"Rapid recovery" breast augmentation? (Photo)

Hi! I am moving closer and closer to my final surgery decision. I've picked out high profile 500 (or maybe 550) cc implants. My main concern is that I am extremely active - lifting weights, cross fit, pole dancing and I need the fastest recovery possible. I've heard of these "24 hour" recovery techniques and I wonder if I should believe the hype? 2-3 months off of serious exercise is the fastest way to depression for me and i would do anything possible to hasten recovery!

Doctor Answers 11

Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation????

Good thinking being skeptical since IMHO there is no "rapid" recovery which doesn't put you at greater risk of developing capsule contracture, hematoma or implant displacement.  Since the procedure of breast augmentation is a real surgery and has great potential benefits for you I would suggest that you treat the recovery period with "respect" and reduce your risks of complications and increase your likelihood of an excellent recovery by avoiding an early return to exercise (respecting your probs with depression).Also, a 500-550 cc implant is rather large and will significantly widen your areolae.  Please be aware of changes that you can expect with such large implants and potential future problems down the road.  If you were my patient I would be discussing an areolar narrowing procedure for you (Benelli lift) at the time of your augmentation....just fyi.Good luck and enjoy your results. Jon A Perlman MD FACS  Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery  Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016  Beverly Hills, Ca 


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

The reality of surgery

Hi and thank you for the question. There is no such thing as rapid recovery. Be careful when the doctor sounds more like a salesman and less like a physician. The human body takes time to heal. new collagen and scar tissue formation and the phases of healing progress on their own schedule. It's true that being young and healthy will help you heal faster, but there is no magic pill, miracle spray, etc.. that will make you heal faster than science has demonstrated. Be patient. too early exercise or working out can hurt you, tear the muscle, break open the wound and expose the implant. Now you are looking at a real problem. Be patient. Be careful. Do your research. You should seek several consultations with board certified plastic surgeons in your area before making any final decision.As always, best to be healthy, no smoking, and make sure any health conditions you have are managed by your primary care physician.  Best to you. 

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Rapid Recovery

There is really no such thing as "Rapid Recovery" breast augmentation.  I recommend my patients take 2 to 3 weeks off of high activity to avoid complications.  Within 3 to 4 days walking is usually fine.  Your surgeon is the best to advise you.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Rapid recovery breast augmentation

Every good plastic surgeon who is up to date does a "rapid recovery" breast augmentation. The basic concept is very precise preparation of the implant pocket and minimizing tissue trauma. Any doctor can inject local anesthetic, prescribe muscle relaxers, advise massive doses of ibuprofen etc., but in the end all patients are human and will take their position on the bell curve. Using the same technique I have many patients who never take a pain pill, go out the night of surgery and return to full normal (sedentary) work days within 3 or 4 days at most. There are others who don't recover as quickly. After all, this is real surgery...muscular tissues are cut, stitches are placed and some people take a little longer to get back in the swing of things. Bleeding after breast augmentation (hematoma) is a very low risk but is related to over activity and blood pressure elevation. There is NO technique that eliminates that risk after any surgery. I certainly would not advise activity limitations for 2-3 months but it is typically wise to be cautious with your activity for the first 6 weeks. At that point Its ok to ease back in to major exercise such as cross fit and your other interests based on your own tolerance.

Gregory J. Stagnone, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Recovery from breast augmentation

24 hour recovery from breast augmentation is a myth.  There is no such thing.  Yes you can drive in a day or two with still some pain, but recovery is different for each patient.

Recovery from breast augmentation

If you choose to have your breast implants placed on top of the pectoral muscle (subglandular) you will have a faster recovery than placing the implants under the muscle. However, the long term risk of capsular contracture is higher and mammograms are more difficult to interpret. Consult with a few plastic surgeons in person for more information, unfortunately there is no "rapid recovery" from any surgical procedure.Best wishes,Dr.Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 334 reviews

Rapid recovery after Breast augmentation

There is no such thing as a rapid recovery.  You cannot force the body to heal faster that normal.  You risk having problems that would delay your ultimate healing.  It certainly is a easier recovery if you have a subglandular breast enlargement.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

What "rapid recovery" breast augmentation refers to

Hello and thank you for your question. In reality, "rapid recovery" breast augmentation refers to techniques performed that involve precise pocket dissection using electrocautery with direct visualization -- this allows for the patient to be weaned off of pain medications within 2 days, and in some cases, no narcotics are required post-op at all.  However, no matter what kind of surgery that occurs, basic lessons in physiology tell us that it takes minimum 3 weeks for tissue swelling to start to subside and up to 8 weeks for sufficient collagen maturation to occur where 80% of final scar strength is achieved.

I take your concerns to heart as most people want to get back to feeling normal as soon as possible. If it helps you better understand what is required post-op, I have many nurses who I operate on a Friday, and they go back to work on Monday, but they have a restriction of not lifting anything over 10 lbs for at least 2 weeks; please keep in mind though that this is also a very motivated group of individuals. In general, most of my patients are off of their prescription pain meds by 5 days, but they may feel occasional soreness for around 10 days. As for the post-op routine for breast augmentation patients, my personal goal is to try and 1) get my patients back to their work or usual activities and 2) off of pain medications, as soon as possible. Regarding activities, I forbid any heavy lifting >10 lbsfor minimum 2 weeks. At week 3, I allow for an increase in activities as tolerated. However, I still do not allow exercises that activate the pectoralis major muscle for 1 month because I want the pocket that I have formed for the breast implant to be stable and I want the scar tissue that forms to preserve this pocket to be more reliable and prevent activity that can cause the muscle to stretch/rip or move the implant in a less than ideal position. I also don't allow submerging the incisions in a bathtub, pool, ocean, etc for 1 month. Underwire bras are typically discouraged for 6 months, but other than that, almost all of my patients are back to whatever they were doing before surgery, within a month after surgery. Again, what I mentioned above for my patients are a generalization and the regimen I prescribe for each patient is customized to their particular surgery and expected needs. Also remember that the breast implants need some time to "drop and fluff:" in most people they ride high for 1-3 months before they fall into their ideal position. Be sure to seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in aesthetic breast surgery. I hope this helps answer your question and best of luck to you. Sincerely, Dr. Sean Kelishadi

Sean Kelishadi, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Rapid recovery breast augmentation

If something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Breast augmentation is a serious surgery, not to be taken lightly. Complications from being overactive too early after your procedure can create long term problems.  For sure there are some techniques and some surgeons who are gentler which will certainly lead to a smoother and faster recovery. However, you still need to give your body sufficient time to recover: a few days laying around your house and not going out, driving and doing very gentle activity at 3-4 days, cardio exercise at 2-3 weeks and  more vigorous exercise at 4-6 weeks. By the way, unless you do some type of breast lift with your augmentation (at least a periareolar lift) I believe you will be terribly disappointed with your result.  I hope this information helps.Thomas Taylor, MD, FACS

Rapid Recover Breast Augmentation

Hello,It's real, and it could be performed by every surgeon, but there are hurdles for my colleagues to get over. And the first one is telling a patient that her chosen implant size will not be appropriate for her anatomic capacity, which very well may be the case with you.  Placing oversized implants requires more traumatic surgery, and a more painful and lengthier recovery, requiring narcotics and immobilization, two things that rapid recovery patients don't need. As for the concept of rapid recovery, its about getting back to normal daily activities, excluding high intensity workouts, cross fit, pole dancing, etc.  Rapid recovery surgery will have you driving a car in one to three days, but you will still need to slowly go back to exercise over a 2 to 8 week period. You are not an ideal patient for just an augmentation, and would benefit from a breast lift.Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 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.