Can I Drive Home After My Breast Augmentation?January 22, 2014 by Dr. Smoot
Welcome back to our Real Life Recovery series. In our second installment, we’re addressing a commonly asked question about our most popular procedure at LJCSC: breast augmentation.
You’ve decided to take the plunge and have breast augmentation. No doubt you’re excited about enjoying life with your new look! But before you schedule that marathon day of shopping with the “girls,” you need to concentrate on your recovery first.
This means preparing for several days of rest and relaxation, including plenty of fun magazines, a few good movies, and someone to be your after-augmentation designated driver.
Because breast augmentation is done using general anesthesia, driving home after surgery is off-limits. You cannot take a taxi, either. While you will be awake, you will feel a little “out of it” or unsteady on your feet for the rest of the day as anesthesia continues to wear off. You need to have a trusted adult take you home from the surgery center and help you get situated. This person should stay with you for at least the next 24 hours. At LJCSC, we can help patients arrange for qualified home caregiver after plastic surgery who provides safe transportation, if needed.
The “no driving after cosmetic surgery” rule also applies while you are taking prescription pain medication. There’s a reason the warning label says “do not operate heavy machinery.” Narcotics can impair your coordination and slow your reaction time. Driving while on pain meds is dangerous for you and everyone else on the road. Most of our breast augmentation patients find they only need prescription meds for 4 to 6 days before switching to Tylenol.
It’s generally considered safe to drive again once you’re no longer taking prescription pain meds and you feel up to it. Before you start the engine, make sure you can comfortably turn your head and shoulders to look behind you. Most patients are good to go about 7 days after surgery, but do wait until you get a thumbs-up from your surgeon.
Once you are back behind the wheel, don’t push it. You might find that you get tired a little more quickly than usual for a couple of weeks—this is not the time to embark on a cross-country road trip. It’s a good idea to have a friend on call to give you a ride, if needed. Before you know it, you’ll be back in full swing, ready to rock your new look!