Two days post op, and I’m feeling pretty good.
I’m still pretty sore from the surgery, but I think it’s more just a general ache than anything to do with my breasts. They look great so far!
The first night was rough, but I think that’s just because I was in pain and had trouble sleeping. The second day I got up and walked around for about an hour (with my husband holding my arm, of course), which felt amazing.
My husband is doing a great job taking care of me, but he also has work to do—so I’m trying to be responsible too. He made me some soup, then gave me some ibuprofen and left me alone while he went out for lunch with his coworkers. That was nice, because it gave me a chance to think about how lucky we are that we can afford this procedure without going into debt or anything!
I know there will be some swelling over the next week or so—but even then, I’ll probably still feel like everything looks fine! This surgery is worth every penny (and more).
2 days post op breast augmentation
What Should You Avoid After a Breast Augmentation?
If you’re planning to undergo breast augmentation, congratulations. This is one of the most exciting procedures available to women who want to add or restore feminine curves. And Dustin C. Derrick, MD, the lead plastic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth, TX, specializes in procedures like breast enhancement and mommy makeovers. You can therefore trust you’re in great hands before, during, and after your surgery.
What Should You Avoid After a Breast Augmentation?
After your body experiences a dramatic change, such as that brought by surgery, it needs time to recover. This is why you must take the appropriate time to heal. Equally important, you must also follow the post-op guidelines we provide. These will largely be tailored to suit your individual needs, but some suggestions are universal.
For instance, one of the first recommendations we’ll make is that you refrain from smoking. It’s best to quit one month before surgery, as the chemicals contained in cigarettes can negatively impact your ability to heal and surgery results. Nicotine in particular can put you at risk for infection and damage the capillaries near your surgical wounds. This effect impedes blood flow. If you’ve ever needed a reason to quit smoking, your surgery may provide just that.
Don’t Wear an Underwire Bra
You’ll need to wear a surgical or sports bra after surgery for three to four weeks. The support provided by these garments can keep your breasts in place and help you sleep more comfortably. An underwire bra, on the other hand, can irritate your incisions and prevent implants from properly settling.
With this in mind, you should also delay shopping for new undergarments. You might be tempted to invest in a few lush bras, but you won’t know your new cup size until your breasts ease into their final, more natural position. We recommend that you simply rest and enjoy taking some time for yourself. You’ll have plenty of time to shop for new bras after you’ve recovered.
Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach or Side
The position in which you sleep can greatly impact the appearance of your breast augmentation. This is why it’s crucial you sleep on your back for a short time after surgery. Your body should also be elevated, particularly while you sleep. This enhances circulation, reduces fluid buildup, and keeps the breasts in a more natural position during healing.
Sleeping while you’re elevated can also assist with mobility. You need some upper body strength to get out of bed. But after surgery, we strongly recommend you not use your arm or chest muscles (more on this in a moment). Sleeping upright can keep you from needing these muscles, and many patients sleep in recliners or against a stack of pillows to help them stay in the proper position.
Maximize Your Surgery Results
Sleeping on your stomach or side can apply pressure to your implants and incisions during the recovery process. Rest assured you can return to your normal sleep habits soon enough. In fact, you’ll likely be cleared to return to side sleeping while wearing a supportive bra within just two weeks. Sleeping on your stomach, however, is off the table until a member of our staff gives the go-ahead.
Don’t Take Aspirin
Unless your medical doctor has suggested otherwise, it’s generally not a good idea to take aspirin during your breast augmentation recovery. Aspirin disrupts the normal aggregation of platelets, which can lead to prolonged or abnormal bleeding after your procedure. Additional reasons to skip aspirin as you recover include:
- Potential interactions with prescription medicines
If you were advised by a doctor to take aspirin every day for your heart, you’ll need medical clearance to stop this regimen before surgery. You should never stop prescribed aspirin therapy without your doctor’s guidance. Doing so may increase your risk for a cardiovascular event.
Don’t Take Medications Unless Prescribed
The first two weeks of your recovery are generally the most important. It is for this reason that you must be cautious with the medications you take. The best rule of thumb is incredibly simple: only take those medications prescribed by our office or your doctor. This protocol ensures you don’t take any medications that might interfere with your healing.
