How long does it take to recover from breast revision surgery?
It typically takes one to two weeks to recover from a breast implant revision surgery. Your recovery time will likely be shorter with an implant removal surgery. 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 during my breast revision recovery?
Your breast revision recovery will vary depending on the type of procedure. You should speak with your aesthetic plastic surgeon about what is unique to you.
Breast Implant Replacement
Your post-operative discomfort and recovery time will be similar to that of your original breast augmentation. The extent and duration of discomfort will depend largely on the size and placement of your implants.
- You will have bandages around your breasts and chest and may have to wear a compression garment such as a surgical bra. You may also have some surgical drains.
- When the anesthesia wears off, you likely will experience some pain.
- If you receive larger implants, you will experience more pain, especially if 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.
- You can 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.
- Most residual swelling will resolve in a few months.
- After breast revision surgery, it is often possible to return to work within seven to ten days, depending on the nature of your job.
- 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.
- It may take several weeks or months for new implants to "settle" into their final position. Altered sensation, such as numbness or tingling, may be present around the incision site, but this should decrease over the following weeks or months.
Breast Implant Removal
If your breast implants are removed entirely, your recovery will likely be brief, with minimal discomfort. Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions and restrictions about physical activity.
- Avoid heavy physical activity for at least the first two weeks following surgery.
- After that, be gentle with your breasts for at least the next month.
- Undergoing a breast lift in conjunction with breast implant removal will lengthen your recovery time.