Breast Augmentation Recovery Stages: What to Expect Week by Week
Get the Perfect Size & Shape with Breast Augmentation
Most people want a boost in self-confidence so they can feel great about their body and themselves. That’s why breast augmentation has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world. Women love the results and report being very satisfied with what they see after surgery. However, breast augmentation is real surgery and requires some downtime. It’s important though to learn what to expect after surgery and how long it will take to recover completely.
Every patient is unique, which means there is no exact timeline every patient follows for recovery. Most of the time, it takes six weeks to resume all normal activities. Light aerobic exercise can be resumed at 2 weeks, resistance exercises (weight lifting/core exercises) at 4 weeks, and things that involve a lot of stretching (yoga/pilates) at 6 weeks. Most patients indicate that after about three days, they feel some soreness, but otherwise feel well. Everybody is different however and discomfort varies with patients.
Waking up from surgery will leave you feeling groggy and sore. It will take a few hours to feel these effects wear off. You will need to have someone available to drive you home and stay with you the first night. Your caretaker needs to be there in case there are unexpected effects after surgery. You will need somebody to drive you to our office the next day for your first visit. At that visit, we will change your dressings and go over some additional instructions. This early visit helps to make sure that you are doing well and on track for a smooth recovery.
Most patients experience the most discomfort in the first three days. The doctor will give you prescription medications ahead of surgery to manage this pain, including a painkiller and a muscle relaxant. The muscle relaxant is very helpful as most discomfort arises from muscle tightness. This will gradually improve as the pectoralis major muscle relaxes to accommodate the implant behind it. After those first days, many patients find they can manage the discomfort with less medication. A majority will be able to return to desk work within 4-5 days after the procedure.
After the first week of recovery, your plastic surgeon will recommend easing back into a normal daily routine. Light exercise can start soon after when the discomfort is minimal. It is advisable to avoid heavier activities like running or horseback riding until after recovery is complete. Patients in physical jobs requiring heavy lifting (>10 pounds) and exertion should remain out of work for a minimum of 4 weeks.
After surgery, Dr. Angelchik will see you the next day, at one week, two weeks, six weeks, six months and one year. He will also see you at any time in between regular visits if needed. This will allow him to assess how well you are healing. Most patients can resume all normal activities at about six weeks after surgery. It is important to follow our aftercare instructions closely. This will allow you to heal properly.
Dr. Angelchik’s office will provide a postoperative bra as part of your surgical package.
Get your home and clothes ready before you undergo surgery. You will be uncomfortable for the first week or so, so getting everything can help prevent some stress and strain. Get your housework, shopping, and meal prep done so you can rest throughout the first week. Your plastic surgeon may give you pain medication prescriptions before the procedure, so get those filled before you need them.
Ask a friend or family member to help you out after the procedure. This is especially important if you have kids, pets, or other dependents. You won’t be able to drive for a few days while recovering, so get as much help as you can.
Stock your kitchen with healthy food and hydrating drinks. You will want to make sure you are getting adequate fiber and hydration as pain medication can cause constipation. Avoid spicy food and dairy products until you know that your stomach is recovered from anesthesia.
Breast augmentation comes with an extremely high satisfaction rate. Carefully following the detailed postoperative instructions provided by Dr. Angelchik, and attending your scheduled postoperative visits will ensure a better, less stressful recovery for you. We are here to answer any questions and get you over the occasional bumps in the road that may arise during recovery. To get started on your breast implant surgery journey, schedule a consultation by calling or filling out our online form.
Dr. Paul Angelchik is a Phoenix plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Angelchik is well-trained and experienced in all forms of plastic surgery, namely breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation. He has been serving patients for over 20 years. Dr. Angelchik brings his surgical experience, expertise, and quality care to patients in and around Phoenix, Arizona.