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Recovery after Breast Augmentation Surgery

Recovery after Breast Surgery – What to expect and watch out for

So what’s it like during recovery after breast augmentation? That’s a good question to ask during your research into Breast Augmentation surgery.

Knowing what to expect after breast surgery, as well as, understanding that your surgery and recovery experiences will vary from other patients helps you better prepare for the experience of getting implants. The key thing to remember is to check with your Surgeon and Patient Care Team if you have any questions or concerns during your recovery period. Plus, be sure you read all the materials given to you prior to having your procedure.

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Top 6 Do’s and Dont’s that may help recovery following Breast Augmentation surgery

This may also apply to other breast procedures, but this general information only. It is not meant to replace advice from your Surgeon or Medical Care Coordinators.

1. DO take it easy after your surgical operation

Relax and let your body heal.

  • The more you rest in the first 2 weeks, the quicker you will tend to recover and heal.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, for at least a few weeks after your breast augmentation surgery. Make sure you get your Surgeons all clear before you resume exercise.
  • Listen to your body – don’t overdo it or you could compromise your results!
  • Gradually increase your level of activity. Be sure to ask your Surgeon when they believe you’re ready to resume your workouts or daily activities.
  • If it hurts or causes pain, STOP and consult your Surgeon.
  • Please speak to our medical coordinators about what level of gentle exercise you can start with.

2. DON’T ignore feelings of pain and nausea after surgery.

Nausea and pain are closely linked post-breast augmentation surgery, and your recovery will be smoother if you manage both well. Always speak to your Surgeon about this to see what is specifically recommended for you. Of course, extreme pain and nausea can be a warning sign. So, always keep your medical team in the loop and seek immediate medical attention if you or your care team is concerned.

3. DO follow our guidelines for caring for your wounds.

  • Depending on the surgery you have had, you will have an incision that will need to be cared for.
  • For the first week, all dressings remain intact.
  • We will then take them off and check your wounds at the one-week postoperative appointment.
  • Then we will guide you on how to manage and care for these wounds.
  • Following instructions is important in order to get the desired healing outcome and scar result.

4. DON’T wear your regular bras after you get implants or a breast lift (mastopexy). Wear a sports bra all the time!

Your new chest needs different support as you recover from your surgical procedure, and from the point of surgery forward to maintain your breast augmentation results over time.

  • Our surgeons will recommend special medical garments for you to wear that will; speed recovery time, reduce swelling and help make you more comfortable as you heal.
  • It is important you wear the garments we provide. DO NOT wear underwire bras for the first 12 weeks.
  • Wear a sports bra all the time to keep your breasts supported for the desired breast augmentation surgery results.
  • For special occasions, you can wear a fancier bra or lingerie – but think SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT!
  • Follow your Surgeon’s instructions for caring for your breasts after breast augmentation surgery.

5. DO eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.

  • Nutrition is crucial to healing and a quick recovery.
  • A balanced diet with plenty of fluids is the key.
  • Zinc may also be important during your healing.
    • Be sure to get your Zinc levels tested if you think you’re low on this important trace element.
  • There are also some special mineral and vitamin supplements that have proven support to recover from surgery and other experiences which impact the body.

6. DO expect pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight changes to impact your breast surgery results

Also, be sure you ask about factors that often have significant impacts on the longevity of your results. If you; get pregnant, breastfeed, lose or gain a lot of weight, don’t wear the right support bras or go through other significant events your results are very likely to change over time.

We can give you advice on how to maintain your breasts after surgery, but only you have control over the day-to-day and year-to-year choices. Your choices can significantly impact the longevity of your results.

Our reminder: Be sure you wear a support bra at all times after your breast augmentation surgery – especially if you’re doing any high-impact activities.

Don’t get back on the horse too soon after your breast augmentation surgery. Be sure to ask your Surgeon when it’s appropriate for you to get back into your favourite exercises, fitness classes and sporting competitions. Furthermore, follow your Surgeon’s post-op care instructions. By following instructions exactly through your recovery period you have the chance for the desired outcome and minimal complications.

Tips for Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Reading and asking questions help you know what’s likely to be a normal recovery response and what’s not.

