How Long is Breast Implant Recovery?

Breast augmentation is a procedure that boasts a high patient satisfaction rate, due to its ability to dramatically enhance your appearance. However, before you can enjoy your new breasts to the fullest, you will need to complete the post-operative recovery process. How long does recovery take and how does it feel? Dr. Christine Fisher and her team have all the information you need to prepare for your breast implant recovery and create the best possible healing process.

What will affect my breast augmentation recovery?

It is good to plan your recovery before your surgery even takes place. A few simple factors at this point in the process can have a profound impact on your recuperation:

  • Avoid certain medications, such as blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs, that can raise your risk for excessive bleeding during and after surgery.
  • Avoid smoking as it increases the likelihood of numerous complications, including those involving anesthesia, infection and wound healing.
  • Rest is a vital component of a successful early recovery, so make arrangements for someone to stay with you during the first few. Solicit help for everyday tasks related to your kids, pets and home.
  • We will prescribe medications for you to take after your surgery. We recommend that you fill prescriptions before your procedure, so they are ready for you when you get home.

How will I feel after breast augmentation?

The initial 24 to 48 hours after any surgery tend to be the most challenging. You will go home wearing dressings over your incisions and a special bra that will provide support while your breasts heal. You will be advised to wear that garment for two weeks. The pain medication we prescribe should take care of much of your post-operative discomfort. If you prefer not to use pain medication, we recommend that you choose to include pain-blocking injections with Exparel during surgery. Exparel pain-blocking injections numb the breasts and chest area for 3-4 days. You will not be able to lift your arms over your head during this time, so plan to wear shirts that button or zip in the front for easy changing.

What will my breasts look like after augmentation?

You will likely be a bit swollen after your surgery, and your breasts may feel higher than usual and firm. It will take a few weeks for the breast implants to settle into position and the swelling resolve. It is best to relax for the first few days, as you won’t feel like going out anyway. By the time you are ready to go back to work and other activities, it is not likely anyone will notice you just had surgery, other than the enhanced appearance of your upper body contour.

Can I shorten the recovery process after breast augmentation?

This is a challenging question because recovery is a highly personal process that varies from patient to patient. However, if you follow all your post-operative instructions, you can positively impact your recovery experience by minimizing risk and enhancing your comfort level and healing. Simple steps like avoiding smoking and alcohol before and after your procedure can make a difference in the quality of your recuperation. Taking medications and following other directions such as caring for your incisions properly will also produce a positive effect overall. For some breast augmentation patients we will recommend and teach implant massage starting at several weeks after surgery.

What can I expect during the first month after my breast augmentation?

To help you understand what the first month will look like after your breast augmentation, we have put together this weekly guide of what to expect:

Week One: Relax and Recuperate

The first week after breast surgery, it is important to allow your body to rest and heal. The first few days after breast augmentation, minimize activity to reduce your risk for bleeding and other complications. If you are on prescription pain medication during this time, avoid driving. It is nice to have someone with you during this time to help you. If your job is not overly strenuous and you are no longer taking prescription medication for pain, you may be ready to return to work within about three days.

Week Two: Getting Back to Work

You will likely be feeling much better by this time as the swelling will be subsiding. While most exercise will still be restricted, some walking at this point will encourage healthy blood flow and healing. You will also still be wearing your surgical bra for support, at least until the end of this week. For some patients Dr. Fisher may recommend massage techniques to help the breasts develop a natural shape.

Week Three: Getting Back to Normal

By the third week, you may be ready to say goodbye to the surgical bra and transition back to your regular undergarments. You will also be able to take your workout regimen to the next step, as long as you are not experiencing any issues with your recovery. However, heavy lifting and strenuous upper body workouts will still need to wait a bit to give the breasts plenty of time to heal fully.

Week Four: Enjoying Your Results

By the end of the first month, you should be feeling good and seeing the fruits of your labor. Swelling has probably significantly subsided by this time, and your breasts are beginning to move down to their natural position. Somewhere between four and six weeks after your procedure, you will be cleared for all types of exercise. Your incisions should also be looking better by now, although it can take up to a full year for them to fully resolve and become less noticeable. Keep the incisions out of direct sunlight and use sunblock on your scars under your swimsuit during that time to avoid discoloration.

Is breast augmentation worth it?

While recovery from breast augmentation takes a few weeks, most women find it is entirely worth it to have fuller breasts for many years afterward. Breast augmentation can help your clothes fit better and improve your confidence level. To find out if breast augmentation is the right choice for you, schedule your consultation with Dr. Fisher today at 512-815-0123.

Christine Fisher MD

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Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

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