Will I Need Full-Time Care After Breast Surgery?

If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, there is a *timeline* for your recovery that you need to understand. If you want to stay safe and avoid any problems or complications following surgery you need to have a realistic idea of how long your recovery period will be. This will surprise you but please don’t try and go back to work the next day, some women have gone back – with bad results.

Of course, everyone is different, and the timeline for recovering after breast augmentation varies and depends on –

  • Where your breast implant was placed – over or under the chest muscle. Augmentation under the chest muscle causes more pain and lengthens the recovery process. However, there are advantages to sub muscular placement
  • Your overall health and physical conditioning. Patients who are physically fit and who are in good health will recover from surgery faster.
  • The size of the implant – large implants require larger incisions which lengthen recovery times and increases postoperative discomfort
  • Pain tolerance – pain tolerance varies and the higher your tolerance to pain, the faster your recovery
  • Having a lift done at the same time as your augmentation will lengthen your recovery time
  • Using breast implant displacement exercises, starting these exercises early is important to help speed the recovery process, reduce pain, and to improve the final results
  • If you have been pregnant, while it sounds strange, women who have been pregnant before an augmentation tend to recover faster, can tolerate larger implants and experience less pain. This is most likely due to the breasts being stretched during pregnancy.

General recovery time for an implant over the muscle, under the gland

Day 1-4 – you will experience moderate discomfort which can be controlled by pain medication. You will need to rest, wear a support bra and are not to lift anything. If you have children, you will need help caring for them, you will be up walking around to keep your leg muscles active. If your implants look high – don’t worry.

Day 5-10 – if you have started implant displacement exercises, which were started around day 3 or 4 the pain should be almost gone. You will be able to slowly resume your normal day to day activities– but not physical exercise. If you have a sedentary job you could do some computer work at home. It’s still not recommended to return to work this early.

Day 10 -14 – sutures will be removed, you can return to work and resume normal activities but not exercise.

2-3 weeks – can return to exercising and your fitness routine IF the DR has given you the ok and your incisions have healed well

4-6 weeks – the position of your implant will now look more normal as surrounding tissue starts to accommodate the increased volume.

3 months – by now your implants have dropped into their natural position, and should be soft and moveable. If you find any hardness or firmness speak to your DR.

General recovery time for an implant under the muscle

Day 1- 10 – you will find moderate discomfort requiring pain medication, no exercise, lifting or housework. You will need a supportive spouse or friend to help with child care. Start displacement exercises as soon as possible, doing so will help speed up pain relief, and will speed your recovery and improve your results.

Day 10 – 14 – by now you should be able to resume most day to day activities and return to work, no heavy lifting or vigorous exercising

2-3 weeks – you can increase your exercise and daily activities. Displacement exercises are still important, but no vigorous upper body exercising like push ups or weightlifting

4 – 6 weeks implants will have dropped into a more natural position and pain should be gone, keep up with displacement exercises but avoid push ups and weight lifting

3 months – your implants should be soft, and look normal, ask your doctor about weight lifting or push ups and if you feel any firmness or asymmetry speak to your DR.

This is just a general guideline, everyone is different, speak to your DR and follow his or her instructions and recommendations for you.


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