  • Remember, identifying a potential concern or surgery complication EARLY is crucial to successful treatment.
  • Ask questions BEFORE and AFTER Surgery and follow your Surgeon’s post-op instructions precisely.
  • Don’t delay in seeking medical attention if you feel you need assistance.
  • As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry” so DO contact your Surgeon immediately if you have any concerns.
  • Choose your Surgeon carefully
  • Breast augmentation surgery remains one of the most frequently requested cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.
  • It is considered to be a well-tolerated surgical procedure in healthy patients with no contraindications. But, the skill and expertise of your Surgeon and what you do in the post-op period ALL count towards having a positive experience and a desired result.
  • However, all surgery has risks.
  • You need to have an understanding of what symptoms or healing responses might need additional treatment. You need to understand what to look out for in case of; wound infection/wound breakdown, or a hematoma (bleeding under the skin) after surgery.

Finding out about recovery after breast augmentation surgery may help you prepare for your surgery experience and your post-op period.

  • Remember, however, that everyone is unique when it comes to recovery after breast augmentation surgery.
  • Your surgery and recovery experience can vary tremendously from another patient’s experiences or results.
  • DO expect a degree of variability. You’re an individual and will have a UNIQUE experience.
  • Be sure you DO your reading/homework.
  • Feel free to ask your Surgeon and Surgery team any and all questions you have about your procedure, healing time and recovery. It’s important you ask these questions before surgery, as well as after surgery so you know what to expect.

Pain after Breast Augmentation Surgery

  • There’s a lot your Surgeon can do to minimise any post-surgical pain. However, having manageable discomfort and disrupted sleep for a few days or weeks after your breast surgery is usually common/normal. Read our blog on How to Sleep Better After Breast Surgery.
  • Recognise that SOME patients feel a lot of discomfort whilst others will hardly feel any. This partially depends on your genetics and your individual responses to discomfort, and partially on pain management strategies.
  • Severe pain, redness/heat and extreme swelling or bruising will need immediate investigation; as will any other symptom that has you feeling concerned.
  • Some patients may have unexpected complications which can delay healing and recovery or lead to re-operation.
  • Be sure you choose your Surgeon carefully so that you know you’re in good hands throughout the surgery AND during your early recovery process.

Breast Surgery Recovery

  • Breast surgery is considered to be widely performed for suitable candidates, but that does not mean it has no risks.
  • Like all surgeries, elective or otherwise, breast surgery carries both minor risks, such as treatable skin infections (not uncommon), as well as major risks, which are fortunately rarer.
  • Yet breast augmentation surgery is still a major surgical procedure and should never e taken lightly.
  • Find out WHAT type of Surgeon is going to be operating on you and WHICH location/facility you’ll be in.

Timeline for Recovery after Breast Augmentation

Recovery after Breast Surgery – are there any normal time frames to keep in mind?

  • It varies from patient to patient, so these are just general guidelines only.
  • But most healthy patients who don’t have a complication can go back to work about 2 weeks (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) after surgery.
  • It often depends on the physical demands of your job as well as how you heal.
  • Ask your Surgeon for details.
  • Whatever you do, don’t increase your risks by smoking.
  • Allow adequate time to heal.

Many breast surgery patients take at least a week off work. But for some, two weeks might be better, it depends on your job and the type of procedure you’re having.

  • Different occupations have different return dates. Read the Most Suitable time to have for Cosmetic Surgery – Planning your surgery date.
  • Surgery involves etween two weeks to several months’ recovery time, depending on the type of procedure you have.
  • For breast augmentation as a primary procedure, allow 1-2 weeks away from normal duties (average) but DO ask your Surgeon – you may need more.
  • It’s important to realise that adjusting your lifestyle for optimal recovery can take some advanced planning.
  • It’s also important to realise that surgery recovery can feel like an emotional roller coaster at times. Read the Common Emotions & Feelings After Cosmetic Surgery.

As part of your planning for surgery, it’s good to recognise that you may not be cleared to exercise again. This can take several weeks (or months).

Other things to remember

It’s also helpful to know that you’ll need to wear special post-op garments and support bras at all times; this includes at night whilst sleeping.

  • The GUIDE links above can help you know what to expect – be sure you download them and read them.
  • They do not constitute medical advice, however. Every patient is different.
  • It’s CRUCIAL that you speak directly with your SURGEON to find out what’s best for YOUR specific operation and recovery.
  • Make sure you get your Surgeon’s full clearance BEFORE returning to normal activities, particularly; strenuous exercise, high impact sports or very warm environments such as steam rooms.

