One of the most dreaded complications after breast augmentation surgery is bleeding or hematoma. A Hematoma is a collection of blood within the pocket of the breast where the implant is placed. So the reason this is a feared complication is that when there is bleeding first of all another operation is required to evacuate the blood. However, more importantly we know that when bleeding occurs, the risk of capsular contracture around the implant increases. Capsular contracture is scar tissue that forms naturally around the breast if that capsule becomes thickens, it can actually contract or deform the shape of the breast or the implant and it can cause pain.
So the risk of contraction of this capsule increases when there is bleeding after breast surgery. Because of this, I tell my patients to do everything they can to minimize any stress after breast surgery. I have people with them after surgery particularly in the first few nights after surgery. I ask them to have somebody help them out of bed. I don't want them to strain in any way. If the patient feels nauseous, I give them anti-nausea medication so that they don't vomit, because vomiting actually increases the blood pressure which can increase the chances of bleeding.
So all precautions are taken to minimize the chance of post operative bleeding and essentially those precautions include just keeping the patient calm. They can walk around and in fact I prefer they don't stay in bed; however, I don't want them to stress in any way shape or form. In addition to that, while the breast implant pocket is healing, I put restrictions on the amount of arm movements the patients can make. I don't allow them to bring their arms up past their shoulder height. They can however move their arm in this direction, however, the upper arm should not move past shoulder height. This again is to prevent any problems with the implant pocket while it's healing. Certainly patients cannot exercise for the first few weeks but in four to six weeks when things have completely healed, they can resume their normal activities.