Cosmetic Surgery Tips

3 months after breast augmentation

The first three months after breast augmentation are a critical time for the success of the procedure. During these months, it is important for you to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and closely. If you have any questions about what to expect during these three months, please feel free to contact our office. This guide will help you know what to expect during this time period.

What You Can Expect

The first few days after surgery can be painful and uncomfortable, so it’s important that you take it easy. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on how to take care of yourself at home during this period. He or she may recommend that you wear a surgical bra following surgery and limit your activity level for a few days after surgery. However, some patients are able to return to work within a week of having their procedure done.

It’s also important not to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds or engage in any strenuous physical activity until your surgeon gives permission otherwise. You should also avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects until advised by your doctor because this could cause bleeding around the implantation site or cause your implants themselves to shift slightly out of place which could result in additional pain or discomfort once healed up properly again! In addition

3 months after breast augmentation

What is and isn’t Normal to Experience After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation surgery continues to be an extremely popular procedure for many patients. For many, how their surgery turns out is extremely satisfactory and happy with how it’s turned out. During the recovery period, however, patients are still sceptical about how their results have turned out after breast augmentation surgery. 

Guidance is provided throughout your recovery stage and we ensure that your safety is a top priority by outlining the steps your recovery will take. However, if at some point in your recovery after breast augmentation you have any concerns, we’ve outlined some things that you should and shouldn’t expect to feel or see after your surgery.

Your chest feels quite tight

It’s natural to expect swelling after your surgery. This will be the time period when your breast tissue is beginning to heal and become familiar with the implants that have been inserted. Postoperative swelling can intensify particularly around the 3-5 day mark, potentially amplifying the feeling of pressure on your chest.

Typically, you’re likely to feel discomfort after breast augmentation surgery for the first couple of weeks but feelings of stiffness can occur for a month or so. The majority of the swelling will occur in the first 3 weeks or so after the breast augmentation surgery but moderate swelling is likely to remain for around 3 months.

If the swelling persists severely and your breasts feel very warm or have the feeling of engorgement, it’s important to contact your surgeon immediately as these are common signs of bleeding and infection.

Boobs appear unnatural and nipples are uneven

During the recovery process, it’s important that your breasts are given time to “drop and fluff”. This is a term used to describe the breasts gradually falling into place of their final position the scar begins to fade. This normally occurs around the 3 month mark. 

Initially, your breasts are likely to appear rather high on the chest and you’ll generally see some dissimilarities in how they look. This may also include one breast appearing slightly bigger than the other or one dropping lower than the other. Don’t fear that your surgeon made a mistake at this stage as it simply means your breasts need more time to heal. 

Give your breasts time to adjust to the new implants. Asymmetry may occur postoperatively as swelling continues to heal and one breast may recover quicker than the other. Around 3 months is when your breasts will start to take shape and show their final results. If after this time, your breasts still appear dissimilar, hard to touch and generally look unnatural, this would be a good indication to call your surgeon. Breast augmentation revision can be an option if you’re still not happy with the results after 6-12 months.

Shooting pains are being felt around out nipples

You’re likely to feel strange sensations and pain around your chest and nipple area as your muscles tissues continue to repair. Other common pains may appear in the chest and have back pain occur throughout the first few weeks. Generally, chest muscle spasms are expected to occur around the first three to four weeks after your recovery as the pectoral muscles continue to adjust to the implant. 

Whilst the pains may occur for around 6 months after breast augmentation surgery, these should gradually become less frequent. If the pain continues severely and excessively for a continuous period, disrupting your comfort and sleeping patterns, it’s important to notify your surgeon immediately.

You feel bloated or constipated

It’s natural to feel extremely anxious after your surgery, developing discomfort in the digestive system and nausea. The body can also react differently to medication and the anesthesia used to numb your pain feeling. Pain feeling tends to come from lack of physical activity for the first few days of recovery, causing fatigue and bloating.

This feeling of constipation should only last for a few days after the initial shock that the body received from the operation. Regular hydration and taking reasonable precautions with your medication can help to alleviate this feeling. Any limited exercise available can also help with digestive problems, such as short walks.

If the pain persists longer than normally expected, it would be advisable to contact your surgeon about the problems you’re facing. There can be solutions available, even as little as adjusting your diet. These can be further discussed during your visit.

Be sure to stay in touch with your surgeon

Each individual patient heals differently after breast augmentation surgery, so you may not even experience these points. Whilst the majority of patients are happy with their results and heal as expected after surgery with us, there can be times when complications arise. Therefore, if you’re having some problems after your recovery be sure to contact us so we can discuss these issues and support you along the way.

Small or large, round or narrow, side set, teardrop or asymmetrical, breasts come in any number of shapes and sizes. But for those who aren’t happy with the breasts they were naturally dealt, breast augmentation has long offered an opportunity to change them.

