The prospect of improving your shape through breast augmentation can be very exciting. There are numerous reasons why over 300,000 women choose to undergo this procedure each year in this country. As exciting as it is to imagine a new and improved shape, there is no denying that it is a big decision to undergo plastic surgery. Part of that decision is understanding what to expect through the process. What most patients want to know is what their recovery may be like. Here, we break it down into stages.
The first stage of breast augmentation recovery is returning home from the surgery center and processing the effects of anesthesia. Patients should expect to rest and sleep for the majority of the first 2 days after surgery. It is important at this time to drink plenty of water and clear liquids. This helps the body flush anesthesia and also nourish the tissues that are recovering. It is also important to take prescription pain medication as directed. This is why it is helpful to have someone in the home for a few days. They can be the caretaker that ensures medication and meals are observed as needed.
Patients enter the second stage of breast augmentation recovery by the third or fourth day after surgery. At this time, comfort may be improved enough to transition from prescription pain medication to an over-the-counter pain reliever. Walking should be comfortable and can be done a few times a day to keep circulation moving through the healing tissues well. Walking is also encouraged to prevent blood clots after any kind of surgery. While light activities like cooking or moving around the house may be comfortable, patients cannot exercise.
Stage three of breast augmentation is an exciting time because this is when patients typically have enough comfort and energy to go back to work. This usually happens 10 to 14 days after surgery. However, for those whose work requires lifting or is more physically demanding, a little more recovery time is needed. Whether back to work or not, patients can enjoy going out a little more and being slightly more active, staying mindful about their energy level, and resting when needed.
Stage four begins about one month after breast augmentation. Light cardio activity may be resume once cleared by Dr. Shah, but patients will most likely not be able to perform upper body exercises until week 6 of recovery. Sometime around week 6, patients may begin more strenuous work and exercise as they are cleared to do so.