After top surgery, you can expect a substantial recovery period. If you have a desk job, or are a student, then your surgeon will recommend 1-2 weeks off before returning to work or your studies. However, if you have a more active job, play sports, or work-out, you should wait 4-6 weeks before returning to those activities. Recovery is a critical time to allow yourself time not only for physical recovery but also for the emotional process of adapting to post-surgery.
Unless you have other health concerns, top surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means that after the surgery, you are medically cleared to return home. To ease the process, we recommend preparing pre-surgery and having these recovery supplies ready at home:
Depending on your procedure, and your surgeon’s suggestion, you may be given a binder to wear after your surgery. A binder, or compression bandage, reduces swelling and bruising after surgery. It helps support the chest, and the surgical area. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions for wearing a binder, but they are generally worn for 3-6 weeks following surgery. The bandage must be worn quite tightly in order to provide the proper amount of compression. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it is very beneficial for your recovery.
Pain levels vary depending on the individual. For some, Advil or Tylenol may be enough to handle the pain while for other stronger painkillers are needed. Your surgeon may prescribe Vicodin or Percocet following your surgery.
After your top surgery, it may be painful or uncomfortable to lift your arms, especially up over your head. Make sure everything you need is accessible before your surgery, and if you don’t already have one, buy a step stool in case you need to get something that’s out of arm’s reach.
Eating healthy food will help your body recover. If you are incapable to arrange for friends or family to help you prepare food, you may want to prepare meals and snacks in advance so that healthy food is readily accessible..
Having these recovery supplies handy will help ease you through your recovery period. Recovery can be a bit boring, so remember to also stock up on items like books, magazines, and movies! Take this time to recover as best you can, and adjust accordingly to your surgery.