Pain is a part of any surgery, and is generally necessary in order to heal.
It may seem like we use this answer a lot, but the answer to this question is: it depends.
Pain is subjective.
Our founder Lauren Simpson put it this way- “As a physical therapist, I’ve seen pain range from 10/10 when the individual didn’t even grimace, to someone who expressed they were having 5/10 with tears running down their face and obvious levels of discomfort, thus their bodies told me different stories than their minds interpreted.”
In addition, women who’ve never had any type of surgery and then had a complication-free childbirth tend to report more pain from breast surgery compared to women who’ve had other surgeries or underwent a cesarean section.
Here is our recommendation: prepare for a lot of pain, and that way you won’t be surprised if you do experience significant pain during recovery. That may seem counterintuitive, but if you plan for a lot of pain and prepare accordingly to ensure that you are comfortable and have the help you need after surgery, you may be pleasantly surprised if the discomfort is not as bad as you planned for. And if it is as bad as you planned for, then you’re ready to rock it!
Also be prepared to experience difficulty and discomfort performing everyday tasks in the first few weeks such as opening a jar or water bottle, turning a can opener, opening/closing a car door, and even flushing the toilet. You may underestimate the use of the muscles that you use for these minor tasks.
Compare this to assuming you will have little to no pain and not preparing your bedside for discomfort or arranging to have help with the kids or around the house for the early part of recovery, and then experiencing more pain than you planned for and not being equipped to deal with it.
Keeping a positive mindset is very important in recovery and if your post-op experience starts out with feeling disappointed or ill prepared, it can throw your whole recovery off track.
It is important to remember that recovery following each type of breast surgery varies drastically. If your surgery involves removing adhered tissue, lifting breast tissue/skin, removal of skin, going under the muscle or over the muscle, inserting drains afterwards, or anything else – this makes your recovery unique. All the more reason that you are prepared for it to be painful and the best case is you’re pleasantly surprised.
We want you to feel prepared, supported and ready for the journey ahead of you! When you join our 12-week online post-operative recovery program, we deliver week-by-week guides to not only help you thrive during recovery, but also prepare your home, your body and your mind for an optimal recovery. Each of our customized memberships cater to your surgery type and regardless of what type of breast surgery you had performed, you still deserve to recover in the most optimal way.
While every woman’s pain tolerance and past experiences are unique, we hope that sharing some advice on setting realistic post-op expectations is helpful to you on your transformation journey.