Many women who are about to undergo breast augmentation wonder about what the recovery period will be like and rightfully so. Breast augmentation recovery time will vary by person, sometimes dramatically but we can share with you some of the most common issues that you can expect as you recover from breast augmentation surgery.
Post Breast Augmentation Surgery
When you wake up from breast augmentation surgery you can expect a range of issues ranging from mildly annoying to sometimes severe. You will be closely monitored by a recovery room nurse until you have recovered from the anesthesia, which varies by person but at least 2 hours is a reasonable minimum expectation.
It is quite common for women to experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Soreness and general disorientation from the anesthesia
- Blurred Vision
- Feeling of coldness – may be caused by the ice packs or operating room temperature or medication.
Make sure that even though these symptoms are normal that you express them with the nurse or the surgeon and make sure they are aware of your discomfort. They can often remedy it quite easily either with medication or something as simple as a blanket to keep you warm. There is no reason to suffer in silence.
Post Breast Augmentation Surgery Care
Most surgeons will suggest icing your breasts post surgery to keep the swelling and discomfort to a minimum. It is typical that they ask you to ice your breasts (cold compress works great) for approximately 48 hours after surgery. This can give you the chills as discussed above but it is necessary to keep the swelling at bay. If an unusual level of discomfort exists from the ice compress then consult your doctor.
Many surgeons will install a small drain in the incision to make sure any body fluids created from the surgery can drain from the breast. This is a short term inconvenience and discomfort but the drains are necessary and will be removed typically on your first follow up visit to the doctor. The drains can reduce and improve the recovery time, making it worth the irritation.
Caring for your incisions during your breast augmentation recovery time is important and will impact how much, if any, of a scar you are left with once you are healed. The main issue is simply to make sure they remain clean and dry. Your surgeon may have covered your incisions with steri-strips aka surgery tape to keep them dry or if you have an internal suture line then they still may have covered them with tape.
It is important to keep this area clean and dry and do not use any lotion, creme, body wash or any foreign liquid to come into contact with this area. It is possible that you could end up with an infection if you are not careful and that is nothing that you want to mess with during your breast augmentation recovery time.
Temperature and Medications
As you are recovering from breast augmentation surgery you want to remain diligent in watching for infection and/or other issues. It is recommended that you take your temperature regularly and if you see any abnormal fluctuation then contact your physician for direction, especially if you start to run a fever.
It is also important that you take ALL of the medication that is prescribed to you. It is not uncommon for patients to assume they are ok when they start to recover and stop taking their antibiotics. Take every single antibiotic pill prescribed to you until they are gone, unless otherwise directed by your surgeon. You are better safe than sorry when it comes to infections of any kind and antibiotics are one of your best defenses.
Pain During Breast Augmentation Recovery Time
It is pretty much a given that you are going to experience some pain and discomfort during your breast augmentation recovery. How much and to what degree varies largely by person and it is hard to predict how bad yours will be. Breast implants that are placed over the muscle are typically less painful and have a shorter recovery time than breast implants placed under the muscle. I wouldn’t let this sway which type you get but simply understand what to expect.
You can expect some degree of breast swelling for as long as 3 to 4 months after surgery. It will improve rapidly in the first week or two post surgery and then slowly work its way out of your body as time goes by. It is recommended that you drink a lot of water, cut back on salt and include some very moderate exercise to your breast augmentation recovery period. This will help work the swelling out of your body more quickly.
If you experience any massive or sudden swelling after you have left the hospital then consult your physician immediately.
Sleeping During Breast Augmentation Recovery
Sleeping with your new breasts during your recovery period can be difficult, especially if you aren’t used to sleeping on your back. It is recommended that you sleep on your back with your upper body slightly elevated to reduce swelling and ease the pressure on your new breasts.
This can be quite difficult for some but it is an adjustment you will have to make. The first night out of the hospital, it is common to have a very difficult time sleeping for more than an hour or two before waking but you should improve nightly after that first night.
Bathing During Breast Augmentation Recovery
As we mentioned above, you will need to keep your sutures clean and dry, which means you cannot shower during the recovery period until you have your sutures removed. You can take a bath as long as you are careful to keep your sutures dry.
Another point of note is that most surgeons will tell you not to raise your hands over your head during recovery, which makes washing your hair very difficult. Make sure you get a good scrub in the night before surgery and this will help minimize the hair issue. The good news is that you won’t be a social butterfly while you are recovering anyways so this is unlikely to be a big issue for most.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Exercise
One of the most concerning issues for any post-op patient is blood clots. These little buggers can be deadly and it is not uncommon for surgery patients to experience them. For this reason, it is recommended that you get up and walk as soon as soon as you are able post surgery to keep your blood circulating and moving throughout your body. Your doctor should give you a very specific set of instructions on how much and what type of exercise to engage in post surgery but simply walking around usually suffices for most to keep clots at bay.
It is not recommended that you engage in any kind of strenuous exercise that could tax your system or that might risk you making an impact with another person or the ground. In either event, you are asking for trouble from your new breasts.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Issues
You may experience two different issues when it comes to your nipples and it is hard to predict which one will strike you. Some women report a temporary loss of sensation in their nipples during the recovery phase while others report hypersensitivity. One extreme to the other, both are usually temporary but if you experience either one, make sure you report it to your physician.
You may also experience some gurgling. Yes I said gurgling. It is not uncommon for your new breasts to make noise during the recovery period. Trapped air bubbles or pockets of fluid will work themselves up and out of your breasts during the days following breast augmentation surgery. Don’t be alarmed but if you experience anything other than very mild discomfort, report it to your physician. The “gurgling” effect can last for a couple of weeks post surgery.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Breast Appearance
Many women cannot wait to admire their new breasts following breast augmentation surgery and quite frankly, that is understandable. You need to understand though that your breasts will sit quite high and appear quite firm in the weeks following surgery. Some women become alarmed at how high they appear and by the appearance but your doctor will give you exercises to perform that will soften the breast and allow them to hang more naturally with a little bit of time.
This can vary dramatically based on implant size of course, but for most implants, this is what you can expect. Many doctors will recommend some kind of wrap or strap that will put slightl downward pressure on the breasts and help the implant to settle into a more natural position.
It is also quite common to experience some moderate itching and discomfort from your skin during the recovery time as well. The skin of your breasts has been stretched significantly and the itching is a side effect. It will diminish and disappear with time as your skin stretches around your new physique.