Recovery after breast augmentation surgery is usually a straightforward process but some care must be taken to heal quickly and get the best results.
Immediately after surgery, many patients feel drowsy from the general anaesthetic and some soreness or tightness that is managed with medications. Upon discharge, it is important to be aware that an adult must drive you home and stay with you for a minimum of 24 hours.
Preparation for Breast Augmentation Surgery
By the evening of surgery, patients are typically comfortable and relaxed. Dr. Andrade prescribes a pain narcotic (like Hydromorphone), an anti-inflammatory (like Celebrex) as well as other over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help with pain and discomfort. All of the medications are taken as needed and most patients do just fine with OTC medications when taken appropriately. The pain level depends on everyone’s pain tolerance. But the majority of patients rate it mild or moderate. Dr. Andrade and/or his nurses call each patient either the evening of their surgery or the next morning to ensure they are recovering normally.
After the Breast Augmentation Procedure
Since patients will need to take it easy over the following week, it is recommended to have the housework and shopping done prior to your surgery to give yourself plenty of time to rest when you are recovering.
The following week of surgery, all breast augmentation patients have a phone assessment with one of our nurses to review recovery restrictions, bandeau/bra wear, scar gel use, showering, medications, etc. At your 1-week post-op mark, recovery is fairly straightforward as long as there is no vigorous activity. At this stage, implants still sit very high on the chest and will take several weeks to months to settle, soften and look more natural. Wearing the bandeau and gentle massage will help to lower the implants. Patience is key as every patient’s implants settle at different rates. Swelling and bruising are also normal and will resolve over time. Our clinic provides our breast augmentation patients with a surgical bra, scar gel, and bandeau.
Patients often ask us if they need to do implant displacement exercises (vigorously moving the implants around). There is little convincing evidence that this actually improves healing or the results of surgery. However, gentle massage for comfort is acceptable.
Many patients who work at a desk job usually return to work after 5 to 7 days of rest. Those who have a job that requires more activity or heavy lifting will need to go back to work on modified duties. For example, after surgery, patients cannot lift more than 10 kg for 6 weeks to avoid complications.
At 6 weeks, our patients return to the clinic for an in-person assessment with Dr. Andrade where he checks for symmetry, positioning of the implants, shape, and foes over any questions or concerns. This is the point patients are generally considered fully healed and may resume regular activity and are able to swim. At the 6 week mark, patients can start their workout routines; however, it is advised to start off slow as the body will be reconditioned and muscle strains are possible.
We recommend a 1-year follow-up to ensure the results are as expected; but, patients are welcome to come sooner if they have concerns. At the 1-year post-op mark, patients will typically see their family doctor for routine breast health exams, but we are also happy to be involved with implant surveillance.
As patients are recovering, it is common to have post-op questions. Patients are always welcome to reach out to our office if they need to speak with staff or a nurse. During business hours, we have a nurse on-site to assist you and ease your mind of any concerns.
Dr. Andrade has over 16 years of experience and typically inserts over 400 breast implants per year.