We know what you’re thinking: showering is a part of good hygiene. But for at least 48 hours, you must avoid this common practice. Incisions need about two days to completely close. Getting incisions wet too soon after surgery can cause them to re-open, interfere with the healing process, and even lead to infections. Once you’re outside of the 48-hour window, you can gently wash your breasts – but don’t scrub or rub the treated areas.
Getting into a pool, lake, or ocean can expose your incisions to bacteria, meaning you may be vulnerable to infection. We therefore recommend you resist swimming for a bit and simply relax poolside or walk along the beach. You should likewise avoid jacuzzies and hot tubs to further protect your incisions.
Don’t Sit in the Sun
As you’re outside enjoying nature, you should not expose yourself to the sun. Ultraviolet rays can, again, interfere with the way your incisions heal. Even after you receive clearance to go swimming, you should use caution in the sun. The same is true for tanning beds. Avoid them until we give the necessary approval. Or, better yet, make a conscious decision to stay out of the sun and tanning beds from this point forward.
Don’t Engage in Strenuous Activities
This recommendation is important enough that we’ll likely repeat it a few times. All strenuous activities, especially exercise, must be avoided for about a month. You can and should go walking during this time to encourage strong blood flow throughout your body. But other exercises are off the table.
We’ll likely clear you to engage in lower body exercises after your first month of healing. Then, gradually, you can start to again incorporate upper body exercises.
Don’t Lift Heavy Objects
Most surgeries require that you not lift heavy objects for a while. Breast augmentation is no exception. After your procedure, you won’t be able to carry groceries, pets, or even your child for at least a few weeks. This promotes rapid, healthy healing and beautiful results.
As long as you’re watching what you lift, it’s also important you not raise your arms above your head. This means no reaching for objects or lifting your arms to get into a shirt. With this in mind, you should plan to wear button- or zip-up shirts for a brief time.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
A small amount of alcohol is, for most people, absolutely fine. But you can hasten your recovery by abstaining for a couple of weeks. Alcohol is known to inhibit healing by
For many women, breast augmentation is an exciting prospect. This procedure allows you to regain your pre-pregnancy figure or feel more confident and proportionate in swimwear and clothing. As you consider breast augmentation, you have every reason to feel optimistic.
With that said, it is also very natural to have some reservations regarding your recovery after surgery. Prospective patients naturally want to know how much discomfort they will have, how long it will be before they feel normal, what kind of scars they can anticipate, and more.
These are all questions that should be covered during your breast augmentation consultation. Your plastic surgeon will be able to provide you with a more personalized set of expectations. In the meantime, we have put together this overview to provide a general sense of what to expect and how to prepare for your breast augmentation surgery.
What to Do Before Your Surgery
Before you have your breast augmentation surgery, there are several steps you should take to ensure that you are fully prepared for the procedure and for the recovery process. These steps can help your recovery go much more smoothly.
Read All Instructions Provided by Your Surgeon
Your plastic surgeon will provide you with plenty of written information about postoperative care, and about general expectations, you should have following your surgery. Take the time to read through all of this is well before the surgery itself, ensuring that you have plenty of time to ask follow-up questions and get clarification as needed.
Fill Your Prescriptions
You will need prescription medications to take before and after surgery including a pain management prescription as well as an antibiotic, and other medications. Be sure to pick up your prescriptions well in advance of surgery.
Your plastic surgeon may offer further guidelines for you to abstain from certain medications, supplements, and herbs especially those that can cause bleeding.
Stop Smoking and Vaping
Among the many adverse effects of nicotine is that it can impede your body’s ability to heal, increase your risk of complications such as infection, and worsen the appearance of your scars. If you smoke or vape, make sure you cease all nicotine products for at least 6 to 12 weeks before and after your procedure.
Arrange For a Support Person
You are going to need someone who can drive you home following the surgery and stay with you for the first 24 hours. But really, it is best to have a spouse, friend, or relative who can help out for the first day or two, helping you with meal prep, child care, and household maintenance. Remember that you are going to have limited energy and mobility and will appreciate the extra help. Be sure your support person has access to your written post-op instructions from the surgeon.
