Q: Breast Augmentation Recovery: What Can I Expect?
My biggest worries about breast augmentation is the recovery from surgery. What can I expect? How much time off work does breast implant recovery require? When do scars really begin to fade?
A: Recovery from Breast Augmentation
There are many factors which affect your recovery from this or any surgery. The first thing to realize with Breast Augmentation surgery is that you will feel better quicker than you think, but you will still have to limit your activity to reduce your long term risks for complications such as bleeding that can increase the risk for capsular contracture. I tell my patients to wear a surgical bra for 3 weeks around the clock except when showering, and not to do any lifting, active arm motion, sit-ups, running or josteling for 6 weeks after implant placement. Fast walking is excellent to do immediately after surgery. Leg lifts or stationary bike are probably fine after the 1st 2-3 weeks .
Recovery is affected by the technique performed: submammary is less painful than submuscualr because stretching & cutting the muscle is necessary when placing the implant in the submuscular position.
Your pain tolerance will affect your recovery. If you have ever had surgery in the past, the type of surgery and your response to that surgery can be discussed with your doctor to understand how you may respond to the placement of the implants.
In general, most patients use a narcotic from 1-7 days after surgery. About 25% will use just Advil/ Ibuprophen 800 mg every 6 hours for pain without any narcotic pain medication. This typically will control incision pain well. The implants will cause noticeable weight and possible shoulder and back discomfort for the 1st few weeks. Motion of the arms and trunk will typically cause aching more than pain due to the fact that the implant will be on top of, or under the muscle of the chest wall which attaches to the arms.
Rarely, patient’s will experience nausea or grogginess from the surgery. The surgery is not very long and if done with a well trained Anesthesiologist or Nurse Anesthetist, the patient should wake comfortable and pain controlled with no nausea. Definitely be sure that the Anesthetic provider is very good.