I’m 2 weeks post-op and I feel great!
I had breast augmentation and a lift on October 27th. It’s been a long process, but I’m so glad I did it. Before my surgery, I was a 34B and now I’m a 34DDD—I have never felt more confident in my life!
There’s definitely been an adjustment period after the surgery: the first week was pretty rough, but now that I’m out of the pain meds and back to normal activities (and not feeling so sore), it’s been much easier!
The first week was really hard for me because my body was still healing from surgery, but it also wasn’t quite ready for regular activity yet. A lot of people who have this procedure said that they couldn’t get out of bed for at least 5 days after their surgery—and that’s exactly how it was for me too! Some people also can’t drive or lift anything over 5 pounds for at least 2 weeks post-op as well… which is another thing we have in common!
I know that most people say they don’t regret having plastic surgery, but I honestly don’t know if there are enough words to express how happy this has made me feel about myself. This
2 weeks post op breast augmentation and lift
What do you do if you are unhappy with your breast size, shape or droop? Which breast procedure is right for you? Several surgical options are available to you depending on what you would like to achieve.
Two of the most popular procedures are breast augmentation and breast lift. Ultimately a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic breast surgery is needed to determine what procedure aligns with your goals.
Breast augmentation: What you need to know
Do you want bigger breasts? If yes, then augmentation is the surgical procedure that will be required. When considering breast augmentation there are four major areas that will need to be considered including placement of the incision, implant size/shape, type of implant and the associated risks.
Incision and implant placement: The three most common incisions for breast augmentation include inframammary (under the fold of the breast), trans-axillary (in the armpit) or periareolar (around the nipple). Each incisional technique has its set of advantages and disadvantages. I almost exclusively use the inframammary incision technique as it provides optimal access to the breast tissue, has the least chance of complications and completely hides procedural scarring.
Implant size and shape: When it comes to size and shape you have multiple options. Considerations such as your chest wall shape, your body form, your lifestyle, your natural foundation and your goals must be addressed. A board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation will be able to discuss what size and shape will look the best and ultimately make you happy. In general, I advise patients not to go up more than two bra cup sizes, as anything larger can overwhelm the chest regarding appearance, diameter and/or width. Also, you do not want to have your entire look overwhelmed by your breasts!
Implant types: Silicone versus saline depends on multiple factors including desired results, preference and the patient’s body type. Silicone tends to be more expensive, requires a larger incision and is a more involved surgical procedure. However, silicone implants tend to have a more natural realistic feel and are an excellent choice for a patient with very little natural breast tissue. Saline implants work well with a patient who has ample breast tissue, as it can add volume and shape without necessarily changing the feel of the breasts. Incidentally, both types of implants last ten to fifteen years, are FDA approved and have excellent safety records.
Breast lift: What you need to know
Loss of breast volume usually leads to breast ptosis (drooping). Breast drooping is especially evident as women age, fluctuate in weight or bear children. A breast lift will help correct drooping by volumetrically reshaping the breasts.
A simple test to determine if you’re a candidate for a breast lift is the pencil test. Place a pencil as high as you can under the breast fold. If the pencil holds, then you have signs of breast drooping. If your nipple falls below the pencil, then you have significant ptosis, and more than likely are a great candidate for a breast lift.
There are three types of breast lift approaches including periareolar, vertical breast reduction and inverted-T incisions. The periareolar incision approach follows the natural areolar shape of the patient and is typically best for someone who has large areolas and minimal breast drooping that needs correction. The vertical breast reduction incision approach follows the same path as the periareolar around the areola but also extends directly down from the areola thus allowing a greater lift for moderate drooping. The inverted-T incision approach follows the same path as the periareolar and vertical breast incision; however, it also includes an incision within the breast fold.
The inverted-T incision approach is the most common, most predictable and allows for the maximum breast lift. The technique that is right for you depends on the amount of breast volume, tissue and the degree of ptosis (breast sagging) you have.
What Is and Isn’t Normal After Breast Augmentation
September 7, 2016
Breast augmentation is an ever-popular procedure with sky-high patient satisfaction rates. Most breast augmentation patients are absolutely delighted with their results and have zero regrets—even so, during the recovery period, many patients wonder if things will really turn out as they hope.
After having breast augmentation, it can be difficult to know what is a normal part of the healing process and what might indicate a potential problem. To help you out, we’ve outlined a few of the most common things that patients experience after breast augmentation. Just one caveat before you read on: talk to your doctor if you see or feel anything that concerns you—there’s no substitute for an in-person look at any concerns.
My chest feels really tight, and my boobs feel like they might explode
It takes time for muscle, breast tissue, and skin to adjust to your implants; until these tissues have healed sufficiently, you can expect to feel (possibly intense) tightness in the chest area, particularly if your implants are placed beneath the muscle. Normal postoperative swelling, which peaks about 3 to 5 days after surgery, will amplify feelings of chest pressure. Some women also report that their breasts feel engorged (tender, heavy and inflamed).
How long this lasts: Typically, the more intense discomfort from tightness dissipates over the first one to two weeks after surgery; however, you may experience mild feelings of stiffness and tightness in the chest muscles for a month or longer. The bulk of swelling should subside within about three weeks, although you can expect modest swelling to last about 3 months.
By the 3-month mark, your breasts will be pretty close to their final shape and appearance, although scars will continue to fade for several more months.
