Breast augmentation with breast implants is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in America. Women who are interested in using this procedure to enhance the size and shape of their breasts can expect positive, long-lasting outcomes. But what is the recovery timeline like after this procedure? Learn everything you need to know about recovery after breast augmentation at DrYoungForever in San Antonio, TX.
How Long Is Recovery After Breast Implants?
In general, the recovery timeline after breast implants is six to eight weeks. The average woman will be able to resume many normal daily activities after a few weeks, including work. However, your plastic surgeon will ask you to continue to follow aftercare directions for at least two months after your surgery so your results can develop optimally. The stages of your recovery timeline include:
Stage One: Immediate Post-Surgery
Immediately after your surgery, you will either go home or you will have an overnight stay at the surgical facility. The choice of whether to go home or stay in the hospital is up to you. Patients who are particularly sensitive to general anesthesia may want to stay at the hospital overnight to ease into the recovery period. If you go home immediately after your surgery, you will need to focus on rest and relaxation to promote the natural healing process.
In particular, at home, you will want to eat light meals, drink plenty of water, and rest on your back in a comfortable area. Getting as much sleep as possible immediately after your surgery will benefit your body.
Stage Two: First Week Post-Surgery
The first week after your surgery is typically when you will need to follow aftercare instructions most closely. This includes avoiding any strenuous movement, lifting, and activities that may disturb the dressing on your breasts. You will need to avoid hot water and hot showers for at least the first 24 to 48 hours.
During your first week post-surgery, it’s highly encouraged to engage in light exercise every day. Promoting healthy blood circulation by walking around your house every few hours for at least 10 minutes is another way you can stimulate your body’s natural healing response.
Stage Three: Second and Third Weeks Post-Surgery
During the second and third weeks post-surgery, you will be allowed to return to work. In particular, if your job is low activity and does not involve any straining or lifting, you can return to work sooner. However, you will need to continue to avoid lifting anything more than three to five pounds. Stretching and light exercise such as yoga or tai chi are recommended during this stage of healing.
Stage Four: Four to Six Weeks Post-Surgery
Four to six weeks after your procedure, you can generally resume most of your daily activities, including lifting objects more than five to 10 pounds. After about four weeks, you can resume most exercise activities, including intense cardiovascular exercise, swimming, running, and some weight lifting or resistance training for your lower body. After six weeks, most doctors will approve lifting weights with the upper body as well.
Stage Five: Six to Eight Weeks Post-Surgery
During the last six to eight weeks of your recovery process, your breast implants will generally settle into the final optimal position and your results will be most visible. At this point, you will not have many restrictions on your daily activities. However, you should always listen to your surgeon’s advice about when to resume activities so you can avoid complications.
How Long Should You Wear a Compression Bra?
A large part of your recovery process will involve wearing a compression bra after your surgery, as this garment will promote healing of the breast tissue and surgical site. A compression bra will also ensure that your implants settle into an optimal position. Generally speaking, you will need to wear a compression bra all day every day for at least six to eight weeks. The only time you should remove a compression bra is if you are bathing or switching the bra for a clean one.
Is a Sports Bra a Good Alternative?
Many women know that you should not wear the same bra for more than two to three days in a row, which means that you will need to have a few compression bras on hand throughout your recovery process. If you don’t want to buy multiple compression bras, a high-impact sports bra can be a good alternative, particularly during the earlier phases of your recovery process.
However, because of the construction of many sports bras, you may want to opt for bras that have a front closure, such as a zipper, which will make it easier to take the bra on and off. Later in your recovery timeline, you will be able to switch to a medium-impact sports bra.
What Is the Best Diet During Recovery?
Recovery after surgery is incredibly demanding on your body and will tax many of the resources your body uses to promote natural regeneration. For this reason, it’s imperative to follow a healthy diet during your recovery so your results can develop as desired. Eating a diet that is high in protein, including vegetable-based protein, will give your body enough resources to contribute to wound healing.
In addition to a well-balanced diet, you may want to consider including multivitamins or individual supplements that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A, as all of these vitamins can contribute to a more robust immune system. Be sure to discuss all supplement choices with your surgeon so that you can create an optimal dietary plan following your surgery.
Will You Have Follow-Up Appointments?
You will have several follow-up appointments after your breast augmentation surgery. Your first follow-up appointments will generally check on the placement of the breast implants to ensure there are no complications associated with your healing process. You will also usually have a follow-up appointment about two months after your surgery, and sometimes up to one year after your surgery.
What Are Common Reasons for Breast Augmentation?
There are several reasons why women may want to consider breast augmentation with implants. Enhancing the size and shape of the breasts can have a dramatic effect on a woman’s self-confidence and self-esteem, particularly if the woman is self-conscious about smaller breasts, drooping breasts, or uneven breasts. Women may also want to increase breast size after dramatic weight loss, pregnancy, or aging.
Another common reason to have breast augmentation is to reconstruct the breast following a mastectomy or other treatment for breast cancer. Breast reconstruction with breast implants can restore the feminine silhouette and help women feel like themselves after surviving breast cancer.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Candidates who are ideal for breast augmentation with implants include those who want to increase the size or shape of their breasts. Women who have asymmetry can also use implants to balance the appearance of their breasts. To be a qualified candidate, you must not be currently pregnant or breastfeeding and you must be in good general health to withstand general anesthesia.
Are Saline or Silicone Implants Best?
When you are considering breast augmentation with implants, you will have several options to choose from. The most common implants are saline and silicone implants, both of which have unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, silicone implants typically produce more volume and more natural-looking results, whereas saline implants are ideal for patients who may want to adjust breast size in the future.
To choose between saline and silicone implants, you will need to have a frank discussion with your plastic surgeon about your aesthetic goals, your lifestyle, and your preferences. Your surgeon will always make the best recommendation for implant shape, size, and material that will produce the best possible results.
How Long Will Implants Last?
Implants will typically last for 10 to 15 years on average, regardless of whether the implant is saline or silicone. Some implants may last up to 20 years, particularly if you take good care of your general health. After 15 to 20 years, many women will have breast revision surgery to replace implants.
Schedule Your Breast Implant Consultation Today!
The recovery timeline for breast augmentation is about six to eight weeks on average. The results of the surgery are long-lasting and natural-looking, and most people are considered good candidates. Schedule a consultation at DrYoungForever in San Antonio, TX to determine if you are an ideal candidate for this procedure.