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.
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 online, email us or phone our St. Louis office at (314) 996-8800