There is more to breast augmentation than surgery. Once the procedure is over, the recovery process begins which includes postoperative care to maintain your new breasts’ appearance and feel.
Because there are a myriad of options as far as implant types, placement, and incisions — recovery time varies per person. All patients require at least two to five days of rest following the procedure, including several weeks of reduced physical activity. Most patients return to their normal routine, with restrictions, after approximately a week. However, swelling and soreness can persist for an additional four weeks or more.
What to Expect Immediately After Breast Augmentation
Taking excellent care of yourself is essential to post-op recovery. Having patience and giving your body enough time to heal will allow your implants to look and feel their best. Here’s what you can expect after your surgery.
- Like any operation, breast augmentation takes its toll on the body. You will probably feel tired and sore in the days following the procedure. Make sure to get plenty of rest.
- You may feel a temporary tightness around your chest area while the skin adjusts to the implants.
- Your breasts and nipples may have less feeling in the days immediately after surgery.
- Swelling and moderate bruising of the breasts are normal after plastic surgery, but these will subside over the next several weeks.
Although most patients can go back to their routine a week after surgery, recovery continues. Your breasts may remain swollen and tender for up to a month or longer.
How to Take Care of Breast Implants
If you want your breast augmentation results to last, you will need to give them tender loving care. There’s no need to worry as they are more low maintenance than you think. Follow these seven steps to keep your augmented breasts looking their best.
1. Take It Slow
As mentioned, the recovery process is different for each patient. After surgery, give yourself appropriate time to recuperate. This means following your plastic surgeon’s instructions thoroughly. Remember, your long-term results depend on your body healing properly.
2. Support, Support, and Support
Regardless if your breast implants are subtle or dramatic, the change calls for lingerie shopping with your new body. But we advise you to wait. Your doctor will fit you with a surgical bra after surgery, which you need to wear for several weeks. Use this specialized bra until you have your plastic surgeon’s permission to switch to a more traditional brassiere. Once you wear regular bras again, choose pieces without an underwire at first. The stiff wire in most push-up bras can aggravate surgical incisions, especially if yours are under the muscle. You will be able to wear an underwire bra again a few months following surgery. Still, always wear the appropriate bra to support your breasts and discourage sagging.
Your new breasts will take time to soften and settle. If you are planning a massive lingerie shopping spree, wait for a few months since your size and fit will probably change.
Your plastic surgeon may ask you to perform several massage techniques after healing a bit from your surgery. These types of breast massages help to relax the pectoralis muscle, push the implant down, prevent internal scar tissue and keep the implant and implant pocket soft.. Patients start it at their first post-operative visit and continue them for as long as they have their implants. If you are asked to do breast massages, do them as directed to keep your implants soft and supple. The massage exercise is intended to stimulate the body’s natural healing and make the breast look less “fake” and act naturally with positional changes.
4. Avoid Submerging in Water
Most cosmetic enhancement surgeons allow patients to shower 48 hours after surgery. However, they will request that you avoid submerging in water for at least two weeks after surgery or until your incision wounds heal. This includes swimming and taking hot baths in a tub, among others.
5. Maintain Your Weight
After undergoing breast augmentation, try to maintain your current weight. Large fluctuations in body fat can cause breast tissue to sag or droop. A healthy diet partnered with regular exercise can help prevent undesirable changes to your augmentation results.
In case you are planning a pregnancy, keep in mind that the changes to your body may take their toll on your breast implants. A breast lift may be necessary after significant weight loss or gain (including after pregnancy). It is important to know that it does not guarantee that your breasts will look 100% the same as before weight loss or gain.
6. Ease Back into Exercise
Be sure to avoid strenuous activities and workouts that raise your heartbeat and blood pressure, including exercises that require extensive use of the arms and chest. Although your doctor will allow you to return to many activities a few days after surgery, you will need to avoid heavy lifting and intense sports a bit longer.
If you want to ease back into your exercise routine after breast implants, you will want to take things at a slow pace (usually about a month post-surgery). Start with walking before progressing to power walking and then ease yourself into jogging. The type and placement of your implants might have considerations for exercising although most women can do anything with implants as they could without them. Read our article about Saline vs. Silicone: Breast Implants for Active Lifestyles to learn more.
7. Don’t Skimp on Mammograms
With or without breast implants, getting a mammogram is important for every woman. Mammography is the process of using a low-energy imaging technique to examine the breast for diagnosis and screening. It is a recommended and effective way to test for breast cancer in women with or without implants. Therefore, always follow your physician’s suggested schedule for breast imaging. You should likewise perform breast self-examinations as an important preventative health measure.
Preserve the beauty and youthful look of your implants by giving them the care they need. If you are a patient of Dr. Aldo Guerra’s and have other questions regarding breast implant care, feel free to contact us by calling 480-970-2580.