Breast Augmentation Recovery Week by Week

Woman looking down at hands with recovery bra. (MODEL)

Getting breast augmentation is exciting, but you may feel uncertain about the recovery process and what to expect. If you’ve chosen a board-certified plastic surgeon, they should ensure you have a safe and smooth recovery, but it always helps to be prepared. Remember, not everyone will have the same recovery process, but understanding what you can typically expect should help ease your mind before your surgery..

What To Expect Week by Week

Outlined below are some weekly and monthly milestones you can expect during your breast augmentation recovery.

Week 1

After your procedure, a friend or family member will need to drive you home and stay with you the first night. You will experience some swelling, and soreness, but you will have prescription pain medication to manage discomfort. The first-week post-procedure is a time to rest and relax, although you should get up and walk around every hour or so. This will promote circulation, which helps prevent blood clots and aids in the healing process.

You will wear a surgical bra during the first week except when showering. You will also need to sleep on your back with your head propped up to keep swelling to a minimum. Most patients can return to a non-strenuous job 7 to 10 days after breast augmentation. However, your recovery process is unique, and you should always listen to your body.

Week 2

Week 2 is for adjusting to your new breasts as you continue to recover from your procedure. You will probably start feeling much more like yourself during this time, and will no longer need pain medication. Expect to see a decrease in swelling and bruising as your breasts heal, although you still have a long journey ahead of you. As your incisions heal, the skin around them may feel itchy and sensitive. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on what creams or lotions to apply to the area.

Keep engaging in light movements such as slow walking and gentle stretching to keep the blood circulating. Since the sometimes intense first week of recovery is complete, the second week may bring on mood fluctuations. Make sure to talk to your plastic surgeon if you feel any negative emotions about your recovery process.

Weeks 3 & 4

You will continue to improve during weeks 3 and 4 and start to see your new breasts take shape. Keep in mind, your breasts may appear high and tight for several months until the muscles soften and the implants “drop and fluff.” Most patients only have mild bruising and swelling during this time, so you can increase your level of physical activity. Continue focusing on incision care for the best scar outcome.

Weeks 3 and 4 are about getting comfortable with your new breasts as you progress in your recovery. You can resume strenuous activities after week 4 if you feel ready and if okayed by your plastic surgeon. In some cases, you may have to wait 6 weeks before you can engage in strenuous activities.

Weeks 5 & 6

You should be back into your regular routine and nearing the end of your recovery! This is a good time to try new clothes and show off your new breasts, although they may continue to “drop and fluff” for a while. You should be ready for intense workouts and upper body exercises by week 6, but take it slow and follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions. Keep monitoring your incisions and contact your plastic surgeon if you notice anything amiss.

Month 3

Most people are fully recovered at this point with no swelling or bruising. Your breasts should be well on their way to being fully “settled.” Take some time to enjoy all you have accomplished during this time.

How To Navigate Your Breast Augmentation Recovery Smoothly

The recovery process after breast augmentation can be challenging, but taking the following simple steps can help you navigate this process.

Follow Your Plastic Surgeon’s Aftercare Instructions

A board-certified plastic surgeon can give you realistic expectations regarding your recovery and helpful information on how to achieve the best results. Follow their recommendations on incision care, sleeping positions, activities to avoid, and more.

Be Cautious When Exercising

If you are a naturally active person, it might be difficult to be sedentary, but rushing into working out too soon can impact your results. While gentle movement is a good thing, be patient before resuming strenuous exercises and activities.

Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

These products can impact your healing process by constricting blood flow and making post-operative swelling last longer. It’s a good idea to stop consuming alcohol and smoking several weeks before and after your breast augmentation.

Breast augmentation recovery isn’t necessarily the fun part, but you can use this time as a chance to focus on your body and yourself. We help our patients navigate breast augmentation recovery and achieve excellent results, as you can see in these before and after photos. To learn more, request a consultation or call us at (205) 933-9308 to schedule an appointment. 

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