Your Breast Enhancement Recovery Timeline

Understanding the details of your breast enhancement recovery timeline can help you make important decisions about when to schedule your breast augmentation surgery, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, so that you can request time off from work, schedule transportation, arrange childcare, if needed, avoid unnecessary travel conflicts, and generally be prepared. One reason so many women choose breast augmentation is due to its quick recovery time, and one of our main goals at West County Plastic Surgeons is to help you experience a speedy, uneventful return to your everyday routine. Although not all patients heal at the same rate, an overview of what to expect during your breast enhancement recovery will help you to organize your life so that you can have a successful, satisfying experience.

Board-certified plastic surgeons Drs. Terry Myckatyn and Marissa Tenenbaum have years of experience performing breast augmentation on a wide variety of patients. As a result, they have a clear understanding of what to expect during your breast enhancement recovery and can help you select a surgery date that meets your needs and lifestyle. As with any surgery, the recovery phase is essential for safe, excellent outcomes; that is why Drs. Myckatyn and Tenenbaum focus on making sure you understand each phase of your breast enhancement recovery timeline.

To schedule your personal consultation for breast augmentation at our St. Louis office, request your consultation onlineemail us or phone 314-996-8800 today!

Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline for St. Louis Patients

Whether you are just beginning to consider breast augmentation, have scheduled your procedure, or have recently had surgery, the following general breast enhancement recovery timeline should help you to understand the different phases most patients experience:

First Week of Recovery

Your breast enhancement recovery timeline begins with the surgery itself. From start to finish, a breast augmentation procedure takes one to two hours, and it is typically performed with the patient under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, meaning that you can return home following surgery. The day of surgery, once the anesthesia wears off, you may begin to feel tight and sore around the surgical area as your body initiates its natural healing process. You may also observe some swelling or bruising, or experience nipple sensitivity, tingling, and general discomfort, which can be alleviated with cold compresses and pain medication. Although you will receive prescription pain medication for your breast enhancement recovery, we advise patients to try to manage their pain with over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

For the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery, the focus of your breast enhancement recovery should be on helping your body heal so that you have successful results. That means resting, taking naps, and relying on a friend or loved one to help you perform even simple, everyday tasks, such as washing dishes or taking out the trash. Your surgeon will give you very specific post-operative care instructions for your breast enhancement recovery, which may include applying ice packs, wearing a specially designed compression garment, applying silicone strips, or taking vitamins or medications. Successful breast enhancement recovery requires following these instructions to the letter.

By the end of the first week, many patients experience a marked decrease in swelling, bruising, and discomfort, and are able to return to everyday activities or work, as long as their job does not require lifting or strenuous physical activity. If you have young children, you may need additional support during this phase of your breast enhancement recovery because you will not be allowed to lift any object heavier than a gallon of milk. Other factors will influence your breast enhancement recovery timeline, including implant placement (submuscular placement usually requires an extra day or so of recovery) and your general health prior to surgery, but most women can return to a normal routine within the first seven to ten days following surgery.

Weeks Two to Four of Recovery

In the weeks following your initial breast enhancement recovery phase, you will continue to see a decrease in swelling, bruising, sensitivity, and discomfort, although you may experience minor soreness. Most patients report a renewed interest in exercising, although they are not allowed to participate in any strenuous exercise or sports for at least six weeks following surgery.

Weeks Four to Eight of Recovery

At weeks four through six, you will have a fairly accurate picture of how your final results will look. The swelling should be gone completely and the underlying muscles and tissues healed. After this breast enhancement recovery phase, you will experience very subtle changes only, and scars will continue to lighten and fade. Eventually they will become difficult to notice.

This is just an overview of a general breast enhancement recovery timeline. For detailed information about what to expect and when, schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. Request your consultation onlineemail us or phone our St. Louis office at 314-996-8800.

If you have questions or would like to book a consultation with one of the surgeons at West County plastic Surgery, please call

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Meet Our Surgeons

There’s something different about West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University. Not only do our surgeons provide an accessible and patient-friendly atmosphere, but we uphold Washington University’s reputation for cutting-edge procedures. We invite you to learn more about our surgeons.
Dr. Terry Myckatyn

Voted among the "Best Doctors in St. Louis" and "Best Doctors in America" by Best Doctors, Inc. since 2008, Dr. Terry Myckatyn is no stranger to being recognized for his work in plastic surgery. A board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in the United States and Canada, Dr. Myckatyn specializes in all forms of cosmetic surgery and breast reconstruction. Read On

Dr. Marissa Tenenbaum

Dr. Tenenbaum – a board-certified plastic surgeon – specializes in all forms of cosmetic surgery and breast reconstruction, employing techniques acquired through working with some of the most respected cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons in the country. She has been voted among the "Best Plastic Surgeons" and "Best Doctors in America" by St. Louis Magazine. Read On

Emily Weinhaus P.A.

A licensed physician’s assistant, Emily performs non-invasive cosmetic procedures, such as BOTOX® injections, fillers, laser skin resurfacing, laser hair removal and spider vein treatments. Read On