I am writing this blog on day 4 after my breast augmentation. I am still sore and it is very difficult to do anything that requires lifting.
I had my surgery done with Dr. [surgeon name], and he was very professional and friendly throughout the entire process. He answered all of my questions, and he made me feel at ease about the whole thing. He even called me the night before my surgery to see if I had any last-minute questions, or if I wanted to discuss anything else.
The first few days after surgery were really hard for me because I could barely move without pain shooting through my chest and shoulders. The worst part about it was that I couldn’t lift anything heavier than 2 pounds, which meant that no matter what task I had in front of me, whether it be a simple household chore or driving my kids around town, there was no way that I could do it without intense pain associated with it!
But now at almost 4 weeks post op, things have gotten much better! My breasts look great (even though they’re still a little swollen), and don’t hurt nearly as much as they did before! My husband says that they’re perfect too!
4 weeks post op breast augmentation still high
Women considering breast augmentation at our Nashville, TN practice are generally conscientious about leading a healthy lifestyle, and a consistent exercise routine is a big part of that. That’s why one of the most common questions I hear during a breast enhancement consultation is, “How soon can I get back to the gym after surgery?”
With that in mind, I’ve prepared a rough timeline about what type of physical activities patients can safely perform at various stages of the recovery process. Each patient recovers at her own pace, of course, and this timeline is not meant to be taken as exact instructions. It’s important for women to listen to their bodies throughout the healing process.
Overall, I counsel my patients to be conservative as they return to their fitness routines. It’s always safe to ease back into exercise. What’s much more dangerous is to think that you feel “fine” and push yourself to perform more strenuous exercises than what is advised. That’s the kind of thinking that can actually risk compromising the results of your procedure.
Here are some general milestones to keep in mind during the recovery process:
Days 1 to 4
Make sure to get plenty of rest, but still take short, easy walks throughout the day. Walking, even on the first day after the procedure is important because it improves your blood circulation and helps promote healing.
Days 5 to 10
Moderate stretching of the lower body and longer walks are fine. You can pick up the pace of your walks if you like, but don’t overdo it. Avoid stretching the upper body beyond what is comfortable. The primary concern at this stage is overusing the pectoral muscles.
Days 10 to 14
This is when you may want to head back to the gym for the first time, but any workouts should still focus on your lower body. You can break a sweat by cycling or using the stair climber, but avoid running or any other high-impact activities.
Some low-impact cardio workouts that don’t involve running can be added to the workout. Weight training should still be limited to the legs. Use machines or free weights without straining the upper body.
4 to 6 Weeks
This is when you may gradually resume upper body strength training and return to more strenuous cardio workouts, including running. Everything you try adding to your routine should be tried on its own, and you should proceed slowly. Also avoid lifting weights over the head until you’ve recovered a full range of motion with the arms.
As I noted above, you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to exercising after breast augmentation. Limiting yourself can be a difficult task for many athletic women who have established exercise routines, but in the long run, it’s the best way to safely regain any lost strength or stamina.
NIGHT AFTER SURGERY
Temporary bruising, swelling and numbness are common the first night after surgery. You may need to go to the bathroom frequently during the night because of the IV fluids you were given during your surgery. Drink a lot of fluids in order to keep up with this fluid loss. As your body begins to balance itself out, it will rid itself of this extra “water weight and everything will return back to normal. You should leave all of your bandages intact overnight including your Bra and elastic ACE wrap.
ONE DAY AFTER SURGERY
The next morning following your surgery, you will return to Dr Motykie’s office for your first post-operative visit. You should leave all bandages and dressings intact overnight and until you reach the office the following morning. Upon arrival to the office you will be escorted to a private examination room where your dressings will be changed and your operative sites will be evaluated. After your examination, you will be placed back into your surgical brassiere and ACE compression wrap and you will be allowed to return back to your home. All of your questions will be answered and you will be given instructions for the following week that will include the following:
You may feel tired and sore for several days following the surgery. Your breasts will be swollen and tender. The sensation/feeling in the areolas/nipples may also be diminished the immediate post-operative period and may take several months to return to normal. Specific instructions regarding exercise, bras, compression bandages/garments will also be provided. Strenuous activity, particularly utilizing the chest and arms, will be restricted for the first few weeks after surgery. You will most likely be able to return to work within a few days depending on your job. Patients may shower the next day after surgery with care taken to not soak the sticky tapes over the insertion site. Aerobic and impact cardio exercise should be avoided for one to two weeks post-operatively. Weight lifting should be avoided for 3-4 weeks post-operatively and chest exercise should not begin until 4-6 weeks post-operatively. The resumption of and amount of physical /athletic activity should be guided by the level of patient discomfort with “pain” being the ultimate guide.
ONE WEEK AFTER SURGERY
For the first week after surgery, you will wear an elastic ACE bandage and your surgical bra over gauze dressings. The results of your surgery will typically be obscured by swelling and bruising at one week after surgery. In fact, you may even notice during the first week or two after your surgery that your breast appear slightly “too large”. Do not be alarmed, this is completely normal and is due to swelling from the surgery. If the breasts were the perfect size immediately after surgery, they would most likely end up being too small after the swelling resolves. Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. Any discomfort you do feel can be relieved with your prescribed medications but most women say that a mastopexy surgery is almost “painless.” Some people can return to work after a few days and some after one week. Most patients can drive their vehicles within a few days after surgery, but plan on having someone drive you to your first few post-operative visits anyway. In regards to an exercise program, use common sense and use pain as your guide; if it hurts, simply don’t do it! The majority of patients are allowed to return to light, low impact cardiovascular exercise after the first week of recovery. You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades away as the swelling subsides over the several weeks or so.
