The Recovery Timeline to Recover From Breast Augmentation with Breast Implants


If you are considering breast implants you need to understand the timeline for your recovery. All too often doctors minimize the recovery period following this elective cosmetic surgery procedure. If you want the best result and you want to avoid problems and complications, you need a realistic and safe idea of what your recovery period will be like. Below i have tried to give you a realistic conservative safe estimate of what you should expect. Please do not expect to go back to work the day after surgery. Some try this with very bad results.

The recovery timeline to recover from breast augmentation with breast implants varies considerably depending on several factors:

· where your breast implant was placed - that is under or over the chest muscle. Augmentation under the chest muscle causes more pain and lengthens the recovery process. However there are advantages to sub muscular placement.

· your health and physical conditioning - patients who are physically fit and in excellent health recover from augmentation much more quickly

· the size of the breast implant used for your breast augmentation - very large implants require more surgical dissection and thus increase post-operative discomfort and lengthen recovery.

· your pain tolerance - pain tolerance varies greatly among different individuals. The higher your pain tolerance the quicker your recovery.

· whether a lift was done at the same operation - having a lift done at the same time as your augmentation will lengthen your recovery time.

· the use of breast implant displacement exercises - in my experience the early institution of breast implant displacement exercises is the most important factor in speeding recovery after breast implants, reducing pain, and improving your final result.

· whether you have had prior pregnancies - women who have had prior pregnancies before augmentation tend to recover more quickly, have less discomfort and are able to tolerate larger implants. This makes sense as the breast has previously been expanded by pregnancy.

General Recovery Time for Implant over the Muscle under the Gland

· Day 1-4- Moderate discomfort controlled with pain medicine. Support Bra, rest, no lifting or vigorous activity. You will need help caring for your children. You will be asked to walk, be up and around to keep leg muscles active to avoid possible blood clots in legs. Your implants will look HIGH-do not worry

· Day 5-10- If Implant displacement exercises were started by day 3-4 pain should be almost gone. No need for pain medication. Able to slowly resume normal daily activities but not physical exercise. If you have a sedentary job, can work on computer preferably at home. Some people return to work this early but I do not recommend this. No sex.

· Day 10-14- Return to work. Resume normal activities except exercise. Sutures removed.

· 2-3 weeks- May resume exercise and fitness routine if your incisions are well healed and your doctor agrees.

· 4-6 weeks- Implant position looks more normal as you tissues accommodate the increased volume. Safe to resume normal sexual activity if your doctor agrees that you are well healed.

· 3 months-Your Implants have dropped to a natural position. The Implants should be soft and moveable. Any firmness or hardness should be reported to your doctor immediately.

General Recovery Time for Implant under the Muscle

· Day 1-10- Moderate discomfort requiring pain medications. No lifting, housework or exercise. You will need a supportive spouse for friend to help with child care. I like to start displacement exercises as soon as possible during this period. Doing so speeds relief from pain, improves your result and speeds recovery.

· Day 10-14- you should be comfortable to resume most daily activities and return to work. However no heavy lifting and no vigorous exercise involving you upper body. You may power walk, treadmill, and work on your lower body but rest your upper body. No sex.

· 2-3 weeks- gradually increase exercise and daily activities. Displacement exercises very important. Still no vigorous upper body exercise like weight lifting or push-ups.

· 4-6 weeks- your implants should have started to drop into a more natural position, but slower than with over the muscle. Pain should be gone. Keep up displacement exercises. Resume normal sexual activity. Still avoid weight lifting and push-ups. May resume normal sexual activity if cleared by your doctor.

· 3 months- your implants should look normal and be soft. Ask your doctor if you may resume weight lifting and push-ups. If you feel firmness or asymmetry be sure to see your doctor.

Ask your Doctor

These are general guidelines and certainly do not apply to everyone. You are a unique individual and you must discuss your augmentation with your Plastic Surgeon and follow his/her recommendations for you.

Generally speaking, Breast Augmentation is a very well received procedure with happy patient outcomes. However you need informed consent ad a realistic expectation about your recovery for the best possible result.

Article by
Boston Plastic Surgeon