Breast Augementation Recovery Practices, Which is Better.

I am trying to decide which doctor to go with for my breast augmentation. Both doctors that I am looking at are the same except for their recovery practices. One doctors says to wear a sports bra 24/7 for 3 months and then at night for a year and no submerging in water for 3 months and the other doctor says no sports bra and I could go in water (swimming for fun not exercise) after 1 month. I need advice on which is best and if the outcome is any different? I am a 34B and getting 350cc.

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Augmentation recovery practice.

There are as many postoperative recovery protocols as there are surgeons.  There is not one right answer and common sense should prevail.  The implant pocket has some need for massage but this is also an area of extreme variability.  Find a surgeon that gets good results and follow those directions.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

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Recovery guidelines

Each surgeon has their own guidelines regarding recovery, which includes exercise, wearing a bra, and submerging the treated area under water. Normally, I recommend that patients avoid baths, swimming pools, or whirlpools for 2 weeks and wear a bra day and night for the first eight weeks. I recommend you go with the surgeon who you feel most comfortable with, and trust. Best of luck!

BBA Recovery

It really depends on a few factors. Adequate pain control is likely the most important. Individual pain tolerance differs greatly. I find that women who have had children generally have less post-op pain, as they have a much higher pain tolerance. From a surgical point of view, there are several things the surgeon/anaesthesiologist can do to decrease your post-op pain.

I generally perform breast blocks prior to making any incisions with a mix of short- and long-acting local anaesthetics. I have found this greatly reduces post-op pain. I also encourage patients to take the prescribed pain killers regularly every 4 hours especially for the first 24-48 hours. If you don't stay on top of the pain in the immediate post-operative period, it is extremely difficult to "catch-up". Most of my patients experience very little post-op pain after breast augmentation.

Of course, the type of augmentation you have will also determine your post-operative discomfort. Larger implants, and subpectoral implant placement will also increase post-op discomfort. This doesn't mean you shouldn't get large implants, or place them under the muscle - you simply need to know what to expect. Many women also experience difficulty with sleeping in the first few weeks after augmentation due to the weight of the implants on their chest. This is more significant in back-sleepers.

To answer your question about time off work, my experience has been that there is a huge range. I have patients that go back to work the next day (against my advice), and I have had patients take as much as 2 weeks off of work. It really depends on what you do for work, and how you feel. As for taking care of your kids, if your implant is placed under the muscle, it will be a few weeks before you feel comfortable enough to pick them up.

As for scars, I tell patients it will take a year to see the absolute final result. Practically, however, by 3-6 months the scar will be very close to the final result. I suggest 3M paper taping, and have a specific scar massage protocol I use to help speed scar resolution.

I hope this helps. Good luck!


Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Post Operative Breast Augmentation

Every surgeon has his or her own post operative protocol. It is very important that you find a surgeon you are comfortable with and whose post operative instructions you can follow. This will allow for a good patient -doctor relationship. Best of luck!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Which is better

Surgeons are like cooks;  they each follow a different recipe but in general have a similar end result.  Go with someone you feel comfortable with and follow their directions.  Make sure you go to a board certified plastic surgeon.  Donald  R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Post-op augmentation policy

Every doctor has a different regimen. I prefer to have my patients wear a sports brar for several weeks. Swimming or exertional acitivity should be avoided for 4-6 weeks.  Just going in a pool and soaking usually should be avoided until the incisions are fully healed( probably about 3-4 weeks or so).

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast aug recovery not that long

I agree with the second doctor. The first recommendations seem extreme. I can't imagine how staying out of water for so long could make any difference. I recommend a surgical bra 24/7 for a week. Then good support during the day for the next few months. If the implants need to drop, sometimes going without a bra can help. I clear all my patients for any activiy at 3 weeks. Ultimately, post op instructions probably are as important as surgical technique.

John Alexander II, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Postoperative care after breast augmentation

There is no single best protocol following breast aug.  Typically, if a doctor has good results, and comes highly recommended, his/her protocol is probably fine.  Three months in a sprorts bra seems excessive.

Michael Orseck, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Straightforward recovery after breast implants

Breast augmentation recovery should be straightforward and uncomplicated. We prefer a soft cup conforming bra and breast band worn for two weeks which can be off and on for showering, and non strenuous exercise after three to four weeks. If you receive unusual or complicated recovery instructions this may be a red flag that could prompt a consultation elsewhere.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast augmentation recovery

I would disagree with your first doctor.  If the breast pocket is made properly, there is no need to wear a bra 24/7 after 1-2 weeks.  The capsule of scar tissue should be well formed by then, holding the implant in place.  You should be able to submerge in water when the wounds are completely healed (usually by 2-3 weeks).  However, swimming and other upper body exercise  should be delayed for at least 4-6 weeks, to prevent bleeding or displacement of the implants.  Different surgeons will vary on their choice of bras.  The main thing is that you should not wear an underwire for at least 1 month, and you should have good support without flattening of the implants.  The implants may, initially, look high, and then descend into their normal position over the following few months.  If one, or both, implants are not descending quickly enough, you may need a chest band, instead of a bra, to speed the process before the capsules are well formed.  You do,however, need to be careful not to use too much pressure. ( If an implant descends too far, you may need surgical correction.)  Good luck.

Diane L. Gerber, MD (retired)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.