When Iggy Azalea posted about her immense gratitude and satisfaction after having breast implants on Instagram, she openly used the hashtag #FlashRecoveryBreastAugmentation to describe her speedy recovery.
The Australian model's social media post has led many to ask: Can I really recover from breast augmentation in a "flash?"
And what exactly should I expect to experience after surgery?
In this article, you will learn about what to expect following breast augmentation and some tidbits on what you can do to get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.
A Look at Breast Augmentation Recovery
Before delving further on what to expect following surgery, it is worth noting that the recovery period varies from one woman to another.
Healing and recovery are typically influenced by the following:
- Your overall health and fitness,
- Your pain tolerance,
- The implant size used and the elasticity of your own tissues,
- Whether or not other procedures (say a breast lift or liposuction) were performed with the surgery.
Two More Quick Questions
Dr. Fan's Rapid Recovery Technique in Breast Augmentation
Dr. Fan has performed thousands of breast augmentation procedures and addresses a wide variety of concerns specific to breast augmentation recovery. He is also one of a few surgeons in the country who is adept in the Rapid Recovery Technique.
Surgeons who are adept in this technique employ precise implant pocket dissection. As a result, there is minimal tissue trauma and less bleeding. With Dr. Fan's mastery of this technique, 90% of patients have been able to resume their normal routine within 24 hours and have experienced fewer side effects.
The First 24 Hours After Your Breast Augmentation Surgery: Getting Back to Normal Activities
Breast augmentation surgery takes around an hour or two and doesn't require you to stay overnight at the hospital or surgical center. Once you wake up from the anesthesia, you will be able to go home with a family member or friend keeping you company.
When you go home, you may still be a little drowsy from anesthesia. You may also experience a combination of side effects including soreness, tightness, numbness, tingling, itching, or an upset stomach after surgery.
While pain is subjective and one's experience may be different, women who have undergone breast augmentation at our San Francisco practice describe the discomfort after surgery as a feeling if slight pressure or a weight on their chest, similar to what one might feel after a hard workout or breastfeeding. You will be given a prescription for medicines to hep alleviate any discomfort.
Most of our breast augmentation patients are able to go out to dinner the night after surgery, needing nothing more than Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for their pain once the anesthesia wears off.
You can take a shower after 24 to 72 hours, depending on your surgeon's instructions. Be careful not to traumatize your incisions or breasts.
As you recover from your procedure, you should be certain to take it easy, to avoid any strenuous activity, and to keep yourself well hydrated and comfortable.
Beyond the First 24 Hours: Getting Back to Normal
Although the majority of our patients are able to resume normal light activities after about 24 hours, making a full recovery can take several weeks to even months.
For the first few to several weeks after surgery, it's common to experience these side effects:
- Pronounced upper fullness
Keep in mind your breasts are not going to look perfect immediately after the operation. Your upper breasts will appear too full. This pronounced upper fullness is normal and will usually go down after 4 to 12 weeks. It will continue to improve after a year.
Following surgery, you will experience some soreness or feeling of tightness in the chest area. Some women describe it as a feeling similar to having badly pulled muscles, or how you might feel after doing a hundred push-ups. This feeling will gradually disappear over the course of a few weeks.
- Swelling and burning sensation
You may feel a burning sensation in the nipples for about 2 weeks, but as the bruising fades, so does the burning. Swelling will peak around 5 to 6 days after surgery, gradually subside in a span of a month, and may even extend up to 6 months to a year.
You may have difficulties lifting your arms above your head, driving, preparing complex meals, washing your hair, and performing complicated tasks. This pain should go away within a week or so.
It's normal to walk with your shoulders hunched forward following surgery, almost as if you're trying to cover and protect your chest. This will cause further pain and soreness because you're using other muscles to compensate for your chest muscles. Not to mention that you will likely sleep in an awkward position. However, your posture will improve as the pain subsides.
- Work after surgery
Most of our patients are able to return to work after 3 or 4 days, though some women go back even sooner and many work from home the next day. We recommend you take time off from work for at least 4 to 7 days. However, you may need extra time if your job involves straining or heavy lifting. You can resume driving once you are off your pain medications. The same goes for your alcohol intake.
- Stitch or drain removal
Dr. Fan makes use of a technique in breast augmentation that typically requires no drains or stitches to be removed after surgery.
- Wound healing
The surrounding area will continue to be sensitive for 2 to 3 weeks and the surgery scars will be firm and pink for several weeks. Over the following year, the appearance of your scars will change, eventually fading and smoothing out. However, the scars will never disappear completely.
Going Out For the First Time After Surgery
You'll probably feel like your new breasts are under a spotlight for everyone to see the first several times you go out. The truth is, if you get breast implants that are well-proportioned to your body frame, it's likely people won't be surprised by dramatic differences.
If they do think something is different, they may ask if you've lost weight or something else.
Getting Back to Full Activity
Most patients are cleared to resume full activity 8-12 weeks after surgery, depending on your surgeon. You should use common sense and "listen" to your body at all times, avoiding any activities that feel uncomfortable or could be damaging.
Any abnormal feelings should gradually resolve over the course of 12-24 months.Patience and Positive Vibes Go Hand in Hand
You have to understand that it can take months after your breast enhancement surgery to see desired results. Combining patience and focusing on the long-lasting outcomes is key to overcoming a recovery period that seems to drag along.
Trust in yourself that you made a well-informed decision and Dr. Fan will help you execute the plan with his expertise and finesse. Women who undergo breast augmentation at our practice always end up thrilled and satisfied with their beautiful results!
Helping you recover quickly and safely is one of our goals at our practice. Take our online self-assessment to see if you are a good candidate for breast implants today. It only takes a couple minutes!