Breast Implant Recovery

I was wondering how many days I would need to be out of work after getting breast implants done. Does it matter on how the doctor inserts the implant? My doctor mentioned going through my arm pit or under my breast. What should I expect? Thanks!

Doctor Answers (9)

Breast implant recovery?

Thank you for your question! This answer will vary amongst each surgeon, and it is wisest to discuss this with your plastic surgeon. In my practice, utilizing the fast track technique after breast augmentations, women are readily able and doing most things virtually immediately after this procedure. She is even recommended to go out for dinner that evening. However, follow your surgeon's instructions for postoperative care and restrictions, but it is common for most women to resume many of the preoperative activities and duties within a week. I typically restrict heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for approximately 4-6 weeks Swelling and settling of the implant typically occurs over a 6-12 week period, while your incisions commonly resolve to its final appearance in up to a year. Hope that this helps! Best wishes for a great result!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Returning to work after breast augmentation


The incision choice is usually not the issue – it’s more about your level of activity at work.  Depending on your job description, I usually advise my patients that they may return to work after one week for light administrative duties and four weeks for strenuous physical labor.  

George John Alexander, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Returning to work after Breast Augmentation Surgery


Average recovery time for breast augmentation surgery patients is 1 week - but it may be more depending on what kind of work you do.  I don't think the incision make a difference but it does make a difference with the amount of discomfort when the implant is placed sub-muscularly (under the muscle) vs. Sub-glandularly (over the muscle).  I normally recommend sub-muscular placement for most natural, longer lasting results.  I prefer the incision at the areola to try to get the best placement of the implant on the chest wall for the patient.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

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Recovering from breast augmentation......


We generally recommend that you take a week off work and avoid strenuous physical activity for three weeks. You will also be under restrictions for lifting objects. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Recovery after breast augmentation


Recovery time is most affected by where the breast implant is placed. If the implant is placed under the pectoralis muscle, the additional dissection and release of pectoralis muscle fibers typically leads to more post-operative pain than an implant placed subglandular. A subglandular implant is placed under the breast gland, but above the pectoralis muscle. Typically, patients are able to return to a desk job within one week either way.

Good Luck

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Recovery from breast augmentation


Recovery from breast augmentation is not an all or none phenomenon.  That is, it is a progressive process over a period of time.  The main determining element is where the implant is: above or below the muscle.  Even though the recovery is worse under the muscle the ultimate result is better.  Recovery  for work is dependent  on the exact kind of work.  Many patients go back to work after a week.

All the best,

Talmage J. Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Recovery after Breast Implants


The amount of time you will need off after breast augmentation surgery will depend on a few factors:

1. the type of work you do

2. The implant position (above or below the pectoralis muscle).

3. Your pain tolerance

4. Your surgeon's recommendations

However, as a general rule, if you do desk job type of work, then a week off should be adequate.  If your implants are under the muscle, then you will be more sore than if they are above the muscle.  

I think that it is important that you ask your PS how many days you should wait before returning to work. 

Laurence Weider, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Recovery time after breast implants


Time off work after breast implants varies depending on the patient. Most patients will return to an office type job in no more than one week, some will need as little as four days. If the job is more physical and requires heavier lifting, that time will be longer. In general all activities, even weight lifting, can be resumed by three weeks. Implants placed under the muscle generally need a bit more recovery time than those placed over the muscle

David A. Bottger, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Breast implant recovery


Usually breast augmentation is a bit uncomfortable especially when the implant is placed under the muscle and the muscle is divided. I tell patients that they can probably go back to desk type work within a week, but should avoid exertional activities for several weeks.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 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.