Dr. Adrian Lo has found that one of the most common questions his patients ask before breast augmentation surgery, is the level of “pain” they make experience from the surgery. This is a very subjective question, as the woman’s perception of pain after surgery can vary dramatically from one woman to the next. So, the most common thing we have found is that the patient that is “happy and excited, eager” before her surgery often describes her feeling as a “pressure”, and not pain. This type of patient often only takes prescription pain medicine for 1- 2 days, then either switches to a Tylenol or discontinues oral medicine entirely! If a woman is very “nervous, anxious and not mentally ready” for surgery, she has a greater likelihood of using the prescription pain medication longer.
With this realization in mind, Dr. Lo will discuss the patients feeling preoperatively, observing the patients state of mind to help guide her more towards the mindset of putting herself in a “happier state of mind” and perhaps trying some yoga or meditation exercises to help her calm herself and be in a “happy place” prior to surgery. Some form of anti-anxiety exercise, or perhaps medication, may be suggested too. A great book at bedtime, getting a massage the day before surgery, and practicing quiet time before sleep a few nights before surgery can also be ideal and help a lot with this pre-op tension.
Another factor that goes along with the “psyche” of the pre-operative patient is what she has “heard from her friend who had this surgery” …and what she is perceiving her own outcome to be. Dr. Lo reminds all patients that this is not a healthy way to approach surgery, as everyone has a totally different level of pain tolerance, her lifestyle great impacts how she is going to feel, and how she handles her post surgery recovery (icing often, not “doing too much” during the time she is to be gentle and kind to her body for healing) all factor in to how she is going to feel post op.
During the surgery, Dr. Lo performs several technical factors to minimize pain.
” One of the most important ways to minimize pain for the patient is to handle the tissues and breasts gently during the surgery; I find this makes a big difference. I also inject a long acting local anesthetic during the surgery to give the women pain relief for hours after the surgery. Although I don’t want the women to do too much, it is important to get up and move around and not get stiff.”
So, remember, “positive attitude” yet again serves a very good purpose in life! Happy post-op to all!
Dr. Adrian Lo