As one of the most consistently popular cosmetic procedures of recent decades, breast augmentation has come a long way since the experimental surgeries of the early 20th century and since the advent of breast implants in 1961. The operation is among the most recognizable examples of plastic surgery and has come to play a pivotal role in shaping the cultural understanding of the space for many years. Yet, even as roughly 200,000 Americans underwent breast augmentation in 2020 alone, confusion persists around its recovery process, and many patients remain unsure of what to expect after the procedure.

How long does recovery take following breast augmentation?

While recovery time can greatly differ depending on the specifics of your procedure, your health, and after-care, there is a general timeline that often rings true for breast augmentation.

“Depending on the technique used, recovery can be three weeks (with subglandular augmentation, my preference) or three months (with submuscular technique, which is much more painful and involves cutting your pectoralis major muscles and stretching them over an implant),” explains Karen Horton, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Francisco and ASPS member.

Is there anything you should avoid before surgery to minimize recovery time?

Contrary to popular belief, recovery actually starts before you even have your breast augmentation. Although patients aren’t at all limited in their physical activity in the days and weeks leading up to the surgery, there are certain medications and supplements that should be avoided.

“The main offenders for increasing bleeding and bruising with surgery are anti-inflammatories,” Dr. Horton says, referring to aspirin, ibuprofen, and the like. There are also a number of vitamins and supplements, like vitamin E, fish oil, ginkgo biloba, and garlic, that you should avoid for two weeks before (and after) surgery. “In concentrated forms, they can increase bleeding in some studies.”

What is the first week of recovery like?

As with any surgery, breast augmentation carries different points of recovery in the days, weeks, and months that follow. Immediately following the operation, rest and icing will be top priority.

“Ice is your best friend in terms of keeping swelling down and helping to control the pain, and that’s the process I do with my patients now,” says Anureet Bajaj, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and an ASPS member.

Drains can significantly speed up recovery time, as they remove wound fluid rather than forcing the body to absorb it, but in most breast augmentation surgeries, they are not needed.

And although it’s natural to think of bedrest as necessary in the first few days following surgery, Dr. Bajaj says this is not actually the best course of action after breast augmentation.

“I think the conception of being bed-ridden or on bed rest can be misleading because you really want to be up and about and walking,” she notes. “It makes you feel better because it keeps the blood moving. The more sedentary and stiffer you are, the more you almost freeze up, and the more painful it is.”

It may sound ambitious, but according to Dr. Bajaj, it should only take between three to five days to get past this first stage of recovery.

“Typically, with breast augmentation, most people should be able to glide within three to five days. And if you have a desk job, you should be able to go back to work within three to five days,” she says. “So, if things are done appropriately, it’s very reasonable to be able to do that.”

To be on the safe side, though, it may be wise to plan for up to a week.

“I recommend one week off of work for subglandular augmentation and longer if the muscles were operated on (i.e. revision surgery) or if the patient has a physically demanding job (firefighter, police officer, nurse, surgeon),” Dr. Horton advises.

How much pain can you expect?

The pain experienced after breast augmentation is subjective and will depend on a variety of factors, but it can be helpful to have a rough idea of what to expect.

“From what I remember, the pain and discomfort wasn’t like a sharp pain,” Dr. Bajaj recalls of her own breast augmentation. “I remember feeling like I had done 150 pushups and that my chest was just really sore. To me, it felt like muscle soreness after the biggest workout of your life, and that’s how I describe it to my patients.” She warns her patients that they will feel especially sore the morning after the operation and that when they first wake up, they aren’t going to want to move.

Many women who’ve undergone breast augmentation also report feeling some muscle soreness whenever they move or raise their arms in the days after surgery. “Your pectoralis is connected to your humorous, so any time you move your arm, you may feel some soreness in your chest,” says Dr. Bajaj. You also may experience a burning sensation around incisions in the immediate aftermath, but this should subside fairly quickly.

When can you return to normal activity?

It takes only about a week to heal enough from surgery to return to work (if an office job) and most activity, but there are certain things, namely exercise, that require waiting a bit longer.

“I usually tell patients they can start working out at about three weeks post-op, and that means legs and arms but no chest,” Dr. Bajaj explains. “I remember the first time I went running again, it was about two weeks after surgery, and I felt like my breasts were going to fall off my chest. So, I tell my patients that when they first start doing any type of cardio that’s really bouncy, that’s what it will feel like, and they might want to wear two bras.”

“I put my patients in a surgical bra that they wear for two weeks, and then after that, I tell them to wear any sports bra or bra without an underwire,” says Dr. Bajaj. “I don’t let them wear an underwire bra for about two to three months until the implants have settled.”