When to call your plastic surgeon: If swelling seems severe, especially one one side, or if feelings of engorgement are accompanied by fever and breasts are very warm to the touch, contact your doctor immediately; these are signs of bleeding and infection, respectively.
My boobs look like torpedos and my nipples are uneven
There is a reason that experienced surgeons prefer to include only breast augmentation “after” photos taken at least 3 months post-op in their patient galleries—it takes time for the breasts to “drop and fluff” or settle into their final position and for scars to fade. Initially, your new breasts will probably appear unnaturally high on the chest and may have a stark “torpedo” shape. During the first few weeks of recovery, one breast may seem bigger than the other, and one may appear to drop lower than the other. You may even wonder if your plastic surgeon made a mistake—chances are the answer is no, and your breasts just need more time to heal. These are all normal occurrences after breast augmentation.
How long this lasts: Again, your body needs time to adjust to your implants; post-op swelling can also contribute to asymmetry, as swelling might go down earlier in one breast than the other. Typically, the 3-month mark is when your breasts will be pretty close to their final shape and appearance, although scars will continue to fade for several more months.
When to call your plastic surgeon: If, after 3 months, one or both breasts still appear misshapen, you are experiencing significant asymmetry, or one breast seems unnaturally hard to the touch, consult with your plastic surgeon—these symptoms indicate a possible capsular contracture. If you are still dissatisfied with your breast augmentation results 6 to 12 months after your procedure, you may need to look into breast augmentation revision.
I’m feeling depressed about this whole thing
Ask a breast augmentation patient if she’s glad she did it, and you’ll most likely hear, “YES! But there were a few days in the beginning….” With so much emphasis on the physical aspects of breast augmentation, it’s easy to forget that recovery has an emotional side, too. It’s actually common for patients to go through a brief period of mild depression after any surgery, breast augmentation included.
Post-op “blues” pass after a few weeks, usually after you’ve returned to your normal routine and you’re noticing that your breasts look better every day.
Why? There are a number of possible causes, from anesthesia to pain medications to the disruption that surgery and recovery inevitably make in a patient’s routine. Add to this a 1 to 3 month period where your breasts may look and feel awkward before settling into a more natural position, and temporary feelings of doubt are understandable.
How long this lasts: The important thing here is to be patient; post-op blues almost always pass after a few weeks, when you’ve returned to your normal routine, post-op swelling and stiffness has subsided, and you’re noticing that your breasts look better every day.
When to see your plastic surgeon: If you are experiencing feelings of severe depression at any time, see a qualified professional. If you still feel unhappy about your breast augmentation many months after surgery, it’s time to visit your plastic surgeon. You may just need more time to heal, but there is a chance you’ll want to consider a revision procedure.
I’m having shooting pains in my nipples
As nerve endings heal after surgery, it’s totally normal to feel sharp but short-lived pangs in your breasts, particularly in the nipples. Other strange yet normal sensations and pains during the first few weeks may include chest muscle spasms and upper back pain (usually stemming from a change from your normal sleeping position or hunching your shoulders over to protect your sore chest).
How long this lasts: Intermittent chest muscle spasms after breast augmentation may last up to three or four weeks, until the pectoral muscle has fully adjusted to having an implant beneath it. Shooting nipple pains can last up to 6 months or longer, although you will notice these becoming less frequent and less intense as time goes on.
When to see your plastic surgeon: While mild discomfort is to be expected for the first two or three weeks, severe or persistent pain or discomfort that disrupts your ability to sleep or perform normal allowed activities needs attention: call your doctor.
I’m bloated, constipated and tired
Having surgery is a shock to the system, including the digestive system. Anesthesia and medication can cause nausea and vomiting in some patients, and you may lose your appetite for a few days. Pain medication, as well as a reduction in activity level, can lead to constipation. Bloating and fatigue are also normal after-effects.
How long this lasts: Typically, nausea lasts just a few days and constipation a week or so at most. You can alleviate digestive distress by staying hydrated, taking pain meds only as long as you need them to keep discomfort at a tolerable level, and taking medications with a meal. Also, while exercise is restricted, taking frequent, easy walks will aid in digestion and circulation and help lift your mood.
When to call your plastic surgeon: If symptoms are severe or persist longer than a few days, see your surgeon. The solution may be as simple as adjusting your diet, or your surgeon may recommend a medication to alleviate your discomfort. Do NOT take any diuretics or laxatives without your plastic surgeon’s approval.
Stay in touch with your plastic surgeon
Everyone heals differently, and you may experience all or none of these effects during recovery. If you’re concerned about anything, even if you think what you’re experiencing is probably normal, it’s best to check in with your plastic surgeon.
In the rare event that you’re unhappy with your breasts after augmentation, don’t live with a look you don’t love. Breast revision surgery with a skilled plastic surgeon can offer improvements.
A qualified plastic surgeon will have you return periodically throughout your recovery to assess your progress and answer questions that arise. Typically, you’ll visit several times in the first two weeks after surgery, and appointments are spaced further apart after your initial recovery period has passed.
In the rare event that you are unhappy with the way your breasts look after augmentation, don’t live with a look you don’t love. Book a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in breast revision surgery. Not all issues require a revision, but many do. A skilled plastic surgeon can make improvements, often using the same incision sites made during your initial procedure.