Welcome to the Breast Augmentation Healing Phases blog! This is a great resource for information about your recovery process after breast augmentation surgery.
The first few days after surgery will be very difficult, but you’ll want to make sure that you follow all doctor’s orders and don’t push yourself too hard.
You may experience some pain, swelling, bruising and/or numbness in the area around where your incision was made. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help with this discomfort. You’ll also receive instructions on how to care for yourself during this time.
In addition to these instructions, there are also things that you can do at home that can help speed up your healing process and reduce the amount of time it takes for your incision site(s) to heal properly.
Breast augmentation healing phases
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.
- One of the most common questions we get from patients is how long will it take for breast implants to fall into place after surgery. Breast implants generally take 6 weeks to 3 months to adjust and look natural. Like many other things in life, they’re well worth the wait. The length of the adjustment period depends on a few different factors such as your age and how much swelling you experience. Why Do Breast Implants Need Time to Settle? Surgically implanting anything into your body requires your body to adapt. Breast implants are foreign to your body, so your body will need some time to acclimate to your new breasts. Displaced tissues and swelling are common in many breast augmentation surgeries. The swelling can even make your enhanced breasts appear to be unnaturally far apart for a short time post-surgery. Or, your breasts may appear tight and stiff. The swelling may also cause them to feel lumpy on top but flat on the sides. Over time, your muscles loosen and your tissues learn to work around the implants. This is called the “drop and fluff.” When this happens, you’ll begin to see the perky, well-formed breasts you were expecting. What is Drop and Fluff? The term “drop and fluff” is the process of your implants settling into a more natural position. The “drop” happens when the swelling subsides and gravity causes your breasts to drop. At first, your breasts may have appeared out of place, but rest assured that with time they will drop into place. When the breasts drop, the tissues tighten around the implants and the skin adjusts to compensate. “Fluff” is a strange term to use in relation to your breasts as it sounds like something you would do to a pillow. While you might want to “fluff” your enhanced breasts after the surgery to make them look more natural, it won’t do any good. The “fluff” is a natural occurrence where the internal tissues accept the implants, and the breasts naturally round on the sides. The whole process will take some time, so please be patient. Once the “drop and fluff” happens, your breasts will look and feel how you desired. Our team at Perimeter Plastic Surgery will provide you with all the aftercare and other important information you need to know about post-op recovery. Does My Age Affect the Adjustment Period? Yes, it can. With breast augmentation, the internal breast tissues have to adjust but the skin also has to stretch to accommodate your new implants. Each body is different and how fast your body responds to the implants affects how long it will take for them to reach your desired end result. The younger you are, the tighter your skin. Women who haven’t given birth or breastfed also have tighter skin in the breast area. The tighter the skin, the longer it will take your body to adjust to the implants. If you are older, you can typically expect a faster adjustment period. Our skin loosens as we age, so breasts will drop more rapidly if your skin has more give in it. Also, the larger you go with your implants, the longer your healing process will take. Smaller implants require less adjustment. Likewise, textured implants take longer to drop and fluff. This is because your breast tissues are smooth, so a textured implant is even more foreign to them so your body will need more time to adapt. How to Ensure Your Breast Augmentation Results When you undergo a cosmetic procedure, the best thing you can do is follow all your post-op instructions. The last thing you want to do is negatively impact your final results after you’ve invested time and money in your breast enhancement surgery. You should always follow your surgeon’s recovery plan, but here are few extra tips on how to ensure you get the final look, shape, and feel you want.
- Wear Your Support Bra as Instructed
Your surgeon should provide you with a special, post-surgery bra that will support your breasts as they heal. Don’t skip out on wearing it. Many patients fear it will be uncomfortable, but these bras were designed for comfort and to aid the recovery process. Your specialized bra will minimize your discomfort and protect you as your body heals and adapts to the new breast implants. Wearing the bra is also is vital to proper alignment. A supportive surgical bra puts your breasts in the right position for the drop and fluff.
Surgical bras are designed with a front opening, so they won’t pull on your breasts when you move. For at least two weeks, you should wear your bra day and night. Your surgeon will let you know when you can switch to daytime-only wear.
Once you get the all-clear to ditch your support bra, you should continue to wear a bra. When you exercise, wear a sports bra and then a regular bra any other time you are awake. If you don’t wear a bra, your breast implants can start to droop. Many people mistakenly assume that breast implants can’t sag, but that’s not the case.
- Use Scar Tape & Scar Gel to Reduce Scarring
Post-surgery, you’ll be sent home with silicone sheets over your incision sites. These silicone sheets reduce your chance of developing keloid scarring and keep bacteria from entering the incisions. To minimize any scarring, use medical-grade scar gel for a minimum of two to three months post-surgery. Scar gel will soften and diminish your scars.
- Take It Easy & Don’t Strain Yourself
Avoid lifting heavy objects or doing any strenuous activities for three to four weeks after your breast implant surgery. Arrange to have help, so that you can reduce your movement. Don’t bend, stretch, or lift anything even moderately heavy if you can help it. As a rule of thumb, don’t pick up anything heavier than a gallon jug of milk. If you move too much or pick up something too hefty, you increase your risk of capsular contracture. Breast implants require patience and commitment and the recovery process will affect your typical daily life. But with time, you’ll be able to do all the exercises and things you did before surgery.
Even if your swelling quickly subsides and you feel great, that first-month post-surgery is not the time for major projects. Plan to have help around the house or with small children, so you don’t have to risk your results. In the scheme of things, a month of restricted activity is nothing to achieve the breasts you’ve imagined.
Also, avoid any special occasions where formal, tight-fitting clothing is required. Wear loose-fitting tops that button in front. Front buttons let you put on your shirt without lifting your arms above your head. Clothing that’s too tight puts added stress on your breast implants and the healing tissues.
- Massage Your Breasts
If your surgeon recommends them, give yourself gentle breast massages. A massage boosts circulation and helps your breast implants settle into a natural position. Your medical team will give you instructions on how to massage your breasts. Stick to these instructions as a heavy massage can impede your healing process. However, remember that if you’ve had a breast lift plus augmentation, you shouldn’t massage your breasts.
- Eat Well, Rest, & Drink Plenty of Water
How you treat your body post-surgery will affect how well it heals and how fast. Stay away from junk food and alcohol while you recuperate and avoid smoking. Leading up to surgery, eat plenty of healthy food like fruits and vegetables. Post-surgery, continue to eat well. Have your post-surgery food stocked in your fridge and pantry plus easy, quick meals planned.
No one likes to wait, but breast implants don’t give you the look you want overnight. Your body has to heal and adjust. All good things take time, so remember to follow all of your instructions and take care of yourself. If you eat well, avoid anything strenuous, and wear your supportive surgical bra, you can expect amazing results from your breast implantation surgery. Get Started with Your Breast Augmentation Journey If you’re ready to enhance your breasts with cosmetic surgery, the team at Perimeter Plastic Surgery is here to educate and assist you. At your consultation, we will discuss your desired results in detail and show you exactly what you’ll look like post-surgery. Based on your age, build, and lifestyle, we can help you pick the perfect augmentation for your needs. If you need reconstruction instead of augmentation we do that too. We are the top-tier, premier plastic surgery practice in the Atlanta area. We’re fully committed to helping our patients feel more confident and beautiful. Consider us your guide on this new adventure. Schedule your consultation today, and see why we are the most highly rated surgery practice in the Atlanta area.
- Wear Your Support Bra as Instructed