Generally speaking, it’s best to listen to your body and see what feels right. “There are no long-term restrictions after surgery – or at least there shouldn’t be,” Dr. Horton adds. “Some surgeons do recommend stopping using your pec muscles if implants are under the muscle, but really, how on earth do you do that?”

What kind of scarring can you expect?

Any surgery comes with a scar or two, and breast augmentation is no exception. But thanks to modern advances in technique and technology, they can be extremely minimal.

“They’re usually a fine line initially, and they’ll go through an inflammatory stage where they’re fine red lines, then they’ll fade,” Dr. Bajaj explains. “But most scars will fade by a year, and if they’re underneath the breast, it takes a lot of effort to try to see them. Most of my patients don’t even mention it.”

Will you need to have implants replaced in the future?

If your breast augmentation includes implants, you may be wondering if you’re signing up for a lifetime of surgery to replace them. But in simple terms, this isn’t necessarily the case.

“No implants are going to last forever, and when an implant needs to be replaced depends on the wear and tear of that implant, and the risk of rupture is related to how old it is,” Dr. Bajaj says.

“You don’t need to replace an implant unless there’s a problem with it. If it’s saline, you’ll know it’s ruptured because it will be deflated, and if it’s silicone, you’ll know it’s ruptured if you get an ultrasound or mammogram,” the Oklahoma-based surgeon explains. “The other reason people get implants replaced or removed is if they want to change size, if they want to change from saline to silicone or vice versa, or if they’ve gained weight or lost weight and need to do something else to make things look good.”

sharp pain 3 months after breast augmentation

Breast augmentation pain and swelling: what’s normal and how to reduce it

Experiencing pain and swollen breasts after augmentation surgery is normal. Swelling is the body’s way of helping to heal tissue damage and protect the area.

On this page you’ll find out more about:

  • Breast augmentation and swelling
  • Breast augmentation and pain

Swelling after breast augmentation: what’s normal

How much swelling is normal after breast augmentation?

Your breasts will feel tight after surgery and swelling will peak around three to four days later. However, you may experience some swelling for up to three months after surgery and it can take up to six months for the implants to fully settle in place.

You can expect to have more swelling if:

  • you’ve had implants under your chest muscle, as this involves making an incision in the chest muscle, as well as the breast tissue and skin, so there’s more tissue that needs to heal
  • you have large implants—this could mean the breast and muscle tissue has been stretched
  • you smoke—smoking can slow down the healing process
  • you have certain pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes

You can find out more about how to reduce the risks of surgery here.

What Should You Wear After a Breast Augmentation? | Dr. Adams Plastic  Surgery

How long does swelling last after breast augmentation surgery?

Most patients find that any swelling will have gone down by about three weeks after surgery. However, it’s normal to experience some swelling for up to three months. You can find out more about what to expect in recovery here.

Is it normal to have uneven swelling after breast augmentation surgery?

Some people experience uneven swelling in the chest after augmentation surgery and this is completely normal as it’s most likely due to the breasts healing at different rates. This will usually resolve itself within a few weeks.

However, uneven swelling could be a sign of something more serious, such as blood or fluid gathering at the wound in one of the breasts. If you’re concerned or experience significantly more pain or swelling in one side of the chest than the other, speak to your surgeon as soon as possible.

How can I reduce abdominal swelling after breast augmentation surgery?

After your operation, gravity can make the swelling in your breast tissue move down to the abdomen.

You can help reduce swelling in your abdomen by:

  • drinking plenty of water
  • walking around as soon as you feel able to do so
  • stopping or switching pain medication if your bloating is severe—narcotic painkillers can cause constipation, and it’s important you speak to your surgeon before making any changes to your pain medication
  • speaking to your surgeon about taking stool softeners if constipation is causing your stomach to bloat

Abdominal swelling is completely normal and should resolve itself within a few days. However, it’s also normal to experience bloating for a little longer as the effects of medication and lack of movement can slow digestion and cause constipation.

How can I make swelling go down after surgery?

  • Wear a supportive surgical bra as this gently compresses the breasts to reduce swelling
  • Speak to your surgeon about taking arnica supplements as this herb can be applied to the skin to treat swelling and bruising.
  • Being too active can actually aggravate the healing process, so only do gentle exercise for the first few weeks after your operation
  • If the top of your breasts still seems swollen around three months after surgery, this could be the implants themselves. It can take six months or more for implants to fully settle in place.

Find out more about how to care for your breasts after surgery with our aftercare FAQs.

Breast augmentation and pain: what’s normal

Your chest will feel tight and sore after your breast augmentation. Your ribs may also feel sore below your breasts.

