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Many women are interested in breast augmentation surgery because they want to increase their bust size. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how long the recovery process will be. Each woman’s experience will be different, and some may only experience minor discomfort after surgery. Others may experience more significant pain and bruising.

In this article, we take a look at the recovery process for breast augmentation surgery.

Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a common surgical procedure that can provide enduring improvements in self-esteem and body image for many women. However, a boob job recovery after surgery is not always easy, and patients may experience a variety of side effects ranging from minor discomfort to more serious problems.

How Long Does It Take To Heal From Breast Augmentation

how long is the recovery for breast augmentation

There is no one answer to this question as the length of a breast augmentation recovery will vary depending on a number of factors including the type of surgery performed, how large and dense the implant is, and your individual body composition.

Generally speaking, most patients experience minimal discomfort and are able to return to normal activities within two weeks following surgery. However, some individuals may experience more significant soreness and swelling for several months following surgery.

In most cases, however, patients can expect a full breast implant recovery within four to six weeks.

Breast Augmentation Healing Timeline

Below, we’ll discuss what happens during breast augmentation surgery and give you an overview of what to expect as far as breast augmentation recovery week by week goes.

24 hours post-operation

You will be discharged from the hospital after 24 hours and be able to return home.

You may have some bruising or swelling around the incision sites, which are likely to persist for a few weeks. It’s important that you follow all instructions from your plastic surgeon regarding activity level and pain management during this time frame, as well as for at least one month after surgery.

5 to 7 days post-operation

The first week is the most critical period of recovery, and you will need someone to assist with your daily activities.

Below are a few things you can’t do during this period:

  • No exercise
  • No bathing
  • No swimming
  • No sex for at least 6 weeks post-operation (or until your doctor clears you to have sex again). This is to avoid any tension on the breast implant and help prevent ruptures or damage to the incisions in their healing process. If you have questions about when it’s safe to resume sexual activity after surgery, consult with your surgeon before resuming sexual activity.
  • No smoking or alcohol consumption while waiting for results of blood tests that will be done at 3 weeks post-surgery.

3 to 4 weeks post-operation

You can resume normal activities at this time, including sex and exercise. It is also recommended that you wear your sports bra for exercise and sports.

You should be able to return to work as early as five days after surgery if your job does not involve heavy lifting or strenuous activity.

4 to 6 weeks post-operation

At this point, you can expect to be able to return to work. Your surgeon may have advised you not to lift anything heavy for a few weeks after surgery, but this is mostly precautionary and is more likely for those who have had implants inserted through an incision in their breast tissue versus under the muscle (as it’s less risky). In fact, many women are back at work within a couple of weeks!

recovery from breast implant

You’ll also be able to resume exercising and driving as soon as your surgeon gives you the go-ahead—many women are anxious enough about their new breasts that they want nothing more than to get back out there and start enjoying them!

Note that recovery time is dependent on the individual. This is a very personal experience and recovery time varies from person to person. There are many factors that influence how long your recovery after breast implant will last, including the type of surgery, the size of your implants, the location of your incision and even your metabolism.

While most people are ready to resume normal activities within two weeks after breast augmentation surgery, it may take up to three months before you’re fully recovered from your procedure.

When can you lift your arms after breast augmentation?

Most women feel comfortable lifting their arms within a week of surgery. However, it is always advisable to consult with your surgeon or health care provider if you have any questions or concerns. Lifting your arms too soon may cause discomfort and swelling, so proceed cautiously and err on the side of caution.

How long after breast augmentation do they look normal?

After breast augmentation, many women are concerned about how their new breasts will look and feel. Many people believe that breasts should be fully healed before the final result is seen. However, many plastic surgeons believe that breasts can be somewhat healed after surgery and may even look normal a few weeks after surgery. With close attention to the patient’s individual case and an understanding of breast elasticity and healing time, most patients will have a satisfactory result.

Possible Complications After Breast Augmentation Surgery

boob job recoveryAfter breast augmentation surgery, there are a few possible complications that can occur. These complications can range from mild to severe and can require medical attention.