Additionally, residual discomfort after having breast surgery – along with breast incision scars – may take many months before they become minimised. Speak to your Surgeon to find out what to expect.

Breast Surgeries have different recovery times and every woman is unique, so your recovery guidelines are simply that – estimated time frames (not guarantees) which can vary tremendously between patients.

Different Breast Operations have different recovery times or time frames.

For example, a Breast Lift without Implants (Mastopexy) will have a shorter recovery time than Breast Implants with a Breast Lift (Augmentation-Mastopexy), or a Breast Reduction Surgery, which are even more complex procedures.

Recovery time frames for breast augmentation and other breast surgeries depend on numerous factors, including unexpected complications and your adherence to post-op protocols.

Follow your unique post-op patient care plan and your Surgeon’s instructions

  • Your nutritional intake, your lifestyle, your medical history, your genetics and your healing responses will ALL interact and CAN significantly impact your recovery time.
  • Be sure you eat well, rest properly and DO NOT EVER SMOKE.
  • How well you adhere to your Surgeon’s post-op requirements including; resting, not exercising too soon, wearing the right SUPPORT BRAS/SUPPORT GARMENTS.
  • Taking care of yourself nutritionally not only impacts your healing and recovery but also your results!

Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons will give you a tailored post-operative care plan depending on the type of procedure you have. Be sure to ask if you have any questions and let us know immediately (or contact your GP or available Medical Service Providers) if you have any post-op healing concerns.

Breast Augmentation and Recovery: Is this normal?

That noted you might benefit from general tips about what to do, look out for and avoid after getting implants or other breast augmentation surgery.

This information is general in nature and should not be considered medical advice. This information should not replace your Surgeon’s specific post-op healing instructions.

Some common concerns for breast surgery patients are:

  • How much pain is normal after breast surgery?
  • Is it normal for my breasts and nipples to have different sensitivity after surgery?
  • Do I need to massage the breasts after having implants?
  • What can be done to minimize scarring?
  • Do I need to change the type of bra I wear?

Some pain, nausea and discomfort are all a normal part of recovery, but anything that seems alarming to you (or of concern to you, your friend, family or support circle) should immediately be reported to your Surgeon or available medical care professionals.

If you’re concerned at all, contact us immediately for assistance and advice. Or contact emergency medical services or your local GP.

Breast Surgery is a Collaboration and Teamwork is recommended – each of us has a responsibility in getting the desired recovery and surgery result

As discussed in your consultation, Surgery is a collaborative effort between the Surgeon and Patient.

You AND your Surgical team each have unique, individual responsibilities to help provide for desired surgical outcomes. That responsibility includes your timely reporting of any symptoms or post-op concerns in a timely manner and following the exact advice of your Surgeon for all aspects of your post-operative care – including wearing the right garments, caring for your incision wounds, and not returning to exercise or other strenuous activities until you’ve healed adequately and have been cleared by your Surgeon to do so.

Different Recovery after Breast Implant Surgery

Breast implant surgery RECOVERY time frames can VARY from patient to patient. Because NO TWO PEOPLE – not even identical twins – will have the exact same surgery recovery experiences.

In general, however, you’ll need to allow 1 to 2 weeks to fully rest and recover after having a breast augmentation/breast implant surgery procedure.

Breast Augmentation Recovery: TIPS for Breast Recovery after Breast Implant Surgery

  • RECOGNISE that everyone heals differently
  • READ the instructions your Surgeon gives you for post-surgery aftercare (Post-Surgery Recovery Guides and related materials)
  • DO follow your Plastic Surgeon’s instructions carefully
  • DON’T do anything foolish like smoking or trying to exercise or drive too soon
  • ALERT your Plastic Surgeon immediately if you suspect a complication or infection
  • BE PATIENT – recognise that if you experience a complication or infection, this can slow down the recovery time; allow for flexibility to reduce your post-op stress
  • REMIND yourself WHY you wanted larger breasts (post your BEFORE photo where you can see it)
  • KNOW that your healing and recovery time may pass in just a few weeks’ time* (*most patients)

Is it painful to recover from having Breast Implant surgery?

  • Some patients experience short-term discomfort and/or longer-term discomfort
  • Most discomfort or pain is managed by over-the-counter pain medications and/or local anaesthetic
  • Consult your Surgeon if you need more assistance during your initial recovery
  • Remember, wearing a support bra 24/7 is imperative for getting the desired result.

