Breast Augmentation Recovery—Factors That Promote Healing

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Most breast augmentation recovery happens within a week, meaning at this stage most patients are able to resume normal activity, which is typically defined as the ability to move arms with no or very little discomfort, drive, walk around, and lift light objects.

At the time of surgery, any skilled plastic surgeon knows that avoiding or limiting bleeding and trauma from blunt dissection is the most crucial way to reduce pain and length of recovery.  Nevertheless, postop care remains important to further accelerate one’s healing after breast augmentation.

The list below shows the factors known to promote healing.

1. Follow your surgeon’s specific instructions on taking meds.  Oral medications can control pain and lower complication rate, although the consensus is to avoid or at least minimize the use of strong painkillers.  Simply put, the patient must take the lowest dose that delivers enough relief.

2. Light activities.  Prolonged bed rest or immobility is detrimental to one’s recovery.  A good rule of thumb is to take a short gentle walk several times a day to promote good blood circulation and reduce swelling, although the patient must avoid rigorous exercises or any activity that could increase her heart rate to more than 100 beats per minute for at least three weeks.

3. Wear medical compression bra.  This postop garment should provide the right amount of compression (without leading to discomfort and skin changes) and support to prevent undue stress and allow the skin to redrape better to the new breast size and shape.

4. Eliminate any undue pressure to the breast.  This makes sleeping on one’s back within the first few days of recovery important to avoid discomfort and pain on the surgical site and wound healing problems as well.

5. Control postop swelling.  While swelling is a normal part of recovery, minimizing it could accelerate healing; this can be done with the use of cold compress and compression garments, head and chest elevation, low-sodium diet, and light exercise.

6. Use of homeopathic remedies.  While this approach is not a “mainstream practice,” in some cases the use of arnica montana and bromelain is recommended to accelerate recovery and minimize postop swelling and bruising.  However, the consensus is to use them for a very short period of time because they could increase bleeding and impede healing if taken longer than necessary.
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Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon