BlogHow Long Is Breast Augmentation Recovery?

The days and weeks after breast augmentation is a critical period that greatly impacts the results of your procedure. Knowing what to expect as you heal, as well as what you can do to achieve the most beautiful outcome, is essential to making sure your experience is calm, comfortable and rewarding.

At South Shore Plastic Surgery, we understand that you’re excited to see your new figure and want to resume your regular life as soon as possible. New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Vasisht’s unique technical approach, keen attention to detail and comprehensive treatment planning ensure your procedure is an experience that transforms your life, not one that disrupts it. The following timeline will give you a loose idea of what to expect at every stage of your breast augmentation recovery.

How Long Does Recovery After Breast Augmentation Take?

Every patient’s body is unique and so is every patient’s breast augmentation recovery. The amount of time you will need to heal from your procedure is influenced by a range of factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Your overall health and fitness level
  • The elasticity of your skin
  • The size and position of your breast implants
  • Your pain tolerance
  • How closely you follow postoperative instructions
  • If you have additional procedures at the same time as your breast augmentation

The timeline below is a general, conservative overview. Dr. Vasisht will give you a personalized recovery timeline before your procedure.

What to Expect Immediately After Surgery

Breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis in a hospital or state-of-the-art surgical center. Bandages or a sports bra is applied directly after surgery to minimize movement of the breasts and aid the healing process. Once you wake from anesthesia and are cleared to leave, you can be driven home by a trusted companion who will act as your caregiver and keep you company. It’s common to feel drowsy from the anesthesia and to experience side effects like soreness, swelling, bruising, tightness and tingling. Dr. Vasisht uses the On-Q pain relief system to help patients manage postoperative discomfort. This is a small catheter that delivers numbing medicine directly into the pockets around your breast implants.

What to Expect in the First Week

The first few days are usually the most uncomfortable. After the On-Q pain pump is removed, you can control any remaining pain with over-the-counter medication. You will be able to bathe and resume light activities. Most women are able to return to work (provided it is not physically demanding) and regular outings about a week after breast augmentation surgery. Listen to your body during this pivotal early phase of healing. Do not “push through” any movements that cause you pain and allow yourself to get plenty of rest. Care for your incisions as directed by Dr. Vasisht and notify us immediately if you notice anything irregular.

What to Expect During the Next Few Weeks

In the second to third week of breast augmentation recovery, most postoperative side effects will improve significantly. You will wear a specialized cupless sports bra for several weeks to support your breasts as they heal and your breast implants settle into their final position. Discomfort should be minimal at this point, but you should continue to refrain from strenuous tasks, heavy lifting and rigorous workouts, particularly if they involve your upper extremities. Dr. Vasisht will let you know when it is appropriate to resume these activities.

Your breasts may look excessively full at this point due to residual swelling. Rest assured that this is not your final result. You will have a better idea of what your new breasts look like once this swelling goes down and the tissues soften, approximately four to six weeks after surgery. Your incisions will still have relatively new scars. They will be red at first, then fade to pink, then fade to white or the color of your skin. If cared for properly, they should become increasingly flat and soft until they reach their optimal state of healing.

When to Expect Full Recovery

Recovery after breast augmentation is a gradual process. While you will notice your larger breast size right away, it will not be an accurate representation of your final size until the swelling subsides. It’s also common for breast implants to rest high on the chest at first, then slowly settle down into a more natural-looking position. The tissues will feel softer and more natural with each week that passes. It may take six to 12 months for your breasts to feel completely “normal” and for you to get used to having breast implants. Try to be patient with your body. Your patience will be rewarded with a beautiful new figure in time.

Dr. Vasisht will discuss realistic expectations regarding healing before your surgery and will assess your recovery on an ongoing basis during follow-up appointments. These exams are essential to track your progress and ensure you are taking all appropriate steps toward a healthy recovery.

Three Tips For a Smooth Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Armed with complete knowledge of what to expect after breast augmentation, you can go into the procedure with confidence. The following three tips will help you manage your recovery and ensure quick, comfortable healing.

  • Wear postoperative garments as directed. They are specially designed to minimize swelling, stabilize your breast implants and limit movement that might strain your stitches. This is an essential part of the care process after breast augmentation. Wear your recovery bra daily for the full time period recommended by Dr. Vasisht.
  • Ask for help. The first week after surgery will be the most difficult. It’s wise to arrange for a partner, friend or family member to assist with housework, meal prep, childcare, filling prescriptions and other daily task-s during this time. This allows you to give your body the rest it needs to heal.
  • Fuel your body for recovery. A healthy diet promotes rapid healing. Consume nutritious foods and plenty of water. Do not smoke or consume alcohol for the recommended period before and after surgery.

Choosing a board-certified surgeon is key to a smooth recovery and an excellent surgical outcome. Dr. Vasisht and the team of South Shore Plastic Surgery offer a high standard of excellence in personalized care to patients in the South New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. Schedule your complimentary breast augmentation consultation to find out how Dr. Vasisht can help you achieve your ideal figure with minimal discomfort and downtime.