Recovery Time for Breast Implants and Liposuction

Planning on getting breast implants and also stomach liposuction done at the same time in September. How many days would one need to plan to be away from work? Will there be a need for someone to help with recovery?

Doctor Answers 8


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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!


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Recovery for Breast Implants and Liposuction

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In most cases, just a few days off of work will be sufficient.  For instance, have the surgery on Friday and return to work on Wednesday.  However, every patient is different and we would need to see pictures or examine you in person to know if you are a good surgical candidate and to know the extent of liposuction that you requrie. 


Good Luck.

Recovery time for breast augmentation and liposuction

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The recovery time following breast augmentation and liposuction can vary several days depending on your threshold for pain and discomfort.  It might be possible to return to work within 3 or 4 days.  Expect soreness and discomfort for that period of time.  If you can afford it, plan on taking a full week off from work.  Good luck!

One week after breast augmentation and liposuction generally enough

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How long to take off after having breast augmentation and liposuction varies with the individual and what she does.  The heavier the work she does, the more time she should take off.  The healthier the patient, the less time that she needs off after surgery.  Also, the more areas and more fat that is removed during liposuction, the longer the recovery.  But generally speaking, one week after breast augmentation and liposuction, the patient is ready to return to light duty at work.  I recommend three weeks before resuming all levels of activity.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Liposuction are relatively easy to recover from

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Breast augmentation and liposuction are fairly easy procedures to recover from. The painful part of the breast procedure is the placement of the implants under your muscle (more painful but worth it!). I usually tell my patients to take a week off of work and it is definitely nice if you can plan for someone to give you some help on surgery day and possibly the day after. Liposuction will make you feel like you had a very intense workout and your body will be sore in the treated areas. However, with both procedures, you should be walking around taking care of yourself the following day. 

Good Luck!

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Recovery from breast augmentation and liposuction

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The recovery from breast augmentation and liposuction varies.  I usually tell patients to take it easy for about a week after srugery. If you have a desk job you  may be able to get back within the week.  The breast augmentation is usually the more painful of the two.

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

Recovery time after surgery is variable.

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The most important factor in determining how much time away from work you need depends on your pain threshold.  Some people feel great the next day, some feel unwell for a full week.  Another factor is you job.  People with office type jobs can get back much quicker than those whose jobs are more physical.  In general I suggest to my patients to take a week off, but they may feel well after just a couple of days.

You should have someone with you after you had an anesthetic because although you may feel perfectly fine, the drugs remain in your system for a while and you may faint and fall.  Someone should be with you for the first 24 hours.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

When can return to work following a breast augmentation and liposuction

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As indicated from the other answers, the time needed off from work following a breast augmentation and liposuction is somewhat variable. It would depend on your pain threshold/tolerance as well as the type of work that you are returning to. For a relatively sedentary job (desk; no heavy lifting), you may be able to return to work by 5 to 7 days. If your job is much more physically demanding such as requiring heavy lifting, you should wait longer than a week due to an increased risk of precipitating bleeding.

Your plastic surgeon should provide you with recommendations.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 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.