Guerra Plastic Surgery Center
Call us at (480) 568-2523

Breast Augmentation Recovery Specialists

Our post-op team is ready to help you recover.

Recovery Step-by-Step

Overview on the recovery process.

We find it is useful to think of the breast augmentation recovery period as occurring in stages or phases. We have categorized the recovery into 4 phases in order for you to better understand the entire recovery experience. The 4 major phases of breast augmentation surgery include:

  • Breast Recovery Phase
  • Breast Renewal Phase
  • Return to Activity Phase
  • Clearance Phase

The first stage, or the Surgical Recovery phase begins as soon as surgery is completed and you enter the anesthesia recovery unit. The professional nursing staff in the recovery unit will make sure you come out of anesthesia gently and have the appropriate level of pain control before going home.

Guerra Plastic Surgery Center Post Op Recovery Team
Our top breast augmentation post-op recovery team: Melissa and Dr. Aldo.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • How far apart will my Post-Operative Appointments be?
  • Our patients are seen at the office within the first three days after surgery. Typically, you will average 4 Post-Operative visits during your breast augmentation recovery. A member of the team will assist you with making all of your Post-Operative Appointments prior to your breast augmentation surgery.
  • What happens if I have any questions or concerns after hours?
  • Our patients are instructed to call our office at (480) 970-2580, at which time a member of our after hours on-call service will decide if the nurse/physician will need to be contacted asap. If the matter is urgent and cannot wait until the following business day the after hours service will contact either the doctor or the nurse and have them call you back within 15 minutes. We have someone on call 24 hours a day.
Actual patient wearing a breast band.
Actual patient wearing a breast band.

Phase 1: Breast Recovery

Let's get it started.

The Breast Recovery phase lasts about 2 to 5 days and focuses on post-op comfort. Once you arrive at home, you can begin taking prescription medications such as muscle relaxants and oral pain medications. There is a constant amount of pressure in the breast area after breast implants and muscle relaxants have been proven to work effectively. The combination of prescribed pain reliever and muscle relaxant is noteworthy for creating the most positive experience after surgery. A great number of patients can stop the pain medication after 2 to 3 days and can typically return to some activity, including light-duty work. Certainly, by 5 days after breast surgery the vast majority of patients have resumed limited work activity.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • When can I take a shower after my Breast Augmentation?
  • You can take a shower 48 hours after your breast augmentation surgery. You may remove the gauze but do not remove the white strips on the incisions.
  • How long do I need to use ice packs?
  • Ice therapy is very beneficial if applied for 20 minutes at a time with 20-40 minutes in between each application. It is ideally used within the first 72 hours. Using ice decreases post-operative inflammation (swelling) which in turn decreases post-op pain.
  • How long do I have to wear my post-operative surgical bra for?
  • After having a Breast Augmentation you can start wearing a sports bra that hooks in the front / back or wear a Coobies-style bra within 5-7 days after surgery. You can find great selections of sports bras at Kohl's and we carry the Coobies in our office.
  • What type of medications will I receive for my surgery and how often should I take them?
  • For a breast lift, you will receive an antibiotic, an anti-nausea, a narcotic pain reducer, and a muscle relaxant. For efficacy we recommend that patients alternate the pain medication with the muscle relaxer every 4 hours to maintain a consistent level of medication in their system to avoid any pain spikes. We recommend patients stay on a continual dosing schedule through a 24 hour period for the first 1-3 days then eventually wean off of the narcotic pain medication. If you have a breast lift with an augmentation we recommend that our patients continue taking the muscle relaxer at least every night before bedtime for the first 30 days after surgery to assist in decreasing the amount of muscle spasms that may occur. In doing so, this will help to bring the breast implants down quicker. We also recommend that for patients who have a tendency not to tolerate narcotic pain medications to take the anti-nausea medication 30 minutes prior to their pain medication to decrease the risk of nausea/vomiting.

Phase 2: Breast Renewal

Most important phase.

After 5 days, you begin the Breast Renewal phase. This is the most important phase of the entire recovery process and involves a great degree of patient participation. The breast renewal phase focuses on breast shape and expansion by allowing the implant to settle appropriately. After the implants are placed, regardless of size, every patient must create additional space to accommodate their breast implants while making the breasts grow. Since there is not enough room initially, breast implants will appear high on the chest, and the breast may also look flat. It is important to begin breast massaging in order to relax the breast tissue and pectoralis muscle, reduce swelling, and allow the  breast implants to settle nicely. An additional tool employed is a breast band which will assist in implant setting. These techniques are important because we must have the breasts grow in volume so the appropriate cup enhancement is achieved while at the same time expanding the breast tissue.

