There’s a lot that goes into preparing for breast augmentation surgery – you’ll need to:
- Do your research
- Check breast augmentation before and after photos
- Find a surgeon who you’re comfortable with
- Find out whether you’re a suitable candidate
- Learn more about the procedure itself
And just as important, you’ll need to look into the recovery period following breast augmentation.
Just like any other type of surgical procedure, breast augmentation surgery involves a recovery period. Before committing to breast augmentation, it’s crucial that you know:
- What the recovery involves
- How long it will take until you’re back at 100%
Dr Isolde Hertess and the team from Cairns Plastic Surgery are committed to giving you a comfortable and safe experience when you come in for breast augmentation. That starts by making sure you’re informed about everything, including the recovery process.
And that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today.
How long is the recovery from breast augmentation surgery?
The answer: it depends on your physical condition, as well as how well you adhere to your surgeon’s recovery plan.
As a general rule however, expect at least two months before you’re cleared to return to a “mostly-normal” routine.
And it doesn’t end there – each phase of the two-month recovery period is often completely different, as well, with different activities that you’re allowed (and not allowed to) do.
Finally, there’s the simple fact that the healing time will often vary from one patient to another, which is why it’s so important to talk to your surgeon and develop an understanding of what the recovery process involves.
To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s what breast augmentation recovery time can look like…
The hours immediately after surgery
Since breast implant surgery involves inserting breast tissue under the chest wall muscles, an incision will need to be made.
After surgery, you may feel numbness around the incision area, as well as a bit of pain after general anaesthesia starts wearing off.
During this immediate stage of recovery, the focus is on:
- Making you comfortable
- Preventing infection
- Ensuring that stitches stay in place
Your surgeon will start by wrapping your breast with a band that supports your breasts during the recovery time. They’ll also prescribe tools to help reduce pain, as well as a list of different activities that you can’t do.
The first week
During the first week, it isn’t uncommon for you to still feel pain and discomfort around your breast area.
To help with this, your surgeon may prescribe you with painkillers or over-the-counter medications for you to manage the pain.
It’s also somewhat common to still see some bleeding on the incision. During this stage, it’s also important to make sure that any stitches don’t come loose – to help avoid this, your surgeon will provide you with tips and guidance, and help you understand what to look out for if things go wrong.
This is why you need to take it easy during these first few critical days. That means no work, no exercise, and lots of rest.
Next few weeks
During the next few weeks, you will need to continue minimising any strenuous physical activities, as most women will continue to feel moderate soreness and swelling.
However, during this time it’s usually safe to slowly get back to your normal activities, including returning to work – with some extra precautions, of course.
For example, your plastic surgeon may recommend wearing compression garments to aid with recovery, and can help you narrow down exactly what you can safely do, and what’s too risky.
2-3 months of recovery time
Depending on how your body responds to medicines and how the healing process goes, you should be mostly recovered by now, with discomfort and pain gradually easing over the first 2 or so months.
By the end of the first 2 months, you should be mostly back in action, and fully recovered by the time you hit 3 months.
Of course, it’s important that you keep attending post-operative appointments with your plastic surgeon in Cairns, just to make sure that you’re on the right track.
Breast augmentation recovery: what does it look like?
Rest is a must
The less strenuous physical activity, the better!
Rest isn’t an option after breast augmentation – it’s a must.
Healing and recovery take time – that’s why you need to listen to your body, relax and grab as much rest as you can.
You’ll need to take a couple of weeks off work, and we recommend enlisting the help of a friend or family member to run errands and perform light housekeeping duties.
Not only does rest encourage healing, but physical activity can also undo stitches, affect results and most importantly, it hurts. If nothing else, at least resting won’t cause you pain!
Listen to your plastic surgeon’s instructions about caring for your incision
The last thing you want is for a stitch to come loose, or for your incision to get infected.
That’s why it’s so important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions when it comes to cleaning and caring for your wound or incision.
Only then will you get the best healing outcome, avoid complications and experience a smooth recovery.
All your dressings should be kept intact, and you’ll need to keep your wounds and scars clean and cared for after your operation.
Know when to wear a bra after breast augmentation
You can’t just go back to wearing a bra afterwards – in fact, in some instances, going straight back to wearing a bra can actually make things even worse, negatively impacting your recovery.
Pain and swelling are common side-effects after breast augmentation surgery. In many cases, wearing a bra can exacerbate these issues.
Before getting back to wearing a bra, it is important to know when is the right time to do so after breast augmentation. In the meantime, your surgeon might suggest using special garments in place of your regular bra.
Not only are they more comfortable, but they can also help you recover by providing support, helping your breasts maintain their shape and improving blood flow!
Watch your diet
Again, eating the right kinds of food and getting proper nutrition is good advice, and not just for recovering after breast augmentation surgery!
Your diet greatly affects the recovery process, as well as how well your incision heals. During your post operative appointments, your surgeon will create a recommended diet plan, full of all the food you need to make a full recovery.
Don’t be afraid to call your plastic surgeon
As with any recovery, it isn’t unheard of for complications to arise.
And when they do, it’s important that you get in touch with your plastic surgeon to figure out what you need to do to ensure that your recovery isn’t jeopardised.
To best get the results that you want, always follow your post op check-up schedule. And if you see some of these specific signs, we suggest arranging an emergency session with your surgeon immediately:
- Change of nipple colour or appearance
- Increase pain, swelling, bruise
- Persistent vomiting
- Fever and chills
- Shortness of breath
Our team is more than happy to arrange an emergency consultation to go over any of these issues and figure out a plan of action.
Interested in breast augmentation surgery? Get in touch with Cairns Plastic Surgery
Our goal is simple: to make the experience of preparing for, undergoing and recovering from breast augmentation as seamless and pain-free as possible.
We know that the experience is everything, especially for something as big as breast augmentation surgery. That’s why we make it our mission to make you comfortable and to set your mind at ease.
And that includes making sure you know what you’re in for while recovering from breast augmentation.
Healing after breast augmentation surgery takes time, which is why the Cairns Plastic Surgery team is committed to offering continuing help and support weeks and even months after your operation is completed.
If you are interested in plastic surgery in Cairns, you can get in touch with one of our nurses to organise an obligation-free chat and learn more about your options.