After surgery, you will not be able to run a lot of errands. Make sure you stock up on healthy foods and snacks, water, and Tylenol. (This is the safest option with regard to over-the-counter pain management.)
Recovering from Breast Augmentation: Important Guidelines
In preparing for surgery and recovery, patients can be overwhelmed by all the information given to digest. In the following checklist, we have distilled some of the most important tips and guidelines for you to know in the immediate aftermath of your breast augmentation procedure.
- Following your surgery, you are going to feel very fatigued. You should not plan on doing anything but resting for your first week or so of recovery.
- For the first two or three days, it is crucial that you avoid any activities that could elevate your blood pressure. This can cause bleeding which may necessitate further surgery.
- It bears repeating: You need someone staying with you for at least the first 24 hours, and ideally the next day or two if you have young children, toddlers, or infants. Your support person can help around the house, but also keep an eye open for any unexpected complications.
- You may feel tightness, soreness, or pain in your chest for several days. This is why you will have medication options, both over-the-counter and prescription.
- You cannot shower for the first 24 hours. And, you will want to avoid any still water, such as bathtubs and swimming pools, for at least 2 to 6 weeks.
- Do not plan on traveling for the first week or two.
- Be alert to the common signs of infection: Warmth, redness, and fever. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, call your plastic surgeon’s office ASAP.
- For the first 6 weeks, you will need to wear either a post-surgical bra or other non-underwire bras at all times.
- Avoid bending over, reaching up or across your body, and do not lift anything that weighs more than 5 pounds.
- Due to the medication and anesthesia in your system, you may have constipation for your first few days of recovery. Be prepared for this with Colace or other over-the-counter constipation medications.
- Do not sleep on your stomach. Ideally, you should lie on your back with your head slightly elevated.
By sticking to these basic tips and guidelines, you will be well on your way to a smooth, fast, and safe recovery.
Breast Augmentation Recovery: Timeline
One of the most common questions that patients ask before breast augmentation is how long is it going to take for them to feel fully recovered.
There is no simple answer to this question as all patients are different. Your recovery time can vary depending on the type of implant and the type of incision, as well as your healing progress. Adherence to your surgeon’s post-op instructions will help you to recover more quickly.
For some patients, it takes just a few days to a week before they are able to resume most of their daily non-strenuous household activities. For others, it may take more time. Even if you have a perfect recovery, you should wait at least 3 to 6 weeks before returning to the gym or engaging in any strenuous exercise, and always check with your surgeon when in doubt.
With that said, here is what you can expect in terms of a general timeline.
The First 24 Hours
Breast implant surgery will usually take less than one hour to complete. After surgery you will be taken to a recovery room, where your condition will be monitored for another hour then you will be cleared to head home with a caregiver.
When you first wake up, you will likely feel some pain and soreness in your chest. Your movement will be limited, and you may also have some minor dizziness and fatigue.
Once you get home, you are just going to want to rest. Follow your doctor’s orders with regard to painkiller use.
The First 48 Hours
You will likely need pain medication for the first 2 or 3 days. Hang in there and remind yourself that this is temporary. You will soon begin to feel quite a bit more normal.
You may experience varying levels of pain, swelling, and bruising. Use your pain medication as directed by your surgeon, and make sure you stay consistent with your antibiotic use.
One thing to keep in mind: Some patients develop a very mild fever during the first couple of days. This is not necessarily a sign of infection. If the fever worsens or persists, let your surgeon’s office know.
Do not shower until cleared by your surgeon. Remember to avoid still water, including baths and swimming pools.
The First Week
For the first 4 to 7 days, you should stay home from work and continue resting as much as possible. Avoid strenuous activity of any kind. By the end of the first week, you should notice your energy coming back to you and your pain and soreness lessening quite a bit.
Another important note about the first week is that your incision will still be covered with gauze bandages and/or surgical tape. Follow your surgeon’s instructions with regard to changing and checking your dressings.
Your implants may appear to be too high, especially if placed under the muscle. This is normal and will take weeks to months to settle into the correct position.
