Recovery From Breast Augmentation

What to expect at each stage.

Breast augmentation is one of the most requested and most popular cosmetic surgeries. Proper Recovery from Breast Augmentation is essential for patients to achieve a contoured shape without needing revisions.

ContourMD recognizes this surgery is life-changing. It’s essential to know 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 post-operation.

Knowing what you’re in for when you make plans for breast augmentation is helpful when it comes to your schedule around major events, work, and life in general. 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?

It’s essential to understand this surgery and what’s involved in planning your recovery.

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 to:

  • Enhance the physical appearance of the breasts

  • Reconstruct breasts post-mastectomy or other breast surgery

  • Make the breast size and appearance even

  • Augment the breasts post-pregnancy/breastfeeding

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

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 from the breast augmentation recovery process (or recovery after having my implants removed).

Female hand in gloves holding breast closeup on doctor mammology clinic reception. Mammary glands test biopsy implant silicone insert tumor human concept

How long is the recovery process?

The recovery process is typically 6-8 weeks long. ContourMD® has broken the recovery process up into Stages based on your anticipated status and the associated recovery garments you should be wearing during this time. Understanding what to expect during your breast augmentation recovery is crucial for a smooth and successful outcome. Let’s delve into the details.

Stage 1

Stage 1 in Recovery from breast augmentation surgery is weeks 1-2 post-operation. Following the procedure, you’ll likely be wearing an elastic bandage or support bra, a compression garment, and surgical drains are positioned by your surgeon or medical team to minimize swelling and provide support during the initial healing phase. You’ll spend some time in a recovery area for close monitoring before being discharged, typically within an hour or so.

Postoperative Instructions

Before leaving the surgical facility, your plastic surgeon will provide you with specific postoperative instructions tailored to your individual needs. These instructions may include information about caring for your incisions, taking prescribed medications (such as pain relievers and antibiotics), and wearing your support garment (bra or elastic band) as directed.

Managing Swelling and Discomfort:

Swelling and discomfort are common after breast augmentation surgery, but there are steps you can take to manage these symptoms. Using ice packs on your breasts can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. It’s important to rest and avoid strenuous activities during the initial recovery period to promote healing.

While you are in Recovery during the first few weeks, you’ll want to be 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 area’s required stability and 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.

Recovery Timeline:

Recovery time can vary depending on factors such as the surgical technique used, your overall health, and your body’s response to the procedure. Generally, you can expect to need at least a week off from work and normal activities, although it may take several weeks for swelling and brusiing to subside completely.

Returning to Normal Activities:

While you may be able to resume light activities within a few days of surgery, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s guidelines for gradually increasing your level of activity. Avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous exercise until you receive clearance from your surgeon, typically around three (3) weeks post-op.

Managing Expectations for Breast Augmentation Recovery:

It’s essential to have realistic expectations about the results of your breast augmentation surgery and the recovery process. Remember that final results may not be apparent until several months after surgery, as your breasts settle into their new shape and any swelling resolves.

a person in a hospital gown operating a machine

Recommended garments

In Stage 1, you will wear the required garments 24 hours a day except when bathing.

PowerNet Compression Bra With Sleeves – Made with high-quality lycra spandex, breathable fabric offers maximum medical-grade compression and comfort. The hook and eye front closure are convenient and easy to maneuver after surgery. The molded lace cups provide additional stability. The reinforced sleeves offer 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 offer 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 style also features a hook-and-eye enclosure.

Compression Surgical Bra Augmentation Bandeau is a great option to wear during post-surgery recovery and aids faster, more comfortable recovery for augmentation, lift, reduction, or implant procedures.

Doctors, Surgeons, and Medical Professionals suggest that you purchase two garments so that while one is in the wash, the other is readily available.

Stage 2

Stage 2 is two weeks long, 3-4 weeks post-operation. You will notice considerably less fluid buildup during this stage and can switch to a garment that is less compressive.

You’ll be feeling more like yourself and can return to some light activities with your surgeon’s approval. 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 returns.

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 supportive ease of fit and easy access for checkups. Plus, enjoy a smooth appearance under clothing.

Surgical Bra is worn in Stage 2 and offers gentle support while fully compressing the area. The lycra cotton offers a soft feel against the skin—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 properly targeted support for healing as your chest wall muscles adjust. Both front and back hook-and-eye closures provide efficient access. This bra offers maximum support during the healing process and a smooth appearance under clothing.

You will feel just as comfortable wearing your garment as you buy products from ContourMD®. Shop in confidence as we have been designing and producing compression garments for over 40 years. We work directly with cosmetic surgeons to construct the perfect products for your recovery with medical-grade compression.

Stage 3

Stage 3 will be the final two weeks to one month of Recovery after having breast implants (or removing them). You may feel 100% but ensure your surgeon clears you before performing any of your regular activities or returning to normal activities.

In Stage 3, you may enjoy wearing some of your recovery bras as the compression can feel supportive. You will need to get approval and confirm with your surgeon whether you are ready for a less compressive garment and its uses.

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 with an aesthetically pleasing look.

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 Sports Bra.

Scarring and Long-Term Care:

While breast augmentation surgery will leave some scarring, modern techniques aim to minimize visible scars. Proper wound care and avoiding activities that could disrupt healing are essential for optimal scar formation. Your surgeon may also recommend scar management products to further improve the appearance of scars over time.

 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 colors. Scar Fx works well on new and old scars regardless of the age of the scar. It reduces the appearance of scars after a breast augmentation surgery or removal of breast implants.

Scar Fx 3in Breast Silicone Scar Treatment Circle (Each) 10000-SH

Discover Scar Fx Silicone Scar Treatment Circle, a scientifically proven solution to reduce the appearance of post-surgery scars, hypertrophic scars, keloid scars, and more. Unlike gels and ointments, these silicone sheets provide direct pressure on scars, effectively minimizing their appearance over time. Affordable and easy to use, simply apply to clean, dry skin nightly for 8-12 weeks for optimal results. Wash twice weekly for continued efficacy. Say goodbye to unsightly scars with Scar Fx.

A popular option for scar management after breast augmentation surgery, is the Scar Fx Silicone Scar Treatment for breast scars post-cosmetic surgery. Unlike gels and lotions, Scar Fx Breast Silicone Scar Sheets provide consistent pressure, aiding scar reduction over time. Affordable and simple to use, apply nightly to clean, dry skin for 8-12 weeks.

Additional accessories

In addition to your Recovery garments, surgeons and medical professionals recommend purchasing a gentle garment wash like our Variance Fabric Wash Liquid.

Variance Fabric Wash liquid is available in a 16oz bottle. It offers 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 restore and extend the garment’s life. Standard petroleum-based soaps and detergents leave a residue on fibers that will attract dirt, dull color, and luster and deteriorate the garment’s prescribed pressure.

Medical professionals recommended that you have two of each support garment recommended by your doctor. You will need one to wear while the other garment is washed. Professionals recommend cleaning your garments every 1-2 days.

For more information on caring for your recovery garments, visit our blog.

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