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How Long Does Pain After Surgery Last? Recovery Tips for a Breast Augmentation Procedure

How Long Does Pain After Surgery Last? Recovery Tips for a Breast Augmentation Procedure

It is understandable that women want to know how much pain they will be in after their breast augmentation procedure, and will want to know everything that the surgeon and they can do to reduce the pain and recover quickly.

It will be reassuring to hear that the majority of patients manage pain after breast implants very well with the medication that is prescribed after the procedure, and by following the aftercare sheet that is provided after the surgery, most patients recover quickly and without any complications.

The time it takes to recover will vary between patients but the plastic surgeon will ensure that patients are comfortable throughout the entire process.

What to Expect after Breast Augmentation Surgery

After the surgery the doctor or anesthetist will move the patient to the recovery room until she wakes up. Most patients are very groggy when they first wake up and don’t remember the first 10-15 minutes. During this time nurses are checking the patient’s vitals and ensuring the surgery has gone well.

Pain and discomfort will begin to be noticeable after a few hours have passed. This will be caused by swelling and mild bruising of the breasts. The cosmetic surgeon will prescribe painkillers to manage the pain throughout the first week or so of the recovery process, when the discomfort is at its worst. Patients should keep their breasts compressed with a surgical bra that will be recommended and/or compress bandages.


It will be completely normal to have a few blood spots on the bandages and this does not mean that the patient is bleeding. The surgeon will usually see the patient within the next one week for an examination and to change the bandages.

Tips for Healing and Recovery after Breast Implants

  1. Arrange for transportation in advance to get home from the clinic immediately following the procedure, and the next morning. You will not be allowed to drive yourself to these appointments.
  2. It is always helpful to ask a friend or relative to assist with day-to-day activities while you recover. This is especially important if you have young children as you cannot lift anything heavy.
  3. You may be advised by the surgeon to massage the breasts, but only do this on the advice of the doctor. You will not need to do this if you had a breast lift at the same time.
  4. Sleep on your back or side for the first 6 weeks. Never sleep on your stomach.
  5. Patients must limit any physical activity for the first 2 weeks. This could reopen wounds or dislodge the implants. Only begin exercise, heavy lifting and other activities on the advice of your surgeon. When you do have clearance, start slow and listen to your body.
  6. Do not take a bath for 2 weeks. You can take showers but the wounds and dressing must be completely dried. Some surgeons may recommend using a hairdryer on the lowest setting.
  7. Do not wear an underwire or push up bra for at least 6 weeks after surgery until your procedure has fully healed and the breasts have settled.

Breast Augmentation Follow Up

If a patient notices anything unusual such as bleeding that doesn’t seem to stop, significant swelling, pain in the chest or difficulty breathing, and severe headaches contact the clinic immediately. Always be sure to make all of your follow up appointments so that the surgeon can monitor your health and recovery. These typically occur at 1-2 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after the breast augmentation procedure.

To learn more about breast augmentation surgery contact Dr. Jonathan Lee at the Calgary Institute of Plastic Surgery by email or by dialing (403) 286-4263.We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.