What Is The Recovery Timeline After Breast Augmentation?

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As you count down to the day of your breast augmentation surgery, you’ll likely be filled with excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a bit of anxiety. These are completely normal emotions before virtually any cosmetic procedure. During this time, it is important to begin preparing for your breast augmentation recovery as well. Knowing what to expect after breast augmentation can dramatically improve your comfort and peace of mind during your recovery period. Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgical specialist Dr. Omar Ahmed and the caring team at Omar Ahmed, M.D. are dedicated to helping patients enjoy the most comfortable, successful, and rapid recovery possible after breast augmentation in Pasadena, CA. Use this valuable information to get a better idea of what to expect during your breast implant recovery.

How does breast augmentation work?

To fully understand what you can expect after getting breast implants, it is important to first have an idea of how the procedure works. There are a number of different approaches to breast augmentation, and the details of your procedure may vary based on several factors, including:

  • Type of breast implant: saline, silicone gel, or fat transfer to the breast
  • Incision type: inverted-T, anchor, periareolar, lollipop, inframammary crease
  • Implant placement: submuscular or on top of the muscle
  • Additional procedures: breast lift, liposuction, mommy makeover, etc.

For the most part, breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia and takes about 1 – 3 hours to complete. Based on the patient’s needs, goals, and individual anatomy, Dr. Ahmed will place a strategic incision on the breast, through which the implant is inserted. This process will then be repeated on the contralateral side. Once Dr. Ahmed has ensured symmetry between the breasts and the closest possible match to the patient’s ideal outcome, the incisions will be closed with sutures, and the patient will begin their recovery period.

How long does it take to recover after breast implants?

Because there are so many variables when it comes to breast augmentation surgery, including the type/size of implant used, whether a breast lift is performed, and more, recovery after breast augmentation may vary from patient to patient. During your initial consultation for breast augmentation in Pasadena, CA, Dr. Ahmed will be able to give you a more specific idea of how long your personal recovery may take, based on your unique situation. Below is a general timeline of what many women can expect after breast augmentation.

Breast augmentation recovery timeline

  • Day 1: Almost immediately after surgery, patients will be wheeled to the recovery room, where they will emerge from anesthesia and be monitored for a short period before being released into the care of a trusted friend or loved one to begin their recovery at home. Most women feel tired or groggy after the procedure and may spend the majority of their surgery day sleeping. Even so, it is important to take a few trips to and from the bathroom to promote proper circulation. Patients should also wear their provided surgical medical bra and take prescribed pain medications, antibiotics, and any other medicines recommended by their surgeon.

  • Days 2 – 5: The next several days will be characterized by swelling, pain, and bruising. Most patients report the highest pain level during the first 3 – 5 days after breast augmentation. These symptoms can be relieved with the continued use of prescribed medications and other postoperative guidelines. Patients should continue to take light, brief walks around the house and wear their supportive surgical bra during this time.

  • Days 7 – 14: The majority of patients begin to feel much more like themselves about 7 – 10 days after breast augmentation, though they will still be fairly swollen and may have mild discomfort. Most patients can switch to over-the-counter medications for pain management at this time. The breasts will be firm and high-riding at this point and may take several more weeks to settle into a more normal position on the chest. Many patients have their first follow-up appointment after 7–10 days, during which the surgeon will carefully evaluate their healing progress and remove sutures if necessary. Surgical undergarments should still be worn for the next several weeks, and patients should continue to avoid heavy lifting or straining. Most women are able to return to work, provided their job is not physically strenuous, about 10 – 14 days after breast augmentation.

  • Weeks 3 – 6: Patients should continue to see and feel an improvement in their breasts over weeks 3 – 6 and beyond, with residual swelling continuing to resolve and the breasts settling into their final position. With their surgeon’s clearance, many patients can resume light exercise around six weeks after surgery, while heavier lifting may be off-limits for a few more weeks. Typically, patients are considered to be fully recovered about 6 – 8 weeks after breast augmentation.

Throughout your recovery, Dr. Ahmed will closely monitor your healing progress and let you know when it is safe and appropriate to resume your favorite activities. During this time, he will also evaluate you for potential complications. While rare, these may include:

  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant displacement
  • Implant rupture

Get back to your normal routines sooner than you think after breast augmentation in Pasadena, CA

If you are considering breast augmentation to enhance breast size or restore more youthful breasts after pregnancy but have concerns about a long recovery period, you may be surprised to learn what you can actually expect after getting breast implants. For the majority of women, breast augmentation is uncomplicated and requires just a few weeks – or less! – of downtime before they are able to resume many of their daily routines, including going to work. To learn more about breast augmentation in Pasadena, CA, and how long your recovery may take, call the knowledgeable team at Omar Ahmed, M.D. to schedule your private consultation with board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgical specialist Dr. Omar Ahmed today!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.