How You Can Help Your BFF After Breast Surgery


Disclaimer :: Local plastic surgeon and regular FWMB guest contributor Dr. Emily Kirby sponsored this blog post to share her experience and expertise on cosmetic breast procedures. 

So your BFF is having breast surgery. How can you help?

When someone we care about is having surgery, it’s natural to want to help; however, it can be difficult to know exactly what she needs before and after surgery to make the experience easier. As a board certified plastic surgeon in Fort Worth who has worked with thousands of patients, I’ve learned a lot through the years about what patients really want and need from their caregivers during the recovery process. 

Many of my patients are moms who choose to have a breast lift or breast augmentation to restore size or shape after pregnancy and breastfeeding. I would like to shed some light on ways to help patients with kids heal well (and maintain their sanity!) after breast surgery.

breast surgery

Help Her Get the House Recovery-Ready

When your friend comes home after her procedure, she’ll be groggy, achy, and a little disoriented from the anesthesia. She’ll need a comfy bed, a house free from obstacles (no toys on the floor), and some healthy, easy-to-digest food waiting for her. You can help by joining her for a “house party” a few days before her procedure. Put on some music and help her clean, prep meals, place frequently used items at waist level (so she won’t have to reach or strain to reach necessities), and arrange her bed for comfortable back sleeping.

Be Her “Breast Friend” on Surgery Day

All breast surgery patients need a trusted adult to drive them to and from surgery and to stay with them for the first 24 hours, until anesthesia has fully worn off. This “breast friend” will also need to help her get dressed and undressed, assist her in and out of bed and to the bathroom, and bring her food and water. While breast surgery rarely requires anything too “medical” like drains, you’ll be best suited for this job if you are patient and very close to your friend, because you’ll probably end up seeing a little more of her than you have before!

Sign Up for Babysitting Shifts (As Many as You Can!)

It’s hard to imagine not picking up your child for a day, much less a few weeks — but after breast surgery, patients are advised to avoid heavy lifting for about a month. This includes babies and toddlers. One of the most helpful things you can do for your recovering friend is to cover mom duties such as bathing, putting the baby in the crib or carseat, and more active play. For a close friend, you might even offer to let her kids have a sleepover at your place for a few days to give mom the ultimate rest and relaxation during her early days of recovery.

Volunteer for Chauffeur Duty the Following Week

After breast surgery, your friend won’t be allowed to drive for several days, until she’s off pain meds. Having one person she can count on to shuttle the kids to school, sports, lessons, and appointments until she’s safely behind the wheel again is a great help. The first post-op appointment is usually one or two weeks after surgery, so your friend may or may not be ready to drive herself by then.

Offer Housekeeping Services

Dropping off a casserole is nice, but what a patient really could use is help taking out the trash, sweeping the floors, grocery shopping, or taking the dog for a walk. Even these simple chores can be uncomfortable (or off-limits) for a patient after breast surgery — as pushing, pulling, lifting, and carrying all involve the chest muscles.

Be There for Emotional Support

Having basic activities suddenly become off limits, even temporarily, can be frustrating for an active mom who’s used to balancing work and parenting duties like a pro. At some point, your friend may need a shoulder to cry on, a cheesy joke to laugh at, or someone to listen calmly while she vents. You might even surprise her with a little gift to keep her spirits up, such as a gift card to her favorite lingerie store. It’ll remind her why she chose to have breast surgery and give her something to look forward to once her results are ready for new bra shopping!

I hope these tips help you find the perfect way to help your friend or loved one after surgery. If you’re considering breast augmentation, a breast lift, or any other cosmetic procedure, I invite you to schedule a consultation with me at Kirby Plastic Surgery. I’ll be happy to answer your questions about breast surgery and recovery and help you decide the best way to move forward.

Dr. Emily KirbyDr. Emily J. Kirby is a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. She is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Texas Health Resources Harris Methodist hospital, the largest hospital in Fort Worth. Dr. Kirby specializes in aesthetic and reconstructive procedures as well as non-surgical treatments. For more information, visit or read some of Dr. Emily Kirby’s reviews.

Kirby Plastic Surgery, 7250 Hawkins View Dr., Suite 412, Fort Worth, Texas 76132, 817-292-4200. Connect with Kirby Plastic Surgery via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

You can read more from Dr. Kirby on the Fort Worth Moms Blog archives


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