If you have already gone under the knife for any type of surgical procedure, you already know that the pre-operative and operative time are just a part of the procedure. The procedure might end when the plastic surgeon puts down the scalpel, but things are certainly not over for the patient there. The recovery after breast augmentation is an important step in the success of your plastic surgery procedure. This is the time when complications can occur or can be avoided and when your results stabilize and become more visible. Moreover, many patients don’t really know what to expect during the first week after breast augmentation surgery. The procedure for breast augmentation You want a breast augmentation, but do you know what it implies in terms of recovery? Being prepared and fully aware of what to expect after the procedure can significantly reduce post-operative stress and help you navigate through the recovery stage smoother. The breast augmentation procedure is often performed using a breast implant that is positioned under the mammary gland, under the pectoral muscle, or in an in-between position called the dual plane. The implants will be introduced in a pocket inside the breasts by using either a transaxillary incision, one placed around the areola, or in the inframammary fold. The operative technique is chosen by the plastic surgeon after discussing all the details with the patient, and it takes into consideration the anatomical characteristics of the patient and also her desires and expectations from the surgery. The recovery process depends on the patient’s ability to heal, but also the decisions made during the operative process such as the incision placement, implant placement, and so on. The scars left by breast augmentation are usually about 5 cm long, but it depends on the size of the implants used. Saline solution implants are inserted into the breasts while empty, so this means a smaller incision is necessary. The silicone implants come prefilled, so the dimensions of the incisions are proportionate to the size of the implants used. Huge implants usually mean larger incisions. The first week after breast augmentation surgery Once the procedure is performed, the patient can leave the medical facility within a day. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for the first week, and the patient will also be asked to wear a special post-op bra or a sports bra. The bandages will need to be changed a few times a day to keep the incision site clean and prevent infections. Many patients will notice that there isn’t a great deal of pain to be dealt with after the breast augmentation. There will be a discomfort more intense or not depending on different factors such as the placement of the implants and the level of physical activity the patient performs during recovery. It is recommended to avoid activity that can cause extra pressure on the chest muscles or the breasts. Simple things such as lifting your kid or stretching to reach for an object can cause unnecessary pain and discomfort after surgery. In most cases the pain won’t be felt when the action is performed, but later on, usually in the evenings. Sleeping on the tummy is not a good idea as this puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your new breasts when they are not really settled into place and able to take the pressure. Any type of pressure on the breasts should be avoided during this time, including tension that can occur during intercourse. It is also during this first post-op week that bruising and swelling can occur. These are completely natural side-effects that can occur after any type of surgical procedure, so you don’t need to worry about them as they will disappear in time without additional treatment. However, due to the swelling and the bruising, it will be quite difficult for the patient to assess the results of the procedure. Moreover, when undergoing a breast augmentation with implants, you will notice that your breasts will look very high on the chest wall shortly during the procedure. Don’t worry as this is not how the end result will look. The breasts will descend and settle in a more natural anatomical position within the first few months after the procedure. When it comes to sports and physical activities, your plastic surgeon will advise you to keep active and walk a lot around the house and even the neighborhood, but to avoid intense physical exercises, especially the ones involving the use of your arms and upper body at all costs. You will notice that ample arm movements can cause pain on the chest, especially if you had the implants placed under the pectoral muscle. Conclusion The breast augmentation procedure is commonly performed nowadays in all parts of the world. The majority of patients get satisfactory results and a relief from the emotional complexes associated with having underdeveloped breasts or breasts that are not proportionate to the rest of the body. Patients should know that the final results are not immediately visible and they will also go through a recovery process that is essential for the success of their procedure. The first week of recovery is an important stage. This is the time when the patient can experience swelling and bruising and also pain and discomfort in the chest area. Following the plastic surgeon’s recommendation can help you avoid unnecessary pain and have a smooth and uneventful recovery period. Keep in mind that the post-op bra or sports bra is mandatory to be worn during the first week after the breast augmentation procedure.