How long does breast augmentation recovery take?
by Hamawy, Adam
If you’re like most women about to get breast implant surgery, you’re excited to begin the next chapter of your life! But you’re also thinking about the immediate impact of the surgery — namely, your recovery. Your recovery will vary according to the type of incision and technique your surgeon uses. But, you have a huge role to play as well: You’ll want to follow all of the post-surgery instructions very carefully.
Modern Techniques = Less Recovery Time
Modern surgery techniques have revolutionized recovery time for breast implant surgery patients. You won’t be in the hospital for several days, and you won’t miss weeks of work. In fact, with modern techniques, you will most likely go home a few hours after surgery (you’ll need someone to drive you). Your NYC plastic surgeon will advise you on what level of activity is appropriate for the first few days following surgery, but you should plan on light activity only. Being “up and about” will help your emotional health (no one wants to feel “sick”) but overdoing it can cause a setback.
The kinds of activities you’ll want to wait on are the more vigorous kinds of activity, like exercise. So, to reduce the risk of bleeding, you’ll want to wait about three weeks before returning to the gym. And when you do get back to exercise and working out, you’ll want to listen to your body. Use discomfort your guide, and back off when you need.
Time off from work varies from woman to woman. If you have the surgery on a Thursday, you may be able to go back to work on Monday, depending on your job and your recovery. Other women prefer to take a week off. If you have a very active job (such as a personal trainer), you’ll need more time off (two to three weeks). You may feel sore after surgery, and there will be swelling. You can use ice packs the day of and the day after surgery. Also, your surgeon may give you some arm exercises to do to keep the area loose. Though you’ll remain swollen for a few months, any pain should dissipate within days.
Regarding medication, you may or may not want to use over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers. Much of it depends on your surgeon and your approach to discomfort and recovery. There’s a good chance you’ll take antibiotics after the surgery (to help prevent infection). Also, you may have drains, which will most likely be removed at your first follow-up visit.
Talk to your surgeon before the surgery about the techniques they’ll be using. The decisions made before surgery can help to avoid bleeding and prolonged anesthesia. It’s possible to feel very much back to “normal” within days after surgery. Talk with your surgeon about the typical experiences of their patients and your expectations.
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