Recovery From Breast Augmentation

What to expect at each stage.

Year after year, breast augmentation is one of the most requested and most popular cosmetic surgeries on the plastic surgery circuit.

ContourMD recognizes that this surgery is life changing for many, and because of this, it’s important to know exactly what you’re in for when it comes to the recovery process. If you know anyone who has had a breast augmentation, it can be easy to fantasize about the results. But what you didn’t see was the many weeks and different phases of recovery the body goes through post-operation.

Knowing what you’re in for when you make plans for a breast augmentation can be helpful when it comes to planning your schedule around major events, work, and life in general, and it can also provide some peace of mind regarding recovery and timeline expectations.

We’re all about making your recovery process as stress-free as possible, so here’s what you need to know about your breast augmentation recovery!

What is breast augmentation surgery?

First up, it’s important to understand what exactly this surgery is and what’s involved so that you can plan your recovery accordingly.

Breast augmentation is also known as augmentation mammoplasty, and is a cosmetic surgery for increasing the size of a person’s breasts, typically through implants. Sometimes, instead of implants, fat from another part of the body is used but this is not common practice.

The goal of this surgery is usually to:

  • Enhance the physical appearance of the breasts

  • Reconstruct breasts post-mastectomy or other breast surgery

  • Make the breast size and appearance more even

  • Augment the breasts post-pregnancy/breastfeeding

  • Adjust the body for either male-to-female or male-to-nonbinary top surgery

On average, recovery from this type of surgery takes 6-8 weeks, depending on your health status pre-operation.

You can learn more about your options regarding breast augmentation surgery by speaking to a surgeon about the operation and recovery process.

Here’s a little more on what to expect out of the breast augmentation recovery process (or recovery after having my implants removed).

How long is the recovery process?

As mentioned, the recovery process is typically 6-8 weeks long. ContourMD has segmented the recovery process into Stages based on your anticipated status and the associated recovery garments you should be wearing during this time.

Stage 1

Stage 1 in recovery from breast augmentation surgery is weeks 1-2 post-operation. In this stage, following the procedure, bandages, a compression garment, and surgical drains are positioned by your surgeon or medical team.

During these weeks you’ll want to be completely off of work, resting as much as possible.

Stage 1 garments promote healing and provide comfort by lessening fluid buildup, reducing swelling, and preventing bruising. Stage 1 garments provide the required stability to the area and also work to keep the surgical site together.

These garments will also help improve the body’s natural contour post-surgery and can reduce the appearance of scars.

Recommended garments

In Stage 1 you will wear the required garments at all times except when bathing.

PowerNet Compression Bra With Sleeves – Made with high quality lycra spandex, a breathable fabric offering maximum medical grade compression, and comfort. The hook and eye front closure is convenient and easy to maneuver after surgery. The molded lace cups also offer additional stability and the reinforced sleeves provide additional support and circulation to improve drainage while reducing the risk of infection.

Bra With Sleeves By Contour – Constructed with high quality soft-knitted lycra spandex to provide maximum compression and comfort. The molded lace cups and reinforced sleeves provide firm support and stability. Front hook-and-eye closures provide convenient and easy access post-surgery.

SP Bandeau Bra – The bandeau bra was designed with the help of surgeons to ensure maximum compression and comfort as you recover. The bandeau bra helps to keep breast implants in place while stabilizing your torso’s new shape. This model also utilizes a hook-and-eye enclosure.

It is suggested that you purchase two garments so that while one is in the wash, the other is readily available.

Stage 2

Stage 2 is typically 2 weeks long, weeks 3-4 post-operation. During this stage you will notice considerably less fluid buildup and can switch to less compressive garments.

You’ll be feeling more like yourself and can return to some light activities at the approval of your surgeon. You will still be wearing your compression garments around the clock but they will be less compressive as your body begins to heal and your circulation naturally returns to the area.

Recommended garments

Cup Bra – The cup bra provides soft comfort through its nylon blended fabric and (contrary to the namesake) non-cupped design. This bra offers maximum gentle compression against your skin so you will be comfortable as you recover. The traditional front hook-and-eye closure provides a supportive ease of fit and easy access for checkups. Plus, enjoy a smooth appearance under clothing.

Surgical Bra – The surgical bra is to be worn in Stage 2 and offers gentle support while still fully compressing the area. Made with lycra cotton for a soft feel against the skin with a Z hook on the front and back for efficient access to surgical areas (during checkups). The adjustable shoulder straps and extra wide band at the bottom provide additional comfort control.

SP Cover Bra – The SP cover bra provides compression and stability with the help of velcro bands that support your new shape. The molded cups also provide proper targeted support for accurate healing as your chest wall muscles adjust. Both front and back hook-and-eye closures provide efficient access. This bra provides maximum support during the healing process, and a smooth appearance for use under clothing.

You will feel just as comfortable wearing your garment as you will buying products from ContourMD. Shop in confidence as we have been designing and producing compression garments for over 30 years, working directly with cosmetic surgeons to construct the perfect products for your new shape, with medical grade compression.

Stage 3

Stage 3 will be the final 2 weeks to one month of recovery after having breast implants (or removing them). During this time you may feel almost 100% (that’s great!) but ensure you are cleared by your surgeon before performing any of your regular activities or returning to strength training (if that is an activity you enjoyed before your procedure).

In Stage 3 you may enjoy wearing some of your recovery bras as the compression can feel nice and supportive on your chest. This is totally normal and fine as long as your surgeon approves the extended wear of these garments.

Some people choose to wear less compressive Shapewear during this time. Still offering more support than traditional bras, but slightly less than medical grade compression, shapewear is a comfortable alternative to other garments that provides an aesthetically pleasing look, as well.

Recommended garments

Consider wearing the Cup Bra, SP Cover Bra (both from Stage 2), CareFix Catia Microfiber Comfort Bra, Semi-Shape Compression Bra With Adjustable Straps, or the Zippered Sport Bra.

Additional accessories

In addition to your recovery garments it is recommended to purchase a gentle garment wash like our Variance Fabric Wash Liquid.

Available in a 16oz bottle, this liquid is an advanced cleaning agent specially designed to clean compression and support garments. Variance ensures quick breakdown and suspension of blood residue and bio-burdens in the fabric. By proper cleansing, the compression garment fibers are restored and the life of the garment is extended. Common petroleum based soaps and detergents leave a residue on fibers that will attract dirt, dull color and luster, as well as deteriorate the prescribed pressure of the garment.

It is also recommended that you have two of each type of support garment that is recommended to you by your doctor, as you will need one to wear while the other is being washed. It is recommended to wash your garments every 1-2 days.

For more information on how to care for your recovery garments you can visit our blog here.

Scar Fx Silicone Sheet – Recommended by plastic surgeons and dermatologists, Scar Fx Silicone Sheet (w/Self Adhesive Side) is medically proven in helping reduce the appearance, size, height, thickness, and color of scars for all skin types and color.

Scar Fx works well on both new and old scars regardless of the age of the scar, and can be used on all types of post-surgery scars, and many others. It can be used to reduce the appearance of scars after a breast augmentation surgery or removal of breast implants.

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