What to expect during breast augmentation recovery

What to expect during breast augmentation recovery

18th Jun 2017

Breast augmentation surgery is done more and more frequently these days as the demand for bigger, firmer breasts increases. While researching online can give you a good idea of what the procedure will entail, it is still important to have a proper consultation with your plastic surgeon before deciding to go under the knife.

When preparing for the surgery, it is essential to find out all the necessary details regarding the process, techniques, and methods to be performed. It is also crucial to ask your surgeon what to expect during recovery. Most patients find their healing period short and uneventful, but some underwent discomfort and needed special care. Remember that the healing period is an essential part of a procedure’s success.

On the day of the surgery

It is not uncommon for patients to experience pain and discomfort after surgery. The patient may also feel groggy from the anesthesia. The surgeon will recommend you get out of the bed as soon as possible, preferably within three to four hours after surgery. If you are not confronted with complications, you will be free to go home after eight hours. Walking around the room or the house is suggested from the first day. The goal is to get the metabolism to function at normal parameters. The surgeon will suggest you avoid big arm movements such as lifting them, particularly if your implants were inserted in a submuscular position.

It is beneficial to apply ice packs on the breasts to avoid swelling and inflammation. Never apply the ice directly on the chest but on a piece of cloth instead. You will also be advised to wear a special supportive bra to help your new breasts heal quickly. Staying active will help with the blood flow, but it is not recommended to do any heavy lifting for the first month following your breast augmentation.

The first few days after surgery

By now you should be walking around normally, and after four days you can resume driving as well. Don’t hesitate to shower after surgery (it is actually highly recommended), but avoid water that is too hot as it can trigger bleeding. Prepare to have your bandages changed after four days to a week after the procedure.

Experiencing pain and discomfort is natural for the first week, but your doctor will prescribe pain medication to control it. However, aspirin should be avoided before and after surgery as it is a potent anti-coagulant and can lead to excessive bleeding. This is why it is always mandatory to talk to your surgeon about all the medications you are taking before and after surgery.

The week after

Most patients can resume with work a week after surgery, for as long as the job does not require a lot of physical effort. The recovery period is known to be shorter with a subglandular placement of the implants. However, keep in mind that most plastic surgeons will still recommend the placement under the pectoral muscle in an effort to decrease the complication rate and achieve a more satisfactory result.

The month after

Usually by now you will have the clearance from your surgeon to resume exercise. It is important to gradually increase the level of physical effort and allow your body time to get used to it. You will be able to get back to your fitness level before surgery within the first two months after the procedure. Avoid lifting weights for at least six months, as well as sports that involve plenty of arm movement such as volleyball and tennis.

The surgeon may suggest you sleep on your side or back side for the first three months. Wearing a special bra during exercise is also mandatory. Your breasts will require special support after a breast augmentation, so make sure you avoid wearing wired bras.

Expect to have sensitive breasts for a few months and experience discomfort from time to time, especially around the nipple. This is indicative of the nerves healing. It will take at least a few months for the final results of the surgery to be visible as wound healing is also an important part of the process.

Remember that if you are over 40 years old, you should get a mammography after two years from the augmentation procedure. Let your technician know about your implants so they can be careful while performing the scan.


Breast augmentation is now a highly popular procedure in the United States and all over the world. Before the surgery, make sure you are informed of the recovery process. A successful and uneventful recovery will significantly increase your chances to have amazing results after the surgery.

It is not unnatural for patients to be confronted with pain and discomfort during the first few days and weeks after a breast enhancement procedure. The surgeon will make sure to prescribe pain medication to easily manage it, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. A strong recommendation would be to avoid heavy arm movement, especially if the implant is in a submuscular position. You will be able to admire your new breasts immediately after surgery, but the final results will be only be fully visible after a few months or up to a year.


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