Can You Drink After Breast Augmentation?
I don't want this question to sound like I drink a lot, however I do enjoy a glass of wine every once in a while. I was curious if it is harmful to drink after you have had breast augmentation? Is there a suggested period to avoid alcohol? Thanks.
When a patient undergoes breast augmentation surgery, ensuring safety and the best possible outcome should be the top priorities. Every plastic surgeon will have their own recommendations regarding alcohol consumption, but there are some standard guidelines that most surgeons adhere to.
Generally, it is recommended that patients avoid drinking in the week leading up to surgery, as alcohol can have a blood thinning effect. Patients are also encouraged to avoid drinking for one to two weeks following surgery, and then only resume moderate intake of alcohol on the provision that they are no longer taking narcotic pain relievers.
Simply put, any alcohol consumption you engage in during your recovery from breast augmentation surgery should be judicious. Alcohol can cause dehydration as it reduces the pituitary secretion of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which affects the kidneys' ability to reabsorb water, resulting in the production of more urine.
A moderate amount of alcohol also acts as a kind of blood thinner, rendering it more difficult for your blood to clot. In addition, it can dilate the blood vessels causing them to temporarily relax and expand, which in turn can lead to prolonged swelling and bruising as there is increased blood flow throughout the body. It can also detrimentally affect your recovery as alcohol inhibits the way your body metabolizes anesthesia and pain medication. This increases the risk of complications occurring.
Moreover, there is the issue of safety. There are some accounts of augmentation patients who engage in excessive drinking several weeks after undergoing surgery and fall while intoxicated, seriously injuring themselves and their new breasts. In the weeks following surgery, your breasts and the incisions are still healing and very vulnerable to sudden or strenuous movements. Accidents can lead to damage or infection requiring reoperation of the surgical site, or in more serious cases, removal of the implant.
One final factor which must be mentioned is the effect alcohol has when combined with certain painkillers or narcotics. It is critical that you cease taking your pain medication before considering drinking alcohol again. Prescription pain medication cannot be mixed with alcohol as a range of dangerous and unpredictable complications can arise, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in blood sugar triggering seizures
- Changes in blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Abnormal behavior
If you’re considering undergoing breast augmentation surgery, or any surgical procedure for that matter, make sure you follow your surgeon's pre and post op instructions regarding alcohol intake carefully. They have been formulated with your well being in mind.
Dr. Kimberly Henry has 4 Breast augmentation before & afters:
Dear User1210414 (may I just call you "User"?),
Yes, you can drink after a breast augmentation, just nothing domestic and you must stop if you start seeing four breasts instead of two! Forgive me, I have a weird sense of humor that surfaces at the most inopportune times. That said, and on a more serious note, the proscription against alcohol consumption stems from several facts. One is that, as everyone knows, too much alcohol is bad for you, period. Women are advised against taking more than one drink per day routinely. This would be equal to a 12 oz can of beer, a 5 oz glass of wine, or a 1.5 oz distilled drink such as whiskey, gin, etc. To do more than this raises your lifetime risk of breast cancer significantly. For men, the recommended daily limit is 2 drinks. I know. I know. It's not fair but I don't make those rules.
Another reason to limit alcohol around the time of surgery is that alcohol in moderate amounts (see above) is known to be a mild blood thinner. Many doctors advise against drinking alcohol a few days before surgery and abstaining for a few days after. I don't ask people to refrain from a glass of wine the day before. After surgery I don't think a glass of wine will do any harm from a bleeding standpoint either, however, after surgery there is another issue.
After surgery, you will undoubtedly be taking some prescription level pain medications, usually some version of hydrocodone or oxycodone, which are narcotics (they are based on the chemical structure of opium). It is not wise to mix alcohol with these drugs. The cumulative effect could result in over-sedation, or worse. Therefore, as long as you are taking such medications, you should not drink.
Richard T. Bosshardt, MD, FACS
Many patients are afraid to ask about when it is safe to resume alcohol consumption following plastic surgery. However, this is something that must be well understood so no dangerous risks are taken. Board-certified plastic surgeons request that patients cease their alcohol intake for at least one week prior to surgery because of its potential blood thinning effects. Alcohol should also be avoided for at least one to two weeks following surgery, and only consumed again once you have finished taking sedatives or narcotic pain medications.
Painkillers and alcohol can be a deadly combination, severely impairing your judgement and increasing the risk of losing balance and suffering severe falls. In the early stages of recovery, any accident or damage to your breast implants or the incision sites can be serious, possibly resulting in a medical emergency requiring breast reconstruction -- or even removal of one or both implants.
In addition, alcohol can also cause you to be more careless than when you are sober, and more likely to over-exert yourself. Vigorous activities, sudden movements or strain can be detrimental to healing in your immediate recovery following breast surgery and can lead to breast hematoma, a shift in your implant placement, or capsular contracture (bleeding around the breast implants is one of the main causes of capsular contracture). Your breasts are very vulnerable as your body heals from the rigors of surgery.
You should also keep in mind that if you experience considerable swelling following your breast augmentation, alcohol consumption can prolong the swelling period. In general, if you wish to drink alcohol, adhere to the instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon and only engage in modest alcohol consumption. Drinking mindfully (or not at all) is not only better for your recovery and healing following breast surgery, but also more advantageous for your health in general.
Dr. Neil Zemmel has 39 Breast augmentation before & afters: