Breast augmentation can be an excellent way to enhance the size or shape of your breasts so you can love the way you look. But like any other plastic surgery, you should expect a recovery period after your procedure. So, what can you expect from your recovery? At Rios Center for Plastic Surgery in Edinburg, TX and Rio Grande Valley, TX we are happy to answer any questions you may have about your procedure, including any questions you have about your recovery timeline.
How Long Is Breast Augmentation Recovery?
In general, you can expect the recovery period for breast augmentation to be at least six to eight weeks. After two months, you should be considered fully recovered and you will likely be able to see the optimal results of your plastic surgery. That said, there are several stages of your recovery process you should be aware of, including:
Immediately After Surgery
After your procedure is complete, you will be able to recover in our private facility for a few hours or spend the night at a provided apartment. When it is time for you to go home, you should arrange for transportation, as well as help at home for the first 24 to 48 hours. During this period, you will have the most restrictions on activities, including how soon you will be able to shower or change the dressings on your surgical area.
Please be sure to drink plenty of water and focus on resting comfortably. Some people may have lingering effects of anesthesia, such as confusion or nausea, which will go away within hours. You should be sure to keep your surgical areas covered, take prescriptions as advised by Dr. Rios, and follow other post-operative care instructions.
During the first night and day after your procedure, you will need to focus on resting as much as possible. Many women find it helpful to prepare for this immediate recovery period by setting up a place in their homes, such as the living room or bedroom, for their comfort and convenience. Be sure to have access to pillows, blankets, water, snacks, and entertainment. It may be helpful to prepare meals in advance and fill all the prescriptions you will need before your surgery.
You should avoid moving as much as possible, with the exception of going to the bathroom. You will not be able to shower for the first 24 hours and you should avoid excessive heat and sweat. Do not bend over, reach over your head, or lift anything heavier than one pound. Sleep on your back or in a slightly elevated position.
First Week After Surgery
During the first week after your surgery, you will be able to start moving more freely about two days into your recovery period. Walking around the house and other light activities, such as bathing and meal preparation, are encouraged. You should move around the house at least 15 minutes every few hours to keep blood circulating.
You will not be able to drive until at least three to five days after your procedure. You should avoid all lifting and other potentially straining tasks, so it may not be advisable to return to work just yet. If you are taking any medications for pain, then you should continue to take these medications as prescribed and continue to follow aftercare instructions, such as the best way to sleep (on your back).
Your First Follow-Up Appointment
About one week after your procedure, you will likely have your first follow-up appointment. During this appointment, any stitches will be removed and your incisions sites will be assessed to check on your healing. Dr. Rios will ask questions regarding your comfort and will be ready to answer any questions you may have about your recovery period.
Two to Three Weeks After Surgery
Two to three weeks after your surgery, you will likely start to feel more normal and capable of completing daily tasks without much assistance. You will be able to return to work comfortably and you will be able to resume most light exercises, such as walking or moderate yoga. Please continue to avoid straining movements, such as weight-lifting or high-impact cardio.
Four to Six Weeks After Surgery
About a month after your surgery, you should be able to resume all of your normal daily activities, including intense or high-impact cardio exercise without any discomfort. After six weeks, you will be able to resume vigorous activities, including weight-lifting or lifting objects greater than two to six pounds. There should be very little swelling at this stage, but your results may not be fully developed yet. At this time, you may stop wearing your supportive compression bra.
Second Follow-Up Appointment
Your second follow-up appointment will usually be scheduled about one month after your procedure. For this appointment, Dr. Rios will focus on how your breast implants are settling and check up on how well your incision sites have healed. It’s important to attend these follow-up appointments to ensure that your recovery is going as planned and that you can safely resume some activities.
Two to Three Months After Surgery
It generally takes a few months for breast implants to settle into the most optimal position, so although you will be fully healed after six to eight weeks, you may not see the best results of your procedure for several more weeks. This is the best time to buy new bras and clothing. Because it will take roughly this long for your optimal results to appear, it may be a good idea to schedule your surgery at least four to six months in advance of any special life activities.
Other Follow-Up Appointments
You will likely have additional follow-up appointments even after you have fully healed from your breast augmentation surgery. For example, you may need to attend a follow-up three months and six months after your surgery. It’s common to take photographs at later follow-up appointments so you can see the “after” results of your procedure.
The Importance of Compression Bras
All throughout your recovery period, you will be instructed to wear a compression bra. The supportive bra or compression bra does two things: first, it will encourage your breasts to settle into an ideal position during healing, and secondly, it will provide soothing pressure to your surgical areas, as well as protect your breasts from any impacts during the recovery period.
You should wear your compression bra for at least 23 hours a day for the entirety of your recovery period. This means you should only take the bra off to shower or to put on a different one. Most women buy at least three or four compression bras, or supportive sports bras (usually high to medium-impact bras) to have options to alternate between. Please avoid wearing any bras with wires.
What Else Should You Know About Your Recovery?
Throughout your breast augmentation recovery, you should be sure to follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Because you are recovering, your body will need the resources from your food to encourage faster healing. You should avoid alcohol consumption and tobacco products during the first couple of weeks of your recovery period so you don’t interfere with your body’s natural healing ability.
Should You Keep In Touch With Your Surgeon?
Absolutely. It’s important to keep in contact with your surgeon and attend occasional appointments to assess the integrity of your breast implants. While rare, some implants have issues about two to six months after a procedure, so by staying in touch with your surgeon, you will be able to help maintain your results.
It’s also worth noting that the implants used for breast augmentation are typically designed to last for 10 to 20 years for most women, so there may come a time when you need a revision procedure. You can also have a breast revision if you want to use a different implant option, such as when a new implant material is available to patients.
Schedule Your Consultation
Overall, your recovery period after breast augmentation should take about four to six weeks, although your results may not be obvious until two to three months after your procedure. There are several stages of your recovery period and you will need to attend a few follow-up appointments. One of the most important rules to follow during your recovery is to wear a compression bra most of the time for at least six weeks. Contact us at the Rios Center for Plastic Surgery in Edinburg, TX, and Rio Grande Valley, TX to schedule your consultation today.