Does a smaller implant mean faster recovery?

I am currently a preschool teacher and am considering breast augmentation. I plan on doing it during the holidays while most families are away so my classroom won't be as busy, and I also have a coteacher to help. I feel as though I have enough breast tissue so I wouldn't have to go that big as far as implants (high 200's-325 max). I did the rice test and saw that I liked to be around low 300. Will 10 days be enough to recovery and go back?

Doctor Answers 12

Recovery After Breast Augmentation

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Thank you for your questions. Selection of breast implant size requires an examination to determine a potential range of implant sizes and profiles that could suit your goals. Smaller implant size does not necessarily correlate with recovery time. In general, most patients could be back to teaching in 10 days but you will need to discuss this with your surgeon who is in the best position to advise you regarding work and activity restrictions. Good luck! 

Draper Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast augmentation

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Size of implants does not really dictate the recovery although there is technically less pocket dissection with smaller implants and potentially less chance of postop problems. You should be fine 10 days postop although you need to be careful and run through the pros and cons of what you can and can't do with your PS.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Small implants, fast recovery

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Hi, thank you for your question. I don't think the size of the implant matters as this will depend on your pain threshold and every patient is different. If you're having pain, you can ask your surgeon to prescribe you pain killers. 10 days would be enough for your recovery. However lifting more than 5kgs should be avoided atleast 6 weeks following surgery.  

Boonchai Taweerattanasil, MD
Thailand Plastic Surgeon

Does a smaller implant mean faster recovery

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Everyone is different when it comes to recovery. Some patients have more pain than others. I will say that the smaller the implant, the less pain occurs in most cases. After a breast augmentation there will be at least 2 weeks where limited lifting and stretching of your chest muscles should occur, so figure that into your time off.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast implant size does not affect recovery time

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Ten days is absolutely enough time to recover and go back to teaching. Women consistently tell me that their discomfort eases by the fourth day and they are back to work in an office setting by the fifth day after surgery. Women with children are safely able to pick up their children if needed on the third day after surgery to transfer them from their cribs, car seat, and high chairs. The size of the implant should have no impact on recovery. I show pictures of women similar to their height, weight, frame and starting breast volume to assist them in deciding on their desired size. I recommend you chose from the heart. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths." Good luck.

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Does a smaller implant mean faster recovery?

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You should be fine after 10 days although still a little uncomfortable. It is usually a discomfort easily controlled with Ibuprofen by that time. But lifting children may hurt. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Does a smaller implant mean faster recovery?

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Smaller breast implants usually results in a quicker recovery.  However breast implant size should be chosen based on the base width of your breast.  If your base width will except a 250-300 cc implant a 2 week recovery is usual.  Be aware however if the implants are placed under the chest muscle you may continue to have soreness for up to 3 weeks.  The key will be not having to aggressively use your arms and upper bodies when she return to work.

Implant sizing

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Yes, a smaller implant means a smaller Submuscular pocket and less swelling. This should translate to a slightly shorter recovery 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Smaller implant faster recovery?

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I think the size of the implant certainly can affect how much swelling and discomfort you have after a breast augmentation, especially if you have them placed under the muscle.  It just makes sense.  The larger the implant the bigger the pocket that needs to be dissected out (more dissection means more nerves will get traumatized), the more pectoralis muscle fiber attachments to the rib cage needs to be released, the more bleeding and swelling you may develop which will put more pressure against your muscle and skin which will result in more pain post op.  Also the larger the implant behind your muscle, the more it will stretch out that muscle and the overlying skin causing more pressure and pain.  Other factors can affect your post op pain and recovery (such as how delicate your tissues are treated and how much cauterization of the rib cage and other tissues is being done (having direct visualization (as opposed to dissecting blindly) and more control of the implant pocket to minimize the bleeding and cauterization will help to help minimize tissue trauma and pain).  The anesthesia technique along with pre- emptive anesthesia (applying local anesthetics prior to cutting and dissecting) have also been shown to give better post op pain control.  Different anesthetic techniques can also affect the incidence of post op nausea and vomiting, which if you experience it, can make your recovery less pleasant and less speedy.  I feel Propofol total IV anesthesia has the least post op nausea and vomiting and will allow you to recover from the anesthesia the quickest.  In the end though, everyone will react to surgery and anesthesia differently no matter what measures we apply so there is no way to guarantee you any specific outcome as far as your recovery.  We can only do everything possible to give you the best chance to heal.  I would recommend you speak to your plastic surgeon to see what his experience has been with most of his patients as that will be the best indicator as far as what you can expect.  Maybe also speak to a few of his patients who have similar body types and implant sizes as yours to see what their recovery was like.  Best wishes. 

Size and recovery after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. The smaller size implants may not stretch the muscle layer as much and therefore may have less pain after surgery. However, in my experience, the effect is relatively minor. It has more to do with surgery technique and your intrinsic muscle tightness. Often my patients are back working in 3 to 5 days. Good luck.  

Neil T. Chen, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

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.