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What Is regarded as “Normal Recovery” after Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Written By Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, FACS

Before you schedule your breast augmentation surgery, you should know there comes a period of recovery. Dr. Joe from Minnesota can help you improve how your breasts look with the help of plastic surgery. Make sure to discuss what is normal recovery after breast augmentation surgery during the initial consultation.

It might seem overwhelming to start thinking about recovery before you even go into surgery. However, it would help if you spent some time planning your recovery time and analyzing what this period involves. Using his Quick Recovery Method, Dr. Joe will get you back to work, and back to your families in a day or two.

What Is Breast Augmentation?

Also called mammoplasty, breast augmentation is plastic surgery for increasing breast size. It involves inserting breast implants under the chest muscles or the breast tissue.

After breast augmentation surgery, you might feel more self-confident. For some women, breast augmentation is recommended to reconstruct the breasts after cancer. If you want to have bigger breasts, talk to Dr. Joe and make sure you know what this surgery involves and analyze the possible risks or complications.

Why Get a Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Getting breast augmentation surgery can help you if you want to:

During the initial consultation, make sure to discuss your goals and expectations with your plastic surgeon. Having realistic expectations for the surgery is important for the success of the procedure.

Before Breast Augmentation Surgery

Preparation for the recovery period starts before getting the surgery. This means that you need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery. You are required to have a friend or a family member staying with you overnight to help around the house.

Prepare your recovery room and make sure you don’t have any urgent tasks or chores that you need to deal with in the first two to three days after the surgery. Also, make sure you have food, drinks and entertainment (books, movies).

Breast Augmentation Recovery

For a few weeks after your breast augmentation surgery, you will likely experience swelling and soreness. It’s also possible that you will have bruises in the surgical area.

During the healing process, wear a sports bra or a compression bandage that offers extra support and helps position your breast implants. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication.

After breast augmentation surgery, you can return to your day-to-day activities. If your job is not physically demanding, you can return to work faster – even the next day. Avoid any strenuous activity that might raise your blood pressure and pulse or that can put pressure on the incisions for three weeks.

While healing, keep in mind that your breasts will be sensitive to physical contact or movement.

Infection is a potential complication of any surgical procedure. Therefore, contact your surgeon immediately if the incisions site is red, warm, or if you have a fever. The same goes for chest pain and shortness of breath.

And now, let’s see what happens during breast augmentation recovery, hour by hour, day by day, and week by week!

Breast Augmentation Recovery – Hours After the Surgery

You will feel rather sleepy and tight a few hours after your breast augmentation surgery. As mentioned, your surgeon will send you home the same day but ensure you have someone to get you there.

Before leaving, you may have an elastic breast band on or an ace wrap, but most patients are discharged with a bra. Your surgeon will also talk to you about how you can take care of your incisions. You can shower a day or two postop.

Breast Augmentation Recovery – Days 3 to 5

For 3-5 days after your breast augmentation surgery, you will likely start feeling almost back to normal. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help you manage the discomfort. Most patients are on Tylenol at this point.

Minor bleeding around the incisions might also occur. Don’t worry, as this is normal. However, discuss what’s happening with your surgeon if you’re concerned.

Breast Augmentation Recovery – Week 1

As the end of the first week approaches, you will definitely want to return to daily activities that don’t put too much strain on your body.

Your implants will still be compressed and high, but at least their projection will reduce. In the meantime, your breast tissue will remain tight and firm.

Expect your nipples to appear low. There is still bruising and swelling at the level of the breasts.

Your breast will still look more like pecs for some time. During this time, you can  sleep on your side or tummy. Expect a burning or itching sensation as tissues start to heal.

Start taking walks. Pay attention to how you feel around the breasts. Get enough rest and allow yourself some more time for healing.

Breast Augmentation Recovery – Weeks 2-3

After 2-3 weeks, your implants may still be high, but most likely they will start to drop and fluff. Your breasts will remain firm, but they will no longer feel tight. Around this time, natural scar tissue will form around your implant.

Nipples will still be low. The breasts will look much better than the first week. You will be happy to see that the bruising will fade away. However, some itching might still be present. In addition, one of your breasts might drop faster. Therefore, expect some temporary asymmetry, which is normal.

The implants might drop during this time, but not necessarily. Your surgeon might suggest a bra or breast band. After three weeks, you may begin any strenuous physical activities such as upper and lower body workouts, walking, or biking, swimming or horse back riding. Stop if you feel any pain.

Breast Augmentation Recovery – Week 6

Six weeks after your breast augmentation procedure, you will notice that your breasts look more natural, and your breasts will start to soften. Your breasts are still not fully recovered and perfect, but you will notice some improvement. Most of the swelling will be gone by now.

Expect some muscle aches while you are re-engaging your shoulder and chest muscles. One of Avoid sun exposure on the incision site.

Breast Augmentation Recovery – Weeks 8-9

Your breasts will look much better now, but they will still not have their best shape. You will feel they are softer, but they might need some more time to settle.

Your nipples have a good position now. One of your breasts might be higher, yet their position will slowly improve.

Breast Augmentation Recovery – Week 12

After 12 weeks, your breasts will start having a more attractive, nicer shape. So healing could be complete now. However, it is possible that the implants will continue to drop and fluff.

Breast Augmentation Recovery – After 6 Months

This period is the one in which your breasts will reach their optimal position. They will also become softer. Your surgeon may recommend wearing a special post-op bra or sports bra during intense activities or workouts.

FAQs about Breast Augmentation Recovery

Is breast augmentation recovery the same for everyone?

No, your breast augmentation recovery and progress will be different. Each woman recovers differently. The recovery is dependent on many factors such as the incision and implant placement and patient’s characteristics such as health conditions.

Will I need bed rest after my breast augmentation surgery?

Your surgeon will likely suggest you get enough rest, but don’t spend all day in bed. Getting out of bed as often as possible for short walks around the house can speed up recovery.

Will my breast augmentation recovery be painful?

As mentioned, you might experience some mild pain during your breast augmentation recovery process. But the pain is easily managed with the help of regular analgesic medication prescribed by your surgeon.

Should I schedule my breast augmentation procedure according to what physical activities I should perform?

Yes, suppose you have a strenuous job or have plans for physical activities. In that case, it’s better not to have your breast augmentation procedure performed before. Instead, wait until you know that you can take at least two to three weeks off.

Is it essential to meet with my surgeon often during my breast augmentation recovery?

Yes, post-op appointments allow your plastic surgeon to check on your healing process and make sure everything is going well and there are no signs of complications.

Further Reading about Breast Surgery at Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery

Medical References about Breast Augmentation Recovery

This blog has been authored by “Dr. Joe” Gryskiewicz MD, FACS and Karan Chopra, MD.

About Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz:

Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience performing aesthetic surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and belongs to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Aesthetic Society, The Rhinoplasty Society, and many other national institutions.

About Dr. Karan Chopra:

Dr. Karan Chopra is a board-certified and fellowship-trained plastic surgeon who specializes in the deep plane facelift and neck lift, blepharoplasty, buccal fat removal, breast augmentation, and many other aesthetic procedures. He belongs to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Aesthetic Society, and The Minnesota Society of Plastic Surgeons, among many other professional organizations.