Breast augmentation is experienced a little differently by each patient. This makes sense, as every body is different in terms of biological and chemical composition. Additional variables that impact the recovery process include implant size, type, and placement. In short, your recovery will be unique, but rest assured we at Soler Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL, will be with you every step of the way.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Breast Augmentation?
Modern techniques have revolutionized both the way we perform surgery and the recovery time associated with breast augmentation. No longer do you have to worry about being in the hospital for days and missing weeks of work. Just the opposite, you’ll likely go home within a few hours to begin healing at home – a process that takes just four or five days.
We’ll recommend the level of activity appropriate for your body in the first several days post-surgery. You should plan, however, on doing only light activities. You’ll want to get “up and about” as soon as possible to maintain a positive, healthy outlook – nobody likes feeling sick – but doing too much can set you back in terms of recovery.
Right After Surgery
It’s important you use the time right after surgery to rest. A good night’s sleep not only improves your mood and boosts cognition but also heals your body more quickly. In fact, studies confirm sleep is more important in wound healing than good nutrition. While the latter remains crucial because it keeps the immune system strong, getting the rest your body needs can reduce recovery times but as much as one full day.
Depending on the nature of your job, you may be cleared to return to work just a few days after surgery. Many women take a full week off so they can sleep when necessary and recover without stress. But if you have a job that requires significant lifting and/or physical activity, you may need a longer recovery period. We’ll discuss these specific details during your consultation.
Within a Few Days
You’ll quickly regain your energy and, a few days outside of surgery, be able to complete basic tasks and start moving around. We recommend you walk as soon as possible to promote circulation. This will further help restore your strength and deliver crucial nutrients right where you need them: your breasts.
What nutrients does the blood carry? In addition to oxygen, it transports hormones and:
- Fatty acids
- Amino acids
Two Months After Surgery
Although you’ll be feeling stronger, it’s important you not rush the healing process. Wait on aerobic exercises, running, and going to the gym until we give clearance – about six to eight weeks post-surgery. If resumed too quickly, vigorous activities can increase your risks of bleeding. And when you do return to intense exercise, listen to your body. Any signs of discomfort mean you need to back off and proceed more slowly.
If you have concerns at any time, schedule an appointment to speak with us. It is our goal to make your recovery as smooth and seamless as possible. Pairing our experience with your natural intuition will get you back to normal in no time.
The Right Support
Choosing the right support for your breasts is part of the recovery process. No medical consensus exists as to whether you should wear a bra or not right out of surgery, so there’s no protocol to follow.
Instead, we’ll discuss the options available to decide if a sports bra or surgical bra is appropriate for your needs. Sometimes, implants need to settle into place before a bra is chosen, meaning we’ll recommend you go without. Other times, the pressure from a bra is necessary to increase your comfort and provide support.
What to Look For
Once you can wear a traditional bra again, it’s crucial you find the right one. Breast augmentation will do more than change the size of your breasts; it will also change your bra size. The chance to try new sizes and styles on a shopping trip can be exciting, but you must also consider the cut and style of the bra. In other words, it’s important to look beyond the brand to find one that suitably conforms to your body.
Some benefits your new bra should offer include:
- Soft, stretchy fabric that smooths across your new contours
- Increased blood circulation to minimize inflammation
- Protection against infection near the incision area
- Enough support to prevent implant shifting
Many women use this opportunity to have their first professional bra fitting. A fitting ensures you wear the right bra size and also choose one with some of the benefits we just mentioned. A professional can likewise help you explore different styles, such as one with a front closure that minimizes movement of the chest and shoulder. This style also reduces the amount of arm and shoulder movement required to open and close your bra.
Underwire bras are off the table for at least six months after surgery; they irritate incisions and create more friction on your skin. Fortunately, plenty of great styles now exist that provide soft, elastic support in place of an irritating underwire.
Also, look at the material of any bra you choose; breathable synthetic or cotton-blend fabrics work to keep breasts dry and prevent rashes and irritation. Last but not least, you need adjustable straps. These can help you create a bra that fits almost perfectly without compromising structure or comfort.
