Breast enlargement is the most popular form of plastic surgery in the United States. Millions of American women have undergone this procedure to augment their breast size. Any form of elective surgery poses a quandary for patients, and breast augmentation is no different. It’s important to remember that breast enlargement is an entire process that lasts longer than just the surgery date.
Once the procedure is complete, the process of recovery begins. Recovery experiences will vary between person and procedure. As there are many different factors in a breast augmentation procedure, the recovery process will vary between each. In general, you should take around two days to rest and recover after their surgery. This resting period should be followed by many days of little activity. Within a week, most people are able to return to their daily lives. Others experience soreness and swelling even up to a month after the procedure.
What can I expect immediately after surgery?
Post-op care is just as important as the surgery. Be prepared to give your body ample time to recover and heal, because surgery is punishing on the human body. You’re likely to feel very sore and tired in the immediate days following the operation.
After 24 hours have passed, you’ll likely have the bandages removed. It’s important to not remove the strips that cover the incision points. It’s perfectly safe to shower with these sterilized strips because of their adhesive skin but, after stepping out of the shower, you should gently pat the strips dry with a clean towel.
Once the strips fall off on their own, you can continue placing gauze dressings over the incisions for about a week. It’s normal for the chest area to feel tight as the skin adjusts to the new breast size. It is also common for women to have less feeling in their nipples and breasts following the operation.
The bruising and swelling that are common after surgery will gradually heal over time. Your plastic surgeon may provide some massage techniques to help increase the healing time, decrease discomfort, and lessen the risk of developing complications like capsular contracture.
You may also be advised to wear a supportive bra. Athletic bras work well, but there are also specialized bras to be worn post-surgery. These bras are intended to protect the breasts while also providing important positioning. Some plastic surgeons recommend that patients forgo wearing a bra altogether. The wires in traditional bras can mess up the alignment of the breasts and irritate your incisions.
While showers are typically allowed after a 24-hour period, most plastic surgeons will advise you wait around 2 weeks before approaching still water. This means that bathtubs, hot tubs, lakes, oceans, and swimming pools will have to be avoided.
Most patients return to their daily lives within a few days of the operation. If you’re sent home with drains, you should keep track of the drained fluid three times each day. This is important information to bring to your follow-up appointments.
What should I expect in the weeks after surgery
The recovery process becomes much easier after a few weeks. Although many patients are back to normal after this period, there is still some recovery to be done. It’s not uncommon for your new breasts to remain sensitive and swollen for a few weeks after the procedure. Any activity that increases your blood pressure should be avoided. You should also stay away from exercises that use the arms and chest too much. At this point, you should focus on listening to your body and gradually returning to your normal lifestyle. Of course, if you have any questions at all, you should contact your plastic surgeon’s office.
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Breast augmentation comes with one of the highest rates of satisfaction of any cosmetic procedure. To begin exploring your options with breast augmentation or ask questions about what you can expect from recovery, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.