Breast Implant Recovery Time
Many women find that having a breast augmentation is a wonderful way to enhance their figure and improve their self esteem. It’s one of the more popular surgeries performed by board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard J. Brown at his practice in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is generally a safe and simple procedure.
Dr. Brown’s patients who are considering getting breast implants are often anxious to know when they can resume normal activity levels. Recovery times vary slightly for each patient, but each stage of recovery usually falls in the same general time frame.
Related: 5 Myths About Breast Augmentation
Day of Surgery
Breast augmentation surgeries are usually outpatient procedures, and most patients are able to go home the same day. You must have a responsible adult stay with you at all times during the first 24 hours you are released from the surgical center.
You should be able to shower by about 36 hours after your surgery. Swelling will be at its peak about 48 hours post-op, and the effects of your anesthesia can last for up to 72 hours. Please exercise caution during this period to avoid injuring yourself or others. You will likely experience the highest pain level of your recovery on the second or third day. Continue taking medications as directed. During this time you may also wish to consume bland foods like you would eat after having the flu.
Most patients are cleared to drive 4 or 5 days following their surgeries. However, you should not operate a vehicle if you are still taking narcotic medication or have not been given approval by Dr. Brown.
Your post-operative visit will usually be scheduled around this time. Until your visit you should not travel by air or train, or by car for long distances. Stick with trips that are less than 60 minutes. Do not drive the car until you have finished the stronger pain medications and Dr. Brown has cleared you to operate a vehicle. Do not lift your arms above your head for a week following your surgery, and continue to wear your surgical support bra for the first week.
The steri strips on your sutures will remain for a week or 10 days following your surgery. Some itching around the sutures is normal, but do not scratch, as this will damage your skin and slow the healing process. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or applying hot or warm compresses to your sutures.
Dr. Brown usually instructs patients to begin massage exercises to soften implants and maintain a natural look to the breasts. You will be given specific instructions regarding when to begin these exercises, but they frequently fall within this range. Avoid intercourse for the first two weeks following surgery.
Swelling should only be at about 50 percent by this point, but avoid submerging incisions until this point. Note that breasts will still appear larger than their final size. If you are unhappy with your breast size, Dr. Brown recommends that you allow swelling to subside completely before pursuing further breast alterations. Light cardio activities such as walking or using a stationary bicycle may be resumed at 3 weeks, with Dr. Brown’s permission. Most patients should sleep on their backs or sides for these first few weeks.
You will wear a surgical bra or sports bra for at least a month following your surgery. If you are a smoker, you may resume smoking 4 weeks after your surgery, though Dr. Brown urges his patients to quit smoking completely as soon as they are able.
The majority of your swelling should have diminished by this point. It’s best to avoid playing sports, lifting more than 10 pounds, or engaging in vigorous activity like heavy housework or yard work for at least 6 weeks after your surgery, though Dr. Brown may advise you to wait for longer. At 6 weeks, most patients are cleared to transition from a surgical or sports bra to a regular bra as long as it does not have an underwire.
Most patients are cleared to transition back to an underwire bra at three months after their surgery.
Swelling should have subsided completely by this point. Your implants should be situated comfortably and you may participate in any of the activities you may have before your augmentation. Enjoy your new body!
If you have more questions regarding a breast augmentation surgery, or if you wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard J. Brown, give our offices a call at 480-568-3804.