Breast Augmentation Recovery

How Long is the Recovery from a Breast Augmentation?

The results of breast augmentation can be long-lasting, though a revision may be necessary should an issue arise with your implants. Silicone breast implants, for example, are not lifetime devices and should be removed and replaced at your surgeon’s recommendation. You should keep in contact with your plastic surgeon on a yearly basis.

After your surgery, you and your caregiver, will be given detailed instructions about your post-surgical care, including drains (if they have been placed), normal symptoms you may experience, and signs of potential complications.

How Painful is Breast Augmentation Recovery?

Typically, the greatest amount of discomfort is experienced within the first 48 hours after breast augmentation surgery. The level of discomfort typically decreases day-by-day and may be effectively treated by various pain medications.

Since every patient is different, it isn’t possible to say exactly how long you’ll have pain after your operation. Immediately after surgery we’ll give you pain medication to help with the initial pain, which generally lasts 1 – 4 days. You’ll want to stop using this prescription pain medication as soon as you are able to. Over the next few weeks your pain level should continue to decrease until it is gone. You can aid in lowering the discomfort you feel by resting, avoiding heavy lifting, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever when you need to. If you continue to experience pain, or have more pain than you believe is normal for your stage of recovery, please contact us right away.

Follow Up with Your Plastic Surgeon After Surgery

You will return to your plastic surgeon’s office for follow-up care at prescribed intervals, at which time your progress will be evaluated. Your surgeon will encourage you to schedule routine mammographic evaluations at the frequency recommended for your age group.

The relationship with your plastic surgeon does not end when you leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact your plastic surgeon.

How Much Time Do You Need to Take Off Work?

You should be able to return to work within one to two weeks, and you can exercise again in about a month. If you have post-operative pain, you can take pain medication.

You will be given a surgical bra to wear during the healing period, and you will see us for follow-up appointments so that we can carefully monitor your healing.

Breast Augmentation Recovery Time and Aftercare

Results can be seen immediately, but swelling and bruising may prevent you from seeing the final result right away. Avoid lifting heavy objects and sleeping on your stomach as you heal.

Week #1

  • Relax following your surgery. Expect to have less energy than usual the first few days after surgery. The overall effects of undergoing surgery can take more of a toll on your body than you might expect. You need rest while your body heals.
  • The first 24 hours following surgery your diet should be soft foods and clear liquids. Advance your diet as tolerated following surgery. The anesthesia you are given may make you nauseated during the first day after surgery, therefore it is wise to drink liquids and eat only mild foods during this time. (Jello, mashed potatoes, soups)
  • Take pain medication with food, as directed and as needed. Take only prescribed medication or Tylenol. DO NOT TAKE Tylenol and prescribed medications at the same time. DO NOT TAKE Aspirin or Ibuprofen products unless directed by your doctor.
  • You will have a bra on when you come out of surgery.
  • Please wear this bra for 3 weeks post-operatively: this provides additional support as the breasts heal. This bra may be removed to be washed during the first three weeks, but otherwise should be worn consistently.
  • You will have a steri-strips (adhesive bandage) in place over your incision.
  • After your first post-operative appointment, you may take a full shower. It is ok to get the steri-strips wet at this point, but do not remove them. You can gently pat yourself dry with a towel or use a blow dryer (cool setting) to dry the steri strips.
  • Please keep your dressing clean and dry.
  • Sleep on your back only. Under no conditions are you to lie on your abdomen. A pillow on each side of you body may help as a reminder not to roll over. You may sleep on your side on the third post-operative night.
  • Limit reaching overhead, lifting pushing or pulling with arms. You may comb your hair, be careful not to stretch too far or too quickly.
  • Lift nothing heavier than a cell phone or glass of water/juice.
  • No driving. No household chores.
  • NO SMOKING!!!!!
  • Follow up visits are usually 1-2 times a week, then bi-weekly, then monthly.

Week#2

  • Still sleep on your back, if you can tolerate it. You may be on your side with pillows for support.
  • Do not remove bra unless instructed by the doctor or staff.
  • Do not lift elbows above your head or lift things with resistance, no heavy lifting, or other strenuous activities.
  • Minimal driving with automatic transmission is permitted if you are not taking any pain medication.
  • No sports.

Week#3

  • You may sleep on your sides or abdomen. You may now drive. Still no heavy lifting strenuous activity or sports.

Week#4

  • You may resume normal activities. 

Supplies Needed at home

  • Lots of ice for ice bags
  • Pillows for support
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Over the counter stool softener and Senakot for constipation

How Long are Breasts Swollen After Augmentation?

It’s completely normal to have swelling after breast augmentation. This will go away over time. You should see some improvement in the first month, and almost all the swelling should be gone at 2 -3 months after surgery.

The bulk of swelling should subside within about three weeks, although you can expect modest swelling to last about 3 months. By the 3-month mark, your breasts will be pretty close to their final shape and appearance, although scars will continue to fade for several more months.

Repairs and Revisions

Over time, breast implants can change shape or size, and the overlying breast tissue can also change, creating an appearance or feel to the breast that is less desirable than the original result. Also, many breast implants have a lifetime warranty on the actual implant device, but after ten years the costs associated with having surgery to replace the implants are no longer covered. Because of this, many women will elect to replace or update their breast implants at or around the 10-year time frame.

Breast implant revision surgery is not a standard or routine procedure and needs to be tailored specifically to the patient’s goals and desires. Therefore, this surgery should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-trained and experienced in all types of breast surgery and who will listen to the patient’s goals and desires and will develop a surgical plan specifically to address all of the issues at the time of surgery.

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