Fast forward to week three: By this point, any pain, discomfort, or soreness should be significantly abated. At this juncture, you are free to resume most of your regular physical activities, except high impact activity or upper body exercises including yoga, pilates, and golf unless cleared by your surgeon.
Continue to wear your support bra, or a sports bra, to ensure that your breasts are supported, especially during high-impact activities.
First Two Months
Once you move out of the initial recovery phase, your plastic surgeon will let you know when it is okay to stop wearing a support bra. Additionally, after two months or so, most patients will be cleared by their surgeon to resume all of their normal activities, including vigorous workouts and other physically strenuous endeavors.
When Can You See Results from Your Breast Augmentation?
When you first start thinking seriously about getting breast implants, it is natural to feel excited about seeing your new figure. However, it is important to realize that you are not going to see the final results immediately from your breast augmentation. There will of course be some swelling and bruising. Swelling in the area of the sternum is common which may make your cleavage look less pronounced. This is normal.
It may be about two full months or more before you can truly, clearly see the outcome of your breast augmentation, and really assess the change to your body. Our advice: be patient and do not be discouraged. It can be frustrating to go through surgery and not see a perfect outcome immediately. Scars should begin to slowly fade until they are only faintly visible. Keep in mind that it takes 12 to 18 months for scars to fully mature so be patient during this transitional process.
Dealing with the After Effects of Breast Augmentation
During your recovery period, you can anticipate some discomfort, swelling, bruising, and more. Your plastic surgeon can provide you with some practical remedies. In the meantime, here are some general thoughts on handling these common side effects.
Dealing with Discomfort
The most common side effect of breast augmentation is physical discomfort. Patients describe the pain as being either mild or moderate in nature, and it usually takes the form of tightness, or a feeling of pressure, in the chest. Symptoms of pain may last for up to two months.
Your plastic surgeon will prescribe you a painkiller that you can use as needed and also direct you to the best over-the-counter remedies. Just remember that any discomfort is temporary and that rest and time will help.
Dealing with Swelling and Bruising
Breast augmentation patients should also anticipate some swelling and bruising. Again, this is no cause for alarm unless the swelling and/or bruising are significant. There are homeopathic medications such as Sinecch or Arnica Montana that will help minimize swelling and bruising.
Your swelling should go away completely within several weeks or months. We do not recommend the use of cold packs or ice.
Dealing with Bleeding
Another side effect to watch for is bleeding. Although it is uncommon, bleeding can actually occur even a week or two after your surgery but is most common immediately following surgery. If you do notice any excessive swelling or bleeding, especially if one breast suddenly appears much larger than the other, call your plastic surgeon’s office right away. It may be a sign that there is a hematoma that may require reoperation.
Dealing with Fatigue
Following any major surgery, you are bound to feel tired. For those who get breast implants, it is normal to feel very fatigued for the first few days to two weeks of recovery.
First and foremost, we urge you to be patient with yourself. Surgery takes a lot out of your body, and being tired is in no way a sign of weakness. It is a natural response to a physically taxing event.
Beyond that, we simply recommend preparing a comfortable place in your home where you can rest for the first five to seven days, minimizing physical activity as much as possible. This is another reason why having a support person, is so crucial; it ensures that you do not have to get up to handle chores around the home.
Dealing with Limited Movement
For the first several weeks, you may be instructed to strictly limit your upper body movements, avoiding reaching up overhead or forward. This is to allow the pockets where your implants are placed to heal without disruption. Take it easy and do not do too much!
Dealing with Infection
Although it is exceedingly rare, it is understandable for patients to be concerned about infection. Patients are usually treated with IV antibiotics during surgery and placed on a short course of oral antibiotics post-operatively. Please be sure to complete the full dose of your prescribed antibiotics.
You should be concerned about the possibility of infection if, after two weeks, you do not seem to be making any progress in your recovery; and especially if you have a persistent fever or discharge such as pus from your incision(s). If you believe you have an infection, contact your surgeon right away. Often, early infections can be treated very simply with antibiotics.
