As the day of your breast augmentation approaches, you might be feeling excited, nervous or impatient. If you’re like so many of our breast augmentation clients, you’ve been dreaming of your new breasts for quite some time — you’ve been ready to reveal a confident new you since you made your first appointment with your surgeon. But after your surgery, there’s a little more waiting to be done before you can show off your new body, and it’s perhaps the most important stage of the process: your breast augmentation recovery. Treating yourself with TLC after your procedure significantly reduces your risk of complications and ensures that your breasts will heal into a shape and size that you love. At Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center and Miracle Spa, our dedication to complete patient satisfaction means that our care doesn’t end when you leave surgery — we’re here to guide you through every step of your recovery, too.
The First Few Days
Breast augmentation with Drs. Loren and Mark Clayman is an outpatient procedure, which means you will be able to return home the same day as your surgery. For the first three to five days at home, you’ll want to spend most of your time resting. You should not expect to feel able to accomplish tasks like working, driving or caring for small children since you may be taking medications to manage your pain and will have a limited range of mobility. In these early first days of healing, it’s best to arrange for help around the house or to prepare in advance with supplies or groceries so that you can relax as much as possible.
It is still important, though, to maintain some healthy habits as you start to heal. We recommend eating nutritious foods that give your body plenty of vitamins and minerals to help you stay energetic and promote your body’s recovery. Avoiding salt in your diet can also help keep you comfortable — sodium can cause you to retain water and feel more swollen than you really are. You should also be sure to get up and walk or gently stretch regularly to get your blood flowing. Slow-moving or pooling blood can increase your risk of blood clots, and staying lightly active combats this.
The First Two Weeks
By the end of your first week, you’ll notice any bruising or swelling in the area start to improve, and you should be able to manage your pain with over-the-counter medications. At the end of your second week, you should be feeling able to return to non-strenuous daily activities like a sedentary job or running errands. Your surgeon may be able to clear you for light cardio such as walking on an inclined treadmill, but you should ask them to be sure before resuming any exercise.
You’ll also have one or two follow-up appointments with your surgeon to ensure that your healing is progressing well. This appointment is a great opportunity to get answers to questions that may have arisen, including anything worrying you or anything you’re wondering about the overall recovery process.
During these first weeks, you should continue to avoid upper body movements or exercises that might strain your breasts or chest, including heavy lifting or reaching. You may be wearing a compression garment to help control swelling and to prevent your breasts from moving too much. Instruction on massage will be given to you by your surgeon.
The First Month
The bulk of your healing occurs within the first month post-op. At around four weeks out from breast augmentation, most clients report little to no remaining discomfort and full or nearly full upper body mobility. Your breasts will start to take on their final shape as residual swelling continues to decrease. You may feel some remaining itching or puffiness, particularly around your scars, but this will fade. If it is particularly bothersome, ask your surgeon about possible topical treatments at your next follow-up appointment. We will also cover how to care for your scars in the long term at one of these meetings.
Your implants may also “drop” around this time and settle into their permanent position within your breast tissue. After they drop, you can be cleared by your surgeon to begin adding a more extensive range of upper body motion to your daily life and your workout routines. However, you should continue to avoid high-impact workouts that might cause your breasts to move too much. Be sure to keep wearing your compression bra as instructed by your surgeon and use additional supportive undergarments if you anticipate participating in activities that involve frequent movement.
Six Weeks and Beyond
The six-week mark is usually when our breast augmentation clients can see their final results without noticeable swelling, and when they feel comfortable revealing their new breasts in lower necklines or swimsuits. Six weeks post-op is also when most clients are cleared to resume more strenuous upper body activities and to start running or jogging with a supportive sports bra. At this stage of recovery, it’s important to listen to your body — even though your surgeon may have given you the go-ahead for working or exercising if anything feels painful or uncomfortable you should stop and talk to your surgeon at your next appointment. Your breasts will continue to heal on a less visible level over the course of the next few months, so you will need to treat your chest with care for a while longer.
Post-op photos are usually taken at one of your follow up visits, but it can take up to two years for your scars to flatten and fade. And, while incidence is rare, breast implants do come with complications that may arise even years after your surgery. Your body will still age, hormone changes, pregnancy, weight changes, and life events can all affect the appearance of your breast, so you should stay in touch with your surgeon and always reach out if you feel as though anything is out of the ordinary.
Drs. Loren and Mark Clayman provide top-quality breast augmentation in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center and Miracle Spa boasts a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility for all of our services from cosmetic surgeries to medical-grade spa treatments. If you want to learn more about our breast augmentation process, contact us today to schedule your consultation and get started. Call us at 904-208-2727.