Knowing how long healing and recovery take after breast implant surgery can help you to prepare yourself and your home for the post-operative period. Most women have recovered from breast implant surgery after four to six weeks, but the recovery timeline for breast implants is divided up into five distinct stages that it is helpful to understand. Let’s take a closer look at breast implant recovery time and what you might expect to happen during each stage.
Breast Implant Recovery Time: The Day Of The Procedure
Your recovery starts as soon as your breast implant surgery is over and the anaesthetic has worn off. You are likely to feel tired and uncomfortable so you need someone to drive you home and ideally, stay overnight to help you.
Swelling and bruising are common at this stage and you may have a headache or some nausea because of the anaesthetic. Your chest might feel tight and sore. It’s important to take any medication prescribed for you as this will help with your pain and discomfort.
Day Five To Day Seven
For most women the first three to five days after getting breast implants are the most uncomfortable and painful. You will be told not to raise your arms above your head or do any heavy lifting. Your surgeon may instruct you to massage your breast tissue during the first week, to ease discomfort and swelling. You will be surprised at how well you heal over the course of the first week, and by the end of it, most women are ready to return to work.
Week One To Week Three
While you won’t be able to do anything too strenuous, you would have resumed most of your daily activities by this stage of healing. By this point, most of your bruising, swelling and discomfort should have improved and you should be able to do a light cardiovascular activity (but no weight lifting). If your job is labour-intensive you may only return to work after the first three weeks after your breast implant surgery.
Week Four To Six
By this stage, you should be able to resume lower body and cardiovascular exercise. Chest exercises are only recommended from the end of the sixth week and are based on your cosmetic surgeon’s advice. Your breast implants should feel and look natural and you will probably be getting used to them.
Breast Implant Recovery Time: Three To Four Months Later
It usually takes three to four months before your breast implants have stabilised. By this point, the swelling should have improved and the position of your breast implants will be finalised. It is a good idea to wait a few months before you start buying new bras and shirts and the size of your breast implants may change a little in the months after your breast implant surgery.
How To Speed Up Your Recovery
Every patient heals and recovers after breast implants at a different rate. A lot of it has to do with your physical state before the surgery so making sure you are fit and healthy can really impact how well you recover. There are other measures you can take to speed up the healing process and avoid complications:
Make sure you follow your cosmetic surgeon’s post-operative care instructions for your breast implants.
This includes the appropriate wound care as well as keeping up with your follow up appointments.
By visiting your surgeon at regular intervals he or she can check on your progress.
Wear recovery bras as instructed. Recovery bras are specially designed to speed up healing and recovery after breast implants by offering you the support you need after breast implant surgery. They also improve your circulation and help with lymph drainage so they help with swelling and discomfort.
Consider investing in some button-down shirts to wear afterwards. You should not lift your arms above your head so having some options that you can put on from the back are much more comfortable.
Prepare your home ahead of time and make sure you have help around the house. You will need assistance with shopping and meal preparation so you can actually rest and recover after your procedure. The less you have to do, the faster your healing period will go, but it’s still important that you eat healthy, home-cooked meals.
Make sure you stay well hydrated and eat nutritious foods. Food and water are the best medicine and eating foods that are nutrient-dense will ensure you have the resources you need for recovery. Avoid salty foods, alcohol and caffeine as these can make swelling worse.
Take the medication that has been prescribed for you, especially during the first week. This is when pain and discomfort are at their peak. You will be able to wean yourself off the medication as the days pass but it has been prescribed for your comfort and healing and will benefit your recovery.
If you still have questions about breast implant recovery time and what to expect after your procedure, it is best to speak to a professional about your concerns. Please contact us for a confidential appointment: (02) 8599 7161.
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