Breast Augementation Recovery Practices, Which is Better.

I am trying to decide which doctor to go with for my breast augmentation. Both doctors that I am looking at are the same except for their recovery practices. One doctors says to wear a sports bra 24/7 for 3 months and then at night for a year and no submerging in water for 3 months and the other doctor says no sports bra and I could go in water (swimming for fun not exercise) after 1 month. I need advice on which is best and if the outcome is any different? I am a 34B and getting 350cc.

Doctor Answers 14

Breast Augmentation recovery practice.

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There are as many postoperative recovery protocols as there are surgeons.  There is not one right answer and common sense should prevail.  The implant pocket has some need for massage but this is also an area of extreme variability.  Find a surgeon that gets good results and follow those directions.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation recovery protocols, which is better?

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Different plastic surgeons will have different recommendations depending on their training and experience. It is always best to follow the recommendation of your board certified plastic surgeon as to your exercise tolerance. Your surgeon will know about your tissues, how much he had to do with the pocket, etc. When you do get the OK, make sure to wear very good sports bras. Also please ease into excercise. Don't run a marathon the first day. We see patients post op and let them know their limitations at their appointment. Running is usually about 8 weeks out. Swimming will depend on many variables, including how strenuous your swim is going to be. Are you going to do long competitive swims in the ocean, or cooling off in the pool? Please talk to your plastic surgeon and make a plan about your exercise tolerance.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


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There are as many recovery protocols as there are doctors (and patients). There is no best way. I lean much more to supporting your investment with a bra whenever reasonable, but it depends on your starting point and how big you go, and in your case its not too big so makes wearing a bra all the time less important, but not unimportant.

Zach Barnes, MD
Bakersfield Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Recovery guidelines

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Each surgeon has their own guidelines regarding recovery, which includes exercise, wearing a bra, and submerging the treated area under water. Normally, I recommend that patients avoid baths, swimming pools, or whirlpools for 2 weeks and wear a bra day and night for the first eight weeks. I recommend you go with the surgeon who you feel most comfortable with, and trust. Best of luck!

BBA Recovery

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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 35 reviews

Post Operative Breast Augmentation

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Every surgeon has his or her own post operative protocol. It is very important that you find a surgeon you are comfortable with and whose post operative instructions you can follow. This will allow for a good patient -doctor relationship. Best of luck!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Which is better

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Surgeons are like cooks;  they each follow a different recipe but in general have a similar end result.  Go with someone you feel comfortable with and follow their directions.  Make sure you go to a board certified plastic surgeon.  Donald  R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Post-op augmentation policy

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Every doctor has a different regimen. I prefer to have my patients wear a sports brar for several weeks. Swimming or exertional acitivity should be avoided for 4-6 weeks.  Just going in a pool and soaking usually should be avoided until the incisions are fully healed( probably about 3-4 weeks or so).

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast augmentation recovery recommendations.

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Wearing a bra 24/7 for 3 months is not a good recommendation IMHO. Is this doctor trying to minimize bruising, bleeding, and capsular contracture with compression? Because of blunt dissection rather than careful and precise pocket creation? And even if he is, why 3 months? And no submerging in water for 3 months? This doctor seems both off-base and ultraconservative, perhaps on the basis of bad results in other patients, or inexperience.

The second doctor seems more reasonable and appropriate.

I'd ask just how many breast augmentations each one does in a year (ask his nurses independently, or ask the charge nurse at the hospital or surgicenter). This will also help guide you.

For more information, read the link below.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Breast aug recovery not that long

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I agree with the second doctor. The first recommendations seem extreme. I can't imagine how staying out of water for so long could make any difference. I recommend a surgical bra 24/7 for a week. Then good support during the day for the next few months. If the implants need to drop, sometimes going without a bra can help. I clear all my patients for any activiy at 3 weeks. Ultimately, post op instructions probably are as important as surgical technique.

John Alexander II, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 13 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.