During this time period, there may be some moderate pain, but it can typically be treated with your prescription pain medications. You may want to wear an athletic or support bra until the swelling has subsided (Bra information). Heavy lifting or straining should be avoided after surgery because this can cause the breasts to swell and increase pressure. You can typically return to work within a week and to full activity within a few weeks. Sensation in your nipples may be reduced temporarily, but should return to normal or become hypersensitive as your breasts heal.
ONE MONTH AFTER SURGERY
If you are still feeling a bit tired during this time don’t worry because it will take you a few weeks or months to feel completely like yourself again. Depending on the amount of physical exertion required to perform your expected duties, you should already be back into your normal rhythm at work. Exercise and workout routines may begin at this point in your recovery process with pain as your ultimate guide. Any activity that causes discomfort and/or pain needs to be avoided until further along in your recovery process. When you return to the activity, start at half speed and increase to your normal routine as long as you do not feel any pain during and/or the day after your workout. Although exercising will not adversely affect your end result, it may temporarily cause more swelling immediately after the exercise that will subside over the next few hours. The majority of my breast lift patients are back to their regular workout routine within 4-6 weeks after their surgery.
During this period, sensory changes of the nipples and breast are normal and only temporary. Typically, normal sensitivity will return slowly over time. Lastly, as sensation begins to return some patients experience a hypersentivity in the nipples and/or areolas. This is also completely normal and temporary, and is a sign that normal sensation is beginning to return to the breasts. Over the next several months many of the benefits of your breast lift surgery will begin to materialize and you will begin to enjoy the transformation you have received form your breast surgery.
- Surgical Bra: At this point in time you are no longer required to be wearing any surgical compression garment. However, many patients choose to continue some sort of light compression clothing during this time period including spanks or similar spandex type clothing.
- Healing Process: There are some procedures/ treatment modalities available that can support and/or may accelerate your healing process such as Endermologie, Ultrasound and/or Radiofrequency treatments. There are several scar therapies on the market and there are many different types of laser scar removal treatments that can be utilized at different times in the course of the overall healing process that were not available 5-10 years ago,
LONG TERM RESULTS
All patients vary in their ability and speed to recovery after surgery but most commonly you can expect the final result from surgery to be evident at six months after surgery. By this point in time, your breasts should be close to their final shape and size and it is therefore the proper time to begin shopping for additional bras and swimwear. If you become pregnant after the surgery, the operation should not affect your ability to breast-feed, since your milk ducts and nipples have been left intact. All breast lifting techniques require removal of excess skin which will create scars on the breast. However, most scars fade away to thin lines with time and they are strategically located in areas that are covered by bathing suites and clothing. Most patients find these scars to be very minimal in comparison to the improvement in the shape and size of their new breasts. In addition, there are now numerous way to treat breasts scarring during and after the healing process utilizing scar therapies and laser treatments if necessary.
Breast lift surgery corrects breast sagging using a combination of techniques that allows for the removal of excess breast skin, reshaping of the breast mound and repositioning of the nipple. A breast lift alone, however, may not provide sufficient upper breast mound fullness in patients that feel that their breasts have also “deflated” in addition to becoming droopy. In this case, a breast implant can be inserted to add volume and upper pole fullness at the same time as the breasts lift surgery. Some surgeons may recommend breaking this surgery into two separate surgeries which ends up being much more expensive, stressful on the body and time consuming for a patient that needs to schedule additional time off from work. Dr Motykie, however, prefers to do both surgeries at the same time because it allows the surgery to be more affordable for my patients as well as having them undergo one anesthesia, one recovery process and one time period off from work. Dr Motykie is very experienced in performing combined breast lift/augmentation procedures using both saline and silicone breast implants as well as being proficient in performing all the most current and effective breast lifting techniques. Lastly, since one of the most common reasons women seek breast lift surgery is a prior pregnancy/breast feeding that has led to deflated, droopy breasts, a breast lift surgery may be combined with other body contouring procedures such as liposuction and/or a tummy tuck which is commonly termed a “Mommy Makeover.”
4 weeks post breast augmentation what to expect
TYPICAL POST-OPERATIVE SYMPTOMS
Typical symptoms of breast surgery; and signs to watch for following breast augmentation surgery include the following:
Tightness in the chest region and stiffness; Tingling, burning or intermittent shooting pain:
These are normal experiences as the skin, tissues and sensory nerves heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. If you have drains, you may experience additional localized discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to our office immediately.
Hypersensitivity of nipples, or lack of sensitivity:
This is normal and will gradually resolve over time. You may also experience a small amount of fluid or milk seeping through the nipples. If this becomes painful or excessive, notify our office immediately.
A feeling of heaviness:
It is normal for your chest to feel heavy as you adjust to your implants. This will subside within 2-4 weeks following surgery.
Shiny skin or any itchy feeling:
Swelling can cause the breast’s skin to appear shiny. As the healing process advances, you may also find a mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact our office immediately.
Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently:
Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal; no two breasts are perfectly symmetrical in nature or following surgery.
A sloshing sound or sensation:
This is not the result of your implant, but rather of air that is trapped in the implant pocket and fluid that may naturally accumulate. This is perfectly normal and will resolve within 2-4 weeks.