Your surgeon will help you manage the initial pain after your operation either by:

  • injecting local anaesthetic into the affected area
  • administering local anaesthetic via a pain pump—this slowly and continuously delivers pain medication to where the incision was made in your breasts

Your surgeon may also prescribe muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as narcotic pain medication.

After two to three days it’s likely you’ll be able to scale down your pain medication to over-the-counter painkillers, which you can take as and when required.

As well as the initial pain from surgery, it’s also common to feel the following in your breasts or nipples:

  • Shooting pains
  • Tingling pains
  • Burning sensations
  • Numbness
4 months Post Breast Surgery - Summit Plastic Surgery Med And Spa

These sensations can last for six to 12 months after surgery. If you’re concerned about the type or amount of pain you’re experiencing at any point, speak to your surgeon.

Below is an overview of some of the types of pain you may experience and where and how soon after your operation you might feel it. You may experience this pain in either breast or both breasts.

Type of painWhere you might feel the painWhen you might feel the painPossible cause of the pain
SorenessAll over the breasts and chestIn the first 1–3 days after surgeryYour body recovering from surgery
Shooting painIn the nipplesWhere the incision was madeAll over the breastsIn the first 1–6 weeksMay last for the first 6 months or longerNerve pain caused by the nerves healing after being stretched
Stabbing painIn the nipplesWhere the incision was madeAll over the breastsIn the first 1–6 weeksMay last for the first 6 months or longerNerve pain caused by the nerves healing after being stretched
Aching painIn the back or shouldersIn the first 1–2 weeksHunching over to support your new breasts
Itching or burning sensationIn the nipplesWhere the incision was madeAll over the breastsIn the first 3–4 weeksMay last for the first 6 months or longerNerve pain caused by the nerves healing after being stretched
Tingling sensationFrom the side of the breasts to the nipplesIn the first 1–6 weeksMay last for the first 6 months or longerNerve pain caused by the nerves healing after being stretchedAir in the pocket where the implant was inserted

Not everyone will experience the above pain. If you have any concerns about the type or strength of the pain, or where you’re feeling it, contact your surgeon.

How long does the pain last after breast augmentation?

It’s normal to feel some pain in the first one to two weeks after having breast augmentation surgery. The pain will be most severe in the first few days and should gradually subside.

After six weeks, any pain or unusual sensations should have gone, although it’s fairly common for patients to experience shooting pains up to six months or more after surgery.

Some people also experience nerve pain, which can cause tingling, shooting pains, numbness or itching, particularly where the incision was made.

It can take over a year (or longer) for these sensations to disappear. This is because the nerves are often stretched during and after surgery and can take a long time to return to normal.

Is it normal to have back pain after breast augmentation?

Yes, you may experience pain in other areas of the body, such as the back and shoulders. Back and shoulder pain is most likely because you’ll naturally want to hunch over to support and protect your chest if it’s feeling tender. You should find this pain lessens as your body heals and adapts to your new breasts.

Is it normal to have a sharp pain where the incision was made?

Yes, it’s normal to have pain where the incision was made in one or both breasts, especially in the first few days after surgery. If the pain can’t be controlled with prescribed pain medication or you feel overwhelmed by it, speak to you surgeon immediately.

Is it normal to experience burning pain after a breast augmentation?

Yes, many people experience a burning sensation after having breast augmentation surgery. This happens because the nerves in the breast are stretched during surgery, and after surgery when the breasts are swollen.

The breasts are full of nerve endings so it’s extremely likely that the surgery will affect some of them. The burning sensation occurs when the nerves are regenerating and reconnecting with the area of the breast to which they normally supply feeling.

It can take up to six months or more for these shooting pains to resolve themselves.

How painful is breast augmentation under-the-muscle?

Having implants under the muscle tends to be more painful than over the muscles as your surgeon will need to make an incision in the muscle, as well as the breast tissue, to create the ‘pocket’ that your breast implant will fit inside.

You can expect to feel the most pain in the first one to three days after surgery. Your breasts and chest are likely to feel sore but you may also feel some stabbing or shooting pains. Your surgeon will prescribe you with pain medication to manage this.

You’re likely to experience less intense pain after under-the-muscle breast augmentation if you do the following:

  • Choose an experienced and highly qualified surgeon
  • Choose implants that are the right size for your frame
  • Follow your surgeon’s instructions for how to control the pain with medication

What if I find the pain unbearable?

Your surgeon will help you manage your pain so that you’re comfortable after surgery.

However, severe pain could be a sign of infection.

If you experience any of the following, contact your surgeon immediately:

  • The pain is severe and medication has no effect
  • Your breasts feel engorged or hot to the touch
  • You have a fever

If you’ve recently had breast augmentation surgery and have concerns about how much pain you’re feeling or the amount of swelling in your breasts, speak to your surgeon.

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