It is helpful to remind yourself that there will typically be ups and downs during recovery from your breast augmentation top surgery, formerly referred to as MTF top surgery or MTF breast augmentation. In this article, we provide instructions on the daily activities you can do to optimize your recovery and healing. We discuss various restrictions for physical activity, showering, diet, and lifestyle to help you prepare and know what to expect after your gender affirming surgery.
VERY IMPORTANT: If you have excessive bleeding or pain, call our surgeons at (415) 780-1515. You can reach your surgeon day or night by calling the normal office line.
YOUR FIRST 24 HOURS: If you are going home, a family member or friend must drive you because you have been sedated. Someone should stay overnight with you. If you choose to go to a postoperative center, they will provide transportation. If you have any questions about these matters, please ask one of our nursing staff.
DRESSINGS: Keep your dressings as clean and dry as possible. Do not remove them unless instructed to do so.
ACTIVITY: Take it easy and pamper yourself. Try to avoid any straining. You may go to the bathroom, sit and watch TV, etc., but NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU FEEL, DO NOT CLEAN THE HOUSE, REARRANGE THE ATTIC, ETC.! We do not want you to bleed and cause any more swelling and bruising than is unavoidable.
ICE PACKS: Cold or ice packs help to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Use ready made ice packs, frozen peas in the package, or crush ice cubes and put the ice into an airtight plastic bag. This should help, not hurt. If the ice feels too uncomfortable, don’t use it as often. Place a cloth between your skin and the ice. Also, check the temperature on the back of your hand before placing it on the surgical area; sometimes you can inadvertently hurt your skin if you do not check the temperature.
SHOWERING: Patients are instructed not to shower until after the first visit with your surgeon. He will remove your dressing, inspect the surgical area, and give you the go ahead to begin regular showers. Until that time, please sponge bathe to keep clean. If you had a body or breast procedure, you may visit a hair salon to have your hair washed, if you would like to do so.
DIET: If you have any postoperative nausea, carbonated sodas and dry crackers may settle the stomach. If nausea is severe, use the suppository. If you feel normal, start with liquids and bland foods, and if those are well tolerated, progress to a regular diet. It is important that you avoid salt (sodium) during your recovery. Salt will increase your swelling and may prolong your recovery. Read our page on low-sodium meal options to learn more.
SMOKING: Smoking reduces capillary flow in your skin. We advise you not to smoke at all during the first 21 days after surgery.
ALCOHOL: Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and could increase postoperative bleeding. Please do not drink until you have stopped taking the prescription pain pills, as the combination of pain pills and alcohol can be dangerous.
DRIVING: Please don’t drive for at least 2 days after general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, and wait to drive until you have ceased taking prescription pain pills. It’s best to wait to drive until you can do so comfortably and can maneuver a vehicle without any disruption to the area where you had surgery.