Breast Augmentation Recovery Tips from Southlake Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Vennemeyer
In most cases, healing from a breast augmentation is pretty easy, but it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions to maximize your chances of a normal recovery. Make sure you follow the specific tips your surgeon gives, as instructions can vary by surgeon.
Breast Augmentation Bra
Most plastic surgeons recommend a post-surgical bra. This soft, supportive bra provides support to hold the implants in the right position during healing and compression to help swelling resolve more quickly. The lack of an underwire in post-op bras avoids irritation of incisions in your breast creases (inframammary fold).
We measure you and order your post-op bra to ensure it fits you properly and to save you the trouble of having to order it yourself. For most breast augmentations, I provide my patients with a bra that includes a built-in stabilizer band that helps the implants settle more quickly and evenly. It reduces swelling, too. After a week or two, the band is no longer needed.
Once you graduate from the surgical bra around 6 weeks post-op, I recommend continuing to wear a supportive bra most of the time. The more weight your bra supports, the less weight your skin experiences. This may reduce your risk of sagging or implants bottoming out.
Discomfort and Swelling after Breast Aug
You will experience some discomfort that most of my patients describe as mild to moderate. Typically, people use pain medications for 2-3 days after surgery. Many only need Tylenol. You will probably feel a lot of tightness—this is from the pressure of the implants pushing on your ribs, stretching your pectoral muscles and expanding your breast skin. Don’t worry, this sensation is temporary and usually resolves over the first couple weeks.
Your breasts will swell and look like “torpedoes” for 1-2 weeks and they will feel really firm. The implants will probably seem too high and you might feel like you went too big. Relax! Things will change dramatically for the better over the first couple weeks.
To reduce swelling:
- Prop yourself up with pillows so you sleep in a slightly elevated position for the first few weeks. A 45 degree wedge pillow works well for this.
- I instruct my patients with round implants to start massaging their breasts several times a day from the beginning. I have augmentation-lift (mastopexy) or patients with shaped “gummy bear” implants start massage after a week or two.
- Icing can help reduce pain and swelling, but it is important to protect your skin from getting too cold.
Even after the first few weeks, you will notice firmness in your breasts caused by subtle swelling. This is most apparent the first 3 months. After this, your breasts will feel much softer.
Activity after Breast Augmentation
You shouldn’t exert yourself physically for the first several weeks after surgery. I don’t want my patients to get their blood pressure or heart rate up significantly to reduce the risk of bleeding. I encourage light walking and light range-of-motion exercises for your shoulders to reduce stiffness. After 3 weeks, low impact cardio is fine. If you are into high impact cardio or weight lifting, wait 6 weeks.
Breast Augmentation scars
I put a special compressive bandage on your incisions that stays in place for 2-3 weeks. This helps your scar heal better and look better. When it first heals, your scar appears pink and slightly raised. Massage with lotion helps flatten and soften your scars, and you should start this about 3 weeks after surgery. I recommend it 3 times per day with unscented hand lotion.
I also recommend Scarguard MD, or other similar topical agents containing silicone and hydrocortisone, starting 2-3 weeks after surgery to help the scar soften, flatten and fade faster.
It’s my goal to help you find your perfect implant size and heal beautifully. I stay up to date on the latest studies to guide my techniques and treatment to keep you safe and give you the best results possible. The whole team at Vennemeyer Plastic Surgery is excited to help every patient through this fun process.
Contact us to set up a consultation today!