Recovering From a Breast Augmentation
What can I expect from recovery after a breast augmentation?
Any plastic surgery procedure is going to require a recovery period. The good news is that the recovery from breast augmentation surgery is usually mild.
What to expect in week 1
Tight skin – Immediately following the surgery, the skin will feel very tight, this is because the skin is not used to having to accommodate the volume of the implant. Over time, the skin will stretch and loosen, allowing the breast mound to be more mobile.
Swelling – There will be some swelling after surgery and a surgical garment will compress the breasts and combat swelling. The breasts will be quite firm straight after the surgery due to the swelling, and you will appear up to a cup size larger for the first few weeks. This swelling usually resolves after about 6 weeks.
Bruising – You may experience a fair degree of bruising of the breasts in the early stages of the breast augmentation recovery, this is normal and nothing to worry about and it will fade in the first two to three weeks.
Pain and Soreness – The breasts may be quite sore for the first few days. You will begin to increase the activities you do over the first week. Most people will be back at work after one week, though lifting heavy objects should not be attempted in the first week. You will be able to resume contact sport after 6 weeks.
Stitches/Sutures – Dr Jeremy Hunt uses dissolving stitches. The wound will be covered with a waterproof dressing so you can shower the day after surgery.
Sleep – The first few days after surgery, you will be required to sleep on your back with your head elevated to help with swelling
Scars – The breast augmentation scars will be pink and tender to touch. Over time they will fade, and scar management including silicone therapy, keeping them out of direct sun light, and massages will ensure that they fade well over time.
What to expect in week 2 to 4
After the first week of the breast augmentation recovery, your life will be returning to normal.
There will be less pain, swelling, and tenderness. The breasts will become softer and more mobile. About 50% of the swelling will have resolved, but you need to be patient and wait for all the swelling to go down before going bra shopping.
You should be able to return to work after just a week off (usually less), and can resume light exercise after two to three weeks. Walking is good but jogging, especially without a tight sports bra, may cause more swelling. Push-ups and chin ups are allowed after 6 weeks
Nipple sensation will likely be altered after surgery and can range from a decrease to hypersensitivity, this is all perfectly normal. As your progress through the later stages of the breast augmentation recovery, numbness is often replaced by hypersensitivity and then your normal sensation returns. This process can take a number of weeks. Permanent loss of sensation in the nipple area is an extremely rare side effect.
The Final Result
By three to six months after surgery, you should have recovered from all aspects of the procedure. Swelling and bruising should have slowly subsided to almost nothing, your breasts should look even and symmetrical, and the scars should have faded quite nicely, although the scars will continue to fade even more over time.