Breast Implant Augmentation Surgery Recovery Stages - Shens Clinic
3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

Breast Augmentation Recovery Stages: Full Guide

Breast Augmentation Recovery Stages: Full Guide

So, you want to undergo breast lift surgery, but you are concerned about what happens after that. Patients always talk about the magnificent results they are getting from the procedure. Yet, little is known about the separate breast augmentation recovery stages that women go through. Will it hurt? How much pain is it normal to experience? How long before I can go back to my pre-surgery self? These are probably some of the questions that have crossed your mind so far.

Not having the right kind of data at hand feels like taking a leap in the dark. And when it’s your health on the line, you can’t take any risks. Of course, patients should have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon and layout the topics of concern in front of them. You should do so too. This is the best way to get fact-checked heads-up of what to expect. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other sources of information to dive in.

Check out the following article about the healing stages after breast augmentation surgery with implants and get familiarised with the recovery process women experience or what you can expect following a breast lift procedure. We will break it down into smaller chunks, so you get the gist of it.

Quick Tips to Survive the First Few Days of Full Recovery

  • Patients are advised to sleep on their backs for the time being. It is best they use two pillows so that the head is slightly more elevated than normal. This will reduce the swelling after breast augmentation surgery.
  • On the topic of swelling (and bruising), it will reach its peak on the second day and may go on for weeks.
  • Try not to shower the first 48 hours. If you do, shower from the waist down and make sure not to wet the incisions. Avoid hot tubs, pools, etc., for the next two weeks.
  • Stay away from arduous activities that might raise your blood pressure.
  • Do not raise your arms above your head and do not bend over. This may ruin the shape of the breasts and even damage the implant.
  • Do not lift heavy objects after your breast surgery. Anything above 5 pounds is a no-no. Same reasons as above apply.
  • Your surgeon and his/her team will teach you how to do scar massage, which will reduce the likelihood of a visible scar after the surgery.
  • Change your bandage on the daily to keep the wounds fresh and clean. Follow your doctor’s recommendations.
  • Follow all aftercare tips provided by the specialists. Write down every step, so you don’t miss an important part of the recovery process.
  • Watch out for any allergic reactions and rashes. If anything like that befalls you after the breast augmentation surgery, reach your doctor forthwith.
  • The anaesthesia, antibiotics and any other medication you are taking might cause constipation or other stomach problems.
  • Speaking of, take your prescription medications as directed by your surgeon. It will help your system after the surgical procedure.
  • Wear a sports bra (avoid underwire bras) during the healing process. It brings implant stability, takes off some of the pressure, and gives more comfort throughout the day after your breast implant surgery.

A Few Hours Post-op: What Happens to Your Breast Implants?

You will spend this time in a recovery room at the cosmetic clinic where a team of doctors and nurses will monitor you to ensure you are handling the breast surgery well. It takes a while for a patient to wake up from the anaesthesia and start feeling like themselves again. In truth, you will be groggy and sleepy.

Your breasts will be covered in an elastic band underneath which will probably sit medical bandage. The chest will need adequate support during the healing process. Another thing to keep in mind is that the doctor may place drains in some areas to make sure that any remaining liquids will be flushed out of the body. This is important for your recovery experience.

Before you are discharged, the team will give you instructions on how to care for the wounds and drainage after your breast enlargement surgery. Take some time to arrange for someone to come pick you up and drive you home since you will not be able to do so yourself due to the anaesthesia. 

You had better do this in advance so you don’t have to worry about it later, as it may reflect on your emotional state prior to the procedures. You will have more important things to think about.

Once you are home, your real breast augmentation recovery begins. Request a consultation from your surgeon to guarantee a fast and successful implant healing.

First Five Days into Your Breast Implant Surgery Recovery

Congratulations, you’ve made it back home, and now it’s up to you to turn your breast implants recovery into a more pleasant experience. We are not going to lie, the first week after breast surgery patients typically feel some discomfort, even pain. After all, we’re talking about breast tissue that was broken, bruised and stuffed with an artificial prosthesis. No pain, no gain, they say. 

Remind yourself that every time you wonder why it’s taking your body so long to go back to its pre-treatment mode. Non-prescription pain medication (over the counter medications) or muscle relaxants will help you manage that.

Here is what else might happen in more detail. The breast area is likely to swell, and you will generally feel like your breasts are out of whack. They will feel and look different. You will not be able to enjoy the breast augmentation results right away. For a while, it may appear as if they are positioned too high on your chest. Your doctor must have explained already that this is the natural order of things and it will gradually change over the following weeks, so there is nothing to worry about.

Now, you may also notice some minor bleeding in the affected breast area. This should not bother you as long as it doesn’t become excessive. Feel free to talk to your surgeon about it to dispel any doubt and concerns.

One Week of Your Breast Augmentation Surgery

As you are heading toward the seventh day of your recovery time, the pain will subside. At your surgeon’s discretion, you may return to light daily activities. Check out the section about exercise down below. 

A lot of patients report that swelling and soreness persist, though. Do not let it affect you. Just a few weeks from now, you will have completely forgotten about that and ready to conquer the world.

Third and Fourth Week Following Breast Augmentation Surgery

Once you approach the first-month post-op, you will start to feel much better. The swelling will be reduced. The pain will be gone. You will have a follow-up appointment with your doctor to see if everything is going well. They may give you additional instructions on how to care for the new implants. Unless you are in a physically demanding job, you’ll be able to return to work (desk jobs are fine). 

You can also expand the scope of your physical activity but don’t go overboard. No heavy lifting is encouraged yet.

While you are at this stage, you will be told to continue wearing your support bras (also called recovery bras). The scars will look better. They will slowly but surely begin to fade.

Two Months after Breast Augmentation Surgery

Now that it’s been several weeks into your breasts surgery recovery, you will be feeling like your best self. For the most part, you can safely go back to your pre-treatment activities with no remorse. Discuss that with your physician. 

You should still be careful not to apply too much pressure on the breast implants. Do not sleep on your stomach or perform push-ups. At this point, it’s okay to ditch your recovery bra. You are now ready to get back to your old routine – the one thing you’ve been dreaming about since the first week after the surgery procedure.

Daily Activities during Breast Augmentation Recovery Stages

Now, as excited as you may be about the new look, you should not jump back into your fitness agenda right away. Experts say patients had better wait at least three weeks before resuming sports classes. Get plenty of rest and sleep to facilitate the healing process and most of all, stay safe from injury. 

The first few hours post-op will bring about nausea and fatigue due to the aftereffects of the anaesthesia. It’s also likely that you will feel wary on the first few days. Chances are exercise will be the last thing on your mind at that point. The truth is, it’s easy to slow down when your body is aching.

The biggest challenge after breast augmentation is when all this subsides, and you start to ease your way into recovery. This is where you will suddenly feel the urge to go back to normalcy right here, right now, and forget about the precautions. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are ready for more strenuous physical activity. Take it easy. For some patients, it comes naturally; for others, it takes lots of willpower. 

Whatever your case is, just remember that you’re doing it for the sake of your health. Great results come accompanied by patience. Breast augmentation surgery is no exception.

That’s not to say you should lie down all day every day and make the bed your new best friend. It’s going to do more harm than good. You need to keep your blood moving to ensure faster healing and to stay away from clots, which are common with prolonged sitting. The key is balance.

So, how do you know which exercises are good for you during breast augmentation mammoplasty recovery? It is simple: shun movements that trigger pain and discomfort. Your body will be your guide. It will show you how far you can go and where your limitations are if you will just listen to it.

To give you an outline, you can prevent stiffness in your arms by moving them around using gentle motions. Do not lift them up. Try stretching or yoga if you like that but avoid movements that put pressure on your chest. Instead, engage the lower body. Brisk walks will make do, as they do not impact the breasts. Two weeks after surgery, you could also do squats.  

Other forms of exercise that are great for breast augmentation patients are walking on a treadmill, stationary biking, and other light cardiovascular activities that do not involve the upper body. 

After week six of your breast enlargement surgery, you may be able to return to your normal fitness routine but not before it has been cleared by your board-certified plastic surgeon. You don’t want to do something to your implants. In other words, don’t be lazy but don’t overexert yourself either. 

Find a balance between rest and physical activity to make your recovery a breeze. The breast procedure is not easy on the patients. You need to be careful and persistent if you want to have bigger and fuller breasts.

In the end, How Long is Full Recovery Time after Breast Augmentation Surgeries?

That is a tough question, and there is no straightforward answer. As with any type of surgery, the recovery period is something very individual. All bodies react differently and take their (own specific) time to heal. If you ask your surgeon, they will respond that it depends on the type of implant, your medical history, methods used (breast implants, fat graftingbreast reduction), your breast size, and whatnot. 

In general, it takes somewhere between six weeks and three months to recover completely after the plastic surgery and enjoy the beautiful results. But this timeframe will vary from one person to the next. The first few weeks are the hardest and reminding yourself why you are doing it in the first place will aid in the recovery process. Don’t forget that you have your surgeon and his/her team behind your back.

What Happens After My Breasts Recover from the Surgery?

Again, this is something that you should clear with your surgeon but just to give you an idea, you have to undergo annual medical check-ups. Why do you need them? First of all, implants have a lifespan of 10 years or more, if you are lucky. Many women need a replacement surgical procedure after some time.

In the case of silicone breast implants, a rupture might occur for various reasons, sometimes even with the best aftercare in place. The fastest way to check for ruptures is to get regular MRIs in between your normal activities. Some patients may need additional screening. You had better discuss this with your primary health care provider or breasts surgery expert.

Can breast implant cause cysts?

Breast cysts and lumps are a common cause of anxiety in women who have or are thinking about getting breast implants. Pockets of silicones that have seeped into the breast tissue can create hard lumps in patients with old liquid silicone implants. Make sure to ask your surgeon about this issue during your consultation.

What if I’m not Recovering as Expected?

What if things don’t go as planned and your breast augmentation surgery recovery is not as smooth as it should have been? A small number of plastic surgery cases get complications. It does not affect all women, but you have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario so that you know what to do. Your doctor will tell you what to watch out for.

Here are a few pointers for patients:

  • Shortness of breath and a racing heart
  • Prolonged severe pain and discomfort despite muscle relaxant and pain medications
  • Numbness in your body, except in your breasts where numbness is possible and normal (especially around the nipple area)
  • Dizziness and vomiting that doesn’t go away
  • Severe itching that does not subside
  • Severe bleeding

Less than 1% of breast augmentation patients develop some sort of infection after they get breast implants. It may become obvious on the second or third weeks. This can be tricky. If you notice signs of infection or anything suspicious that your doctor has warned you about, get in touch with them right away and fill them in. Don’t let it get out of hand because it can be difficult to treat, and you may reach a phase where you have to part with the implants.

There is some risk of bleeding out of the accepted ranges. If that’s the case with you, go back to the clinic to have it check out and fixed.

That’s about it for our surgery breast augmentation recovery timeline. There you have it – piece by piece – the stages that women go through before their incisions heal and the breast implants take on a natural shape. Now you know what to expect post-op and how to properly care for the wounds once you are done with the procedures. 

Our last piece of advice is to not just take our word for it. Go ahead and speak with a surgeon about it. Get all the details straight about the breast enhancement procedure and how it can change your routine for the next few weeks.

Shens Clinic, 3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

Monday – Friday: 09:00am – 06:00pm
Saturday: 09:00am – 02:00pm
Sun and PH: Closed

(Strictly by appointment only)

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