Something else to keep in mind is that, by showing up for all the recommended follow-up appointments, you give your plastic surgeon an opportunity to assess your healing. These follow-up appointments can help you avoid more serious issues down the road, so make sure you keep them.
What About Scarring?
One final consideration related to breast augmentation recovery is scarring. Here are a few considerations:
Prior to surgery, your surgeon should discuss your options for the incision site. Your scar may be located just underneath the curve of your breast, called the (inframammary approach), along the lower half of the nipple (called the periareolar approach), or in the armpit (called the transaxillary approach). Your plastic surgeon can tell you more.
Your scar will initially be fairly noticeable; it may be red or pink in color and slightly raised or bumpy in its texture. For the vast majority of patients, it will fade over time, blending with your natural skin tone. This process may take up to 18 months, but most patients will notice their scars fading sooner than that.
breast augmentation healing phases
5 Stages of Healing after Breast Augmentation
- Stage 1: The Day of Your Surgery. …
- Stage 2: First 5-7 Days after Surgery. …
- Stage 3: 1-3 Weeks after Surgery. …
- Stage 4: 4-6 Weeks after Surgery. …
- Stage 5: Final Results. …
- Contact our Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon.
5 Stages of Healing after Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. Each year, hundreds of thousands of women experience the life-changing benefits associated with an improved breast appearance.
Before moving forward with your procedure, it’s important to understand what to expect during every stage of the process. Breast augmentation is major surgery, and there is a significant recovery period. While the overwhelming majority of women find that it’s worth undergoing this lengthy healing process, you should be aware of the road to recovery that lies ahead of you.
Stage 1: The Day of Your Surgery
Breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis, and you will return home the day of your procedure. Since you’ll still be under the lingering effects of anesthesia, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home. It’s also important to have someone around the house for the rest of the day in case you need assistance.
You’ll need to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated on this first day of recovery. We recommend that you set up a comfortable recovery area prior to your procedure. It should include:
- Extra pillows and blankets for optimal comfort
- A place to easily access water and snacks without bending over
- Plenty of entertainment (movies, books, music) to keep you occupied while you relax
We recommend that you prepare some healthy, nutritious meals in advance that you can easily reheat since you won’t feel up to cooking. You should also fill all prescriptions in advance so that they’ll be on-hand when you get home from surgery.
Stage 2: First 5-7 Days after Surgery
This is typically the most uncomfortable phase of your recovery. It’s common to experience:
- Bruising and swelling around the breasts which will gradually subside as you heal
- Discomfort which can be managed with pain medication
You should start feeling much better towards the end of this first week of recovery. Dr. Lee encourages light walking as soon as you feel up to it. This will facilitate proper blood flow and help prevent blood clots. Always listen to your body and rest if you feel you need to.
Stage 3: 1-3 Weeks after Surgery
During this phase of recovery, you will be able to gradually resume your regular routine. In general, most women are able to return to work within one to two weeks after breast augmentation. If your job requires heavy lifting or other strenuous physical activity, you may need to take additional time off to ensure your body is sufficiently healed.
Bruising, swelling and discomfort should have substantially subsided by this point. Dr. Lee will carefully monitor your recovery and let you know when it is safe to resume normal activities and light exercise. Light cardio activities can be incorporated into your routine at this point, but you will still need to refrain from strenuous activities. When resuming exercise, it’s important to start slow and gradually ramp up your efforts as your body gets stronger.
Stage 4: 4-6 Weeks after Surgery
By now, you will be sufficiently recovered to begin adding more strenuous activity back into your routine. Always wait until Dr. Lee tells you it is safe to resume specific activities to prevent complications.
Intense cardio and lower body exercises can be resumed after about four weeks. However, you’ll need to refrain from heavy lifting and chest exercises until you are roughly six weeks out of surgery.
Stage 5: Final Results
It can take as long as three to four months before you are able to see your final results. This is due to the fact that it takes time for your breast implants to settle into their proper position and for all residual swelling to subside. While you’ll want to experience your new appearance as soon as possible, it’s important to be patient during this process.
Dr. Lee recommends waiting to purchase new bras and bikinis until your final results are visible since your breast size and appearance may still undergo slight changes for several months.