According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 18.1 million cosmetic procedures completed in 2019. There were 299,715 breast augmentations in 2019 landing it on the list of top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures that year.
Breast augmentation has actually been the top cosmetic surgical procedure since 2006. The majority of breast augmentation procedures in 2019 used silicone implants, 85%. Saline implants were used in 15% of breast augmentations that same year.
Are you thinking of getting a breast augmentation? Read this guide to learn about the breast augmentation recovery stages. You should understand what you’ll experience during each stage before your procedure.
How Long Does Recovery Last?
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure where implants are placed above or below the muscle in the breast to make them increase in size.
Each person who gets a breast augmentation will have a different experience during surgery and after it. Most surgeons give a standard recovery time of six to eight weeks.
You should follow all of your doctor’s instructions for each stage of the recovery. This will help prevent complications, allow your scars to heal properly, and get you back to your normal routine without delay.
Each stage of recovery comes with different needs and informing yourself before your procedure can help make recovery easier.
Make Preparations Ahead of Time
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure and it should be treated with the same precautions as any other surgery. This is why it’s important to make preparations for your surgery ahead of time.
Since you’ll be in some pain after surgery and your ability to move will be limited, plan to have someone drive you to and from the surgery. Having a caregiver that can stay with you for the first two days is ideal.
If you need to, prepare meals ahead of time for you and your family so that all your caregiver has to do is heat your food and give you your pain medication.
What to Expect the First Few Hours After Surgery
During the surgery, you’ll be under general anesthesia. The first few hours after surgery will be spent in a recovery room so that doctors can monitor you for any unforeseen complications.
As you wake up you’ll feel some pain and grogginess from the anesthesia. As the aches subside you’ll feel tired and sleepy but if you remain stable, you’ll be able to go home after a couple of hours.
Your surgeon will review with you how the procedure went and give you detailed instructions on what you should do during recovery at home as well as a prescription for pain medication. Your breasts will be wrapped with an elastic band for support.
The Typical First Week After Surgery
Breast augmentation recovery is a long process and the first week will be the hardest to navigate for most people. You’re likely to feel the most pain during this stage.
The prescription pain killers will help reduce pain but your doctor might recommend an injection if the pain is too severe. After the first week, you’ll be able to move on to over-the-counter pain medication.
If you work a job that doesn’t require much physical activity, like an office job, then you should be cleared to go back to work the week after surgery.
Two to Six Weeks After Surgery
In the two to six weeks after surgery, you should start feeling better. By this time you should be able to start getting back to your normal routine without pushing yourself too hard.
Your wounds should heal about 10% with each week that passes so by week six you’ll be more than halfway through the healing process.
One thing to keep in mind is that heavy lifting should still be avoided during this time. If you have a job that requires a lot of movement and lifting then you should expect to be away from work for three to four weeks.
If you do return to work before then it should be with the stipulation that you avoid strenuous activity on the job.
Two Months Post Surgery
During this part of breast augmentation recovery time, you should be reaching the end of your recovery. While you might take a little less or a bit more time to recover, this is the average amount of time surgeons see their patients take to recover.
At this time you’ll have your post-operation consultation with your surgeon where he or she will assess how your scars are healing and how you’re feeling. If the appointment goes well then your doctor will clear you at this point and you’ll be able to return to your normal daily activities.
If you follow all of their instructions then you should have no problem reaching full recovery after the two-month mark post-surgery.
After reading about all of the stages of breast augmentation recovery and being certain about getting the procedure then you should contact breast implants specialist Dr. Jugenburg. Finding a surgeon with experience and knowledge is crucial.
Recovery Tips Include Finding the Right Sleeping Position
Now that you have more information on the recovery stages of breast augmentation you should know some important tips that can make recovery easier to navigate.
Finding the right sleeping position is crucial to helping you avoid too much discomfort and pain while you’re trying to sleep. Sleeping on either side should be ok but sleeping on your back will help you avoid any added pressure on your breasts.
Never sleep on your stomach as this can cause more pain and it can displace your implants as well. Adding some extra pillows to your bed can make you feel more comfortable during those first few weeks post-surgery.
You Should Adjust Your Diet as Needed
Next on our list of breast augmentation recovery tips is to make sure you’re adjusting your diet as needed. The first couple of days after surgery you might not have much of an appetite but you should try to drink as many fluids as possible.
Water and other drinks with electrolytes will help you stay hydrated. The pain medication you take during this time should not be taken on an empty stomach so you can avoid getting nauseous. Even if you just eat some crackers or a bit of cereal, this can help you prevent this unwanted side effect of the medication.
Eating healthy meals after surgery is also an important part of recovery because it’ll help your wounds heal faster. You should be getting plenty of whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and veggies when your stomach can handle it.
Try to avoid foods that are too heavy and high in fat like processed foods, dairy products, and red meats.
Exercise Should Be Avoided After Surgery
Exercise should be completely avoided following your breast augmentation surgery. This will prevent any breaks, bleeding, or other complications from occurring.
As you go through the recovery process you should be able to start incorporating very light exercise, like walking, into your daily routine. You should be able to add light exercise to your routine after the third week. If you feel pain during a walk then you should scale back on the exercise immediately.
Your doctor will clear you for regular exercise after your post-op appointment but you can always call their office with any questions you may have.
Call Your Doctor if Complications Occur
If you experience any symptoms that are out of the ordinary or any complications during the recovery process then you should call your doctor immediately. If you develop a rash on the skin around your breasts you should speak to your doctor.
This can indicate that you’re experiencing an allergic reaction to any number of different things including the bandages, any solutions applied to the skin, or even the pain medication.
You should also avoid any type of ointments used to clear up scars until your doctor clears you to use them. These can irritate your skin and prevent your wounds from healing properly.
Read This Guide About Breast Augmentation Recovery Stages
Now you should have a clear understanding of all the breast augmentation recovery stages and some tips that can help make the healing process easier for you. The key thing to remember is that you need your rest to recover properly.
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