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Breast augmentation is the world’s most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. When considering surgery, the primary concern for most patients is the recovery process and downtime that comes with the procedure. While techniques are continually being refined to speed up this process, the recovery period can vary significantly.

close up picture of big boobs in bandage after surgery

When recovering from any surgery, many variables affect an individual’s ability to recover. Recovering from breast augmentation surgery is no different. Recovery can differ greatly from person to person based on various factors. Some of these factors include the woman’s overall health and body type as well as her body’s natural ability to heal and her tolerance of pain. The overall amount of downtime for each individual can be greatly dependent on where incisions are placed, the size and placement of the implant, and the technique used by the surgeon. All of these elements impact the recovery process, so it is important to communicate with your surgeon about any questions or concerns you may have before your breast augmentation procedure.

Proper Planning

To aid in the process of recovery, it is essential to have a plan in place for when you come home. You will need to have someone drive you home immediately following surgery, as you will be unable to drive yourself after general anesthesia. Make sure to fill any pain medication prescriptions before surgery and have compression garments or a surgical bra available if prescribed by your surgeon. Dr. Pollack will provide you with a bra for your initial recovery. Keep in mind that activity will be limited for the first few days, and you will be unable to perform heavy lifting for up to six weeks. Because of this, you will need to make the necessary preparations with your employer. Additionally, it is essential to fuel your body with good, healthy food, and you need to keep hydrated during the recovery process.

Postoperative Milestones

While the following milestones are typical after surgery, they may not apply to all individuals:

    • Days 1-3: Breasts will be swollen and bruising is expected in the chest and at the incision sites. A surgical bra or other compression garments will help decrease swelling and minimize discomfort. Nausea is not uncommon following surgery under general anesthesia. Any mild to moderate pain can be managed with pain medication that your surgeon prescribes. After the second day, you should be able to shower with your surgeon’s permission.
    • Day 7: Activity should be limited, but most patients will return to work after one week. Your surgeon may request that you avoid strenuous activity, including bending and lifting. Swelling and bruising should still be subsiding, and any pain should be very minimal.
    • Day 14: By this time, most swelling, bruising, and pain should be gone. If you have any redness, drainage at incision sites, or pain, then you should contact your surgeon, as these are all signs of infection. Patients will resume normal activities at this time but should still avoid any strenuous activity or vigorous exercising.
    • Day 30: Patient can now start to integrate exercise back into their normal activities. Some surgeons may advise patients to avoid exercises that target the chest for a bit longer.



Final Results

After six weeks, the average, healthy individual should be completely recovered from breast augmentation surgery and will have resumed all activities. Implants will have settled into their final position and scars will continue to heal and fade.

For more information regarding breast augmentation and recovery, contact Del Mar Plastic Surgery at 858-215-6143.