What is the Recovery Time for a Breast Augmentation?

I’m scheduled for my breast augmentation next week and I’m a bit worried about the recovery from surgery. How long do I have to wait until everything returns to normal? I work in a large law firm, and taking even a day off from work is a big deal. Is it possible to be back at work after just a week of recovery? The sooner, the better. I can handle the pain.

Dr. David M. Tauber, MD - DeLucaPlasticSurgery.com - Albany, NY

After surgery, the breasts swell from the trauma of surgery and the tissues become edematous. This combined with the tightness of the skin and the squeeze of the pectorals muscle on the implant can give the implants a high and flat appearance as the round implants are squeezed like a pancake against the chest.

The initial recovery from surgery is a few days to a week. The ability to work depends on your occupation and your pain tolerance. Most patients are able to go back to light duty between 1 and 2 weeks and back to full activity by 4-6 weeks.

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As the swelling subsides and the tissues begin to stretch from the weight of implants, the breasts begin to settle. Over the next few months, the implants settle and the soft tissue and pectoralis muscle relax. The shape changes from high and tight to lower and fuller as the implants round out and more of the implant is in position to provide lower pole projection.

This “drop and fluff” often occurs over the first few months after surgery as the edema finally escapes and the soft tissues relax. This process is often asymmetric as the breasts relax and settle at their own rates. It will take 3 to 6 months to see a final result – although for some patients this process occurs faster.

A detailed examination will help delineate the best surgical option and provide you a custom quote for your situation.

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Dr. David M. Tauber, MD - Board Certified Plastic Surgeon - DeLucaPlasticSurgery.com

David Tauber has 1 Breast augmentation before & after:

Breast augmentation before image performed by Dr. David TauberBreast augmentation after image performed by Dr. David Tauber

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You'll need to rest for a few days after your augmentation surgery. But, you should be able to return to your job after one week. You should not lift heavy objects or go back to your intense workout program for six weeks with implants.

It's great that you have a high tolerance for pain. Not everyone does, but over-the-counter pain relief, such as acetaminophen, helps most find relief from the discomfort. Your doctor can provide you with prescription pain medication in case you need it.

Immediately after the surgery, your breasts will be covered with gauze. You may have drainage tubes, which are typically removed in two to three days. A surgical bra must also be worn to help you to heal. Most women have some swelling for the first week to ten days. You should do great! Stay positive and remember that the first few days are the most intense and you will improve daily.