How Long Does Recovery From Breast Augmentation Take?
It takes between 6 and 8 weeks for a patient to recover and resume normal activities after a breast augmentation procedure. By week 8, it is safe to resume normal exercise and other strenuous activities. The breasts will settle into their final position over the next few months. The results of breast augmentation are final after 1 year.
For most patients, it is safe to return to work or school after 1-2 weeks. If you have a more physically demanding job, you should take at least 2 weeks off. For students and office staff, 1 week is plenty of time to heal.
How Do I Prepare for Breast Augmentation?
How well you prepare for your procedure can play a powerful role in your recovery week-by-week experience. After your consultation, you will be given a list of prep instructions. It is important that you follow these to the letter because it will help you avoid side effects and minimize risks.
All prep instructions are personalized to your health needs. Most prep instructions include the following:
- If you are a smoker, it is time to quit.
- Do not consume alcohol or recreational drugs for at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure.
- Quit taking any blood thinner medications, such as aspirin.
- You may be asked to stop taking certain herbal supplements because they can increase the risk of bruising.
- Stay hydrated.
- Stop eating and drinking at least 8 hours before the procedure.
- You may be instructed to shower in a certain way the morning before the procedure.
What Does Breast Augmentation Recovery Week by Week Look Like?
The procedure for breast implants involves making small incisions near the treatment area in order to insert the silicone or saline implants. Because of how involved the procedure can be, it is always done under general anesthesia. It is also normal for your body to be sore and for there to be manageable amounts of discomfort afterward.
1-12 Hours After the Procedure
After your breast augmentation, you will wake up in the recovery room. Most patients wake up within an hour after their procedure has ended. At this time, you will feel sore and drowsy. Your chest will be bandaged and supported with a recovery bra.
Because it is not safe to drive after undergoing general anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home and look after you for the first day. Before you are sent home, you will receive a prescription for pain medications and potentially an antibiotic. You will also receive extra dressings and instructions regarding how to care for the incisions.
The First 5 Days
The most discomfort will be in the first 5 days. You should take pain medication as prescribed and ice the treatment area in 20 minute bursts. During this time, you may experience light bleeding at the incision sites; this is completely normal. However, if the bleeding is more than the amount of a nose bleed or if it soaks through multiple bandages, contact Dr. Nadir Qazi immediately.
For the first few days after the procedure, you should sleep as much as you can, stay hydrated, don’t lift anything heavy, and generally take it easy.
End of Week 1
By the end of the first week, most of the pain will have subsided. Some lingering soreness is normal, but all bleeding should have stopped. After a week, you should be able to switch from your prescription pain medication to an over-the-counter pain medication, if needed.
With your doctor’s approval, you are safe to begin light activities at the end of the first week. If you feel up to it, you can resume everyday activities like grocery shopping. You can also ease yourself back into your exercise routine; light yoga, walking, and moderate lower body weight training is acceptable after a week, but continue to avoid chest exercises and lifting anything heavy. Most patients report that they are able to return to work or school after 1 week of recovery.
2 to 5 Weeks After the Procedure
Patients who have a physically demanding job may need to take up to 3 weeks off to recover. Over the next few weeks, you can slowly return to all your normal activities, including strenuous exercise and weight training.
While some slight changes to skin sensation may linger, any bruising or swelling should be long gone by week 5. You will also notice your incisions beginning to heal and fade.
The general guideline for breast augmentation recovery week by week guides is that patients are completely recovered after 6 to 8 weeks. By week 6, some patients will be ready to embrace their new breasts, while others will still need another few weeks of taking it easy. The length of a person’s recovery can vary a little depending on certain factors:
- Age – Older people can take longer to heal than younger people
- If you have a history of smoking
- The quality of your skin
- If you experience any side effects
- How well did you follow directions in the first few weeks of your recovery
- The quality of the food you’re eating and if you’re staying hydrated
- The implant placement – it takes a little longer to recover from implants placed under the muscle.
1 Year Later
6 to 8 weeks normally marks the end of the breast augmentation recovery timeline; however, it can take up to a year for your results to be final. This means that your breasts will settle into their new shape and position over the course of several months. During this time, your incisions will also heal and fade to the point where they will be nearly invisible to others.
4 Breast Augmentation Recovery Tips for an Easier Recovery
As you go through your breast augmentation recovery week by week, there are a few things that you can do to make your recovery a little easier. Some of these things will also help give you the best results possible.
1. Wear Your Support Bra 22-23 Hours a Day
When you are sent home, you will be provided with a specialized surgical support bra. It is very important that you wear it almost all the time for the duration of your recovery. You can take it off to shower, but it is very important that you wear it.
After cosmetic procedures, patients are normally given support garments to wear. There are a few different reasons for this. First, keeping pressure on the treatment area can help reduce swelling. Second, the tightness of the garment will support your new breasts until they heal to prevent sagging. Finally, support garments apply even pressure to the treatment area, so your breasts do not heal or settle asymmetrically.
2. Do Not Jump the Gun on Buying New Bras
Yes, it is very exciting to have the body of your dreams and the perfect breasts that you’ve always wanted. However, you should not start buying new bras until 3 months after your procedure. This is because you will need time to heal before you can wear normal bras again. Even after the 8 week breast augmentation recovery period is over, your breasts will continue to settle into their new shape.
To avoid buying something that will no longer fit in a few months, you should give it 3 months after the procedure to buy a new bra. The results of the procedure will be final after 1 years; after a year, you will be safe to purchase more bras and invest in some sexy lingerie.
3. Stay Hydrated and Eat Nutritious Food
After a procedure like a breast augmentation, your body will literally be repairing itself. To help it along, you need to give your body the tools it needs to heal quickly. Over the course of your recovery, you should keep yourself hydrated, eat nutrient-dense foods, and stay away from alcohol. If you previously smoked or used other nicotine products, including vaping, you should not resume the habit after your procedure. Smoking can hinder the body’s healing ability, making your recovery longer.
4. Do Not Try to Do Too Much Too Fast
Even if you feel fine, even if you think you’re okay, do not jump back into normal activities too quickly. Dr. Qazi and his surgical team tell patients that they should not lift more than 20 pounds as they recover from breast augmentation. The reason for this is that you don’t want to risk tearing your stitches or straining your chest. If something weighs over 20 pounds, have someone else pick it up for you.
Additionally, you should stick to sponge baths for the first few days. Your incisions will need extra healing time before it is safe to get them wet. Even after you are ready to shower again, you should avoid baths, pools, and saunas. Submerging an incision before it is completely healed can hurt the healing process.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline
How long until my breasts look normal?
It takes about a year for your breasts to look normal. After a year, the size and shape will be final after the breasts have settled properly. Up until the year mark, you may be instructed to squeeze or pinch your breasts in a certain way to help them develop the right shape.
Is the recovery from breast augmentation worth the pain?
Breast augmentation has a 98% approval rating. For the right candidates, breast augmentation is absolutely worth the discomfort during the recovery. You will be sore, bruised, and unable to sleep comfortably on your stomach for a few weeks, but the results last 10 to 15 years. It is a desirable trade-off for women who want larger breasts.
Does Dr. Nadir Qazi perform breast augmentations himself?
No, Dr. Qazi is a board-certified cosmetic physician, so his specialty is in natural-looking, non-invasive procedures. If you decide to get Botox, fillers, or a PDO thread lift in the months after your implants, Dr. Qazi will be happy to perform those procedures. For surgical procedures, Dr. Qazi works with a team of experienced plastic surgeons who are available to help his patients get the results that they want.
How much does the breast augmentation recovery week by week timeline vary?
The breast augmentation timeline is fairly standard in that women can return to work after 1-2 weeks and that it takes 6-8 weeks to recover completely. If you have multiple procedures done at the same time – for example, a BBL, liposuction, or a tummy tuck – your recovery may be extended.
Patients who do not follow all your pre-op and post-op instructions will also have a harder and longer recovery, as do chronic smokers. If you have a condition that you worry will impact or hinder your procedure, that is something to discuss with Dr. Qazi and his team.
For the Best Results and Recovery, Choose Qazi Cosmetic Clinic
Qazi Cosmetic Clinic is the premier medspa and plastic surgery center in Orange County, California. Dr. Qazi’s team of surgeons specializes in natural-looking results that fit your figure. If you are considering breast augmentation, schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic today!
By: Dr. Nadir Qazi
Dr. Nadir Qazi is a board certified physician specializing in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and an instructor for advanced injections and laser techniques.