Breast Augmentation – Recovery
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What to Expect after Breast Augmentation: Post-op and Recovery
Recovering from the breast augmentation procedure is not going to be the same for everyone. The post-operative routine and instructions will differ from surgeon to surgeon. Your level of discomfort and pain is dependent on the exact procedure that is performed. There is slightly more discomfort for patients having breast augmentation with implants placed under the muscle.
The typical recovery for patients having breast augmentation by Dr. Newman is:
- The surgical bra is used to hold bandages in place without tape. The bra should be kept on at all times until your first post-operative visit. Try to sleep in a sitting position. This will reduce swelling.
- Post-op day 2-3 (First Post-operative Visit) – During this first visit, your dressings will be removed. At this point in most cases of breast augmentation, Dr. Newman will suggest that you either switch to a loose-fitting sports-bra or wear no bra at all.
- Post-op day 9-10 (Second Post-operative Visit) – All sutures are removed. By this visit, most swelling is already resolved except for some residual swelling or bruising near your cleavage and sides.
Over the next few months, Dr. Newman will see you several times to ensure your recovery from breast augmentation surgery is on the right track. Even though most swelling resolves quickly, your shape will change moderately over the next few months as your skin stretches to accommodate your new size. This is especially true for patients with implants placed under the muscle, as the muscle needs to stretch as well.
The breast implant recovery timeline begins immediately following surgery and lasts for a number of months following your procedure. The last remaining bit of swelling will completely subside sometime after a month and a half or so, but possibly as late as six to nine months later. During those later months, you will notice your breasts softening and taking on a more natural movement of their own. You may begin to perceive your enhanced breasts as part of your body and your true appearance anytime during thebreast implants recovery period.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Tips
Recovery after breast augmentation goes most smoothly when patients take it easy and follow the doctor’s orders. Every patient responds differently to surgery, so Dr. Newman will give you all the knowledge you need for a successful breast implant surgery recovery. Consider these breast implant recovery tips to allow your body to heal properly and swiftly.
- Relax as much as possible post breast augmentation. Rest and limit your activity for the first few days.
- Gel ice packs or small bags of crushed ice may ease tenderness in your breasts during recovery. Wrap them in a soft piece of fabric for improved comfort.
- You may shower once Dr. Newman changes the dressing on your incision for the first time during your recovery after breast implants.
- Take medication for the pain as needed and according to doctor’s orders.
- In the early days of recovery, limit your activity to walking, sitting, standing, and climbing stairs as necessary.
- Save more vigorous activity, heavy lifting (20 pounds or more), and exercise until Dr. Newman clears you for such activities.
To ensure a quick recovery, breast augmentation patients must avoid trying to do too much too soon. If you have any questions or if concerns arise, contact Dr. Newman’s office for advice and support.
Dr. Newman’s Perspective
“Pain tolerance varies from patient to patient and the medications I prescribe are adequate in most cases. Some patients take the pain medicine frequently while others don’t take it at all. In most of my cases, patients are back to work and a relatively normal routine by the third post-op day. It is important that you do not drive while taking the prescribed pain medicine.
“I prefer to remove your dressings for the first time as, in many cases, the dressings are placed to bolster your breasts in a particular way depending on the specifics of your case. After your dressings are removed I will often suggest that you change to a sports-bra or wear no bra at all. By the time of your second visit (about the 10th day) I am usually OK with you resuming aerobic exercise if you desire. A snug-fitting sports bra is mandatory during exercise at this early stage.
Most patients experience numbness in the lower area of the breast between the nipple and the infra-mammary fold (fold under your breast).
“I have never had a patient where this numbness was permanent, although I have seen a handful of patients where the numbness persisted for greater than six months.
“It is not uncommon to experience numbness of one or both nipples in the early post-operative period. This is rarely permanent but also may take as much as six to 18 months to return. It is actually common, in many of my breast augmentation patients, for sensation to not only return normally, but to actually increase.
“The recovery is generally the major topic of discussion as it is an understandable concern. I find that getting your questions answered beforehand, either by me, my staff, or by other patients, will dramatically affect your comfort as you experience your own recovery.
“If you have friends who have had breast augmentation with other surgeons it is possible that their experiences will be very different from what I describe. I invite you to ask me about it and allow me to clarify anything that doesn’t make sense to you.”
For more information about breast augmentation recovery in the New York City, New York area, please contact Dr. Newman at the Advanced Plastic Surgery Center to set up a consultation.