Have you decided to undergo breast augmentation to get the bigger, fuller breasts you’ve always wanted? Although making plans for breast augmentation can be very exciting, a well-planned recovery phase is essential for achieving safe, successful results.
How Long Is Breast Augmentation Recovery Likely To Take?
Recovery after breast augmentation varies for each patient, but once there are no complications, full recovery can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks. The rate of recovery for each patient will depend on the body’s healing response. However, patients are typically advised to take it slow, as this will give the breast tissue, skin, and muscles time to adjust to the new implants.
To ensure optimal healing after breast augmentation, patients should precisely follow the post-operative guidelines received from their surgeon. Adhering to these guidelines will certainly help to accelerate healing and reduce recovery time. Patients should also check-in with their surgeon regarding issues or concerns they may have during recovery.
Having a realistic view of recovery and understanding the process will help patients make the right choices, and not jeopardize their results.
After breast augmentation, it typically takes several months for the breasts to settle into their new position. Consequently, the final shape may not be evident until about 3 months after surgery.
Factors That Affect The Length of Breast Augmentation Recovery
- Placement Of The Implants: Breast implants can be placed either above the chest muscle (sub-glandular), or below the chest muscle (sub-muscular). Recovery after sub-muscular placement generally takes more time, since the pectoral muscles are affected.
- Size Of The Implants: Recovery usually takes longer with larger breast implants, because there is more dissection of the tissue during surgery. There may also be more post-op discomfort with larger implants.
- Surgical Technique: Different surgical techniques can be used to perform breast augmentation, and some approaches require more recovery time than others. Patients should discuss the options with their plastic surgeon during the consultation to determine the most appropriate surgical plan.
What To Expect During Breast Augmentation Recovery?
It is usual to have some pain after breast augmentation surgery, especially in the first 72 hours, but pain medication is prescribed to reduce any discomfort. Intense discomfort should ease within the first 7 days after surgery.
Swelling is also normal after breast augmentation, so patients are advised to get plenty of rest during the first week of recovery.Cold presses can be used to treat swelling, and sitting upright during the day can also help. Most of the swelling usually subsides within about 3 weeks, but residual swelling may remain for up to 3 months.
Doctors typically recommend wearing a supportive bra after surgery. Light activities can be resumed after about 7 days, but heavy lifting and strenuous activities are still off-limits for another 4-6 weeks.
Most patients can go back to work about one week after surgery, but those with physically demanding jobs will need additional time off.
The pain, swelling, and bruising associated with breast augmentation surgery should fully resolve by the 2-month mark. Therefore, patients should be able to resume various types of physical activities and engage in strenuous exercise at this time. The breasts should also be settled and look fuller and shapelier.
Tips To A Healthy Recovery After Breast Augmentation
- Ask a family member or friend to help with tasks around the home during the first few days after surgery. The body needs time to heal properly, and getting enough rest will assist recovery.
- Avoid lifting, stretching, or bending for the first few days because the excessive movement can affect the incisions and cause bleeding.
- Eating healthily after breast augmentation will boost wound healing and recovery. Doctors recommend eating whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. A protein-rich diet will also help the healing process.
- In the weeks after surgery, its best to wear loose-fitting clothing for comfort and ease of movement. Tops that zip-up or button at the front are the ideal choice.
Below are 3 questions patients frequently ask about recovery after breast augmentation.
- Why Do I Need To Wear A Supportive Bra After Breast Augmentation?
A supportive bra is needed after breast augmentation to ensure that the implants are adequately supported in the first few weeks. This is important, because the effect of gravity can cause the breasts to move down, and give them an abnormal appearance. A supportive bra also helps minimize swelling during the healing process.
- How Soon Will I Be Able To Exercise After Breast Augmentation?
Patients are encouraged to take short walks in the days following breast augmentation. This will promote blood circulation and prevent blood clots from forming. Most patients can resume intense workouts about 2 weeks after surgery, but heavy lifting should be avoided for at least one month.
- Will There Be Scarring After Breast Augmentation?
Scarring is normal after breast augmentation because it is a surgical procedure that requires incisions. However, there are techniques the plastic surgeon can use to make scars less visible. Also, patients should follow proper wound care guidelines after surgery to minimize the appearance of scars.
The location of the scars will depend on the specific incision technique used to perform surgery. Incisions can be made around the areola (areolar incision), beneath the fold of the breast (inframammary incision), or in the underarm (transaxillary incision). Inframammary incisions can be easily concealed by undergarments.
The length of time required for scars to heal after breast augmentation will depend on factors such as age, complexion, and sun exposure. However, scars can take up to 18 months to fully heal.