Post-Surgery HOME CARE and HOME assistance

  • Having a good SUPPORT system at HOME can aid your recovery
  • CHOOSE very supportive friend(s) and/or family to be close by to assist you for 1 to 2 weeks
  • Don’t drive, lift small children or perform other strenuous activities until your Surgeon gives you the ‘all clear’

Emotions and Sleeping after Breast Surgery

  • Recognise that you might feel emotional after having surgery – keep your BEFORE photo handy as you heal
  • EXPECT initial difficulty sleeping
  • ASK your Surgeon which resting POSITIONS are required. You may need to rest/sleep elevated or propped up for a few days and avoid sleeping in face-down positions
  • BE sure you have a COMFORTABLE room and BED to rest in
  • TIP: create a pampering healing space before your operation

Read How to Sleep better after Breast Augmentation Surgery – Tips for Sleeping after Surgery.

GOOD distractions can be helpful as you heal

  • You may initially experience discomfort or potential sensation changes after surgery. But discomfort tends to abate over a period of several weeks
  • TIP: It can help to have BOOKS, VIDEOS/FILMS, NETFLIX and/or RELAXATION and MEDIATION RECORDINGS on hand to help keep you occupied or distracted during your recovery

Attend Follow-Up and Post-Surgery Consults

  • You’ll need to ATTEND follow up appointment(s)/post-op examinations; some patients may need external sutures removed
  • TIP: Before attending the clinic, ASK us about our special post-surgery Healite II treatments (low-level light therapy) and facial treatments available at Coco Ruby – the Clinic is in the same location as your Melbourne follow-ups.

How LONG is the recovery after breast implant surgery?

  • The length of your Recovery Period will depend on:
    • your specific procedure
    • your body’s unique responses to surgery
    • other factors
  • As above, Recovery time frames CAN VARY; but in general
    • usually recovery after breast augmentation tends to require from 1-2 weeks away from work and other activities
    • you may need 4 to 6 weeks or longer BEFORE resuming certain more strenuous activities
  • Some activities MAY need to be postponed for a few more months after surgery. Some Surgeons suggest waiting longer before resuming high impact sports such as boxing or horse riding.
  • TIP: Scar maturation may take up to 12 months to ‘settle’ – until then, they are typically pinkish or darker in colour

ATHLETE’s TIP: If you’re a competitive athlete, television presenter or model who’s getting breast implants, DO ask your Plastic Surgeon about scheduling your surgery at the most suitable time for your schedule to ALLOW for adequate healing and recovery time frames.

Plus – ask how having larger breasts after getting implants might impact your exercise routines.

Best blog to read next: Tips for Cosmetic Surgery Recovery: Emotions after having Cosmetic Surgery

Can you do anything to speed up your recovery after breast implant surgery?

Breast Augmentation Recovery: You will need to work with your Surgeon to allow for adequate and proper healing and recovery time after getting breast implants.

It is important to work collaboratively with your Plastic Surgeon at all times. Follow your Surgeon’s recommendations after having breast implants.

  • TIP: To achieve the desired Breast Surgery results and reduce complication risks, it is important to maintain a healthy, nutritious lifestyle and to wear the right support bra.
  • Understand that CHANGES to your weight/body mass index (BMI), health and lifestyle may impact your results (pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain or weight loss).

After your recovery, be sure you SCHEDULE and ATTEND all follow-up appointments. This includes ANNUAL REVIEWS by your Melbourne Surgeon and alert your operating Surgeon to any concerns about having breast implants.

Searching for a Breast Augmentation surgeon in Melbourne? REVIEW the surgical experiences of some of Melbourne’s Most Experienced Breast Augmentation Surgeons.

Learn More – Read the FREE Guides

To learn more about breast augmentation surgery, you can contact us for confidentiality using the enquiry form below. Or you can give a Patient Care Coordinator a call on (03) 8849 1400

Download our free guides or phone (03) 8849 1400 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.

Read more about Recovery after Breast Reduction

Always choose a Plastic Surgeon

*Disclaimer: Each surgery result and experience is unique and can vary significantly. Surgery is serious and should never be taken lightly. Every patient is unique and surgical results, healing time frames and returning to exercises and other daily activities can vary a lot from patient to patient. You will get customised information about recovery time frames and returning to exercise during your pre-surgical consultations with your Plastic Surgeon and Nursing Team.

Further Reading about Breast Augmentation

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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