One thing you can always count on with plastic surgery is a recovery period. Breast augmentation recovery can last for a few weeks, although many women are able to return to their regular activities long before a few weeks have elapsed. To help the recovery process after breast augmentation, your surgeon will most likely give you a list of tips and advice to follow.
As you prepare for surgery, here’s a general guide to what you can expect during breast augmentation recovery.
Time Needed for Breast Augmentation Recovery
How much time you need to recover after breast augmentation depends on several factors, from the positioning of the implant to the type of implant used. Usually, initial recovery takes just a couple of days if the implants are placed beneath the muscle during breast augmentation. Even if you feel better after just a few days, your surgeon might recommend taking about a week off from work and avoiding certain other activities for longer after that.
When deciding how much time to give yourself for recovery after breast surgery, it’s safest to err on the side of lots of extra time, rather than on the side of not enough time.
The First Few Days
Many women go home right after their breast augmentation. Going home right away allows you to recover in comfort, in the privacy of your own home. Your surgeon is never farther away than a phone call, if you need him.
During the first few days after surgery, you can expect to see a fair amount of swelling in the area, as well as bruising. It’s not uncommon to feel discomfort, which you can manage with pain relievers. You’ll want to be careful about showering or bathing during those first few days, as it’s important not to get the incision area wet.
You’ll want to skip wearing a bra right after surgery and for several weeks afterwads. Your implants will need time to settle into place and wearing a bra will disrupt their natural settling.
It’s very important to rest up during the first few days after your surgery. Avoid any activities that require you to lift items or to reach your arms above your head. Along with taking off from work, you might want to find someone to help you if you have small kids at home. It’s particularly important that you have a relative, partner or friend stay with you at all times during the first day after your surgery, in case you need anything.
The First Week
As the first week after your surgery goes on, you’ll notice that you start to feel a bit more like your old self and up for more activity. You can usually resume some activity around the end of the first week, but not too much. Taking short, non-strenuous walks each day is usually fine after the first week.
You’ll want to sleep on your back starting right after surgery and continuing for several weeks after that. It will probably be too uncomfortable to sleep on your side or stomach anyway, but it’s worth remembering that back sleeping is a must until your surgeon tells you otherwise.
The First Five Weeks
Your life will be slowly getting back to normal as the weeks go on. By the fifth or sixth week, you might feel up to exercising again or doing physical activity that is more strenuous that just walking.
You can also start to wear a bra again around the fifth or sixth week of recovery. It’s worth keeping in mind that shopping for a new bra at this stage can be a bit challenging. It can take several months before your breasts settle into their final size, and a few months before swelling has fully gone down. Once you can start wearing a bra again, it’s a good idea to stick with something lightly supportive, instead of an underwire or push-up bra.
Tips for Breast Augmentation Recovery
You have some control over how comfortable your breast augmetation recovery is or not. Your surgeon will recommend avoiding certain activities for several weeks after surgery to help speed your recovery and improve your results.
For example, you’ll want to avoid smoking for weeks after your surgery. That includes using e-cigarettes or vape pens, as it’s the nicotine found in those products that can have a negative effect on your recovery and healing.
You’ll also want to steer clear of tanning beds and limit sun exposure in the first few weeks after your surgery. Tanning doesn’t just speed up the aging process and put your skin at risk for cancer, it also darkens the incisions, leaving a much more visible scar.
It’s helpful to prepare your home for recovery as much as you can in advance. Before your surgery, have a few meals either prepped in the freezer or the number of your favorite meal delivery options handy, so that you can easily get something to eat during the first few days after surgery.
Implant Exercises After Breast Augmentation
Before you return home after breast augmentation, either a nurse or your surgeon will show you how to perform breast implant exercises. These exercises are a crucial step to helping your implants settle into place. Performing the exercises regularly, both during and well after the recovery period will also help you avoid complications such as capsular contracture.
Remember that your surgeon is always there for you to answer any questions you might have before and after breast augmentation.
Dr. Paul Vitenas, a plastic surgeon based in Houston, Texas, is on of the country’s most respected breast augmentation surgeons. To learn more about the procedure and about what to expect during recovery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today. Call 281-484-0088 to make your appointment.