Breast Augmentation Recovery Guide

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Baltimore, Columbia, Owings Mills, Towson, Nearby Maryland & Lower Pennsylvania

Posted: August 1, 2022
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breast augmentation recovery

Breast augmentation recovery can be a challenging prospect. Breast implant recovery can take several weeks and requires the patient to be careful. Because it's major surgery, breast augmentation entails a particular recovery process, guided by your doctor's instructions.

This article will review recommendations for your post-op care and answer questions like "How long does it take to recover from breast implants?" and "When can I lift my arms after breast augmentation?"

Table of Contents

Preparing for Your Breast Augmentation Recovery

Since you'll be undergoing major surgery, you need to plan ahead for your breast augmentation recovery period. Make sure to have the proper post-surgical bra and loose-fitting clothes readily available. You'll also want to clean your house and complete meal prep before your implant surgery because you won't feel like doing either immediately afterward.

One essential thing you should do before your breast surgery is to find a responsible friend or relative to take you home after your procedure and stay with you for the first 24 to 48 hours of your breast implant recovery when you'll need the most help.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Breast Implants?

It can take around six weeks to recover from breast implants. Breast augmentation recovery time varies somewhat by patient. Factors affecting your overall breast implant recovery time include how healthy you are and how carefully you follow your plastic surgeon's instructions. Maintaining a healthy diet and not drinking will help minimize the recovery time for your breast augmentation.

Recovering from breast augmentation

The Early Stages of Breast Augmentation Recovery

It's helpful to remember you're not alone as you face breast augmentation recovery. More than 193,000 women receive breast implants each year, and they all go through a similar journey until they're cleared for normal activities.

Your breast augmentation recovery begins as soon as you enter the recovery room after surgery. You'll need an hour or so to regain consciousness and then will head home, with your friend or relative driving.

You'll be tired when you get home, so getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated will be essential. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication and possibly muscle relaxers to help you deal with the pain that you'll feel over the first few days. Over-the-counter medicine like acetaminophen also will help.

Other things you'll likely experience during this period after your plastic surgery include:

  • Bruising and swelling around your breast tissue
  • Soreness
  • Nausea
  • Tightness in our chest
  • A lack of sensitivity or oversensitivity in your breasts

The First Week of Breast Implant Recovery

Once you're home, you'll need to avoid all bending, lifting and straining to help facilitate your breast implant recovery. Whether you receive saline or silicone breast implants, your chest will be covered with gauze after your surgery, and you should receive doctor's instructions on how to care for your incisions.

You can begin walking — even taking brisk walks — a few days after surgery. If you notice increased swelling or pain, ease off the walking and wait till the symptoms disappear before starting up again.

During this part of your breast implant recovery, your pain should decrease considerably, and the swelling and bruising will start to disappear.

One to Three Weeks Into Your Breast Augmentation Recovery

At this point in your breast augmentation recovery, you'll slowly begin to resume normal activities. If your work doesn't entail strenuous actions, you should be able to return to your job one to two weeks after surgery. You also can begin incorporating light cardio exercises into your daily routine.

People can resume most exercises one week after surgery, after they have a follow-up appointment.

By this time, the bruising, swelling and pain should be substantially gone.

Weeks Four to Six of Your Breast Implant Recovery

Per your doctor's approval, you can begin adding more strenuous activity during this portion of your breast implant recovery. You must attend all your follow-up visits with the doctor during your downtime from breast augmentation. He'll be able to monitor your progress, alert you to any issues and give you the OK to resume certain activities.

When Can I Lift My Arms After Breast Augmentation?

With the doctor's permission, you can usually lift your arms the same day as your surgery. You need to follow your surgeon's instructions to ensure a smooth recovery.

When Will I See the Final Results of My Surgery?

You can usually see the final results of your breast augmentation around two months after the surgery, although subtle changes will continue through about six months.

Trust Dr. Adam Basner With Your Breast Augmentation

Now that you know what your breast augmentation recovery will look like, you're ready for the next step. Dr. Basner is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive breast implant expertise. Schedule a breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Basner today.

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