Breast augmentation procedure are incredibly popular, with hundreds of thousands of women across the globe opting to enhance their natural curves with implants. And the extremely high patient satisfaction rates indicate this surgery delivers as expected. But you likely still have questions, and at The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL, we’re happy to give all the information you need to make a well-informed decision about your procedure.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After a Breast Augmentation Procedure?
A full recovery can take an average of six weeks, but most women return to work within just one week. Post-op instructions generally call for limited movement, plenty of rest, and nourishing foods. Following this simple but effective protocol will speed up the healing process and recovery time.
Bandages applied immediately after surgery must be worn to minimize breast movement and improve comfort. Once the bandages are removed, a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several more weeks. You will, however, need to avoid underwire bras for at least eight weeks so as not to irritate your incisions.
Once you wake from anesthesia, we’ll monitor your progress for a short time before allowing you to return home. Breast augmentation procedure are performed as outpatient surgeries, meaning you won’t be required to stay overnight in the hospital. But you won’t be able to drive yourself, meaning a friend or family member will need to bring you to surgery and then drive you home.
You should likewise plan to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. You’ll need help with household chores, caring for children, and caring for yourself. It’s important throughout this time that you take your medications as prescribed and follow the aftercare instructions our office gives. Those guidelines are tailored to your individual needs, and sticking to them will help you heal that much more quickly.
The First Five Days
Be sure to clear your calendar of all obligations for at least five days after surgery. This means staying home from work and resting. As mentioned just a moment ago, you’ll also need a caregiver who can help you establish a schedule for your medications and ensure you’re comfortable. He or she should do meal prep as well so you can spend as much time as possible off your feet.
This brings us to an important point: one of the many things you can do to ensure a smooth recovery is to consume healthful foods. This supports a holistic approach to post-op care and fuels your body with the nutrients it needs. We recommend eating lean protein that can help mend tissues. Great sources include beans, poultry, fish, and eggs. You can also drink protein shakes in the morning or between meals.
Foods to Eat
Because surgery interrupts the body’s normal processes, your bowels might need a few days to regain proper functioning. In the meantime, fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir can replenish helpful bacteria in the body. If you don’t eat dairy, you can instead supplement with probiotics. And constipation can be prevented by drinking plenty of water and eating foods high in fiber, including:
- Bran flakes
You should also incorporate into your diet richly colored fruits, cruciferous vegetables (like cabbage and cauliflower), and mushrooms. Pineapple and papaya both contain enzymes that, once digested, can assist with tissue healing.
We might advise you to perform daily breast massages to assist the healing process. Gentle massage helps move your implants into place and keeps them soft, supple, and natural-looking. We’ll guide you in the correct technique to ensure you don’t disturb your incisions.
Walking Is Beneficial
Working out, pushing, lifting, and pulling are off the table for at least two to three weeks. Throughout this time, however, you will likely be encouraged to walk. You can start this easy activity the day after your surgery, as it’s a great way to keep your body moving without placing it under strain. Just remember to start slow, perhaps 10 minutes daily, and work up to between 30 and 45 minutes a day.
Once our staff give the go-ahead, you can increase your activity level to include lower body strength exercises and light aerobics. Exercising will help your body recover more quickly by activating anti-inflammatory compounds and stimulating your immune system. Although you won’t be cleared for such exercises until several weeks have passed, this is a milestone to look forward to.
After Three Weeks
At this point, your body should be well on its way to a full recovery. You will be able to complete daily tasks on your own, have full range of motion in your upper body, and feel more energetic. You will, however, need to continue progressing slowly in the activities you undertake. To illustrate, it’s crucial you consult with our office before engaging in strenuous exercises like:
- Horseback riding
- Additional activities that elevate your heart rate over 100
When Is the Right Time to Schedule Surgery?
The timeline provided here can help you decide when to schedule surgery at an optimal time. It’s important you additionally think about anyone who will be helping you throughout the recovery process. Coordinating with that person and your family will provide you with the time necessary to rest and focus on your own health.
You should also ask when the best time is for you to be away from work. Is one month slower than another to ensure your workload is handled? The last thing you want is to schedule your surgery and then be faced with work stress in the form of repeated phone calls and emails. Remember that you need serenity to rest and recover.
The Weeks and Months to Come
Also, think about the weeks and months ahead. Do you have a big event – such as a reunion, vacation, or wedding – you need to plan for? If the answer is yes, you’ll want to give yourself more rather than less time to recover. Six weeks is the minimum, but three to four months is optimal. Your implants will have settled into place by this point, your body will be adjusted to its new shape, and you’ll be more than ready to flaunt your new curves.
Last but not least, think about summer. Do you want your surgery before or after this pivotal season? Many patients opt to have breast augmentation procedure in mid-winter or early spring to ensure they’re healed and bikini-ready for summer. Decide what you want and then schedule accordingly.
We’re Here to Help
Our expertly-trained team can discuss the recovery timeline in greater detail so you understand everything the process entails. We’ll also answer questions about when you can return to your normal schedule and how much time you’ll need off from work.
But this is a two-way street in which we’ll need honest information about your lifestyle. Understanding your childcare needs, work duties, and home demands help us determine the effects that surgery might have on your schedule. Keep in mind you’ll need to make some changes to your daily routine for at least several weeks.
How to Prepare for Surgery
It may sound unlikely, but having on hand bendable straws can help you stay comfortable after surgery. These make drinking fluids easier and can be easily purchased on your next grocery shopping trip.
Also, create a post-op recovery station and collect everything you might need on a table beside the couch or bed where you plan to rest. Items you should have nearby include:
- Baby wipes to freshen up until you are cleared to shower
- Lip balm
- Bottled water
- Cell phone charger
- Television remote control
Choose Easy, Comfortable Clothes
It’s best to have several outfits already selected and within easy reach. In turn, you won’t have to stretch or search for something to put on in those first few days after surgery. You won’t be able to lift your hands above your head, so shirts that button or zip up the front will be necessary. Loose cotton shorts or pants will keep you comfortable while you rest. Pajamas should be similarly easy to put on and take off – no nightgowns or t-shirts.
An Exciting Path Ahead
A breast augmentation procedure can enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence. You should therefore look forward to surgery with a sense of anticipation. During this time, also plan for your recovery by enlisting help, shopping for nutritious foods, and keeping bottled water in the house. And remember we’re here to help. Schedule your consultation today by contacting The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL.