Anyone who has undergone breast augmentation surgery must budget time for recovery in order to achieve the best possible results. You can maximize your comfort and minimize the duration of your recovery by avoiding strenuous activities and following your surgeon’s instructions as closely as possible.
The Basics of Breast Enlargement Surgery Recovery
Surgeons typically advise that their patients limit their movement and get plenty of rest following breast enlargement surgery. You should avoid bending, lifting or straining, as these can all delay healing and increase pain.
Patients whose jobs do not require strenuous activity such as lifting can normally return to work after a week. However, if your job is physically demanding, you may need longer time to recover before returning to work. Your surgeon can help you to determine when it is safe to resume working.
The total amount of time needed for recovery depends greatly upon the method of implant placement used. Subglandular breast implant placement (the placement of implants above the pectoral muscle) involves a shorter recovery time than patients who undergo submuscular breast implant placement, or the placement of the implant underneath the pectoral muscle.
Your surgeon will provide specific instructions for making your breast augmentation recovery time as short and painless as possible. By carefully following those instructions, the results of your breast augmentation surgery can give you years of satisfaction.
The First Two Weeks
Recovery can be uncomfortable for the first 24 to 48 hours after breast augmentation surgery, and it is common to experience breast pain and fatigue. Medications can help patients manage their pain in most cases, but a lack of energy, in addition to discomfort and soreness, may persist. If possible, you should have a friend, spouse or family member stay with you to help care for you during your recovery.
The gauze dressings applied to the breasts immediately following surgery will be removed after a few days and replaced with a special surgical bra. Stitches may be removed after seven to 10 days if they need to be removed.
The First Several Months
The breast will be very sensitive for the first several weeks after breast enlargement surgery, and may be swollen for up to five weeks. Until the sensitivity subsides, patients should avoid physical contact with their breasts to reduce the risk of injury and delayed recovery. Patients should wait about a month after surgery before resuming any strenuous activity or exercise.
You must be careful not to become impatient about resuming your normal regiment of physical activity. If you do not allow yourself the needed recovery time, you can injure the breasts and ultimately require even more recovery time. This can also result in diminished quality of the results. Anyone considering breast augmentation should discuss the recovery process at length with their surgeon to gain an accurate understanding of the time commitment required.
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Photo credit: Dr. Brian Kobienia
Breast Surgery Scars
The incision scars will be pink and firm for about six weeks following breast augmentation surgery. They will begin to fade significantly over the next several months, but will never completely disappear.
The incision site and implant placement technique chosen by you and your surgeon will determine the locations of these scars. A successful breast augmentation surgery results in scars that will be inconspicuous except under close observation. Reduce the likelihood of noticeable scars by following your surgeon's advice as closely as possible.
Breast Augmentation and Your Long-Term Health
Women over 40 should receive mammograms every year. Women who have undergone breast augmentation should visit a special radiology center that can perform mammograms on patients with breast implants. When you schedule a mammogram appointment, always be sure to mention that you have breast implants so the technician will know to avoid placing excessive pressure on your breasts. Your mammogram will require x-rays taken from multiple angles to ensure an accurate reading. An ultrasound may also be necessary to examine breast tissue.
Find a Plastic Surgeon in Your Area
Breast augmentation surgery can yield incredible figure enhancement and boosted self-esteem when performed by a skilled, experienced surgeon. But the surgery is only half the process; a proper recovery following surgery is the only way your surgeon’s work can heal correctly and give you years of satisfying results. You must be able to set aside ample time to rest, avoid strenuous physical activity, and follow your surgeon’s instructions as closely as possible. It is also advisable to have a supportive friend, relative or spouse nearby to assist you in your recovery. The healing process requires patience and careful attention given to the incision site, but the results you can achieve by resisting the urge to resume normal physical activity too soon can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your results.
Use the comprehensive DocShop physician directory to find a qualified surgeon near you who can answer any questions you may have about breast augmentation recovery or any other aspect of the procedure.