I’m so happy with my results, and I’ve been able to do so much more with my life since the surgery. I’ve been able to run again, and I’m not nearly as tired in the afternoon. My clothes fit better, and my back doesn’t hurt anymore when I work out.
I am also a lot more confident about myself now because of how my breasts look. They’re just the right size for me, and they look great in clothes!
I had a breast reduction 2 weeks ago, and so far it’s going really well! The incisions are healing nicely, but it’s still too early to tell if there will be any scarring or permanent numbness where they were made.
The recovery process has been easier than expected—I’m only taking Tylenol every 4 hours instead of every 6 hours like they recommended at first! So far it seems like most of the pain is coming from the fact that the skin around where my nipples used to be is still sore from being stretched out over those months before surgery (and possibly from squeezing those new implants in).
2 weeks after breast reduction
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:
- Impeding the immune system
- Contributing to dehydration
- Increasing the risk of bleeding
Don’t Get Steamy in the Bedroom
It’s best to delay intercourse for a brief time after surgery. You and your partner may want to try, but we recommend you wait. If you do decide to be intimate, you need to wear a sports or surgery bra and avoid placing pressure on your breasts.
Don’t Eat the Wrong Foods
A diet low in protein and vitamin C can put you at greater risk for post-operative complications. Your body needs these nutrients to heal, and vitamin C is crucial to collagen formation. You should therefore choose wholesome foods during your recovery like:
- Leafy greens like kale and spinach
- Red and yellow peppers
- Greek yogurt
If you cannot enjoy a diet rich in these nutrients for health reasons, such as digestive issues, it’s important you speak to our office. We can likely recommend dietary supplements that will provide the nutrition you need without compromising your well-being.
Don’t Neglect Your Rest
We’ve mentioned multiple times that your body needs to rest after breast augmentation. The exact amount of time you need to heal will depend on your body, but most women can safely return to work after about one week.
The time you are at home should be spent relaxing. This means napping when you need to and enjoying plenty of downtime. You’ll probably feel more like your old self after just a few days, but we urge you to continue resting. Your body will thank you by healing more quickly.
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.