- Reference Number: HEY-051/2023
- Departments: Plastic Surgery
- Last Updated: 16 October 2023
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This leaflet has been produced to give you general advice following your discharge. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.
When you go home it is important that you take plenty of rest. You should avoid strenuous activities, exercise, or heavy lifting for at least 4 weeks. You should not drive until you feel safe to do so and can control your car without discomfort.
You should keep your dressings clean, dry and intact. You will be measured and fitted with a supportive garment which you should wear as much as possible. You should avoid any scented products such as aftershave or body sprays near your wounds.
Your wound will usually be closed with dissolving sutures which do not need removal. You may be given an outpatient appointment to have your wound dressed and checked at 7 – 10 days or you may be advised to attend your doctor’s practice nurse for this. If you have any bleeding (other than mild oozing), discharge, swelling or redness of your wounds you should contact us for advice.
It is advisable to have a supply of mild pain relief medication at home, which should be used as directed on the packet if you have pain.
Following your surgery your chest will still be quite swollen and you will see the final result of your operation in about 3 – 6 months’ time.
We advise that you take approximately 3 – 4 weeks away from your work to recover following the operation, however if your job involves a lot of heavy lifting or is very physical you may need longer. You can submit a self-certification certificate for the first week, after this you will need a fit note from your own doctor or the doctor in the clinic.
You may resume sexual relationships once your scars are fully healed. There is no reason you cannot begin swimming or taking other exercise once your scars are fully healed.
You should protect your scars from the sun for the first 12 months, as they will burn more easily and can darken from direct sunlight exposure.