Difference Between 24 Hour Vs 3 Week+ Breast Augmentation Recovery?

Why is it that some doctors (and their patients!) advertise a 24 hour recovery and you hear that recovery was nearly painless, that they were raising their arms in the recovery room, showering the same day, no special bra etc. etc. And (most) other doctors say that recovery takes weeks and that you MUST NOT raise your arms for a week, no shower for 3 days, special bra for weeks on end and no strenuous exercise for 3-6 weeks afterwards?

Doctor Answers 6

Not all surgeries are done the same way...

There are many different ways of doing the same thing.  Just like you can take many different roads to get to the same place surgeons use different techniques to make breasts bigger.

Some surgeons use blunt dissection using tools and their fingers to manipulate and create a pocket.  Other surgeons use electrocautery (a device that cuts and coagulates tissue) to lift and manipulare muscle to create a pocket.

I believe that electrocautery dissection creates minimal tissue trauma, less bleeding, less bruising, less tearing, and a quick rapid recovery.  I get my patients moving their arms very quickly like you describe.  Many surgeons do it this way.  Other surgeons rip muscle and cauterize bleeders after they happen not preemptively.  Metal dissectors can bruise muscles, ribs, and create more trauma.  This type of surgery hurts more, I believe.

In the end, it is all about choices.  There are many different facelift techniques.  There are different liposuction techniques.  Breast augmentation can be done many different ways with very successful results.  I just don't like pain myself.....

I hope that this helps...

Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

24 Hour Recovery is a myth

It's impossible to fully recover within 24 hours after surgery. You can't heal that fast. For this reason, 24 hour recovery is a misleading marketing term that you're too smart to fall for. Rather, consider it rapid recovery, where you can get back to regular activities faster than other types of breast augmentation, but not within 24 hours.  Techniques such as bloodless surgery and not performing blunt dissection lead to faster recovery.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Dont Believe 24 Hour Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Advertising 24 hour recovery after Breast Augmentation is misleading and a marketing ploy to convince people to believe Breast Augmentation is a minor procedure. Don't believe it.

Responsible plastic surgeons recommend at least a 10 day to two week recovery before engaging in physical activity after breast augmentation and longer after sub muscular breast augmentation.

Choose a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and hjas a good reputation in your community.

Wound Strength

At 1 month, the wound strength after is only 15% of the original.  Excessive loading in the early post-operative period can lead to wound dehiscence, infection and complications.  Breast augmentation is particularly prone to infection and you certainly do not want your wound to separate.  I recommend no strenuous exercise and no arm raising above your head for about 1 month.  Post op patients can shower within 24 hours because the wound is sealed but does not have the mechanical strength required for stenuous exercises.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Breast augment recovery

Some surgeons downplay postop complications, pain and healing time. Personally, I think this creates false expectations. Sure, some patients will describe recovery, especially when implants are over the muscle, as virtually pain free. And patients ask me whether I have more complications because I consent them in more detail. I think it is irresponsible to do anything else.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Recovery after breast augmentation

Different surgeons will have different recovery regimens for their patients to follow.  Ultimately, it is the results that count.  Personally, I think it is reckless to advertise a 24 hour recovery, because each patient is unique.  With that in mind, if the tissues are handled gently at surgery and the implants are not grossly oversized for the patient's body, the patient should be able to resume her normal, everyday activities within a day or so.  It is still wise to avoid heavy arm and chest muscle exertion untill the the pocket is healed.  This could take 3 or 4 weeks.

Bruce E. Genter, MD, FACS
Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 16 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.