What to Expect When Recovering From Breast Augmentation Surgery

December 30, 2023

You've just undergone breast augmentation surgery at your Raleigh plastic surgery practice and you're eager to see the final results. However, it’s important to understand that recovery takes time, and you'll need to be patient as your body heals. Here's what to typically expect during your recovery and some tips to help ensure proper healing.

Swelling and Bruising Are Normal Initially

After your breast augmentation procedure, it’s normal to experience swelling, bruising, and mild discomfort. This is a standard part of the healing process. The swelling may cause your breasts to appear larger than their final size. Bruises often appear blue, purple, yellow, or green before fading. The bruising and swelling can last 2 to 3 weeks but should gradually subside during that timeframe. Wearing your surgical bra as directed can help minimize swelling during initial recovery.

Follow Post-Op Instructions Closely

Be sure to follow all post-operative instructions from your breast augmentation plastic surgeon closely during recovery. This includes guidelines for wearing compression garments, using cold compresses, keeping incisions clean, taking medication properly, and more. Carefully adhering to these instructions reduces risks of complications and helps facilitate proper, timely healing. Avoid sleeping on your stomach for 4 to 6 weeks and don’t lift your hands over your head during the initial recovery. Follow activity restrictions from your surgeon, so you don’t aggravate incisions.

Begin Light Daily Activities After 1 to 2 Weeks

During the first week following surgery, take it very easy and don’t engage in strenuous activities. After the first 1 to 2 weeks, you can begin integrating light daily activities back into your routine in a gradual way. Tasks like cooking, doing dishes, or other light housework are likely fine in moderation. Still, avoid anything involving heavy lifting, pulling, or straining movements. Build back up to your fitness routine slowly by starting with short walks.

Expect Moderate Discomfort

Some pain and discomfort in the first couple of weeks following your procedure is perfectly normal. While everyone has a different pain tolerance, most patients report the discomfort as moderate but manageable, subsiding within 5 to 7 days. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to alleviate more severe discomfort initially. As pain subsides, many patients switch to using Tylenol or ibuprofen instead. Don’t hesitate to contact your care team if pain seems excessive.

Notice Changes in Sensation

Many patients notice changes in breast and nipple sensitivity or sensation after their augmentation. Don’t be alarmed as this is common. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, hypersensitivity, or other sensory changes as nerves impacted during surgery regrow and reconnect over 2 to 6 months post-operation. Sensation typically returns to normal, but the process takes patience. Let your surgeon’s office know if you have serious concerns about sensation changes.

The key is allowing enough time for rest and recovery in the weeks following your breast augmentation procedure. While the waiting period can feel tedious, remember that healing happens on the body’s timeline. Take it slow, follow your surgeon’s recovery instructions, and be patient with yourself throughout the process. Doing so helps ensure you properly heal and can enjoy the beautiful, natural-looking results you’ve envisioned. If you have any questions or concerns during your recovery, don't hesitate to contact your trusted breast augmentation plastic surgeon.

 

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