American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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How long is the recovery for a breast augmentation?


breast augmentation recovery

Increasing your breast size with a breast augmentation is a major procedure that requires a lot of pre-surgery prep and post-surgery recovery. Like any surgery, taking care of your body and listening to your doctor's medical advice is most important to have a successful outcome.

If you have ever wondered how long it takes to recover from breast augmentation, continue reading to get an idea of what to expect during postoperative breast augmentation care.

Breast augmentation recovery

Every woman is different and recovery time can vary. There are various factors such as implant size and type, placement and even the surgical skill of the doctor which can affect recovery time.

On average, a full recovery period usually takes about four to six weeks. It's important to refrain from physical activity, lifting heavy objects and overworking yourself during this sensitive time.

What to expect after a breast augmentation

24 hours post-op

After the operation, you may experience soreness, fatigue, nausea, tightness in your chest and oversensitivity or a loss of sensitivity in the breasts. You may also notice swelling and bruising, which will fade over time.

After the surgery, you will be required to rest for a couple of hours in the surgical postoperative room until the anesthesia fully wears off. It is crucial you have a ride home from a trusted family member or friend who will continue to help and take care of you a few days post-op.

During the first 24 hours, you may feel extreme pain and discomfort. Taking over the counter pain relievers as directed, like acetaminophen is recommended. Your doctor may also prescribe pain relievers and muscle relaxers so help keep you comfortable.

5 to 7 days post-op

After the first week, you may continue to feel mild pain or discomfort. However, the intensity of pain should have decreased. At this stage, you may be able to return to normal activities, if directed by your surgeon.

However, you should refrain from strenuous activities such as lifting your arms above your head, which can result in irritation and bleeding. At this time, your breast implants will begin to settle in place. It is important to follow any post-operative advice, such as massaging the breast tissue to help relax the muscles and reduce swelling.

3 to 4 weeks post-op

At this stage, you should feel little to no pain or discomfort. Swelling and bruising in the breasts should have reduced and faded. However, it is normal to still have bruising depending on the type of surgery and if there were any complications.

Your doctor may start to encourage you to engage in light exercises but refrain from strenuous activities. Continuing to wear a post-surgical bra and front closure bras can still promote healing at this time.

4 to 6 weeks post-op

Usually, at this point, most patients have fully recovered and can resume regular activity. Your breasts should look and feel more natural. Patients are advised to make an appointment with their surgeon for a full evaluation of the breast implants.

Choosing a plastic surgeon

If you feel a breast augmentation is right for you now that you know more about the recovery, it's important to seek the opinion and expertise of a board-certified plastic surgeon in order to discuss your goals and concerns to determine.


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.

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