How long will it take me to recover after breast implant surgery?

How long will it take me to recover after breast implant surgery?

20th Aug 2019

How long will it take me to recover after breast implant surgery?


Breast implant surgery is one of the most desired plastic surgery procedures worldwide. Each year, millions of women resort to this procedure to correct underdeveloped breasts and other imperfections associated with small or asymmetric breasts. The procedure entails the use of silicone or saline solution implants that are inserted using incisions made in different areas of the breasts. The incisions can be localized either around the areola, usually when a saline solution or small silicone implants are used, in the inframammary fold, or in the axilla. We also have multiple options for placing the implants inside the breasts. The implants can be positioned either under the mammary gland, under the pectoral muscle, or in an in between position, supported both by the muscles and the glandular tissue called the dual plane. 

The recovery period after breast implant surgery is dependent on the surgical plan, as well as other characteristics of the patient such as the age, current health condition, and commitment to follow the post-operative instructions of the plastic surgeon. 

Many patients want to know how long it will take them to recover after breast implant surgery. Generally speaking, we tell patients that the recovery period after this procedure is about two weeks. However, if you are over 50 years old and you are suffering from other conditions that can prolong the recovery, expect a longer downtime. Most patients will be able to resume work and their other daily activities within the first two weeks, provided they follow the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter. Spending too much time in bed during the first week post-op, not taking the pain medication or the antibiotics, and doing intense physical activities can prolong the recovery process unnecessarily. Also, keep in mind that when the submuscular implant placement is chosen during the surgery, the patient can take a few days to a week longer to resume normal activities compared to inserting the implants in a pocket under the mammary gland. When the muscular tissue is sectioned or injured during surgery, it takes longer to heal compared to mammary tissue or just skin and fat tissue. 

Within the first week post-op, the patient is advised to avoid lifting any heavy objects from the floor and even to do significant arm movements as the incisions can be opened and this can considerably delay the recovery period. Another complication that patients need to avoid at all costs is infection, and this is why antibiotics are prescribed for five days post-op.

After the first ten to fourteen days, we consider that the recovery period is over; however, the final results can take months to transpire, and it can also take many more weeks for the side effects such as swelling and bruising to subside.


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