Understanding Your Role in Your Breast Augmentation Recovery
If you are considering breast augmentation to enhance your figure, Dr. Roger J. Oldham can help you understand the time commitment and the role you will play in your aftercare. Although patients are often impatient to experience the results of their augmentation, full recovery may take up to several months. Understanding what to expect, as well as having realistic expectations, can ensure a safe and comfortable recovery. To learn more about breast augmentation recovery, set up a consultation at our Bethesda, MD, practice today.
The Importance of Aftercare
If you choose to undergo breast augmentation, you must schedule time for recovery. Aftercare is a significant part of this process. Gauze dressings are applied immediately after surgery to support your breasts and allow them to heal. You will have a follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon within the next few days, at which time the dressings are usually removed. Some patients may require an elastic bandage or a special support bra for several weeks to provide continued support and minimize swelling. Your surgeon may prescribe medication to prevent infection, as well as pain relievers to minimize discomfort. It is also important to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption until healing is complete.
Most importantly, patients must rest and avoid strenuous activities or exercise for at least a month or until your physician provides approval. Bending, lifting, and straining can increase pain and slow the healing process. While most are able to return to work within a week or so, patients whose jobs involve more taxing activities may need more time. Your surgeon can provide further instructions and a timeline that is specific to your needs.
Timeline for Recovery
The First Few Weeks
The timeline for breast augmentation recovery is highly variable. Depending on the type of implant placement, recovery may take months. In the first few weeks following surgery, patients may experience a variety of side effects, including:
- Breast pain or discomfort
- Burning sensation in nipples immediately after surgery
These symptoms may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The first 48 hours in particular can be rough on a patient. You may want to ask a spouse, family member, or friend to help care for you during this time.
After seven to ten days, the surgeon may remove stitches at a follow-up appointment, though this is not always necessary. Follow-up appointments are also important so your doctor can check you are healing free of complications.
The Following Months
During the first few months, your breasts will remain fairly sensitive. Until this sensitivity fades, patients should minimize physical contact with their breasts to reduce the risk of injury or delayed recovery.
Patients should keep in mind that the surgical scars will remain after a full recovery is made. However, these scars are artfully placed in well-concealed areas under the breast crease, in the armpit, or along the border of the areola to make less noticeable. Visible scars usually fade significantly in the months following surgery.
Once you have recovered from your breast augmentation, it is important to keep long-term health in mind. Women 40 years or older should receive mammograms every year to check on their breast health. Those who have undergone breast augmentation should visit special radiology centers capable of performing mammograms on patients with breast implants. It is also important to have your implants periodically checked to maintain their integrity.
Reach Out Today
Dr. Oldham and his team are sensitive to each patient's needs and expectations. We are dedicated to ensuring plastic surgery is an enjoyable and rewarding path to achieving your goals. If you wish to learn more about breast augmentation recovery or would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your options, contact us today.