Breast Augmentation Timeline for Recovery
By David Passaretti, MD on February 05, 2014
Breast augmentation can provide tremendous benefits to your appearance and confidence, helping you achieve the body curvature you desire. As with any surgery, though, the recovery process is a crucial stage of treatment. With the right expectations for recovery, you can ensure that the procedure is both successful and satisfying.
At our Fairfield plastic surgery practice, we want to keep our patients informed from the beginning of a procedure through the final results. Whether you are considering breast augmentation or have recently undergone surgery, please keep the following recovery timeline in mind.
The First Week of Recovery
During breast augmentation recovery, it is important that you follow Dr. Passaretti's instructions explicitly. Patients are advised to rest for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. During this time, muscles will feel tight and sore as the body begins to heal its injured tissues. Patients should have plenty of assistance from a friend or family member in these first couple of days, as even small tasks can interfere with preliminary healing.
It is also during the first 48 hours that surgical side effects will begin to surface. General discomfort, sensitivity of the nipple, bruising, and swelling are to be expected, although their severity varies among patients. To curb the onset of swelling, apply an ice pack to the area for 15 minutes at a time and remove it for 15 minutes in between applications. To help with discomfort, painkillers will likely be prescribed by your plastic surgeon, although some patients find that over-the-counter medications are strong enough for their needs. Additionally, your doctor will have either given you or recommended a garment to wear during this time - usually an elastic compression strap. By wearing this garment for the prescribed duration, you can lessen the side effects of surgery, decrease recovery time, and decrease the risk of multiple complications.
By the end of the first week, most bruising and pain will be been substantially reduced, with swelling beginning to recede. A majority of patients are able to return to work and physically undemanding activities by this time, although it’s always good to check with your doctor before making such a decision.
The Following Weeks
In the second to third week, side effects should be all but gone, with minor soreness and some swelling still present. Patients may begin to feel their energy returning, and may wish to resume additional activities around this time. While light walks will promote circulation, any strenuous tasks should still be avoided, especially if they significantly raise one’s heart rate or put stress upon the pectoral muscles.
In weeks four through six, swelling should be mostly gone and patients will begin to get an accurate idea of how their results will look. Although the breasts still need time to fully recover and adjust to their implants, a large portion of muscle, skin, and fatty tissues should be healed. Speak with your doctor before resuming any physically demanding exercises or tasks.
The Months after Recovery
In the first few months after recovery, the remaining tissues around your implants should heal up, and any residual swelling or tightness should subside completely. Any subtle changes regarding the shape and texture of the breasts should occur at this time, revealing the final results of your augmentation procedure. It is also around this point that surgical scarring should begin to fade, continuing to become less noticeable over time.
Learn More about Breast Surgery
Whether you are interested in a breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction, our practice is dedicated to delivering the highest quality of care, and we want each patient to develop accurate expectations for each procedure. To learn more about our services, contact our office to set up an appointment.
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