Breast massaging starts on or about day 5 of the breast renewal phase and is performed for at least 5 minutes per side and twice a day. Initially, the massaging is done gently in the first few days, but by the second week a more vigorous massage technique will be encouraged. These breast massage techniques must continue to be performed by the patient in the comfort of their own home for a minimum of 6 weeks. All of these massage techniques are taught after surgery by our postoperative team of nurses. The Breast Renewal phase last until 3 months after surgery and overlaps with the Return to Activity phase of the recovery process.

model breast massage
Breast massages are recommended for MemoryGel® and saline breast implants.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • When do I wear my breast band?
  • Your Breast Band will be given to you at your first Post-Op visit in the office. A member of the Post-Op team will teach you how to properly wear it. The Band is worn high in the front above the implants and low in the back to induce counter pressure to help the implants drop into place. The Breast Band is typically worn for 24 hours a day for the first 1-2 weeks, then for 12 hours a day for the next 2-3 weeks to ensure a good result.
  • What is Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT) or Lymphatic Massage? How is it beneficial to my recovery and is it required?
  • LDT is a gentle hands on therapy used to manually move the lymph fluid out of the body speeding up your recovery time. It is a specialized technique provided by a Lymphatic Drainage Specialist. Not only does this speed recovery by reducing toxins in your system and decreasing your swelling, it improves post-operative results. We recommend at least 1-3 treatments if you are experiencing moderate to severe swelling after breast augmentation. Check with a Post-Op team member for a list of practitioners we refer to.
  • When can I drive after my Breast Augmentation surgery?
  • When you feel you can react in an emergency situation AND do not have any narcotic pain medication in your system.
  • What type of Breast Massage will I be performing and how frequently?
  • Breast Massage is another essential element within the Breast Augmentation recovery process. At your first Post-Op visit a Guerra Plastic Surgery team member of the Post-Op team will teach you a very gentle breast massage that will help to relax the pectoralis muscle. These massages are performed for 5-10 minutes twice daily until your next Post-Op visit. Around 7-10 days after surgery after the sutures are removed, a member of the Post-Op team will teach you more aggressive breast massage by showing you how to “walk down the muscle” and start training the internal scar tissue around the implant to stay away from the implant. You will perform this massage for a minimum of 5 minutes twice daily unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Aldo. At your next visit approximately 3-4 weeks after surgery a member of the Post-Op team will teach you additional breast massage that will help with more movement of the implant. The more you massage, the softer the breasts will feel. Patients will perform this massage for 5 minutes twice daily until their final visit with Dr. Aldo.
Meet Taylor breast augmentation patient wearing lingerie
Breast augmentation patient Taylor a few months after her surgery.
model at desk job
Return to light activity after breast augmentation surgery, Model.

Phase 3: Return to Activity

Back to your routine again.

We allow patients to begin a gentle return to more vigorous activity after 14 days from breast surgery. This is when the Return to Activity phase officially begins. Before this time, we encourage breasts massaging and avoidance of vigorous exertion. Once this phase begins patients are allowed to perform limited physical activity like aerobic exercise and light weights. When performing aerobic exercise, we recommend not to raise your heart rate above 130 beats per minute. In some cases, if a patient wishes to perform a particular strenuous activity it is better to call our office and check with our office.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • What do I need to put on my scars to help them heal better & when can I start this?
  • embrace® Active Scar Defense is our #1 scar therapy treatment for breast augmentation incisions. Typically, within 2-3 weeks after surgery and when all of the sutures, tape or surgical glue has been removed you can start your embrace® treatment. You can also consider using Vitamin E oil, Bio Oil, topical scar creams or liquids, or apply silicone sheets. This will help the scar to appear less pink and decrease in thickness and texture.
  • What is "Scar Massage?"

