Recovery after Breast Augmentation Surgery

Tips for a Better Recovery After Breast Augmentation

  • When can I get back to work after breast augmentation surgery?
  • Will recovery be difficult after a breast implants surgery?
  • How long is the recovery after breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation surgery can help with the appearance and the size of the breasts using breast implants. Procedures like breast augmentation can be performed with scars hidden under the breast. The procedure can be performed as a day surgery, which means that you can go home the same day. Your recovery period for breast augmentation can take place in the comfort of your home.

Dr Michael Kernohan is a renowned specialist plastic surgeon performing breast augmentation in Sydney’s Southwest Suburbs and the Southern Highlands. He is committed to delivering optimal results to his patients.

The final results of your procedure depend not only on how well the surgery goes but also on the post-op and recovery period. Quitting smoking prior to surgery, along with following all of Dr Kernohan’s recommendations are the ways to ensure that the results of your breast augmentation are not tarnished by the complications and other potential side effects of the procedure.

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Guide Breast Augmentation

How long is Recovery after Breast Augmentation?

The recovery period after a breast augmentation, much like other cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures is around four to eight weeks. By the end of this period, you will begin to see some of the results of the procedure. For the complete results of the procedure to appear, it may take up to three months, however, you can resume your daily life well before that.

Swelling and Bruining after Breast Augmentation

The recovery period is generally marked by swelling and bruising that can be easily managed with pain management medications that Dr Kernohan will prescribe. You can also use over-the-counter medications for pain management to help with any discomfort you may be feeling. The first three to five days may be more difficult, but eventually, the swelling subsides and the discomfort significantly reduces.

Prepare for your Breast Augmentation Recovery – Find Support!

The recovery period can be made significantly better by preparing for it before you even undergo the procedure. To make sure that you are comfortable when you come back home and have a place to lie down and rest, you should prepare it before you go in for the procedure. You should also ask a friend or family member to stay with you and help you with your everyday activities, at least for the first few days after the procedure.

Activity after Breast Augmentation Surgery – Start gently!

The recovery period seems long but you do not have to stay in bed the entire time, barely moving about. In fact, based on where you are at your recovery time, you may be allowed to return to your normal life activities, slowly. The only thing you cannot do during the entire duration of the recovery period is engage in strenuous activities such as high-intensity training programs or other extensive exercise programs. They put too much pressure on your body while it is already trying to heal.


Timeline for Recovery after Breast Augmentation

Timeline for Recovery after Breast Augmentation Recovery Dr Michael Kernohan Sydney - swelling day by day breast augmentation recovery

It is very important to note that the recovery timeline is different for everyone who undergoes the breast augmentation procedure. The timeline mentioned below is a general timeline, but it is not necessary for all the things to happen at the times mentioned. It is highly recommended that you clear with your surgeon before making a move to light exercises and resuming daily life activities.

·       First 24 Hours

You should avoid showering during this time. It is also best to spend this time in bed, resting and allowing your body to heal. You may notice swelling, bruising, and some discomfort that is part of the recovery period. You should take antibiotics if prescribed, and painkillers to help you through this.

·       24 to 48 Hours

After 36 hours, you can have your first shower. You should be careful of your drain tubes (if used) and secure them, so they aren’t pulled during the shower, consequently pulling your skin. You should still be resting, and avoiding even light exercises. The bruising and swelling, along with the discomfort are bound to persist during this time.

·       First Week

Completely avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during this period. This is especially important if you are taking any antibiotics as alcohol can interact with those medications, either rendering them useless or increasing the risks to trigger side effects. Smoking can increase the risk of side effects such as infections, which can further lead to visible, thick scarring or even wound dehiscence, separation of the incision.

You should spend this entire time laying on your back, and not raising your arms above your shoulder level. Many women by the end of the first week feel ready to return to their desk jobs. If your job requires extensive physical exercise, it is best to take a bit more time off work.

·       Week 2 to Week 3

You may begin light exercises during this period. These exercises refer to a brisk walk, moving your legs slightly, and walking around your house. You should still be careful as complications can arise at any point during the recovery period, if you are not careful.

There is going to be some swelling and bruising, but it is almost gone by now. By the end of three weeks, you shouldn’t experience any swelling or discomfort. You should still avoid alcohol and smoking. You should also still be sleeping on your back.

·       Week 4 to Week 8

You are close to the end of your breast augmentation journey. Based on how well you heal, you can resume daily life activities and your exercise regimen from week six onwards.

