast surgery are at greater risk of:
- Breast Implants moving
- A longer recovery time
- Greater pain and discomfort
- Sagging of breasts
As part of the ‘Optimal Recovery Plan, clients are encouraged to wear Post-Surgery support garments for at least 4 weeks after their breast surgery. Your Surgeon may advise you otherwise, depending on the complexity of your procedure and how well recovery is progressing. To ensure the success of your Optimal Recovery Plan, it’s important that you follow your Surgeon’s tailored advice.
In any case, there are a number of reasons we believe these compression-style bras are vital to post-operative care:
- Promotes circulation and reduces your risk of blood clots and conditions such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Provides support for the skin to reduce post-operative sagging
- Helps to keep the breast firmly in place while healing begins.
- Stabilises Breast Implants following a Breast Augmentation or Breast Revision
- Compresses the breasts to helps alleviate discomfort or pain
- Reduces swelling by applying constant and consistent pressure to your breasts
- Reduces the risk of bruising following a Breast Surgery
Stabilising straps can be added for additional support if required, and your Plastic Surgeon will advise on the best type to purchase based on your unique needs.
Optimal Recovery Plan | FAQs
WHEN CAN I RETURN TO NORMAL ACTIVITIES AFTER MY BREAST AUGMENTATION?
This is a question our team gets asked a lot. The answer depends on the individual, the implant size, and the breast implant placement technique used. Your Plastic Surgeon will advise you on the most appropriate recovery timeframes, and when you can expect to reintroduce activities, including returning to work and exercise.
WHEN CAN I RETURN TO THE GYM?
All clients heal at different rates and it’s difficult to predict exactly how your recovery will progress. In most cases, Surgeons suggest that low-impact cardio exercises (walking or gentle bike riding) can recommence around 2 weeks after surgery. Clients must wait at least 4 weeks before they return to the gym, and until they have been given approval to do so by their Plastic Surgeon.
SHOULD I LIFT MY HANDS ABOVE MY HEAD AFTER BREAST SURGERY?
No. To ensure optimal healing, you should not lift your hands above shoulder height straight after breast surgery. Always remember to listen to your body and the advice of your Plastic Surgeon.
We’re here to help. If you still have questions, or would like to know more about the Optimal Recovery Plan, please contact our Client Support Team on 1300 000 633. Alternatively, please click here for more information on recovery following Breast Surgery.