Breast augmentation surgery after breast cancer involves a rigorous research and planning process leading up to your decision to take the leap for a lifetime of beautiful breasts. However, we find that many patients fail to research what to expect after surgery during this process.
As with any surgery, no matter how safe, you’ll require a recovery period. That’s why it’s important to understand what to expect during that time.
Here’s what you can expect in the days and weeks following breast augmentation surgery from Dr. Scott Rotatori, Orlando’s premier board-certified plastic surgeon.
What to Expect After Breast Augmentation Surgery: Day One
An outpatient procedure, breast augmentation surgery is most frequently performed under general anesthesia. It typically lasts between one to two hours. After surgery, you may need to spend another one to two hours in recovery to ensure you’re comfortable.
During this recovery period, your nurse will ensure you are awake and alert enough before you’re discharged and allowed to return to the comfort of your own home. Keep in mind that you won’t be permitted to drive yourself home. So be sure to arrange for someone to give you a ride home.
Your incisions will be covered by a small amount of gauze and steri-strips. You’ll also be given a post-operative bra that you’ll have to wear after surgery.
We will walk you through the instructions on how to care for your incisions during your time with us. This will allow you to manage aftercare at home in the weeks following the breast augmentation procedure. Follow these instructions precisely for the best healing and minimal scarring.
You will most likely receive a prescription for pain medication so you can get through any discomfort you may feel during those first few days.
Your homework on the first day is simple: get rest, rest and more rest. Allowing adequate time for your body to heal from breast augmentation surgery will ensure you get the best possible results.
The First Week After Breast Augmentation Surgery
Even after a full week following your breast augmentation surgery, your body will still be hard at work healing your surgical incisions. Use this first week to rest and eat well so your body can recover. Plan ahead and take at least a few days off work for some much needed R&R at home.
While you’re feeling better with each passing day, be sure to avoid any strenuous activity, including heavy lifting, pulling or pushing. During your breast lift procedure, incisions are made in the skin and muscle, which will cause discomfort throughout the first few days afterward. Movements, particularly pushing and pulling with your arms, may make the pain worse or cause an implant to shift before the surrounding tissues have had a chance to heal.
In addition, your breasts will look and feel swollen and tight. This typically worsens over the first 2 to 3 days. However, the swelling will start to subside between the first two weeks after surgery and totally disappear after 2 months.
It’s also common to feel a squishing sensation or to hear a squeaking sound coming from your breasts during that first week. Don’t worry – this is completely normal. It’s due to a small amount of fluid around the implant that is typically absorbed by the body during the first week.
The First Month After Breast Augmentation Surgery
Toward the end of your first week of recovery, you should start to feel more like yourself again. We may clear you to drive so you can get back to your normal routine or even return to work.
However, if your job demands physical requirements such as lifting, you may need a longer period of time before returning to your full workload. Remember that it’s best to be cautious so you can avoid complications and your body can heal itself.
During the months following your breast augmentation procedure, don’t use any bras that have underwire. Instead, only use the soft undergarments recommended by us. Tight, ill-fitting and underwire bras can interfere with your body’s healing process.
Toward the end of the first month, we will let you know when it is okay to begin low impact exercise. You should be able to build up to your normal routine slowly in following weeks.
Life with Breast Implants: The First Year
The year following your surgery is a year of healing and change for your new breasts. By the end of the first month, your swelling becomes less noticeable and the incisions should be healed.
However, a small amount of swelling will remain for several months. For this reason, it’s wise to hold off on spending a lot of money on new bras or swimsuits until 2 months after surgery. You don’t want to invest in something that won’t fit the same way in a matter of months.
You may also find your scars look worse before they start appearing better. Don’t panic – this is normal and it can take 12 to 18 months for scars to take on their final appearance. Be sure to follow our regimen for caring for your incisions and scars to minimize their appearance and get the best results.
It’s also important to note that it may take a good part of this first year before your new breasts feel like your breasts. At first, they may feel unfamiliar and foreign, but over the coming months they will gradually become part of your body image.
Schedule a Breast Augmentation Consultation with Dr. Rotatori
If you are seeking the best results for your breast augmentation, Dr. Rotatori would enjoy sitting down with you to discuss your goals. He has performed thousands of advanced breast surgical procedures and has been consistently recognized as one of Central Florida’s top plastic surgeons. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Rotatori today.