Recovering after Breast Augmentation Surgery – what is normal and not normal
Breast augmentation surgery remains one of the most frequently requested cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.
Most of us have either friends or family members who have decided to boost the size or their breasts, as well as countless celebrities including Iggy Azalea. So you are in great company if you’ve chosen to investigate your breast enhancement options.
The top four most frequently performed surgeries requested to help improve appearance or physical proportions include:
Breast Surgery Recovery: Safety first!
Breast surgery is considered very safe for suitable candidates. But like all surgeries, breast surgery carries both minor risks, such as treatable skin infections (not uncommon) as well as major risks, which are fortunately more rare. Yet it is still a major procedure and should never be taken lightly.
It also involves between two weeks to several month’s recovery time, depending on the type of procedure you have.
- 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 Blog on Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster of Post-Surgery Recovery).
“When Can I Return to Exercise after Breast Surgery” is also a Frequently Asked Question
As part of your planning for surgery, it’s good to recognise that you may not be cleared to exercise again for several weeks (or months).
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 – which can improve your chances for best long-term breast augmentation results.
Additionally, residual discomfort from breast surgery – along with scars – can take many months before they become minimised.
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.
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 depends 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 impact your recovery time. So will how well you adhere to your Surgeon’s post-op requirements including resting, wearing the right garments and taking care of yourself nutritionally and by avoiding certain activities.
Our Surgeons will give you a post-operative care plan – just for you – according to the type of procedure you have had performed. 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 & Surgery Recovery: Is this normal?
Each woman reacts differently to the experience of breast surgery or any other type of procedure.
That noted, you might benefit from general tips about what to do, look out for and avoid after getting implants or other breast enhancement 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 to 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 works best – each of us has a responsibility in getting an optimal recovery and surgery result
As discussed in your consultation, Surgery is a collaborative effort between Surgeon and Patient.
You AND your Surgical team each have unique, individual responsibilities to help provide for optimal surgery 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.
Be proactive in discussing your concerns or seeking medical advice if you have a concern – don’t delay.
Here are 5 top dos and don’ts following Breast Augmentation surgery
This may also apply to other breast procedures but is general information only and not intended to replace advice from your Surgeon or Medical Care Coordinators.
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.
No marathons, crossfit or strenuous exercise for at least the first few weeks after your breast augmentation surgery (until your Surgeon says it’s okay)! Listen to your body and gradually increase your level of activity, but be sure to ask your Surgeon when they believe you’re ready for your more arduous workouts or daily activities.
Please speak to our medical coordinators about what level of gentle exercise you can start with to get you active again.
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 this is extreme or if you or your care-team is concerned.
DO follow our guidelines for caring for your wounds.
- Depending on the surgery you have had done, 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 down and check your wounds at the one week post operative appointment.
- We will then guide you how to manage and care for these wounds to get the best healing outcome and the best scar result.
DON’T wear your regular bras after you get implants or a breast lift.
Your new chest needs different support as you recover from your surgical procedure, and from the point of surgery forward, to best maintain your breast enlargement 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. Definitely no underwire bras for the first 12 weeks.
DO Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.
Nutrition is crucial to good healing and a quick recovery.
A balanced diet with plenty of fluids is the key.
There are also some special mineral and vitamin supplements that have proven benefits to recovery from surgery and other experiences which impact the body.
Our RAPID RECOVERY kit contains several great products that can help you recovery well from your Breast Enlargement Surgery / Breast Augmentation Surgery (or Breast Reduction and Breast Lift procedure).
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 best maintain your new breasts after surgery, but only you have control over the day-to-day and year-to-year choices that can significantly impact the longevity of your results and your satisfaction with your results over time.
Our reminder: Be sure you wear a great support bra at all times after your breast enhancement surgery – especially if you’re going horseback riding or other high-impact sports.
Conclusion: 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 favorite exercises, fitness classes and sporting competitions.
Plus, follow your Surgeon’s post-op care instructions exactly to help you get through your recovery period with the best chance for a great outcome and minimal complications.
Every patient in 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.
To learn more about breast augmentation surgery, you can contact us confidentiality using the enquiry form below. Or you can give a Patient Care Coordinator or Surgeon’s Nurse a call on (03) 8849 1444.