If there’s one question that most plastic surgeons get every day- it’s the question of what is the recovery time after a breast augmentation.  Patients need to know what to expect, if someone need to help them for a couple of days, how much time to take off from work, and which prescription medication is needed. While every patient is different, we can review some of the basic components of recovery after a breast augmentation in the Philadelphia area.

The First Couple of Days

If there is ever a time to have a buyer’s remorse it’s during the first three days recovery time after a breast augmentation. Breast augmentation usually comes with the following advice:

  • No overhead activities
  • No activities that raise your blood pressure (sex, gym, rough housing, jogging etc.)
  • No aspirin, aspirin products or anti-inflammatories for two weeks after surgery

According to experienced breast augmentation specialists like Dr. Edward S. Kole, your first three days after surgery are the hardest and it gets easier from there. The patient is wrapped in bandages to keep the swelling down as well as keep the implants stable in their new position. You should avoid any overhead arm activities and you will receive pain medicine and antibiotics. It’s very important to use these medications as directed by Dr. Kole as outlined on your discharge sheet from our licensed ambulatory surgical center or the hospital.

Recovery Days 3 to 7

Yow will have your first post-operative breast augmentation visit at Dr. Kole’s office on day three. You should be able to lift your arms with some minor discomfort, and the inflammation and swelling should be subsiding. When you are under anesthesia in the operating room, your pectoralis chest wall muscle is completely relaxed. When you awaken from anesthesia, the implants that were placed under this pectoralis muscle cause the muscle to go into spasm. This spasm then causes the implants to move up superiorly on your chest wall and become “under your neck” or “in your armpits”.  It actually looks like you are wearing a push up bra when you are topless.

The second week (days 7-14)

The sutures are removed on the 7th day by Dr. Kole. These sutures are the “pull-out” type so you don’t get suture hash marks. Suture removal is painless.  At this visit, Dr. Kole will demonstrate breast exercises that were specifically designed to decrease the swelling, help the implants get to their final position faster and decrease the long term effects of hard scar (capsule contracture) of your breasts. Your breasts will still be slightly higher and harder than the final result because there is still some residual swelling and your implants still have to drop into place in the breast pocket.

After week two

You may return back to the gym and your workouts but remember to take it easy for a little while. You want to avoid any contact sports like kickboxing or heavy weights for an additional two weeks both to avoid trauma to the new implants as well as you’ve been unable to exercise for the past two weeks. The implants will begin to settle into their final position.  You will have to continue to do your daily breast exercises daily to keep the breast scar capsules soft.

You should not wear an under wire bra for two months after the surgery as this type of bra could stall the breast implants from falling into their correct position in to the bottom of the breast pockets.

You will have several follow-up appointments scheduled with Dr. Kole.  Dr. Kole will continue to see you at approximately one month, two months, three months, six months and then yearly to gauge your progress.

The first step is the hardest

Of course, the first step towards breast augmentation recovery is a consultation. These appointments are complimentary and private. They last about an hour and go over everything you’ll need to know to make an informed decision about breast augmentation, including tips on making a full and healthy recovery.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Edward Kole in our Southampton Bucks County office, Contact our office at 215-315-7655.