Breast Implant with No Lift, Recover Time?

Hello everyone!!!My name is Josie and i am scheduled to have my suregry this coming June 13. I am 5'2 and weigh about 118 lbs my surgeon told me i dont need a lift so my question is hows the recovery of having a breast implant without a lift is it faster than those having a breast implant with lift? and also he says he will place it under the muscle. I am a fulltime Nursing student and a caregiver and my job requires lifting patient. is 5 days enough for recovery.i use sliding board also!

Doctor Answers 15

Recovery time after breast augmentation varies

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Recovery time after breast augmentation

Recovery time after breast implants varies according to a variety of factors – whether the implants is above or below the muscle, the size of the implant, surgical techniques that the surgeon uses in placement of the implant.  Typically, we would recommend caution in lifting after implant placement to avoid complications as the capsule is forming.

Breast Implant recovery recommendations.

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The main concern about breast implant recovery and restrictions is not about pain and "how much you can stand." Rather, it is about the potential for excessive muscular activity or elevation of blood pressure that could "pop" a blood vessel and cause increased risk of capsular contracture and a hard breast or even re-operation to evacuate hematoma. Even with implants (only, no lift) above the muscle, there is still the same concern about bleeding, capsules, and re-operation (which may be even slightly MORE likely because of slightly less pain than submuscular placement.) Submuscular pain being more than submammary pain is over-emphasized, in my opinion.

Most of the several hundred breast surgeries my partner and I do each year are below the muscle. I see all of my patients the morning after surgery, and I ask each one how much pain they have on a scale of 0-10. Most reply 2-3, and I have gotten honest zeros more than I would ever think possible. (Even when the patient says 6 or 7, they actually look comfortable, and have usually not had children yet--go figure how that skews the pain scale!) My point here is that careful surgery with good bleeding control (even below the muscles) will yield patients who have little swelling, minimal or no bruising, and pain that is not an issue, especially with long-acting local anesthetics in the breast pocket, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications being prescribed, and not too many pain pills being necessary!

But to get the soft natural result I presume you are seeking, I would recommend that you do no lifting for 3-4 weeks minimum, but return to work and school in a few days with restrictions spelled out in writing from your surgeon, so that your instructors don't force you to compromise on your results by asking you to lift or transfer patients too soon. I operate on nurses all the time, and this works well.

For more information, read the link below. One final thought: if you have a hematoma and require re-operation, how much time off will you need (again)? If you develop a capsular contracture and require capsulectomy and much bleeding/bruising, how will that affect your school/work situation? You have one chance to get this right the first time; everything else is a do-over! Best wishes!

Breast Augmentation Recovery Time

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The time required from a breast augmentation varies a good bit among patients.  With some sedentary jobs, I have patients return to work on Monday after a Friday surgery, although I do discourage driving for at least one week.  With your job requiring lifting patients, I definitely feel that you should be off for longer than 5 days; ijn fact, I would recommend 3-4 weeks.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after breast implant surgery.

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Every patient heals at a different rate after breast augmentation.  Usually patients can resume office duties after about a week if they work primarily at a desk.  Since you have to lift patients and have a more physical job, I would recommend a longer time away from your heavy lifting duties to reduce complications.

Elizabeth S. Harris, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon

Lifitng patients after a breast augmentation

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The recovery from a breast augmentation is a bit easier than a combined breast augmentation and lift, but I usually have my patients avoid heavy liftng for about 6 weeks.

Breast Implants and Recovery

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J in Chattanooga,

Recovery from submuscular breast augmentation is variable for each individual.  Some patients return to work in a matter of 3 days and others take a week or more.  If you will be using your pectoral muscles at work 5 days after surgery expect to have some pain and discomfort.  Good luck!

Recovery time

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We typically advise patients with desk-type jobs 5-7 days for recovery after BA placed under muscle.  in your case, you are probably better off taking a few extra days as your range of motion will be inhibitied especially if you have to lift patients.  Listen to your body and revise your recovery according to the level of pain and discomfort

It takes time to recover

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Josie,  the answer to your question depends on your pain threshold.  Some patients can be up and running around the day after surgery, and some complain of aches and pains for a week or more.  In your case, going under the muscle is going to make the recovery more uncomfortable.  Lifting patients 5 days after your surgery will most definitely be uncomfortable regardless of your pain threshold.  Having a breast lift would have added some pain and discomfort, and would likely have required you to avoid physical activity for a longer period of time.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Recovery time shorter

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Yes, the recovery tends to be less intense when no lift is involved. You won't be able to lift anything for 6 weeks, however ryou should ask your surgeon because they may have different guidelines.


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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!


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.