Why Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon and be confident you are in the care of a highly trained surgeon you can trust.
Breast augmentation has been one of the most popular cosmetic procedures around the world for years and was the top surgical procedure in the United States last year. Many women report much higher levels of self-confidence and happiness following breast enhancement procedures, and report being extremely satisfied with the results of their surgeries.
Before surgery however, learning what to expect post-surgery and how long it will take for a patient to feel completely recovered can help patients better prepare for what can be a life-transforming experience.
It's important to note that, since every woman's body is unique, there is no exact timeline for recovery. However, most surgeons agree that a full recovery can take on average six weeks or so, and women may notice that they feel perfectly fine after about a week.
Your surgeon will be able to assess your overall health and give you a more definitive timeline prior to the procedure.
Immediately after waking from anesthesia, you will likely feel groggy and sore. It may feel a bit like a hangover, but these effects should wear off in a matter of hours. However, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you overnight.
Typically, the first three to five days are the most uncomfortable. Your doctor will likely prescribe pain medication, and your surgeon may even recommend receiving a pain injection or pain pump to ease discomfort for those first 72 hours.
After the first few days, most women can manage postoperative discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers. In addition, a majority of women are able to return to desk jobs about a week following surgery.
After the first week, patients are encouraged to slowly ease back into light exercise and a normal daily routine. The discomfort should be minimal by this point, but doctors advise women to refrain from strenuous or jarring activity like running, horseback riding or rigorous workouts. Heavy lifting is also discouraged until they are fully recovered.
Patients with labor-intensive jobs are recommended to remain out of work for at least three weeks.
During your follow-up appointment, your doctor will be able to assess how far along your healing has progressed.
Generally speaking, after two months, most patients are fully cleared to resume all normal activities.
It's vital to follow your doctor's care instructions closely so that your implants heal properly and there are no complications.
There are a few things you should expect in the days and weeks following your breast enhancement.
First, there will be a considerable amount of soreness and swelling. This is normal, and it will naturally dissipate over time. To help reduce this pain and speed up healing, it is strongly recommended that you invest in one or two recovery bras.
These garments are specially designed to maximize post-op comfort, but they also provide implant stability, increased circulation and mild compression to ensure proper lymph drainage. They can be purchased in many styles and fabrics, which means you can choose one that will suit your needs and body best.
Remember that you will be required to wear a bra at all times following surgery, so it's important to look for features such as breathable fabric, seamless design, adjustable straps and a pressure-free fit. Some styles even have bands that help you comfortably accommodate any post-op swelling that occurs.
Another tip is to prepare your home and wardrobe before the procedure. The first week following surgery will be the most difficult, so it's wise to have all of your housework, clothes shopping and meal prep done beforehand so that you can fully rest. Some doctors also recommend filling your pain prescriptions the day before your procedure so that you can have the medications on hand as soon as you need them.
If possible, ask a friend or partner to assist you following surgery, especially if you have children. You will not be able to pick up small children for a few weeks while recovering, so plan for assistance as much as you can in the weeks following your procedure.
Finally, be sure to get plenty of rest, and keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods and hydrating drinks to help speed your healing. Remember that you will be sore and tired, so keeping light, easy foods on hand will help stimulate your appetite.
Armed with the proper knowledge about what to expect during your recovery, you can go into the procedure with the confidence that you’ll be able to manage your enhanced new profile and the recovery. That said, asking as many questions of or voicing any concerns with your board-certified plastic surgeon can only help you have a better overall experience and achieve a better outcome.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.