Knowing what to expect on your breast augmentation surgery recovery journey can help reduce your anxiety as well as improve your adherence to post-operative instructions.
Breast Augmentation Surgery – Download Dr Briggs FREE Guide
Is Your Breast Augmentation Surgery Recovery Normal?
Undergoing breast augmentation surgery is an extremely personal decision. While it may take you some time to come to the decision, the results of the procedure can have a significant impact on your self-esteem. However, before you finally achieve your aesthetic goals, you need to consider several factors.
It goes without saying that, not understanding what to expect during the recovery period can make people anxious. So, we have done most of the work for you. Below are the different phases of breast augmentation recovery so you can get a glimpse of what to expect post-operatively to help put your mind at ease.
What are the Types of Breast Augmentation Surgery?
There are two main types of breast augmentation.
- First you have Cosmetic breast implant surgery. This surgical procedure alters not only the size but also the shape of the breasts. This is done by using either a silicone or saline implant that is inserted behind the breast tissue or below the pectoralis muscle (chest muscle).
- While the second is Breast reconstruction surgery. This surgical procedure reconstructs or rebuilds one or both breasts using either breast implants or fat tissue from another part of the body of the patient. Breast reconstruction surgery is oftenly done on patients who have had surgical removal of the breasts to prevent the spread of breast cancer.
For best results, you can combine a breast augmentation with a breast lift (mastopexy).
How Long is the Recovery Time After Breast Augmentation?
It’s important to keep in mind that every patient is unique. Therefore, the recovery time may vary from person to person. However, surgeons generally agree that full recovery can occur around the 6-week mark.
After your surgery, your surgeon will assess your overall health status and provide you with a more definitive breast augmentation recovery timeline.
What Should You Expect During the Recovery Period?
Immediately after breast surgery, you will likely feel groggy due to the effects of general anaesthesia. If the breast implants were inserted under the pectoralis muscle, you may feel a tight sensation or muscle ache in your chest. As your chest muscle stretches and relaxes, these discomforts will gradually decrease.
After a few hours, you may experience a reduction in sleepiness and breast soreness. Your surgeon or nurse will wrap your operated breasts with a special bra or an elastic bandage to support the healing breasts and prevent trauma to the incision line.
Once the health care team has evaluated your health condition and there were no untoward signs and symptoms, you will be then discharged from the hospital. However, you must have someone to drive you home because you will be unable to drive.
The first 3 to 5 days is when you are most likely to experience discomfort. To alleviate the pain and swelling, your surgeon will advise you to take the prescribed medication. You may also notice minor bleeding at the surgical site, which is normal. However, if uncontrolled bleeding is present, consult your primary care provider immediately.
Recovery After week 1
After one week, the pain at the surgical site tends to become tolerable and your reliance on pain medication will lessen. In addition, and with your surgeon’s approval, you may gradually resume some of your daily activities. However, you will still need to avoid strenuous activities and religiously wear your support bra for a better cosmetic result.
In the weeks following, minimum breast soreness and swelling may still be present but these will not cause significant discomforts. While you may feel that you are almost recovered, caution is still needed in regards to heavy lifting and vigorous activities like running and performing high-intensity exercises. In addition, if you have a physically demanding job, you will need to take extra time off work to allow your breasts to heal.
After 2 months, the surgical incisions should fully heal with no signs of bruising, bleeding, soreness, or redness. Although, you may still need to wear a support bra. You can also get back to work and resume most of your normal activities. Your surgeon will let you know what activities will work best for you to prevent complications.
What are the Possible Complications of Breast Augmentation?
Just like all types of surgery, breast augmentation poses potential complications, for example;
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Breast cellulitis
- BIA-ALCL – Also known as Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma
- Breast numbness
- Changes to breast or nipple sensation
- Breast pain
- Problems with breastfeeding
- Breasts appear to merge (symmastia)
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Implant is seen or felt through the skin
- Incorrect position of implant
- Leakage of breast implants
- Scarring around the breast implant (capsular contracture)
- Scarring that changes the breast shape
What are the Self-Help Strategies to Improve Recovery Time After Breast Augmentation?
The success of breast augmentation will depend on how well you heal. To improve recovery time after breast augmentation, adhere to the following self-help strategies:
- Firstly, wear support bras to reduce breast pain and swelling.
- Secondly, apply prescribed ointment to your surgical incisions, this helps prevent infection.
- Thirdly, ensure you take your pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to manage discomfort.
- It is also advisable to wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothes, as it promotes comfort and prevents injury to the incision site.
- Another self help stratagy is to avoid strenuous activities to prevent tension on the healing wound.
- And, finally increase the intake of protein-rich foods to accelerate the wound healing process.
Can You Still Breastfeed After Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation does not affect your ability to breastfeed. In fact, a 2019 study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that women who gave birth after primary breast augmentation with silicone or saline implants were able to breastfeed their infants without complications. 
Is Breast Augmentation Safe?
The safety of the procedure depends on the material used in the breast implant. For instance, the use of implants with higher or more cohesive gel is associated with a lower risk of rupture or break.  Your surgeon will decide which breast implants will best suit your body anatomy and desired cosmetic results.
Want to know more about breast augmentation and the types of breast implants that will work best for you? Send in an enquiry form below or call us today.
- US National Library of Medicine on Lactation Outcomes in More Than 3500 Women Following Primary Augmentation: 5-Year Data From the Breast Implant Follow-Up Study
- National Center for Biotechnology Information on Breast Augmentation
Dr Patrick Briggs
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Dr Patrick Briggs offers not only high quality but also natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.