Breast implant surgery, often referred to as a breast augmentation, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States. Over 300,000 American women choose to have a breast augmentation a year. During a breast augmentation, a surgeon inserts synthetic implants into the chest to enhance the volume and appearance of breasts. The procedure is typically done to increase breast size or to improve breast symmetry.
Breast implants are incredibly common and generally carry low risk. However, many women considering getting a breast augmentation ask us: What is the aftercare of breast implant surgery?
Below we detail a step-by-step guide of what to expect when recovering from a breast augmentation:
Immediately After: Rest!
You should try to sit, stand and walk around by the evening of your surgery to help prevent blood clots. However, your breast augmentation post-op care should include no activity beyond this for the first few days. All patients generally need at least two days of rest after the procedure. This should be followed by several days of reduced activity. Expect to sleep on your back for optimal recovery and avoid moving your arms too much, as this could aggravate the chest muscles. Patients will need to refrain from vigorous exercise and lifting heavy objects for the first few days following surgery and should strictly follow surgeon guidelines for incision care.
Patients should expect to feel very tired and sore after having a breast augmentation, as surgery is very taxing on the body. Because of this, the first few days after surgery are typically the most uncomfortable. If you are tired, listen to your body and take it easy. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication for the first few days to help ease any discomfort.
After a Few Days to a Week: Slowly Get Back to Basics
The first few days after a breast augmentation, most women can manage postoperative discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers. In addition, a majority of women are able to return to desk jobs about a week following surgery. The chest area may feel different and a bit tight during these days. This is to be expected and should ease over time.
Patients can start returning back to normal activities and light exercise at this time. However, patients should avoid strenuous or jarring activities such as running, kickboxing or rigorous workouts. Surgeons also discourage heavy lifting until full recovery.
After One to Two Months: Full Recovery
Around one to two months after your breast augmentation, you should start feeling 100 percent again. All sensation and proper range of motion should return to your chest, along with reduced pain. While most women have completely recovered during this time, it is important to listen to your body and continue to modify your regular activity until you feel ready to tackle more intense physical exercise.