This guide is for patients who have undergone their breast surgery and require post-operative advice and care during their first 3-6 weeks of recovery.
The consultation appointment you have with the surgeon performing whatever breast augmentation surgery you are having is the time when you can find out about aftercare and recovery.
You will be given instructions about the recovery process, side effects and possible risks and complications, as well as infection, scarring and bleeding.
Although that appointment is your opportunity to ask any questions you may have and address concerns, we hope this guide will also help to uncertainties you may have about breast augmentation recovery.
If you’d like a consultation with one of surgeons at Linia, you can contact us now and we’ll be happy to talk you through any procedures
How long is recovery from breast surgery?
Generally speaking, recovery can take anything from six weeks to eight weeks. There are a number of factors you need to take into consideration that can impact that period of time.
It will depend on how long your body takes to heal, the type of surgery you have had and your overall health. The numbers we have provided as estimates.
There are various stages and steps to your recovery from breast augmentation. As noted, we have tried to provide a general, catch-all guide to breast augmentation recovery and what you can expect following surgery.
As well as covering surgeries in general, we have also highlighted what is involved for different breast augmentation surgeries.
Below we’ve broken them down into a timeline:
As part of your surgery, you were administered General Anaesthesia or Local Anaesthesia.
It is not uncommon for the anaesthesia to cause nausea or sickness whilst at the hospital but it is unlikely that the feeling of nausea is still present at home after leaving our hospital.
After leaving the hospital, the anaesthesia will still be in your bloodstream, which will make you feel slightly tired and sleepy.
An important factor to note is, as the Anaesthesia is slowly dispelled from your body, through your urine etc. you may feel jittery or shaky for about 30 minutes while your body readjusts itself.
Within the first few hours following surgery, once the anaesthetic has worn off, you will normally be allowed to go home. Remember, you will need someone to drive you or to take a taxi home.
Before leaving the clinic, your chest and breasts will be wrapped by the surgeon with a special elastic band or bra. These are there to make sure your breasts have support while they recover.
Timelines for the next few weeks may differ between plastic surgeons, but generally are as follows:
During the first week after surgery, you should not remove the support bra at any time and you will not be able to immerse your breasts in water. Swelling will still be present, but may decrease for some patients towards the end of the week.
You should try to resume normal daily activities as soon as possible: general mobility will help speed up the healing process. You should NOT, however, drive or undertake any strenuous activity or exercise.
You will see the nurse after 7-10 days so that she can check your progress and remove your dressings and stitches.
After your check-up you should be able to bathe and shower fully as usual, using unscented products. You should also be able to drive again if you aren’t experiencing any pain.
During this period the bruising clears and swelling reduces. The sensation starts returning, most patients experience burning sensations and sharp shooting pains in either or both breasts. The nipples may be sensitive to touch and have a burning sensation. Occasionally, implant movement may produce noises. All this should settle by the end of this period.
You can expect much of the swelling and discomfort to have eased by now, and you should be able to start gentle exercise again.
Your surgeon will see you again, usually 8-10 weeks afterwards for a full post-operative consultation. You can also travel by air and can sunbathe if you wish, taking care not to expose any scars to the sun.
Different Breast Augmentation Recovery Periods
While much of the information we have provided is general to all breast augmentation procedures, you may need to be aware of specific recovery times.
Recovery Time Following Breast Reduction Surgery
It is recommended, depending on your own circumstances and how extensive it is, that you allow for at least 1 to 2 weeks for recovery from breast reduction surgery.
Recovery Time Following Breast Lift Surgery
If you are having a breast lift, you should avoid all forms of strenuous activity and heavy lifting for around 2 to 3 weeks, unless directed otherwise by the plastic surgeon performing the surgery.
Light lifting may be possible after 2 weeks of recovery.
It may be possible for you to return to work a week after your surgery, but only if your profession does not involve physically demanding tasks.
Recovery Time Following a Capsulectomy or Breast Implants Removal
Again, it will depend on how extensive your surgery is and the size of the capsule and implant being removed, but the average recovery time for a capsulectomy or implant removal procedure is around 2 to 3 weeks.
After 1 week, the pain, tenderness and bruising normally reduces and you will be able to return to work and drive your car.
How soon can you drive after breast surgery?
Following breast surgery, you should wait at least one week before driving again. Not only will your mobility be impacted, but your reactions times will be too.
If you have been prescribed particularly strong pain relief, it is recommended that you do not drive long distances during the first couple of weeks of recovery. The medication you are given may further impede your reflexes and leave you feeling drowsy.
How Soon Can You Fly after Breast Surgery?
Although the longer you avoid flying as possible, the better your recovery will be, we understand this may not be viable. Therefore, we would recommend that you wait at least 2 weeks following your procedure before taking any short-haul flights and 6 weeks for long-haul flights – but speak to your surgeon for your specific case or procedure.
If you’d like a consultation with one of surgeons at Linia, you can Book Now and we’ll be happy to talk you through any procedures