If you are about to have breast augmentation, chances are you’re looking forward to seeing your results but wonder what to expect during recovery. Knowing how long it takes to heal can help improve recovery and ensure you get the results you want. But how long is recovery from breast augmentation?
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that improves the size, shape, and symmetry of the breasts. This is generally achieved using silicone or saline implants. Breast implants may be placed below the chest muscle (submuscular) or above the muscle (subglandular).
Women often opt to have breast augmentation to counteract changes to the breasts that occur due to pregnancy, weight loss, and aging. As a result, breast augmentation is often combined with a breast lift or mastopexy for maximum breast enhancement. A breast lift elevates sagging breasts to a more youthful position.
How Long Is Recovery From Breast Augmentation?
Full recovery from breast augmentation takes an average of 6 weeks. However, recovery time will vary for each patient. Factors such as the placement, size, and type of breast implants can impact the length of post-surgery recovery.
The recovery timeline can also be affected by the rate at which you heal and your overall health.
Patients should closely follow their surgeon’s post-op instructions to ensure the best possible recovery.
What To Expect During Recovery
You will spend a few hours in the post-operative room for observation before being released, and will need someone to drive you home.
There will be swelling, tightness, bruising, and pain in the chest in the days immediately after surgery. Pain medication and muscle relaxers are prescribed to help ease the discomfort.
Depending on the extent of the breast augmentation, drains may be put in place to drain out fluid that might accumulate during healing. These are usually removed at the first post-op visit. Also, a post-surgical support bra is worn to help minimize swelling and support the implants.
It is essential to get lots of rest in the first few days after surgery, and your surgeon will let you know what level of activity is appropriate during this time.
You can resume normal activities about 7-10 days after surgery, but you should wait at least 6 weeks before engaging in vigorous exercise, or going back to the gym. Most of the swelling and bruising should subside within 3-4 weeks.
The breasts may initially look higher and rounder than expected, but they should settle into their final size and shape about 3 months after surgery.
When Can You Return To Work After Breast Augmentation?
You should feel better a few days after surgery and be able to return to work within 7 days. However, if you have a strenuous job, you may need to take additional time off.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Tips
- Get plenty of rest and eat foods that will help your body heal
- Plan to have a family member or friend with you for at least 72 hours after surgery to assist with household chores, as you will feel extremely sore and tired.
- Wear a support bra as recommended
- Take pain medication as prescribed to reduce discomfort
- Sleep on your back with your upper body slightly elevated, as this will help to minimize soreness and swelling
- Keep all your post-op appointments
Breast augmentation not only enhances the appearance of your breasts, it can also boost your self-confidence and improve your body image.
If you are planning to undergo breast augmentation, remember that recovery is different for every patient. But if you work along with your plastic surgeon, you can enjoy a smooth recovery and get beautiful, natural-looking results.