A lot of clients who undergo breast augmentation at our Beverly Hills office are actually surprised to find that the recovery period is much smoother than they thought it would be. However, it is a pretty involved surgical procedure so it’s always good to know what to prepare for. There will be soreness and discomfort immediately after the procedure and it will take some time before you can get back to all your regular activities. Below are some general observations we’ve had from our Beverly Hills plastic surgery clients. They are by no means exhaustive or completely exclusive. Everyone heals and recovers differently but here’s a good idea of what to expect after having a breast augmentation.
Week One - General swelling, pain, discomfort of the chest occurs right after surgery. Risk for bleeding typically occurs in first 24 hours. Avoid blood thinning medications like aspirin and any herbal supplements that may act similarly. You may move arms gently and slowly to minimize spasm pain. Bruising may be noticeable and fluid retention is common so it may seem as if you’ve gained some weight (but it’s mostly water weight). Sponge baths no showers so that wounds don’t get saturated.
Week Two - Generally OK to shower and get wounds briefly wet (we will let you know specifically when it’s okay to do so when we see you at follow up visits but generally it’s okay to do so in the second week). Your abdomen may appear swollen as gravity pulls fluid down your body. Constipation is common if you’re still taking narcotic pain meds. Pain should be starting to decrease however it’s often worse in procedure where the implants are placed beneath the musculature. Hopefully either way you have less of a need for meds. Bruising should be stable. Watch for signs of infection (redness, increase tenderness, discharge from incision sites) Call our Beverly Hills office immediately if anything concerns you.
Week Three – The risk for infection and bleeding starts to decrease. You can start to participate in low impact physical activity but still avoid upper extremity resistance exercises. The majority of your swelling should begin to subside. Your nerve endings will begin to wake up (resolving that weird numb feeling) and may cause "pins and needles" sensation to nipple area (kind of like how your arm feels when it comes back from “falling asleep”. It’s still normal to have some areas of skin numbness.
Week four and five – Wound healing comes to a plateau and not a lot of changes occurs as the remaining 20% of the capsule tends to be formed during this period. Generally ok to switch from prescription pain meds to ibuprofen or Tylenol but consult with our office or your primary care provider first. Now you may begin transition from low impact activities to higher impact activities if cleared to do so. We always take each case independently so discuss this with us during your follow up visits.
Months two on - Scar tissue starts to relax and soften and the implant may settle a little. The remaining 5-10% of swelling should also disappear during this time. It is at this points that the breasts generally become softer and develop more of a “jiggle”.
Again, these are just some general observations from our Beverly Hills plastic surgery clients but like I said earlier, we will be with you every step of the way to make sure your breast augmentation recovery goes as smoothly as possible.