William Vinyard, MD, FACS

Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

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Recovering from Breast Augmentation: Things to Know Before Your Surgery

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Since 2015, breast augmentation has been the top surgical procedure in the United States and among the most prominent cosmetic procedures in the world. Most women report much higher levels of confidence and happiness following their breast augmentation procedure. They report incredible pleasure with the outcome of their surgical procedures.

However, prior to surgery, learning what to anticipate after the procedure, and how much time it will take to feel entirely recuperated, is essential. Breast augmentation can be a life-transforming experience which you should absolutely consider if you are dissatisfied with the current size, shape, or appearance of your breasts! So let’s chat about recovering from breast augmentation...

How Much Time Will Complete Healing Take?

It is very important to note that, since every woman's body is unique, there is no precise timeline for how long it will take your body (specifically) to heal. The majority of surgeons agree that complete healing ordinarily takes around 6 weeks, but some women feel great after only a week. You surgeon will be able to analyze your body, health, and overall wellness, and give you a clearer estimate.

What Are The Four Postoperative Recovery Phases?

1. Immediately Post-Operation

Immediately after surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area for close monitoring. After waking up from the anesthetic, you will likely feel dazed and sore. It may feel a bit like a hangover, but don’t be alarmed because these side-effects will wear off in a few hours, just like your last hangover. You may be permitted to go home when you are safe to discharge, usually after an hour or two. Nonetheless, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you overnight.

During your Breast Enhancement recovery, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze and an elastic bandage or assistance bra. This is meant to help minimize swelling and hold the weight of the breasts as they recover.

2. The Initial Three to Seven Days

The first three to five days will be the most uncomfortable. Your physician will recommend the appropriate pain medication in addition to potentially receiving a shot or pain pump to relieve pain during the initial 72 hours. After the first few days, most women can manage postoperative pain with over-the-counter pain relievers. On top of that, the majority of women are able to return to desk work within a week after the surgery. Before leaving your surgeon’s office, you will be given specific postoperative directions for your recovery. Ensure that you follow them to a T in order to ensure the best possible healing and restoration of your new, beautiful breasts.

Use your support garment (a bra or band called a bandeau) constantly, as instructed by your plastic surgeon. Cleanse the laceration site and apply ointment, if instructed to do so. Guidelines vary by patient, procedure, and surgeon, so it is critical to adhere to all of your doctor’s directions thoroughly.

Because it is possible to hemorrhage into the pockets around the breast implants for the initial few days, rest and relax until you have permission from your doctor to boost your activity level again. Acute pain typically subsides after 1 to 5 days, but you may experience pain or swelling for several weeks.

3. The First Couple of Weeks

Patients are allowed to gradually return to light exercise and eventually their daily routine. Discomfort can be minimized through slight activity, but physicians instruct women to refrain from strenuous or rough activity such as running, horseback riding, heavy lifting, or rigorous workouts. These things should be avoided until you are fully recovered. Individuals with labor-intensive jobs are advised to continue to stay away from work for at least 3 weeks.

4. Complete Healing

During your follow-up visit, your doctor will examine the progress of your healing and give you an updated estimation on how long the recovery is expected to take. Typically, after 2 months, most patients are able to return to all normal activities. It’s critical that you follow your specific surgeon’s recovery instructions and ask questions if you have any clarifications. This is the way to ensure that your implants recover effectively with no complications.

How Can You Ensure A Smooth Recovery?

Initially, you will experience pain and swelling, but there are practical ways to minimize these symptoms. This is typical, so there’s no need to fear the swelling, but these side-effects will gradually dissipate with time and a gentle recovery. How can you help the process along?

1. Invest In Healing Bras

It is advised that you invest in 1 or 2 healing bras to help reduce the discomfort and to accelerate your recovery. These garments are specifically created to optimize post-op comfort and convenience, but they also assure security during the healing process, increase blood circulation, and maintains compression to ensure healthy lymph drainage. They can be acquired from multiple stores in various patterns and designs, so you will be able to find one that fits your particular needs and body type.

2. Wear That Bra At All Times

It’s critically important that you wear a bra at all times to maintain safety to the implants by releasing strain. It is very important to look for materials that are breathable, seamless, have adjustable straps, and most importantly, a pressure-free fit. Some styles have bands that also help to reduce post-operative swelling.

3. Prepare Your Home And Closet Prior To Treatment

This is something that you might not think of before surgery, but take some time to prepare your home and closet for your time in recovery. The first week is going to be the most difficult for you, so it’s a good idea to have your housework done for the week, clothes prepared, and dishes clean and put away beforehand to ensure that you are able to rest completely. Some doctors even recommend filling the pain medication the day before the procedure to have the medication available and on hand.

4. Have A Friend Help You In The Days To Come

Remember that the first days are going to be painful and difficult, so ask your spouse, a friend, or a family member to help you ahead of time, especially if you have young children. You won’t be able to lift them or play aggressively with them for several weeks. Plan ahead and make sure you have support around the house in the weeks following your procedure.

5. Keep Healthy Food Nearby

Most importantly, make sure to get lots of rest, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy food, and moisturizing drinks to speed your recovery. Remember that you will be very sore and tired, but eating well will encourage your body’s healing, so keep healthy, easy-to-prepare foods on hand.

Loving Your Brand-New Breast Augmentation!

There you go! Armed with the knowledge of what to anticipate during your recuperation, you will now be able to undergo the procedure with the self-confidence to handle your improved new breasts and their safe, gorgeous recovery.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.