by Sara Hackney 

Just over a week ago, I took the plunge and had a breast augmentation, breast lift and a abdominoplasty. So yeah, I had a boob job and a tummy tuck. Six hours of surgery, five Valium and two Dilaudid later, I was transformed into a 41-year-old querulous woman—my veins flowing with prescribed opioids and misdirected anger. However, I did have better breasts and a flat tummy. For the record, this decision was ten years in the (decision) making.

I am not blessed with a plethora of gifts, but I do have a high threshold for pain so this period of tyranny was short-lived but was aptly described as the gateway to Dante’s seventh circle by my husband of fifteen years.

The first four days of recovery were no picnic to say the least, but I’m a fast healer and have turned the corner of pain and recovery quite quickly. Still, everyone’s pain threshold is different and there is no amount of subdued sentiments that can be curbed with pills or copious amounts of cajoling.

Based on my experience, I offer these tips to living and surviving with a woman post breast augmentation aka boob job.

  1. Be patient and know this window of recovery is temporary. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different but we all have this in common: we have just journeyed through hours of anesthesia, surgery and anxiety. Since most plastic surgery is outpatient, loved ones have also been sitting around waiting during surgery times and taking on the role of ambulance driver required to transport the groggy patient home. On some level, I feel this period of time is worse for those not under the knife. However, it’s important to remember that patients are also on drugs and feelings are subdued or most likely exacerbated and not accurately portrayed. Go ahead and laugh at the patient…just keep it out of ear shot.

2. There is no sex in the champagne room, or any room post boob jobs. Well, at least until your doctor deems so. This was a rule that my surgeon only had to express once but it really needs to be expressed even more so based on the excitement of pre-op appointments and witnessed post-op. Let’s dig into the pre-op experience. Trying on your new breasts pre-op is basically the process of slipping in what feels and looks like chicken breast cutlets into an underwire bra. It’s basically the first glimpse into your new body and look and can lead to the kind of excitement associated with buying the next best thing or technology. The “trying-on process” is so much fun that this is the very reason that surgeons caution patients and partners to astain from sex until “the girls” have healed properly. 

3. Time for celebration.  Believe it or not, setting a time for celebration is key to surviving any surgery but it’s different for most selective surgeries or in many cases, plastic surgeries. Yes, most plastic surgeries are deemed as vain or unnecessary, but for those that have investigated or taken the plunge it’s an emotional issue that requires physical and emotional healing as well. Set a date to look forward to and adjust for healing times. No matter the time due which usually hedges around 6 weeks, make a date and see that on the horizon.

Today, I am just three weeks from my big unveiling with zero regrets. Expect some shade from women that don’t approve and remember that their disapproval has nothing to do with you or your partner or spouse’s decision but their own reflection of themselves. Set your own date and celebrate your recovery and a new chapter in your life. After all, this is why board certified plastic physicians worthy of their trade have put the same amount of time, energy and emotion into their trade. 

Stay strong and ride out the mammary storm.

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