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How to Avoid Complications Following Breast Augmentation

The most important thing to avoid complications after your breast augmentation procedure is to follow the instructions given at the time of your consultation. Important issues that can affect complications start well before the time of surgery. Certain medications and diets can affect risk factors. In fact, patient diets are not as good as what they seem in the United States. A high protein diet (not protein supplements or powder, but actual meat) is necessary a few weeks prior to surgery. This diet should include eggs, fish, chicken, beef, or pork in multiple meals on a daily basis. Patients should continue this regime at least 4 -5 weeks following surgery. I also recommend, starting at least two weeks before surgery, taking a plain 500 milligram vitamin C tablet. This should not contain any other components: no herbal supplements, no other vitamins. (It should just be plain vitamin C). Vitamin C does affect wound healing when continued two months after surgery.

The consultation itself is also important. When you come in for your consultation, you fill out your medical history; you should be completely honest about medications and substances you take. Substances including herbal products, over-the-counter substances, or herbal teas. All of these can affect your surgery and healing afterwards.

There are also some medications that are particularly important to avoid. Steroid medications like Nasonex, Flonase, steroid asthma inhalers, or steroid injections for back or joint problems should be stopped two weeks before surgery. (Flonase is now over-the-counter; even the over-the-counter version is a steroid and must be stopped because of its effects on wound healing).

Other vitamins, like vitamin E, fish oil, and most supplements should also be stopped. Energy drinks, although they are common in society, can increase heart problems during surgery. Nicotine must also be stopped for tummy tuck or breast lift procedures, nicotine could cut off blood supply to elevated tissue and cause wound healing problems or skin loss.

After surgery, patients can avoid complications by following post- surgical restrictions and guidelines. I will give them to you verbally and on a printed instruction sheet. As with any surgical procedure, potential complications do exist.

Restrictions, including avoiding certain exercises, are necessary. Patients should also not wear a bra 6 weeks after their breast augmentation. While your incisions are regaining nerve supply or healing, you could damage them. Even sports bras can cut through incisions; that is why I do not use post-op bras or garments. Ultimately, the key is to read your instruction sheet and be honest with me at your consultation. This is part of your consultation – good communication.

Dr. Thomas Wiener, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in Breast Augmentation, Breast Revision, Liposuction,
and Mommy Makeover.Dr. Wiener serves the Houston, Clear Lake, and Pearland, Texas areas.

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