Breast Implant with No Lift, Recover Time?

Hello everyone!!!My name is Josie and i am scheduled to have my suregry this coming June 13. I am 5'2 and weigh about 118 lbs my surgeon told me i dont need a lift so my question is hows the recovery of having a breast implant without a lift is it faster than those having a breast implant with lift? and also he says he will place it under the muscle. I am a fulltime Nursing student and a caregiver and my job requires lifting patient. is 5 days enough for recovery.i use sliding board also!

Doctor Answers 15

Recovery time after breast augmentation varies

Recovery time after breast augmentation

Recovery time after breast implants varies according to a variety of factors – whether the implants is above or below the muscle, the size of the implant, surgical techniques that the surgeon uses in placement of the implant.  Typically, we would recommend caution in lifting after implant placement to avoid complications as the capsule is forming.

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Breast Augmentation Recovery Time

The time required from a breast augmentation varies a good bit among patients.  With some sedentary jobs, I have patients return to work on Monday after a Friday surgery, although I do discourage driving for at least one week.  With your job requiring lifting patients, I definitely feel that you should be off for longer than 5 days; ijn fact, I would recommend 3-4 weeks.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Recovery after breast implant surgery.

Every patient heals at a different rate after breast augmentation.  Usually patients can resume office duties after about a week if they work primarily at a desk.  Since you have to lift patients and have a more physical job, I would recommend a longer time away from your heavy lifting duties to reduce complications.

Elizabeth S. Harris, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Lifitng patients after a breast augmentation

The recovery from a breast augmentation is a bit easier than a combined breast augmentation and lift, but I usually have my patients avoid heavy liftng for about 6 weeks.

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

Breast Implants and Recovery

J in Chattanooga,

Recovery from submuscular breast augmentation is variable for each individual.  Some patients return to work in a matter of 3 days and others take a week or more.  If you will be using your pectoral muscles at work 5 days after surgery expect to have some pain and discomfort.  Good luck!

Recovery time

We typically advise patients with desk-type jobs 5-7 days for recovery after BA placed under muscle.  in your case, you are probably better off taking a few extra days as your range of motion will be inhibitied especially if you have to lift patients.  Listen to your body and revise your recovery according to the level of pain and discomfort

Edward J. Bednar, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

It takes time to recover

Josie,  the answer to your question depends on your pain threshold.  Some patients can be up and running around the day after surgery, and some complain of aches and pains for a week or more.  In your case, going under the muscle is going to make the recovery more uncomfortable.  Lifting patients 5 days after your surgery will most definitely be uncomfortable regardless of your pain threshold.  Having a breast lift would have added some pain and discomfort, and would likely have required you to avoid physical activity for a longer period of time.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 249 reviews

Recovery time shorter

Yes, the recovery tends to be less intense when no lift is involved. You won't be able to lift anything for 6 weeks, however ryou should ask your surgeon because they may have different guidelines.


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

Breast Implant Surgery Recovery

The recovery from subpectoral breast augmentation used to be a rather unpleasant experience, but it no longer has to be. A space for the implant must be developed behind the pectoralis major, and a portion of the muscle's inferior origin must be released. Surgery on a muscle in most cases produces significant postoperative pain, and that is certainly true for breast augmentation. However, by using a local anesthetic infusion device (the On-Q 'Pain Buster') for the first two to three days after surgery, the pain associated with this procedure can be reduced quite dramatically.

While breast augmentation patients in this practice receive a prescription for a mild narcotic pain medication for use after surgery (just in case), most of them never take it. Most patients report little to no pain in the evening following surgery, and perhaps some mild discomfort on Postop day one and two. Patients can resume all normal, non-strenuous activities of daily living immediately after surgery, and can begin pec major range of motion exercises on the evening of their procedure.

Patients are seen in the office the day after surgery, and again on Friday for removal of the Go-Pump catheters (which is painless). Working patients usually return to work the Monday following the surgery; stay-at-home moms may need some help with toddlers for the first two to three days after surgery. Exercise is limited to walking only for the first two weeks; in weeks three and four some light exercise is permissible. Patients can gradually increase their exercise/workout level in the second month (weeks five through eight), however it is a full eight weeks before patients are allowed to return to activities that require forceful, repetitive, sustained pec major contraction - such as pushups and heavy weight lifting. It is important to ensure that the breasts are well supported in snug fitting sports bra (or two) when returning to impact exercise such as running or aerobics.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

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.