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Recovery Time for Breast Implants to Go on Vacation?

If I get breast implants on a Thursday, will I be able to go on Vacation by the following Friday? I was unsure of the recovery time because one friend was ok to go back to work in a day, while another one took three weeks. Your advice is appreciated.

Doctor Answers (8)



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!


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast Augmentation Surgery


Thank you for your question. Congratulations on your planned operation and vacation.  As you have seen with your friend's experiences, every patient is different.  I would certainly not plan on strenuous activity (water skiing or scuba diving) 8 days after your surgery. You may have to clear specific activities planned with your plastic surgeon.

Best Wishes.

Web reference:

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 625 reviews

Vacation after breast augmentation


It depends entirely on what you have planned for your vacation.  If you are planning on driving 2 hours to a nice resort and catching up on your reading and embroidery, go for it.  If you are planning on flying to Greece for a week of stand up paddle board yoga, forget it.  You should discuss this with your surgeon prior to making any reservations!

Web reference:

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Recovery Time


Recovery time following breast augmentation varies from patient to patient.  The most important variable is you – are you healthy?  How have you recovered from surgery in the past?  Do you have a high tolerance for pain? 

Healthy patients not only recover faster but also have fewer complications.  Breast augmentation involving placement of implants can be performed placing the implant on top of the pectoralis muscle under the breast gland termed subglandular.  This generally has a faster recovery with less discomfort because the muscle is not disturbed by the procedure.  Not all patients are candidates for this procedure.  In those cases where the procedure is performed by placing the implant under the pectoralis muscle the recovery will usually be a few days longer.  I tell patients that they will use pain medications for the first few days and usually be off them by 4-6 days at which time they can go back to light activities which do not cause pain, raise their heart rate or cause sweating.  For more sedentary jobs they can return to work at one week.  If you are more physically active at work we recommend two weeks.  The lingering part of your recovery is easy fatigability. This can take 2-3 weeks to go away less if you are in good physical shape and exercise regularly.

When planning your surgery and vacation be realistic.  It won’t be much fun if you are still uncomfortable and cannot participate in activities.  Also, if something should go wrong who will see you if you have a problem and are away from your Plastic Surgeon.  Make sure you discuss this with your Surgeon and have all your questions answered. 

Best of luck, 

Dean Johnston, MD FACS 

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast Augmentation Recovery


Breast Augmentation is outpatient surgery. After surgery, you may experience some soreness that should be easily managed with one-two pain pills every 6 hours. Usually, my patients do not require pain medications beyond 2-3 days. After surgery you will have swelling in the upper pole of your breast. This swelling resolves over 2-3 weeks. I recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks after surgery. Usually, 24-48 hrs after surgery, most patients feel comfortable doing regular daily activities (minus any heavy lifting or strenuous activity). After 3-4 weeks from the date of your surgery, I clear patients to resume activity as tolerated.

Web reference:

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Vacation schedule and breast augmentation


Briefly, there are 2 concerns: 1) Problems with the healing phase or late bleeding- and  therefore not having access to your surgeon. 2) Long travel-sitting for extended hours in a plane or car- increasing the chance of a blood clot in the legs after an anesthetic/surgical procedure. Fortunately this is much less common with breast augmentation, in contrast to procedures such as an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Be sure to discuss these issues with your surgeon well in advance of your surgery.

Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast implants


You did not specify if you will be going out of the country  or staying in the States.  Under normal circumstances I would say that recovery is adequate for non-vacationers, however, in cases of vacations, unless they are not too remote, I would err on the safe side.  Not only would activities be limited, but what if you experienced a post-operative complication and could not reach a doctor.  I typically advise my patients to wait one month if they are going out of the country regardless. If they are just going to the beach and laying low so-to-speak, and are near an accredited medical facility, I would be ok with two weeks out.

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Recovery Time After Breast Augmentation


Allowing yourself one week to recover is usually ample time to resume 'routine' activities following a breast augmentation.  If the implants are placed in the subglandular position, your recovery should be more rapid than if they are placed under the muscle.  Keep in mind, that you may be able to go on vacation, your plastic surgeon is likely to give you activity limitations including no heavy lifting or brisk exercise.  Hopefully your vacation plans involve relaxation and recovery.  Enjoy your trip!

Web reference:

Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.

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