How long does it take to recover from a breast augmentation?
It typically takes one to two weeks to recover from a breast augmentation. Your surgeon will let you know how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. Your surgeon will also give you and your caregiver detailed instructions about your postoperative care after your surgery, including information about:
- Drains, if they have been placed
- Typical symptoms you will experience
- Potential signs of complications
It is vital that you follow all the patient care instructions your surgeon provides. It is also important to know that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
What can I expect immediately after my breast augmentation?
- You will have bandages around your breasts and chest, or you may have to wear a compression garment such as a surgical bra. You also may have some surgical drains.
- When the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some pain. Breast augmentation surgery stretches the breast tissue and it can be painful—especially when your implants are underneath the pectoral muscle. Typically, you’ll experience the most pain within the first 48 hours after surgery. Your pain level will typically decrease each day, and you should be able to treat your pain with various pain medications. If the pain is extreme or long-lasting, contact your surgeon.
- Your breasts may feel tight and sensitive to the touch and your skin may feel warm or itchy.
- You may experience difficulty raising your arms.
- You will have some redness and swelling after the surgery, but this will disappear quickly. Most residual swelling will resolve within a month.
- Rest and sleep on your back in an inclined position (25-to 45-degree angle) for the initial postoperative days or if you have significant swelling. Use wedge pillows with an incline design or sleep in a recliner chair.
- You should be able to walk without assistance immediately after breast augmentation surgery. It is very important that you walk a few minutes every few hours to reduce the risk of blood clot formation in your legs.
- Avoid straining, bending, and lifting since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding.
What can I expect during the first week of my breast augmentation recovery?
- Your chest area may feel stiff and sore for two to five days. If you have severe pain, contact your surgeon.
- You will need to remove any surgical dressing and drains a few days after your surgery. You may be instructed to wear a support bra.
- You will be permitted to shower between one and seven days after surgery.
- If you have external sutures, your surgeon will remove them in about a week. If your surgeon used tissue glue or tape, it will fall off on its own in a week or two.
- You may be able to return to work within a few days to a week, depending on the nature of your job.
- You should refrain from lifting, pulling, or pushing anything that causes pain and limit strenuous activity or upper body twisting if this causes discomfort.
What can I expect during the first few months of my breast augmentation recovery?
- You should minimize excessive physical activity for at least the first few weeks after surgery. After that, take care to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next month.
- Avoid sexual activity for a minimum of two weeks. After that, take care to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next month.
- Your surgeon will encourage you to schedule routine mammograms at the frequency recommended for your age group.
- Following breast augmentation, you should continue to perform breast self-examinations.