The recovery period following your breast implant surgery is one of the most important phases of your journey to getting the silhouette that you desire. Following your surgeon’s instructions carefully after your breast implant recovery–and monitoring your health–is key to achieving the best result.
By this point in the process, most of the hard work is over: you have prepared by researching the procedure, by choosing your surgeon and by discussing your goals for the breast implants.
The Foundation for an Excellent Breast Implant Recovery Experience
Ideally, your preparation for breast augmentation surgery was impeccable. Although the process may not have gone exactly as described below, this would be the ideal scenario you would go through when considering breast implant surgery.
You’ve found an experienced surgeon with excellent credentials. During your consultation, your surgeon listened to and understood your goals and explained your surgical options as far as breast implant type, shape, and size.
They outlined their plan for your surgery, including techniques that will be used to limit risks and scars. You took your time making a decision to go ahead with your surgery and you were declared a good candidate for surgery by the surgeon.
You went into the surgery center, perhaps a bit nervous, but with confidence about your outcome. During the process, you realized that breast augmentation isn’t the solution for every woman, but after considering all the details, you decided it was the best solution for you.
Now it’s time to navigate through—but not rush—your healing process. Your surgeon expects an excellent outcome—and you can’t wait to enjoy your results.
What to Expect During Breast Implant Recovery
For the majority of breast implant patients, the recovery process is typically completed within a few weeks. Shortly thereafter you’ll be able to begin enjoying your new body more and more each day. Let’s take a look at the typical breast implant recovery timeline:
- You may be groggy for up to 24 hours following your surgery so we recommend having a relative or friend by your side at home.
- You may be uncomfortable, sore, and swollen for roughly 1-3 days. During this period, you will have access to pain medicine. Bruising may appear around your breasts. You will experience fatigue and feel a tightness in your breasts.
- The typical breast augmentation surgery does not require drains (small plastic tubes), and most likely your stitches will be dissolvable so they won’t require removal.
- You’ll have a follow-up visit as scheduled by your surgeon, a week after your surgery.
- You’ll have phone access to your surgeon and medical team anytime for any questions throughout your recovery process, between visits to the office.
- A few weeks after your surgery, soreness, bruising, swelling and discomfort will subside. A tiny bit of swelling may linger for about 9 months or so, but you’ll have reached your nearly-final size by then. As the swelling decreases, your breasts will become softer and feel more natural.
- About 1 week after surgery, you can return to work in an office setting, wearing a supportive or compression bra so that very little weight or stretching is applied to your incisions. For more physically active jobs, the time out of work should be longer. There will be a restriction of more strenuous lifting and exercises like running for about 4 weeks.
- Over the next year, your scars will continue to heal and, over time, may become thin white lines on your skin. When wearing even the smallest bikini top scars are usually not evident.
- Larger implants, revisions, and certain surgical techniques or placements of implants may have a longer healing process.
But let’s stop talking about “the majority” or “most women” and talk about what your unique breast implant recovery experience might be.
How to Achieve the Best Breast Enhancement Recovery
The details, length of time and quality of your recovery depend upon several factors, including:
- Understanding and following your surgeon’s instructions for your recovery process. If you’re unclear about any details, contact your surgeon right away. You’ll be given clear instructions verbally and in writing to take home with you, but you may need clarification on certain details. Your surgeon and medical team will be available to you throughout your recovery to ensure you have the best possible outcome and the least amount of worry. Although your specifics may differ, some of the more important general breast implant recovery instructions are:
- Getting adequate rest and not rushing into physical activity or going back to work too soon.
- Taking care of your incisions. Watch for signs of infection, which include pain not alleviated by your prescriptions, a fever, excess bleeding or pus from the incision site.
- Sleeping with your torso elevated to limit swelling.
- Protecting incisions from any unnecessary movement, stretching or reaching.
- Maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Getting your surgeon’s sign-off before showering (usually okay after a day or two), driving (after pain medication is no longer needed), exercising (after several weeks) and returning to work.
- Wearing a supportive, comfortable bra for as long as your surgeon recommends.
- Avoiding sun exposure, bathing in the bathtub, hot tubs, and swimming pools.
- Your age, ethnicity or skin color, skin elasticity, genetic factors, history of smoking, chronic illness and more can also affect your recovery time. Your surgeon will explain to you what you should expect according to your specific combination of factors.
Finding the Right Breast Surgeon for You
You should be sure to schedule a consultation with a qualified, highly-skilled surgeon and make sure the surgeon is the right fit for you. This will go a long way towards creating a positive experience and the shortest breast implant recovery. Some of the best breast surgeons can be found on the east coast, including in northern NJ.
At Cohen/Winters, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and ideal outcomes. Sometimes that result could mean not having surgery or helping you continue your search for the best partner to help you achieve your goals.
We’ve been working with breast implant patients in NJ for over a decade and we’ve never been afraid to give you our honest opinions to have an open discussion about your goals. We believe that finding the right patient is just as important to us as finding the right surgeon is to you.
We’ve found that bringing you in for a no-charge consultation allows us to have an honest conversation about your thoughts and goals. We’re here to help, every step of the way and excited to meet you!