Tips for Recovery after Breast Augmentation Procedure

Some of the general tips that may help you with your recovery from breast augmentation procedure are:

  • Hydrate yourself as dehydration can slow down the skin’s ability to heal the scars and slow down your healing
  • Get enough rest and sleep! Fatigue, tiredness, and exhaustion are normal during the recovery period and instead of ignoring what your body needs, you should spend most of your time resting
  • Do NOT wear underwire bras for at least six weeks after the procedure as they can cause significant discomfort and damage healing tissues
  • Wear compression bras throughout your recovery period as they are there to protect you from excessive swelling and fluid collection

Breast Augmentation Recovery Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest way to recover after breast augmentation?

  • Wearing the compression bra, avoiding putting any pressure on the incisions, and getting enough rest are some of the top things you should do if you want to recover from a breast augmentation procedure. However, it is important to mention that speed is not of the essence when it comes to recovery, but rather how well you are taking care of yourself. Less strenuous activity – more rest!

Can I lift my arms after breast surgery?

  • Yes, you can lift your arms up to your shoulder level during the first two weeks of the recovery period. You can lift your arms to have a drink, wash your face, and so on, but never higher than that for the first few weeks post-op. After the first couple of weeks, you can slowly begin to lift your arms as high as you like given that you are not putting any pressure on the incisions.

Does the stomach swell after breast augmentation?

  • Bloating and swelling of the stomach is quite common after a breast augmentation procedure. It is completely normal and usually goes away on its own, by the end of the first two weeks of recovery.

How do you shower with drains after breast augmentation?

  • When showering with drains, it is recommended to use a cloth belt that is tied around your stomach. Using a safety pin, you can attach the drain to the belt so it is firmly held. This is important because letting the drains hang loosely while showering can pull the skin and put pressure on the incisions. Also, it is crucial to not use very hot water.

How long between recovery will my chest feel tight after breast augmentation?

  • It is normal for your chest to feel tight after having implants placed in your breasts. This tightness is often accompanied by swelling, both of which will subside by around week four of your recovery period.

What happens if you don’t massage your breast implants?

  • One of the most important side effects of the breast augmentation procedure is contracture where the tissue around the implant hardens and forms a capsule. This capsular contracture may be prevented by regular massage of the implants.

How do you move your arms after breast augmentation?

  • It is not recommended to lift your arms over your head, especially during the first week of recovery. This is because it can put pressure on your incisions and complicate the healing period. By the end of week two of your recovery period, you should be able to move your arms a bit more freely.

How much time should I take off work after breast augmentation?

  • It is recommended to take at least three days to a week off work to allow yourself to heal properly. However, this is only applicable if you work at a desk job. Another thing to consider is that healing time may be different for everyone and generally, women take one to two weeks off from work. This is especially important if your work requires strenuous activities that can put pressure on your incisions and impact proper healing.

What happens if you don’t wear a compression bra after breast augmentation?

  • A compression bra is meant to help your breasts stay in shape and avoid the collection of fluids or swelling of the tissue around the breast implant. Not wearing a compression bra can increase the risk and severity of swelling and bruise after the procedure. Collection of fluid also puts you at risk of seroma, a potential side effect of the breast augmentation procedure. Your final results may also be sub-optimal.

How do you take care of new breast implants after surgery?

  • The most important thing is getting enough rest and allowing your body to heal itself. That’s the best way you can take care of your breasts. You should also follow all recovery guidelines and recommendations to ensure the best results for yourself.

What should I avoid after breast augmentation?

  • You should avoid strenuous exercises and activities that can put any pressure on your incisions for at least the first two weeks during the recovery period. After that, you can perform light exercises but these do not include extensive workouts and such. You should also avoid smoking and drinking, especially when taking painkillers or antibiotics as prescribed by Dr Kernohan.

How painful is breast augmentation recovery?

  • The breast augmentation procedure is often followed by a couple of days of discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Dr Kernohan might prescribe some painkillers to help manage the pain or you can use over-the-counter painkillers to help you with discomfort and swelling. Apart from that, if you are following all recovery guidelines, the recovery period will go smoothly.

What day is the most painful after breast augmentation?

  • The first three days to five days of the recovery period can be associated with a higher level of discomfort as they are marked by swelling, bruising, and other normal side effects. However, all of these will subside by the end of the first week, either on their own or with the help of medication prescribed by Dr Kernohan.

Can I sleep on my side after breast implant surgery?

  • You should avoid sleeping on your front or side during the recovery period after your breast implant surgery as that can significantly affect the healing and consequently, the results of your procedure. You should sleep on your back during the first two weeks of recovery, with your arms by your side. It would also be helpful to sleep alone during this time so as to avoid any accidental injury from a loved one or a pet.

Further Reading

Medical References about Recovery after Breast Augmentation Surgery