Words of Advice
The results from your surgery will likely come in gradually, meaning the bra that fits you a month after surgery may not be the same size bra you need two or three months later. You should therefore slowly invest in new bras. Avoid stocking your wardrobe right after surgery, as the bras you purchase likely will not fit within a few weeks or months. Instead, choose one or two at a time and continue having professional fittings until your breast size stops changing.
In addition, avoid wearing a push-up bra throughout your recovery. We know you’ll want to show off your new curves, but push-up bras displace breast tissues. In other words, your implants may move and your incisions may be stressed. Delay these styles until you’ve finished healing, and your body will thank you.
The Right Post-Surgery Steps
One of the kindest things you can do after breast augmentation is to be patient with your body. Your implants will likely sit higher and feel harder than you first anticipated. This is perfectly normal, and within six weeks or less, the implants will settle and feel softer. Remember your body is in transition as it adjusts to your new size and shape.
In this same vein, try to keep your stress to a manageable level. Stress reduces the body’s ability to fight antigens, in turn making you more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid in particular can suppress your immune system’s efficacy and prolong your recovery period.
Keep in Touch
You’ll have several post-op appointments with our office so we can monitor your progress and ensure you’re healing appropriately. It’s critical you attend these appointments as scheduled and use them to speak openly and honestly about your feelings. Similarly, you need to follow all post-procedure instructions we provide. These will be provided in an easy-to-understand format so you know exactly how to move along the healing process.
Pay Attention to Nutrition
Your body needs certain nutrients to heal – especially protein. You should therefore fill your refrigerator with foods and snacks like:
These choices help build strong tissues and, if prepared in advance, also require little prep. Keep in mind you want to limit the effort that must go into mealtime. Cooking stews and casseroles and cutting snacks before surgery will therefore provide ready-to-grab options.
Remember the Fluids
Drinking fluids after surgery can similarly flush away toxins, especially those from the anesthesia. Fluids can also revive tired muscles and reduce your chances of growing dizzy from dehydration.
But beverages like coffee and soda serve no nutritional purpose. What you want is water, which moves nutrients through the body for increased healing. Try some flavored options if plain water gets a little boring. Green tea is also a nourishing way to get the fluids you need.
We may recommend you perform breast massage a week or so after surgery. This allows you to mold your breasts into the desired shape. It’s also relaxing and helps ensure your incision heals quickly and effectively.
A Few More Tips
Wear loose clothing, especially tops that don’t require you to raise your arms to get into them. To further help yourself, select several outfits before surgery and store them in a convenient location for easy retrieval post-surgery.
Also have a reliable caregiver, such as a family member, who can stay with you for 24 hours following the procedure. If you have young children, your caregiver will probably need to stay two or three days to prepare meals and help clean.
What Not to Do After Surgery
Skip the smoking for at least one month prior to surgery and several months after – if not permanently. Nicotine puts you at risk of infection and ignites pain sensors.
Your sleeping position significantly impacts your breast implants. With that said, we recommend you not sleep on your stomach. Instead, opt to lie on your back and raise your head and shoulders with a pillow.
Skip the Shower
We’ll likely recommend you not shower or wash your breasts for at least 48 hours. Once we give the approval, you can gently wash your breasts; the key is to avoid harsh rubbing. Likewise, stay out of the swimming pool and lake to avoid infections.
We’ve already discussed this point, but it’s worth circling back to. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activities for around one month. Although you can walk during this period, upper body exercises – including heavy lifting – must be avoided. Even carrying young children can impact your results; we, therefore, recommend you avoid this for a few weeks. When you do return to exercise, work your lower body first and then gradually incorporate your upper body.
The Shape You Want
Breast augmentation provides the feminine shape you want, and thanks to advanced surgical techniques, you’ll enjoy a shorter recovery time than patients in years past. Remember to have patience, avoid exercise, and follow the recommendations we provide to you. If you’ve been considering this surgery, don’t delay. Schedule your consultation today by calling Soler Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL.