• POSITIONING: It is normal to experience the sensation of pressure around your chest area. During the first two weeks following your procedure, it helps to sleep on your back with your upper body elevated with pillows. Do not sleep on your stomach for the first two weeks following surgery. It is important that you change your position regularly after your procedure and that you get up to walk around every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots in your legs. Expect that coughing and sneezing may cause discomfort for the first few weeks, but hugging a fluffy pillow against your chest and abdomen is the easiest way to avoid this discomfort.
• DRESSINGS: Leave all dressings in place following your procedure; Dr. Shoukas will change them for you in the office. You will be wrapped with a large surgical bandage that is in place to provide some gentle pressure, to give you support, and to reduce swelling. It is to be worn at all times during the first 24 hours after surgery. If the dressing feels too tight or causes pain, adjust it for comfort. The dressing should not interfere with circulation to the skin. Dr. Shoukas will place you in a sports bra after 24 hours, which he will provide. Underwire bras are NOT to be worn for 6-8 weeks following surgery. If you have dressings, make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water before any dressing changes, and always use clean or sterile dressings. If there are no dressings in place, always wash your hands before & after touching the surgical site.
• DRAINS: In most cases Dr. Shoukas will place drains in your breast following surgery. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enables you to heal faster. You will be instructed before you leave the hospital on how to record and discard the contents of the drains. It is important to keep a daily written record of the drain outputs (See Instructions and Drain Chart), and these will need to be brought with you when you come in for your post-op visits, as this log will determine when Dr. Shoukas removes the drains.
• SHOWERING/ BATHING: Do NOT shower for 48 hours after surgery. You may
sponge bathe, but do not get the surgical area wet. You may NOT take a bath for 6 -8 weeks following your procedure; Dr. Shoukas will inform you when this is a safe practice to resume.
• TREATMENT OF THE INCISION SURFACE: DO NOT place any creams, ointments or scar reduction formulas on the incision site unless specifically instructed to do so by Dr. Shoukas. The only scar reduction treatment Dr. Shoukas may recommend is SILAGEN silicone gel. Please talk to any of the office staff if you are interested in this product.
• MEDICATIONS: Take all medications as instructed by Dr. Shoukas.
• DRIVING: You are not to drive for the first 3-4 days following surgery.
• EXERCISE: You are NOT to resume any sports or physical activity for at least 2-6 weeks after your procedure. Your body is trying to heal internally as well as externally, and physical activity can disrupt the healing process. Dr. Shoukas will let you know when it is safe to resume any sports or physical activities.
• WATER ACTIVITIES: Any activity that submerses your surgical site in water is forbidden. This includes: baths, the use of any hot tubs, spas, or Jacuzzis, pools, lakes, rivers, the ocean, etc. All bodies of water contain germs and other organisms that can cause infection.
• TANNING: You should avoid tanning, either in the sun or in a tanning bed, during your post-operative period until Dr. Shoukas releases you. He then recommends that you protect your scars and skin from the sun with a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher. This is for two reasons: 1) The skin around your surgical site may remain partially or completely numb for several months (or longer) and you may not feel yourself getting
too much sun on the area, thus damaging your skin. 2) Tanning your scars while they are healing can cause the pigment in that area to become darker than your normal skin color.
✱Dr. Shoukas does not recommend tanning in a tanning bed or exposing yourself to the sun without a minimum of SPF 30 (or higher) applied to all areas of your skin.
If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to call our office at 407-333-2518.