Most plastic surgeons would probably be reluctant to admit that a quick (or rapid) recovery after a breast augmentation is possible. So, is the idea of Rapid Recovery just a gimmick?
The idea that you can be out to dinner the evening after your breast augmentation sounds too good to be true! But that is exactly what some women say they have done after their breast augmentations, using the rapid recovery technique. So, what is it?
Rapid Recovery after a Breast Aumentation
For a long time breast augmentations required post-surgical drains, compression wraps and a long recovery time. But like everything in medicine, things advance and techniques improve.
This is why you’ll see some plastic surgeons doing things differently. They try new things out and they find things that work best for them and their patients. The term "Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation" was originally coined by Dr. John Tebbetts of Dallas.
A rapid recovery technique does not mean rapid surgery though. Breast surgery itself can be very traumatic to the body. The idea behind a rapid recovery technique is to minimize the trauma caused during surgery and THUS a more rapid recovery.
Here’s where it gets a bit graphic...
For the cutting (or dissection) part of the breast surgery, the plastic surgeon practicing a rapid recovery technique uses electrocautery dissection.
This is a very precise technique that cauterizes (seals off) the blood vessels to reduce trauma and blood loss, instead of blunt dissection, which involves the plastic surgeon using their finger to open up the pocket where the implant is to be placed.
Pros and Cons of Rapid Recovery
The biggest pro from the rapid recovery technique is exactly that... a faster recovery!
With less trauma there will be less pain (and less pain meds) and less bleeding (which may also reduce capsular contracture risk).
If you're in less discomfort you'll be able to move around quicker, and early motion after breast surgery means less stiffness, swelling and pain... AND it'll decrease the chances of chest muscle spasms (another source of post-surgical pain).
I'm still a bit skeptical about the idea of "24 hour return to normal activities" that some claim, so I'm not sure you'll be skipping off for a 3-course supper the same day as surgery.
As with all things, it's all very dependent on you and your unique body. We all recover at different rates, even when its a rapid recovery!
On the downside, it's not suitable for everyone. If you've got tuberous or constricted breasts (ask your plastic surgeon about this), significant asymmetry, you need a breast lift or you want extra large breast implants, the technique may not be right for you.
No matter who you are, or how carefully your breast surgery is done, rest and healing is required after a breast augmentation.
You should consult with several plastic surgeons to see how they approach the process before you entrust them with your body, and your boobs!
Breast implants have evolved and so have surgical techniques. The gentler and the more careful the breast augmentation is done, the easier the recovery will be. And I'm all for a quicker recovery :)
Thoughts from Dr. Ben WoodWe're always in search of new techniques that may improve recovery and results after surgery. The term Rapid Recovery may apply to the actual surgical technique used, including meticulous creation of the space for the implant, and may also refer to the stretching exercises that we recommend early in the recovery period to help speed up the overall process.
Both are key factors in ensuring that you have the best results and return to your normal routine as quickly as possible.