  • Scar massage is taught to each patient during post-op visits by a member of our Post-Op team. Scar tissue forms whenever there is an incision made in the skin. As scar tissue heals, it tends to contract and get thick. We know that the nature of scar tissue as it's healing is to contract but we also know that scar tissue is very malleable and trainable so we teach scar massage to help our patients achieve a good outcome with their scars. By placing pressure on scars or by rubbing/massaging them, the fibrous tissue gets broken down and trains the scar tissue to heal more flat. The more frequently it gets massaged, the flatter the scars will heal. This process takes anywhere from several weeks up to 6 months, at which point scar tissue matures and becomes less malleable or permanent.
  • When can I resume Vitamins and Herbal Supplements after Breast Augmentation?
  • Depending upon specific supplements, within two weeks post-op you can resume Vitamins and Herbal Supplements with the exception of weight loss supplements in which case you need to wait at least six weeks to resume.
  • I need help filling out paperwork for my employer, who can help me with this
  • A member of our Post-Op team will assist you with this. Please bring your paperwork in at your pre-op appointment so they will have sufficient time to complete the documents required. If you have specific forms that your employer requires, there is a $25 fee for each form to be completed and will be collected prior to the form being completed. If you only require a letter for your employer there is no fee for that.
  • When can I workout/exercise after my Breast Augmentation surgery?
  • We encourage every post-operative patient to start walking short distances as soon as they arrive home from surgery. Typically we like you to keep your Heart Rate under 100 Beats Per Minute (BPM) within the first two weeks. At week two, you can increase your Heart Rate to 120 BPM, at three weeks you can increase your Heart Rate to 130 BPM and at four weeks you can gradually work back into your normal regimen. Please be sure to ask your Post-Op team member specifics about your workout schedule.
embrace Active Scar defense boxes with different sizes of dressings.

#1 Scar Therapy Solution

embrace® is a great incisions treatment.

embrace® Active Scar Defense is a NEW state-of-the-art treatment based on Standford clinical trials have have been proven to minimize the formation of scars. The dressings will benefit you by tension relief, stress shielding and silicone therapy. Dr. Aldo's delicate incision and closing techniques in surgery and the advanced embrace® scar therapy treatment is a winning combination for beautiful results.

Call us now at (480) 970-2580 or contact us online to learn more about adding embrace® Scar Defense to your breast augmentation incisions treatment plan.

Close up of under the breast crease incision treated with embrace.
Close up of under the breast crease incisions before and after embrace® treatment at 1 year.

Phase 4: Clearance

Oh yeah. We're going out tonight.

Patients are considered healed from their breast augmentation surgery when the breasts have fully expanded to their desired cup size or when their breast implants have fully settled into place and the patient has been fitted for a regular bra. When this occurs, we tell patients they are cleared to live a completely normal lifestyle. We call this the Clearance Phase. The rate of healing is based on each individual’s ability to heal and the size of the breast implants placed. For some patients, especially those with elastic breast skin, such as women with a history of having children or breast feeding, the ability to expand their breast cup size and the settling of the breast implants occurs at a faster pace. On the other hand, patients without a history of pregnancy who have tighter skin should expect that implant settling and breast expansion will proceed at a slower pace.

We have also noted through our vast experience using breast implants that implant sizes less than 400 cc will more readily settle in an expedient manner. On the contrary, if your implants are larger than 400 cc then settling and breast expansion will occur at a slower pace. Therefore, patients with increased elasticity and implants less than 400 cc can expect to be cleared to full activity around 6 to 8 weeks. While patients with tighter skin and/or very large implants more than 400 cc can expect to be cleared and settled in 8 to 12 weeks after breast augmentation surgery. In addition, with tighter skin and larger breast implants you can expect to have a longer breast renewal phase and have to perform more breast massaging exercises to obtain full cup expansion.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • When can I wear my normal underwire bra?
  • Generally, at this point in time patients can resume the use of a normal underwire bra.
actual patient photo
Actual patient, breast augmentation with silicone breast implants.

Breast Augmentation Is Our Thing

We perform the most breast augmentations in AZ.

Dr. Aldo Guerra is one of the top board certified plastic surgeons in Arizona that has an artistic eye for giving patients a beautiful breast augmentation result. Every patient is different in terms of what look they want but he has all the training and experience to help them achieve their desired results. From natural to fake he sits down with each patient at their personal consulation and actually listens to them. Dr. Aldo takes breast measurements and develops a plan with the patient to help them get to their final result.

If you are interested in a breast augmentation then contact us today to get started.

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