In 2019, more than 1.7 million breast augmentations were performed worldwide, making them the most sought after and commonly performed cosmetic procedures. The term breast augmentation is broad, and these procedures are performed for a wide variety of reasons.
The most common reasons people opt for breast augmentation include:
- Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy
- Repair breast size and shape postpartum or after breastfeeding
- To balance uneven breast sizes
- To boost confidence and self-esteem
- As part of a transgender person’s surgical transition
No matter what your reason for choosing breast augmentation, the recovery process will generally be the same. As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important take the time recover fully to achieve the desired results of your surgery without any complications or prolonging your recovery process
Here is what you can expect during the postoperative stage of breast augmentation.
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What Can I Expect After Breast Augmentation Surgery?
Full recovery from breast augmentation surgery will vary for everyone. However, you can expect full recovery to take about 6-8 weeks with the final results achieved 3 to 6 months after your procedure. No one recovery timeline is set in stone, and it is important that you follow your doctor’s recommendations and consult with them throughout your recovery process.
You should expect your breast augmentation recovery to look like this.
Immediately Following Your Surgery
During your breast augmentation surgery, you will be under anesthesia. When you wake up, your breast augmentation will be complete, and you will be in a recovery room monitored by a medical team.
Everyone reacts to anesthesia differently, but the most common side effects upon waking up are grogginess, disorientation, and feeling “hungover.” You will also notice upon waking that you are sore.
After a few hours, you will be discharged into the care of your person of choice. You will be required to have someone there to drive you home and stay with you the first night post op.
After your surgeon wraps your breasts and gives you instructions for caring for your incisions, you will be able to go home.
1-5 Days After Surgery
The initial 72 hours following your breast augmentation will be the most uncomfortable and painful. If your doctor prescribed you pain medication, be sure to take is as instructed. Over the counter pain medications may also be recommended to you by your surgeon.
You can expect to have minor bleeding from your incision sites and mild to moderate bruising. You may even notice swelling on your breastbone. Your breasts will feel very tight and firm, and you will notice that your implants will sit high and appear to be compressed.
1-3 Weeks After Surgery
After the first week, your pain should be at a minimum. You can expect to still have swelling, some soreness, and minor bruising, but most people are able to start a gradual return to their regular routine 7 to 14 days after their breast augmentation.
Your doctor will begin to clear you for mild to moderate activities, but you should still avoid strenuous physical activity or lifting your arms above your head. If your job is physically demanding, you should plan to remain out of work until the 3-week mark. It is very important that you remain sleeping only on your back at this point in your recovery.
4-6 Weeks After Surgery
During this time, you will be approaching full recovery and your surgeon will clear you to resume all your regular activity. Your breasts will begin to look and feel more natural as the swelling and bruising should be gone.
This is also the time when you will visit your surgeon for a full evaluation of your breast implants. You may also notice that the scaring from your incisions is starting to fade.
What Should I Avoid After My Breast Augmentation?
Your surgeon will provide you with extensive and explicit instructions on what to avoid following your procedure. It is important to your health and recovery that you adhere to your doctor’s guidelines.
The most common things to avoid immediately following your breast augmentation surgery are:
- Water: You will need to refrain from washing your breasts or showering for the first few days after your procedure. You will also need to avoid tubs, pools, Jacuzzis, or other water activities until your incisions and drain sites are fully healed. This can take up to 6 weeks.
- Side or Stomach Sleeping: Not only will sleeping in these positions be painful but sleeping on your side or stomach will prolong your healing process and can alter the results of your surgery. Your doctor may clear you for these sleeping positions after 4-6 weeks.
- Aspirin: Aspirin is a blood thinner as well as a pain reliever. You should avoid taking aspirin following your surgery. Blood thinners put you at risk for a hematoma, where blood is accumulates in the tissues manipulated during your surgery.
- Tobacco and Alcohol: Both these substances negatively impact your body’s ability to heal from any surgery or procedure, including breast augmentation.
- Underwire Bras: You will be required to wear sports bras or medical bras for up to 12 weeks after surgery. Underwire bras will be painful, as well as impact the healing and shape of your new breasts.
- Lifting, Pulling, Pushing Heavy Objects: This means anything over 5-10lbs (2.3-5.4kgs) and includes your children, groceries, laundry baskets, and many other common things you may not consider to be heavy. You can resume these activities 6 weeks after your surgery.
What is Flash Recovery Breast Augmentation?
“Flash Recovery” breast augmentation is also known as “24-hour” breast augmentation or “Rapid Recovery” breast augmentation. This recovery method is becoming the gold-standard of modern surgical practice for breast augmentations. This innovative and groundbreaking technique was popularized by Texas plastic surgeon Dr. John Tebbets who is regarded as a pioneer in the field.
This cutting-edge approach to the world’s most popular cosmetic surgery is a technique that allows patients to return to their regular activities in as little as 24 hours and allows for the unrestricted movement of their arms immediately following their procedure. This technique also results in minimal to no bruising, swelling, bleeding, or stiffness.
The focus of this procedure is to reduce the amount of trauma to the body by utilizing a completely unique approach to breast augmentation surgery. You will need to find a surgeon that is trained in this surgical approach to offer you a consultation. While most people are good candidates for Flash Recovery breast augmentation, it is not necessarily the right option for everyone.
Some of the benefits of Rapid Recovery breast augmentation include:
- Virtually Pain-Free
- Recovery in as little as 2 days
- No difference in price
- Less risk of complications
- A return to all normal activities in less than a week
- Less side effects
- Less trauma to the body
Remember That All Recovery Takes Time
While you recover from your breast augmentation, it is important that you are kind to yourself and your body. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Eating nutrient rich food will assist your body in the recovery process and help you to regain your strength in the week following your procedure.
Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully and call them if you have any pain, bleeding, or swelling that is concerning to you. The more you adhere to your post-operative plan, the sooner you will be able to enjoy your new breasts!
How Can Beautifi Help?
The Beautifi team is always here to help when choosing a surgeon or financially planning for a cosmetic procedure. Learn how our process works or fill out an application to start your procedure journey!