Here are a selection of the most commonly asked questions about PIP implants surgery (as seen on the support forums and passed on by co-ordinators manning the surgery help-lines). Whether you have questions relating to the run-up to your surgery (the consultation and preparation) or the stage afterwards (results and aftercare), we hope you’ll find the answer here. Email the Good Surgeon Guide if you have other questions you’d like us to add to these pages!
Before Your PIP Implants Surgery: FAQs
1. Do I have to stop taking the Contraceptive Pill before my op?
Answer: Some surgeons are recommending this (usually asking you to stop taking the Pill about 2 weeks before your PIP Implants surgery) whilst others advise to continue as normal. The reasoning is that birth control pills have been shown to create a slightly higher risk of leg vein blood clots. Some surgeons feel that this risk is substantial, others do not. It is therefore best to check with your surgeon in advance and let them know if you have strong feelings about this.
2. Will I need MRSA swabs before Answer: This depends on the policies of the hospital where you are having your surgery, but a lot of hospitals are now doing MRSA swabs to decrease the risk of the serious hospital virus. These swabs are nothing to worry about: they are usually performed during your preliminary consultations or even on the day of your surgery. They are typically taken from your nose, groin and armpit and are totally painless.
3. Should I give up drinking before my PIP surgery?
Answer: Generally you should aim to leave 24 hours between drinking alcohol and having your PIP implants surgery as alcohol thins the blood and can cause you to bleed more. Obviously, no good surgeon would operate if you turned up drunk to your operation anyway. The good news is that there is no need to go T-total weeks in advance!
4. What about medications?
Answer: There are a number of drugs which your surgeon is likely to advise you to avoid for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your surgery. You should be provided with a list of these in your paperwork but, if in any doubt, be sure to ask. Some of the more unexpected ones include Ibuprofen and Aspirin so if you come down with a bug 2 weeks before your surgery, you’ll need to keep this in mind and check with your cosmetic surgery centre to see what medication (if any) you are able to take. Cigarettes, too, are technically off limits for the fortnight before and after PIP surgery. Smoking increases the risk of a number of complications during surgery, so this is just good sense really. If you’re struggling, why not invest in one of those electronic ciggies? This might be a great time to kick the habit!
After Your PIP Implants Surgery: FAQs
1. How long after my PIP surgery must I wait to start driving again?
Answer: Most surgeons and clinics advise waiting at least a week after your surgery before you start driving. Check with your insurance company, though, as a number of them state you will not be insured for accidents before two weeks post-op. Use your own judgement of how you feel too; under the muscle patients may be more sensitive and take longer to feel ready to start driving safely.
2. What position do I have to sleep in after my PIP surgery?
Answer: There is quite a lot of debate over this and surgeons do give varying information. The position that most generally advise against is sleeping on your side as obviously one breast gets squished whilst the other flops to the side. On your front is probably likely to be uncomfortable for you. However, there is no hard and fast rule that you must sleep on your back or propped up if this is really uncomfortable for you. Give it a try and see if you can manage it for a week or two.
3. How long after my PIP surgery can I wash properly?
Answer: Everybody dreads the going without washing part. It’s just to give everything chance to heal properly and reduce the risk of infection (plus, at first, you should be keeping your support bra on at all times) but you can still flannel wash, making sure to pat rather than rub. For the first week you should stick to this, then you should be OK to shower but still avoid full soaks in the bath until you’ve had your stitches checked and trimmed. If the thought of dirty hair fills you with dread, perhaps stock up on a good dry shampoo or book a hairdressers appointment in advance. Bending over a bath or sink isn’t really advisable.
4. How long do I have to wear my support bra post-op?
Answer: Again, this advice varies widely between surgeons. Some say you should wear your support bra for up to 6 weeks, others actually say the complete opposite – that you shouldn’t wear a bra at all to allow your breasts to drop naturally! There is also split opinion about whether you should avoid touching them, or massage them gently. Ladies on the forums who have been wearing the support bras do generally seem to report less pain and discomfort, but this of course depends on having a properly fitting support bra: if you are either given one that doesn’t fit well or buy a cheap / badly fitting one because you were unsure what size you would be, you would probably be just as well without. Do listen to the advice of your surgeon, but also go with your gut instinct.
5. How long after PIP Implants surgery will I have my stitches removed?
Answer: This depends whether your surgeon has used dissolvable stitches or not and the technique they have used. If they are not dissolvable, they need removing quite soon after surgery (usually within about a week-10 days) to avoid scarring. Dissolvable stitches can stay in place much longer, but you will still usually be given an appointment within a couple of weeks to check on their progress and trim the ends.
6. Can I fly in an aeroplane after my PIP implants surgery?
Answer: Some ladies are concerned about flying soon after their surgery. Perhaps you are considering coming to the UK for PIP implants correction and need to return home, or you had a holiday booked shortly after the op. date you have been given? Generally, surgeons advise that very short flights (about an hour – say, to Ireland) are OK 24 hours after the procedure, so long as there were no complications. For longer flights and holidays, 4-6 weeks is the usual recommendation of how long to wait. This isn’t due to ‘exploding implants’ as some people think! It’s actually because having an operation increases your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Also, it is better to stay close to your surgeon (at least in the same country!) in the weeks following your surgery, just in case of any complications.