Whether you’re simply considering a breast augmentation, or are already committed to the surgery, it’s good to have an idea of what to expect from your body during the healing process. Here’s a brief timeline of what you can expect just before your surgery, as well as the days, week, and months afterwards.
Preparing For The Surgery
It is important that you avoid any herbal supplements or anti-inflammatories for at least 10 days prior to your surgery as they may cause an increased risk of bruising or bleeding.
Most patients undergoing breast augmentation should plan to take at least one week off from work in order to recover. During this time, it is important that you avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity.
If you smoke, it is important that you quit at least eight weeks prior to surgery in order to avoid any difficulties with your incisions healing. Not only does smoking reduce your body’s ability to heal, but it increases your chance of infections and complications following the surgery. You’ll also want to ask your surgeon about any medication you are taking, and how it might affect the healing process.
The First Week After
Follow-up with your surgeon should take place within one week after the breast augmentation surgery. At this visit, the incisions and your breasts will be checked to ensure that the procedure has gone as planned, and there are no unexpected physical issues. This is also where your doctor will give you further detailed recovery instructions, including scar care management.
The first week is generally when post-surgery symptoms can be the most apparent – soreness and sensitivity, in addition to mild swelling and bruising, are common among many patients. Your surgeon will likely have prescribed you pain killers, but always be sure to contact them should your symptoms worsen.
The Next Few Weeks
Heavy lifting and strenuous activities should be avoided for the first few weeks, so as not to accidentally damage or strain your healing breasts. You’ll want to speak with your doctor about what specific activities should be avoided, and when you can resume them.
Your breasts may look “odd” and feel particularly firm and “high riding” on your chest during this time. This is because the breast tissue and skin are tight and need time to adjust to the implants. This firmness will ease with time. Light massaging of the breasts during this time can help to alleviate firmness and relax the soft tissues.
Not everyone heals at the same rate but most women will heal their incisions within two weeks of the surgery. Occasionally it can take several months for the breasts to settle and achieve their final and more natural appearance. Check in with your surgeon each step of the way, so they can monitor your progress.