Cosmetic Surgery Tips

2 weeks post op breast augmentation pain

I’m writing this post to let everyone know that I’m doing great and am on the road to recovery!

I had breast augmentation surgery 2 weeks ago, and I am feeling so much better than I did before. The first week was really hard, but I think that was mostly because I didn’t know what to expect or how much pain I would be in.

My doctor explained that the first 2 weeks are usually when you’re at your most sore and uncomfortable. But after 2 weeks, your body starts to heal and you start feeling a lot better. For me, this started happening around week 3 or 4—and now it’s just been smooth sailing from there!

I tried taking ibuprofen for the first few days after surgery, but once the pain started subsiding I decided not to take any more medication. Instead, I chose to focus on getting plenty of rest (sobering up helped me sleep through most nights) and eating lots of healthy food (which helped me feel more energized).

2 weeks post op breast augmentation pain

With all the research and planning leading to your decision to get “new breasts,” you may not have thought about what comes after breast augmentation surgery – other than your fabulous new breasts (and possibly a new wardrobe).

But surgery, no matter how safe or simple, requires recovery. So what should you expect in the days and weeks following your breast augmentation surgery?

After Breast Augmentation: The First Day

Breast augmentation surgery is an outpatient surgery, most frequently performed under general anesthesia. The surgery typically lasts between one and two hours. After surgery, you will spend another one to two hours in recovery to insure you are comfortable, any nausea is under control, and you are adequately awake and alert before you are discharged. You won’t be allowed to drive so be sure you’ve arranged for someone to take you home.

Your incisions will be covered by a small amount of gauze, and a post-operative bra will have been put on you after surgery. Dr. Slack will provide instructions on how to care for your incisions that day and in the coming weeks. Follow these instructions precisely for the best healing and minimal scarring. Most patients will be given a prescription for narcotic pain medications to get you through the first few days.

Your task this first day is simply to rest. It may seem like surgery was “done to you,” but the minute an incision was made for your breast augmentation, your body became an active participant. It immediately got to work to help you heal from the process. So rest and let it do its thing.

After Breast Augmentation: The First Week

Again, your body is hard at work healing your surgical incisions. You should use this week to rest and eat well so your body can recover. Plan on taking at least a few days off from work to relax at home. Avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting. If you educate yourself on what to expect after surgery and prepare a little ahead of time, you won’t be caught off guard or be tempted to overdo it.

During breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon makes incisions in skin and muscle. This will cause discomfort, especially in the first few days. You may find that certain movements, particularly pushing and pulling with your arms, make the pain worse. You will be given an adequate supply of pain medication for the first three to five days. Don’t be afraid to use this medication as your surgeon has prescribed it to stay ahead of your pain rather than letting it build up. During this first week let your body heal by using your pain medication and avoiding lifting, pushing, or pulling.

In addition, your breasts will look swollen and feel tight. This typically worsens over the first 2-3 days, stabilizes and then starts to go down between the 1st and 2nd week after surgery. Most of the swelling will be gone by 2 months. You may also feel a squishing sensation or hear a squeaking sound coming from your breasts during that first week. This is completely normal. It’s due to a small amount of fluid around the implant that is typically absorbed by the body during the first week.

Once you start feeling less discomfort, your doctor will likely have you switch to an over-the-counter pain medication like Motrin.

After Breast Augmentation: The First Month

Toward the end of that first week, you should start to feel more like yourself again. Your surgeon will probably clear you to drive and get back to work soon

However, if your job is physical or requires much lifting, you may need a longer period of time before returning to your full workload. You may be tempted to push this, but remember that it is better to be cautious so you can avoid complications and your body can heal beautifully.

During this time, don’t use any bra with underwire. Use the soft undergarments recommended by your surgeon. You don’t want to do anything that will interfere with healing. Tight, ill-fitting, and underwire bras can do just that.

Toward the end of the month, your surgeon will let you know when it is okay to begin low impact exercise. You should be able to build up to your normal routine slowly in the weeks that follow.

After Breast Augmentation: The First Year

By the end of the first month, the swelling becomes less noticeable and the incisions should be healed. However, a small amount of swelling will remain for several months. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hold off on spending a lot of money on new bras or swimsuits until 2 months after surgery. Bras can be expensive and you don’t want to invest in something that won’t fit the same way in a matter of months.

In addition, scars will continue to change throughout the next year and a half. In fact, you may find that your scars look worse before they look better. Know that it can take 12 to 18 months for scars to take on their final appearance. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s regimen for caring for your incisions and scars to minimize their appearance and get the best results.

It’s also important to note that it may take a good part of this first year before your new breasts feel like your breasts. At first they may feel unfamiliar and foreign, but over the coming months they will gradually become part of your body image.

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.

Breast Augmentation - From surgery to 5 months on | Leanne Lim-Walker

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.

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