Breast Augmentation Recovery
When you have any surgery, whether medical or cosmetic, how you take care of yourself after the procedure is just as important—if not more so—than the results of the surgery itself. Surgeons can do a lot to make you look and feel better, but they’re not wizards. What happens after the surgery is up to you.
In order to achieve full breast augmentation recovery, it’s very important that you take proper care of your breasts after having breast augmentation. Post-surgical care helps ensure complication-free healing, and helps maintain the results of the surgery. To not take care of your new breasts would be a waste of time and money, so it’s important to make the effort to take proper care of yourself after the procedure, and always.
You'll need to rest for the first two to four days following your breast augmentation surgery. Make sure you've arranged to take time off from work or school for this.
Avoid driving for at least a week following surgery.
If you experience pain or nausea during your breast augmentation recovery, take the medication your doctor prescribed as directed. If the pain or nausea increases or doesn't subside, contact us.
Mild chest tightness, hardness, and slightly impaired breathing are normal for the first day or two. However, contact us immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- sudden, severe, or long-lasting pain
- redness, bruising, bleeding, burning, or extreme swelling on or around your breasts
- any bleeding
- lumps in your breasts
- deflation of your breasts
- foul discharge around your incision sites
During your breast augmentation recovery, you will likely need to wear a surgical bra, compression garment, or sport bra for extra support. Do not take off this garment unless your surgeon instructs you to do so. Also, keep your post-surgical garment dry to avoid bacteria.
Apply topical antibiotics as recommend by your surgeon in order to prevent infection. Your incisions will take about six weeks to heal, but it will be approximately three months before you see the final results. It will take that long for the implants to settle, the scar tissue to stop forming, and the swelling to fully subside.
Neglecting proper aftercare can lead to breast augmentation risks and complications. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions for post-surgical care. Be sure you follow them carefully.
For additional information, you can also watch these breast augmentation post-surgical instruction videos.
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What Factors Can Affect
- The breast implant type you and your surgeon choose (silicone or saline)
- The breast implant size you and your surgeon choose
- The breast augmentation incision placement used during surgery
- The breast implant placement (submuscular or subglandular)
- Whether you have a reaction to the general anesthesia used to perform the procedure
- Your overall physical condition, age, and health prior to surgery
- Whether you’ve undergone any previous breast surgeries, such as a mastectomy or lumpectomy
- Whether you have more another procedure performed simultaneously, such as a breast lift, liposuction, etc.
- Whether or not you smoke. Smoking restricts circulation, and can impede healing.
- How well you follow pre-operative and post-operative care instructions
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How to Choose a Bra After
For example, if you go from an A cup to a D cup, you’ll definitely need a larger bra size, and a bra that offers more support.
Before you go bra shopping, you must take a few things into consideration:
- During your breast augmentation recovery, we highly recommend you not wear a bra with underwire. This may impede healing and create odd-looking depressions in your skin that could become permanent as scar tissue forms and your breast tissue heals. An underwire bra may even affect the position of your implants, so avoid wearing one until you’re completely healed, and your surgeon has given you the go-ahead.
- Some manufacturers make bras specially designed for women who have undergone breast augmentation. They may be difficult to find in regular stores, so you may need to check with specialty medical garment providers. You may also be able to find them more easily online.
- Remember that even after you’re fully healed, you must choose bras for function over fashion. You should still be able to find colorful, pretty, lacy bras in your new size, but it’s more important that your bras support your larger breasts to maintain your results, help delay breast ptosis (sagging) and avoid any complications.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Question & Answer
How long after my breast augmentation recovery before I can start exercising and doing strenuous activities again?
It’s always best to consult your surgeon before attempting any difficult physical activity or exercise, particularly within the first month. Every woman’s recovery is different, but on average, you should be able to resume full activities within four to six weeks. While physical rest is best while your body heals, walking is recommended to encourage circulation. Remember to wear a sturdy support bra.
Can I tan during my breast augmentation recovery?
Yes, but you must be careful. While sunbathing or visiting a tanning salon will not hurt the breast implants themselves, it may cause your scars to darken permanently, particularly if you tan during the first year after your surgery. If you must be out in the sun, take care to cover your scars to prevent this.
Also, if you do decide to tan, please note that your breast implants may become warm while tanning, and may take a little while to cool down. This is completely normal.
How far into my breast augmentation recovery can I fly?
You should wait at least a week following surgery—after your first follow-up appointment with your surgeon—before flying.
If you decide to fly soon after your breast augmentation surgery, you may notice that the changes in pressure will cause your breast implants to slightly expand and/or contract. This is only temporary, and your breast implants should return to normal within 24 hours.
In addition, you must avoid lifting or carrying heavy luggage until you are fully healed, or you risk rupturing your implants.
How long do I have to wear a surgical bra during my breast augmentation recovery?
For about three months following your surgery. This will allow scar tissue to fully form around the breast implant before you go back to wearing a regular bra.
Will my breast implants cause stretch marks?
While stretch marks associated with breast augmentation and implants are rare, they can happen. A simple way to minimize this risk is by getting smaller, body-appropriate implants.
Following the eventual removal of your breast implants, you may notice stretch marks along with dimpling, puckering, wrinkling, loss of breast tissue, and other cosmetic changes to your breasts. Factors that can influence this include your age, whether you have had previous breast surgeries, and the elasticity and quality of your skin.
Does smoking affect breast implant recovery?
Yes. Smoking can be detrimental to your breast augmentation recovery, or any surgical recovery. Your body requires unrestricted blood flow in order to properly oxygenate the healing area. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, hindering blood flow and the healing process.
You should try to stop ingesting nicotine (including through a patch or gum) at least one month prior to your breast augmentation surgery. Your surgeon will let you know when you can resume smoking after your surgery, although we hope you’ll consider quitting permanently to preserve your health.