5 Stages of Healing after Breast Augmentation

Plastic Surgeon & Medical Spa Serving Newport Beach, Orange County & the Greater Los Angeles Area of California

Posted: January 28, 2020

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. Each year, hundreds of thousands of women experience the life-changing benefits associated with an improved breast appearance.

Before moving forward with your procedure, it’s important to understand what to expect during every stage of the process. Breast augmentation is major surgery, and there is a significant recovery period. While the overwhelming majority of women find that it’s worth undergoing this lengthy healing process, you should be aware of the road to recovery that lies ahead of you.

Stage 1: The Day of Your Surgery

infographic highlighting the 5 stages of healing after breast augmentationBreast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis, and you will return home the day of your procedure. Since you’ll still be under the lingering effects of anesthesia, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home. It’s also important to have someone around the house for the rest of the day in case you need assistance.

You’ll need to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated on this first day of recovery. We recommend that you set up a comfortable recovery area prior to your procedure. It should include:

  • Extra pillows and blankets for optimal comfort
  • A place to easily access water and snacks without bending over
  • Plenty of entertainment (movies, books, music) to keep you occupied while you relax

We recommend that you prepare some healthy, nutritious meals in advance that you can easily reheat since you won’t feel up to cooking. You should also fill all prescriptions in advance so that they’ll be on-hand when you get home from surgery.

Stage 2: First 5-7 Days after Surgery

This is typically the most uncomfortable phase of your recovery. It’s common to experience:

  • Bruising and swelling around the breasts which will gradually subside as you heal
  • Discomfort which can be managed with pain medication

You should start feeling much better towards the end of this first week of recovery. Dr. Lee encourages light walking as soon as you feel up to it. This will facilitate proper blood flow and help prevent blood clots. Always listen to your body and rest if you feel you need to.

Stage 3: 1-3 Weeks after Surgery

During this phase of recovery, you will be able to gradually resume your regular routine. In general, most women are able to return to work within one to two weeks after breast augmentation. If your job requires heavy lifting or other strenuous physical activity, you may need to take additional time off to ensure your body is sufficiently healed.

Bruising, swelling and discomfort should have substantially subsided by this point. Dr. Lee will carefully monitor your recovery and let you know when it is safe to resume normal activities and light exercise. Light cardio activities can be incorporated into your routine at this point, but you will still need to refrain from strenuous activities. When resuming exercise, it’s important to start slow and gradually ramp up your efforts as your body gets stronger.

Stage 4: 4-6 Weeks after Surgery

By now, you will be sufficiently recovered to begin adding more strenuous activity back into your routine. Always wait until Dr. Lee tells you it is safe to resume specific activities to prevent complications.

Intense cardio and lower body exercises can be resumed after about four weeks. However, you’ll need to refrain from heavy lifting and chest exercises until you are roughly six weeks out of surgery.

Stage 5: Final Results

It can take as long as three to four months before you are able to see your final results. This is due to the fact that it takes time for your breast implants to settle into their proper position and for all residual swelling to subside. While you’ll want to experience your new appearance as soon as possible, it’s important to be patient during this process.

Dr. Lee recommends waiting to purchase new bras and bikinis until your final results are visible since your breast size and appearance may still undergo slight changes for several months.

Contact our Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

Please contact Dr. Richard Lee using the form on this page or call 949-548-9312 today to schedule a free consultation. We serve patients in Newport Beach, Orange County and the Los Angeles metropolitan area.