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Breast Augmentation Recovery Day By Day


Breast Augmentation Recovery Day By Day

Breast Augmentation Recovery Day By Day

Knowing what to expect following breast augmentation surgery can help prepare you for the healing process.

 You’ll undergo different phases in the days and weeks following your surgery. Below is a breakdown of a typical breast augmentation recovery timeline. Read until the end, when we’ll address common breast implant surgery questions and give you tips on recovering after your breast augmentation surgery. Please keep in mind that this information applies to Dr. Darren Smith’s rapid recovery breast augmentation.

How Long is Recovery Following Breast Augmentation?

 For most patients, a return to work within 48 hours is a very reasonable expectation. Some aspects of recovery (like exercise restriction) may last up to 6 weeks. However, your specific recovery time will differ depending on the specifics of your surgery and general overall health. Additionally, If you undergo subglandular augmentation (over the muscle), the recovery time may be slightly less than the submuscular (under the muscle) technique.

What Happens During Breast Augmentation Recovery?

Immediately After Surgery

Breast implant surgery uses general anesthesia, meaning you’re asleep during the procedure. Once the surgery is finished, you’ll begin to wake up in the recovery room. Tightness, pressure, and sore muscles in the chest are common, especially if your implants are placed under the pectoralis muscle. There is generally only moderate discomfort associated with this procedure.

 You’ll go home the same day as your surgery, and you will need a trusted adult to pick you up after the procedure.

 1-5 Days After Surgery

The next day your breasts will feel firm and tight. You will likely have swelling and bruising in your chest. Pain is usually managed by prescription painkillers. Dr. Smith does not use drains for breast augmentation. Most patients can expect to return to work in 48 hours. It is necessary to wear your surgical bra for

2 weeks after the procedure.

During these first few days, tightness, mild to moderate discomfort, swelling, and bruising are all normal. All of these issues improve significantly each day, and are more significant with larger implants.

 1 Week After Surgery

 When you hit the one-week mark, the discomfort, swelling, and bruising should be significantly improved. Your breasts will still be firm and tight but will become slightly more rounded on the bottom.

 The discomfort should be minimal after a week, You can also start to return to light exertion.

 2-3 Weeks After Surgery

 Your breasts will still appear high but will become softer and less compressed. Bruising should be gone by this point, and your implants will begin to drop. You may still have some soreness and swelling. Some patients experience sharp pains or itching during this period, which is normal.

Most patients can begin to add more light physical activity into their daily routine like walking for exercise or lower body workouts. However, avoid heavy lifting and intense physical activities like cardio

After 2 weeks, it is okay to switch from your surgical bra to a sports bra.


Breast Augmentation Recovery Day By Day

When implants are initially placed, there is often exaggerated upper pole fullness

6 Weeks After Surgery

You can wear any kind of bra (or none!) at this point. Your breast implants will continue to “drop and fluff” into position.

2 Months After Surgery

By this point, you should feel like you never had surgery. Around 8 weeks post-op, you should be nearing full recovery. Your breasts will be softer, and bottom rounding will continue to become more pronounced. With Dr. Smith’s permission, you can increase your physical activity like running and upper body workouts.


Breast Augmentation Recovery Day By Day

This patient is shown at about 75% of her final projected implant position in the 7 week post-op

6 Months After Surgery

Your breasts will be softer to the touch and in their optimal position. It can take time for your breast implants to settle and all residual swelling to subside, but you should see your final results by now.

Some patients will continue to use scar creams or gels to help minimize the appearance of scarring.

What Else You Should Know About Breast Augmentation Recovery

 Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions about breast implant recovery times.

When can you return to work?

 Most patients that have a rapid recovery breast lift by Dr. Darren Smith can return to work about 2 days after breast implant surgery if they work an office job. You may need to take more time off if you have a more physically demanding job. Dr. Smith will help you design a safe plan appropriate for your individual situation.

What kind of scars will you have after breast implant surgery?

Dr. Smith uses advanced techniques and technology to help ensure scarring is minimal. However, you can expect some scarring, as with any surgery. Scars begin to fade after a year. Of the three common locations for breast implant placement (under the fold of the breast, under the areola, and under the armpit),  Dr. Smith prefers the through the fold, or inframammary approach, in most patients.  If the scars are placed in this position, underneath the breast, it generally takes a lot of effort to see them.

Will you have to have your implants replaced?

 Not every patient needs to have their breast implants replaced. In general, an implant doesn’t need to be replaced unless there’s a problem with it, like a rupture, or you want to change the size of your implant. In general, it is reasonable to expect your implants to last an average of 10 years.

 Some patients may also want to change the type of breast implant. For example, replace a saline implant with a silicone implant.

Tips for a Healthy Breast Implant Recovery

Dr. Smith shares the tips below with his patients to ensure a smooth, successful recovery. 

  • Wear your dressing and surgical bra following Dr. Smith’s instructions.
  • Properly care for your incisions.
  • Take your medications and use topical scar creams as instructed.
  • Have someone at home to help you for the first 48 hours after surgery. You’ll need to rest when you’re back home in recovery.
  • Wear comfortable, loose shirts.
  • Avoid working out or intense activity until you have permission from Dr. Smith.
  • Eat nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, and protein to help speed up the recovery process.

Schedule a Consultation

Breast augmentation is one of our most popular cosmetic surgeries each year. Learn about Dr. Smith and his breast augmentation technique by getting in touch with us today. If you have questions or would like to schedule a breast augmentation consultation, please get in touch with our NYC office.



  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD
  • Darren M. Smith MD

All photos are of models except before and after images.

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