When you think of plastic surgery, do you think of breast augmentation? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation was among the five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures performed in the U.S. in 2020. This cosmetic procedure is performed to enhance the size and shape of the breasts for a more proportionate and youthful overall body shape. Some of the most common questions we receive regarding this procedure are regarding downtime. Read on to learn more about the recovery process following breast augmentation surgery for a better understanding of what this surgery entails.

Immediately Following Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure, meaning that patients can return home the same day to recover. Once your surgery is complete, you may be groggy and slightly sore. Patients will need a friend or family member to drive them home, as well as a responsible adult who will stay with them for the first 24 hours. At our pre-operative visit, we will provide you with specific post-op instructions.

The First 48 Hours After Surgery

Recovery from breast augmentation is generally quick, with most people able to return to normal daily activities and work within 48-72 hours. However, recovery will vary from patient to patient depending on a number of factors. Do not be alarmed if your implants are sitting high on your chest. This is completely normal and they will begin to settle starting within the first week

It is important that you follow the post-op instructions given to you by Dr. Willis to ensure you see the best results. This may include wearing a compression sports bra for the first four weeks, as well as avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. Most people can shower 48 hours after surgery, however, you should avoid completely submerging your incisions in water.

Initial Side Effects After Breast Augmentation

A feeling of heaviness and tightness of the chest is common during the first few days following surgery. Some people may also experience hypersensitivity or interruptions of sensation in the breast and nipple area for the first few months. To reduce swelling and the feeling of heaviness on the chest, we recommend sleeping with your head elevated with an extra pillow behind your back for extra support.

The First Week After Surgery

Complete recovery from breast augmentation can take several weeks. While the first few days of recovery may be uncomfortable, prescription or over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen can help dull any pain. Typically, on post-operative day 3, you will feel much better and any discomfort will subside. After a week or so, any swelling will usually resolve and your breast will start to feel more natural. Your implants will still be high on your chest wall and Dr. Willis might instruct you to start implant message at your first post operative visit. This is to help work the implants down and to help shape the developing capsule. Be sure to stay well-hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and rest when you feel tired, as your body is healing. While most people can return to work within a few days after surgery, timing will ultimately depend on the job requirements. Overall, do not hessite to reach out to our office regarding any post-op questions or concerns.

The Second to Sixth Week After Surgery

After the first week or so, the swelling should completely reside and your implants will start to feel like they are a part of your body. Keep in mind, that the implants might still be high on your chest, but should start dropping into place with the help of implant messaging. Your steri-strips will fall off around week 3, and Dr. Willis will recommend medical grade silicone strips and scar message over your incisions. These should be worn at least 20 hours a day for 3 months.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation surgery, contact Charlottesville Plastic Surgery in Charlottesville, Virginia today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Willis. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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