Breast Augmentation Recovery Stages: What to Expect, Week by Week
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery. While the surgery itself is simple, it’s important to understand that recovery can take several weeks. Depending on the implant size you choose and its placement, it might take anywhere from two to three weeks before you will be fully recovered to resume your regular everyday routine.
Within the first 24 hours of your breast augmentation surgery, you will experience a small amount of pain and discomfort. This can be remedied by taking over-the-counter pain medication or prescription pain medicine. The doctor will determine which option is better for you. You may also experience minor bruising, swelling, and nausea.
Additionally, within the first 24 to 48 hours, you will be required to limit your arm movements. This means you should refrain from certain activities, including driving. You will also want to wear loose, comfortable tops over the first few weeks after your surgery. Generally, shirts that button or zipper at the front are the best during your recovery period.
You will also be instructed to limit your physical activity during your recovery period and avoid smoking, consuming alcohol, and using blood thinners. During the first few days of your recovery period, you will require help getting dressed, preparing meals, moving around, and performing certain basic everyday activities.
After 2 to 10 days of your breast augmentation surgery, you will start performing at-home displacement exercises. This is an activity that involves massage to help you to get the best, natural-looking results in your breast enhancement. It can also help to prevent problems that commonly occur after a breast augmentation procedure, such as capsular contracture.
Generally speaking, women who have undergone submuscular placement of their silicone or saline breast implants are instructed to perform these exercises.
After the first 48 hours, you should be OK to drive if you are no longer taking pain medication or anything else that might make you drowsy and impair your ability to drive. Always check with your doctor beforehand. Then, after the first 10 days, you will be required to have a follow-up to check on your recovery.
Within 10 to 14 days after breast augmentation surgery, you should be able to return to regular minor duties. You may also be able to perform lower body exercises if your doctor believes it’s safe. Your doctor will also advise you to return to work by this time, although you are urged to refrain from intense activities and from heavy lifting while your body continues to heal.
After two to three weeks of your surgery, you should continue performing the displacement exercises and continue performing your regular daily tasks. However, doctors discourage patients from doing strenuous upper body workouts for at least one month after surgery.
Around one month after your surgery, you should notice that your augmentation appears more natural as your breasts settle into their natural position. You will also most likely not need medication for pain at this point. You can start to wear sports or push-up bras and return to your normal exercise routine. Once your doctor clears you, you can return to performing upper body exercises as well. By six weeks, you can go back to running.
At this point, you should be able to see whether the results of your breast augmentation surgery are satisfactory. Around 10 to 12 weeks after the procedure, you should be able to perform any lower body exercise and upper body exercises and heavy lifting after three months.
You should notice scar tissue healing and fading over time to blend in naturally with the rest of your skin. After two years, with proper care, the scars should no longer be visible. You should schedule one or two follow-up appointments within one or two months after your breast augmentation so the doctor can check the results.