Complications specific to breast augmentation include:

  • scarring that changes the breast shape
  • asymmetrical breasts
  • breast pain
  • breast numbness
  • undesired or poor cosmetic results
  • nipple changes in appearance
  • breast or nipple sensation changes
  • breast cellulitis
  • breasts appear to merge (symmastia)
  • incorrect position of implant
  • implant is seen or felt through the skin
  • skin wrinkling over the implant
  • fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • scarring around the implant (capsular contracture)
  • implant leak or break
  • breastfeeding problems
  • breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • breast implant illness

Tips for a Healthy Breast Augmentation Recovery

There are a few things you can do beforehand and after surgery to help speed up the healing process and avoid complications down the road.

We’ve outlined some of them for you here:

Wear recovery bras

breast implant recovery

When you undergo a breast augmentation procedure, it’s important to wear a bra that provides the support your body needs. A properly fitting post-surgery bra will help keep the breasts in place and reduce swelling after surgery. The bra should fit snugly without causing pain or discomfort; if it feels too tight, try loosening the straps or moving up a size.

Wear your recovery bra 24 hours a day until instructed otherwise by your surgeon or nurse practitioner—even while sleeping!

Care for your incisions

It’s important to keep your incision sites clean at all times during recovery by washing them with soap and water twice a day (morning and night) for two weeks following surgery.

After two weeks, switch over to just cleaning them once daily with mild soap or disinfectant wipes until they fully heal after three months post-procedure—and then stick with regular gentle cleansing methods thereafter (like hand-washing). Avoid bathing suits until the incisions are fully healed! You don’t want bacteria getting into the wounds while they’re still susceptible!

Take your medication

Your doctor will prescribe medication for you, but you should know that it’s important to take the right amount and make sure you’re taking it as prescribed.

If you are taking antibiotics, make sure that you finish the whole course of treatment. If there is any question about whether or not to continue taking a medication, ask your doctor first before stopping.

Prepare your home before surgery

Before you go under the knife, it’s a good idea to prepare your home for your recovery period.

Make sure you have a comfortable place to rest.

If this means setting up an air mattress or ordering one of those egg chairs from Brookstone (which are amazing), then do it! Just make sure that whatever you’re using is in a room where everyone can see and hear you—and has easy access to food and water.

Prepare your family and friends for what they might see after surgery

Bandages, bruises, swelling…and maybe even blood if there’s any leakage from the incision site. Tell them what signs they should look for if something seems wrong (for example, drainage from an incision) so that they can call their doctor if need be.

Get all of the supplies needed after surgery before going under

It’s not fun having someone else order these things last-minute when there’s already so much going on! Some helpful items include: gauze pads; bandages; antibiotic cream; pain medication such as Tylenol(R) Extra Strength Caplets; compression garment(s); plastic bags for storage/delivery; ice packs; heating pad or hot water bottle with cover.

Wear loose clothes

The first few days after surgery, it’s important to wear loose clothes. This helps with swelling and will also make you more comfortable while you’re healing. As an added bonus, wearing loose clothes can also help with post-surgery pain.

You’ll want to avoid tight clothing for at least a month after your procedure. Tight bras and shirts may irritate the edges of your incision sites, especially if they rub up against them directly.

Avoid intense activity

After your procedure, it’s important to take care of your breasts and avoid any activity that can cause undue stress.

Eat nutritious foods

breast augmentation healing timeline

Eat a balanced diet while you’re recovering. Try to eat at least one meal a day that has lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

  • Avoid sugar and processed foods as much as possible since they can increase inflammation in the body when consumed in excess, which could prolong your recovery from breast implant procedure.
  • Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to help speed along your healing process. These also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will assist with tissue repair after surgery. However, make sure you avoid raw produce until at least three weeks after surgery so as not to irritate any incisions or sutures on your breasts or chest area.
  • Don’t consume too much caffeine or alcohol during this time because both substances can boost stress levels in the body which can lead to increased swelling around the surgical site (if present). Instead, drink plenty of water every day to help flush toxins out from inside organs like kidneys so they don’t build up over time.

Seek Expert’s Advice

The recovery time for breast augmentation is typically around six weeks. However, it can vary depending on the individual’s medical history and surgery. Patients are advised to follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and to seek additional medical care if they experience any difficulties.

If you are in Dallas or Plano, TX and looking for a plastic surgeon, look no further than Dr. Bret Johnson. With years of experience and a commitment to helping patients achieve the body of their dreams, Dr Johnson and his team are ready to help you. Request an appointment online or call us at (469) 250-9065 today.

Last updated on October 19, 2022

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